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View Full Version : # 168 Weekend Quiz 4U (The Anzio Annie Saga)



kh
08-04-2012, 12:14 AM
Today I have eight men only. They are connected by two “thingies” and a location.

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#1

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

I want to know


their names
the two thingies and
the location, please.


Have fun and a nice weekend!

Gosha
08-04-2012, 12:52 AM
#2 ia Colonel-General Eberhard von Mackensen - no guessing. ;)

kh
08-04-2012, 12:56 AM
#2 ia Colonel-General Eberhard von Mackensen - no guessing. ;)
That's correct, Gosha, very good!

Gosha
08-04-2012, 12:58 AM
#1 is Major General John P. Lucas

Gosha
08-04-2012, 01:15 AM
Based on the first two people, I would hazard a guess that one of the thingys was Operation Shingle, on January 22, 1944. It does seems too easy. Have I fallen for one of kh's "traps"?

kh
08-04-2012, 03:44 AM
#1 is Major General John P. Lucas
Again, yes!

kh
08-04-2012, 03:46 AM
Based on the first two people, I would hazard a guess that one of the thingys was Operation Shingle, on January 22, 1944. It does seems too easy. Have I fallen for one of kh's "traps"?
No traps, Gosha, never ;)!

But the answer to your guess is NO.

cruisey
08-04-2012, 03:55 AM
#3 Col Frederick Filzinger

cruisey
08-04-2012, 03:56 AM
Would the two thingies be Leopold & Robert ?

cruisey
08-04-2012, 03:57 AM
No traps, Gosha, never ;)!

:laugh:

cruisey
08-04-2012, 04:01 AM
A guess at #4, Captain Borcherds ?

cruisey
08-04-2012, 04:01 AM
And the location, Anzio

kh
08-04-2012, 04:05 AM
#3 Col Frederick Filzinger

That was good, yes!

kh
08-04-2012, 04:06 AM
Would the two thingies be Leopold & Robert ?
Very good again, yes!

kh
08-04-2012, 04:08 AM
A guess at #4, Captain Borcherds ?
Gosha guesses, cruisey :)! Normally I could say no, as there was no Borcherds at Anzio ;), but you are right, it is Captain Borchers and Anzio is correct also.

cruisey
08-04-2012, 04:11 AM
#5 Maj General Lucian Truscott, no Gosha guess this time !

kh
08-04-2012, 04:14 AM
One of the remaining four is easy, but for the last three I would give 75% of the total points, 50% for the last one alone.

kh
08-04-2012, 04:15 AM
#5 Maj General Lucian Truscott, no Gosha guess this time !
Absolutely correct!

cruisey
08-04-2012, 04:28 AM
For #6 I am looking for a P-40 pilot I think

cruisey
08-04-2012, 04:31 AM
Gosha guesses, cruisey :)! Normally I could say no, as there was no Borcherds at Anzio ;), but you are right, it is Captain Borchers and Anzio is correct also.

Ahh thanks, it is my backwards downunder spelling that let me down !

cruisey
08-04-2012, 07:42 AM
It is a guess, but I think #6 is Col Earl E Bates

tplan
08-04-2012, 08:49 AM
As I've heard others say, "Curse my need for sleep!" Well done, you two. #8 I think may be related to #7. #7 is Albert R. Materazzi.

kh
08-04-2012, 10:15 AM
It is a guess, but I think #6 is Col Earl E Bates

That's a very good guess, yes.

kh
08-04-2012, 10:17 AM
As I've heard others say, "Curse my need for sleep!" Well done, you two. #8 I think may be related to #7. #7 is Albert R. Materazzi.
Excellent, tplan, yes.

And now the 50% question #8 :)!

Gosha
08-04-2012, 01:04 PM
As I've heard others say, "Curse my need for sleep!"

:laugh:

Gosha
08-04-2012, 01:19 PM
Very good again, yes!

Ah, we Americans would recognize "Anzio Annie" and "Anzio Express"

Gosha
08-04-2012, 01:49 PM
And now for one of my famous guesses: #8 is Robert Battet, Captain of the French cruiser, Emile Bertin.:?

kh
08-05-2012, 12:25 AM
And now for one of my famous guesses: #8 is Robert Battet, Captain of the French cruiser, Emile Bertin.:?
Sorry, Gosha, NO.

Gosha
08-05-2012, 01:11 AM
Sorry, Gosha, NO.



Paul Ortoli???

kh
08-05-2012, 01:34 AM
Paul Ortoli???
Sorry again, Gosha, NO.

Gosha
08-05-2012, 01:54 AM
Sorry again, Gosha, NO.

OK, but was he French? :confused:

kh
08-05-2012, 02:15 AM
OK, but was he French? :confused:

He was.

JPS
08-05-2012, 02:35 AM
Johnny Depp?

Gosha
08-05-2012, 02:53 AM
Johnny Depp?

:laugh:

Gosha
08-05-2012, 02:53 AM
He was.

Skipper of the Emile Bertin?

kh
08-05-2012, 03:48 AM
Johnny Depp?

I would prefer Angelina Jolie :)!

kh
08-05-2012, 03:49 AM
Skipper of the Emile Bertin?
Yes.

Gosha
08-05-2012, 03:58 PM
Henri TÉZENAS du MONTCEL?

Gosha
08-05-2012, 05:20 PM
I know that Philippe Auboyneau was its admiral at the time, but the captain is eluding me.

kh
08-06-2012, 01:24 AM
Henri TÉZENAS du MONTCEL?
Emile Bertin had 12 captains during her active career, but Henri TÉZENAS du MONTCEL was none of them.

Gosha
08-06-2012, 01:44 AM
Emile Bertin had 12 captains during her active career, but Henri TÉZENAS du MONTCEL was none of them.

I found a site on the Emile Bertain and TÉZENAS du MONTCEL signed orders for sailors to join the crew.

cruisey
08-06-2012, 02:40 AM
Emile Bertin had 12 captains during her active career

I can find only one, so my guess is Commander Battet :?

Gosha
08-06-2012, 02:48 AM
OK, another Guess is le capitaine de frégate Constantin.:confused:

Gosha
08-06-2012, 02:58 AM
And finally CF M.J.G BATAILLE


Based on this list that I found:
L'Emile Bertin a été commandé successivement par les :
CV TAVERA CJ (1933/1934 à 1936).
CV AUPHAN Paul Gabriel (de 1936 à 1937).
CV, puis Aal BATTET Robert Marie Joseph (de 1938 à 1942).
CV CONSTANTIN J. (de 1942 à 1943,relevé sur sa demande).
CF BATAILLE M.J.G. (de 1943 à 1944).
CV ORTOLI Paul Ange Philippe (en 1944, nommé amiral).
CF Garreau (Cdt en second, Cdt P.I. du bâtiment en 1944).
CV MADELIN Pierre (de 1944 à 1946).
CV DURAND-COUPDEL de SAINT-FRONT Yves Marie Alexandre Pierre (de 1946 à 1947).
CV PERRAUX ou PERRAUD (de 1947 à 1948).
CV PARES Raymond Germain Justin (de 1948 à 1950).
CV QUEMARD Claude Mathurin (de 1950 à 1951 date du désarmement du bâtiment).
Quelques commandants du groupe école "Emile Bertin-Suffren" période 1953 à 1959:
CF PAUMIER Jean Louis Ernest (de 1953 à 1954)
CF VAUTERIN René Paul (de 1954 à 1955).
...

cruisey
08-06-2012, 03:04 AM
Well that rules out BATTET, good job Gosha, I couldn't find much at all on the commanding officers

Gosha
08-06-2012, 03:05 AM
Emile Bertin had 12 captains during her active career, but Henri TÉZENAS du MONTCEL was none of them.

Do I get bonus points for finding all 12? ;)

Gosha
08-06-2012, 03:07 AM
Well that rules out BATTET, good job Gosha, I couldn't find much at all on the commanding officers

Thanks, I had guessed Battet a couple of turns ago (see above). This was a tricky one indeed.

Gosha
08-06-2012, 03:12 AM
Ah, it is past my bed time. I will have to wait to see if I was finally right. :(

kh
08-06-2012, 04:20 AM
I can find only one, so my guess is Commander Battet :?
Sorry, cruisey, no.

kh
08-06-2012, 04:21 AM
And finally CF M.J.G BATAILLE


Based on this list that I found:
L'Emile Bertin a été commandé successivement par les :
CV TAVERA CJ (1933/1934 à 1936).
CV AUPHAN Paul Gabriel (de 1936 à 1937).
CV, puis Aal BATTET Robert Marie Joseph (de 1938 à 1942).
CV CONSTANTIN J. (de 1942 à 1943,relevé sur sa demande).
CF BATAILLE M.J.G. (de 1943 à 1944).
CV ORTOLI Paul Ange Philippe (en 1944, nommé amiral).
CF Garreau (Cdt en second, Cdt P.I. du bâtiment en 1944).
CV MADELIN Pierre (de 1944 à 1946).
CV DURAND-COUPDEL de SAINT-FRONT Yves Marie Alexandre Pierre (de 1946 à 1947).
CV PERRAUX ou PERRAUD (de 1947 à 1948).
CV PARES Raymond Germain Justin (de 1948 à 1950).
CV QUEMARD Claude Mathurin (de 1950 à 1951 date du désarmement du bâtiment).
Quelques commandants du groupe école "Emile Bertin-Suffren" période 1953 à 1959:
CF PAUMIER Jean Louis Ernest (de 1953 à 1954)
CF VAUTERIN René Paul (de 1954 à 1955).
...
EXCELLENT!!!

Yes!

kh
08-06-2012, 04:22 AM
Do I get bonus points for finding all 12? ;)
Of course!!!! One more beer!

cruisey
08-06-2012, 04:29 AM
Of course!!!! One more beer!

Gosha must have built up almost a lifetime supply by now :laugh:

kh
08-06-2012, 04:37 AM
The Anzio Annie saga is a classic example of how two guns of excellent design, well positioned, well served and well camouflaged held an army to ransom for more than three months and even had a chance of getting the better of it.

01 Operation Shingle Anzio Nettuno

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The saga started 22 January 1944, when the Allies landed in the Anzio/Nettuno area with about 36,000 soldiers and over 5,000 vehicles at the Italian port of Anzio during Operation Shingle in order to short circuit the deadlock at Cassino, where German resistance had stopped the march to Rome.

kh
08-06-2012, 04:38 AM
Anzio/Nettuno Area

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kh
08-06-2012, 04:44 AM
They were under the overall command of

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US Lieutenant General Mark Wayne Clark,

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with Major General John Lucas, Commanding General VI Corps, as local commander and the

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British commander General Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis subordinated to Lucas.

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Later Lucas was replaced by Major General Lucian King Truscott, Jr.

Allied Naval forces in this attack consisted of 5 cruisers, 24 destroyers, 89 other warships, 232 (major) landing craft and more than 62 other ships.

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Naval Commander was Rear-Admiral Frank Jacob Lowry USN on his

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flagship U.S.S. Biscayne (AVP-11), the northern group with 215 British and Allied warships was commanded by

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Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Hope "Tom" Troubridge RN, the southern group with 154 US warships directly by Rear-Admiral Lowry.

kh
08-06-2012, 04:52 AM
Similar to the Overlord landing the beaches were given names.

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The British landed six miles north of Anzio at "Peter Beach", with 1 HQ-ship, 4 cruisers, 8 Fleet destroyers, 6 Hunt destroyers. 2 AA ships, 2 Dutch gunboats, 11 Fleet mine sweepers, 6 small mine sweepers, 4 Landing craft Gun, 4 landing craft AA, 4 landing craft Rocket and 141 landing vessels for the 1st Division, 1 ACG, 3 LSI, 30 LST, 18 LCT, 24 LCI, 41 LCA and 24 LCVP.

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The US Northwest Forces, Task Force 81, landed in Anzio at "Yellow Beach" with 2 command ships and 4 Liberty Ships.

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The US Southwest Group, Task Force “X-Ray”, landed 6 miles east of Anzio at "X-Ray Beach", with 1 HQ ship, 1 cruiser, 8 destroyers 2 Escort destroyers, 6 mine sweepers, 12 submarine chasers 173’, 20 submarine chasers 110’, 18 motor mine sweepers, 6 repair ships and 267 landing vessels, for the Corps 21 LST, 17 LSI and 1 AGC, for the 3rd Division 2 LSI, 37 LCT, 29 LST, 43 LCI, 26 LCA and 60 LCVP and for the Ranger Force 3 LSI, 1 LST, 2 LCT and 25 LCA.

By midnight over 36,000 men and 3,200 vehicles, 90 percent of the invasion force, were ashore (with casualties of 13 killed, 97 wounded, and 44 missing), increasing to 50,000 by Day Four. It was an easy landing, with negligible losses and minor opposition. By the end of January, when the 45th Infantry Division and the 1st Armored Division (less Combat Command B) had been brought from Naples, the Allies had at Anzio a force of 68,886 men, 508 guns, and 237 tanks.

Opposing the Allied Forces were between 10,000 and 20,000 (the references differ) quite unprepared Germans

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(the coastal defence installations were not manned) plus five Italian battalions,

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for instance the battalion Barbarigo, Commander Bardelli, with 4,600 soldiers

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under Field Marshal Albert Konrad Kesselring, with

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the commander of the 14th Army General Eberhard von Mackensen as local commander, who quickly reinforced his troop numbers to 60 000 men.

kh
08-06-2012, 04:56 AM
The first German guns to shell the landings were those from a

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captured 240mm French battery Canon de 240 VF Mle 1893/96 Colonies, TAZ / 24cm K(E) 558 (f), former Battery Erhardt, now commanded by

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Captain Borchers, a First World War artillery veteran, who used 'shoot and scoot' tactics to escape the usual aerial retaliation that followed a bombardment.

By then, two K5E batteries (i.e. two guns), named Leopold and Robert, had arrived from Rome at a town named Ciampino. This location was in the Albano hills about 19 miles from the Anzio beachhead, and the "game" began in earnest.

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Colonel Friedrich Filzinger was put in command of the railway guns, and he worked out a strategy to bombard the Allies to the point of withdrawal. Railway guns have the disadvantage that camouflage and concealment are difficult, but at Anzio the solution presented itself in the form of a tunnel at the right place and the right range. Not even the most ingenious of experts could have invented a better hideout for a railway gun than in a tunnel. From there, it could run out and open fire and, as the inevitable aerial and artillery retaliation followed, run back to its retreat. Safe from observation and bombardment, it was the ideal hideaway.

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Map

The tunnel that Filzinger decided on was on the Ciampi no-Frascati branch line, approximately 12km from Rome, and 30km from the Anzio beachhead. It was an ideal position for long-range interdiction, well within Annie's range, but outside the range of Allied artillery. The US 155mm Long Tom, the top of the Allied range, could only reach 23km, still 7km short of touching Annie. Filzinger appointed Captain Borchers as the on-site commander of the two teams of K5 batteries, with Sergeant Sauerbier as one of the gun commanders.

kh
08-06-2012, 05:04 AM
02 The Guns K-5 and the Units

02 01 Factory

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The “father” of the guns was Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Erich Müller (nicknamed Kanonen-Müller, i.e. cannon-Müller).
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The K5 was the result of a crash program launched in the 1930s to develop a force of railway guns to support the Wehrmacht. The K 5 was developed and built in 1934 by Krupp in Essen, with first testing following in 1936 at the

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Firing Test Range Rügenwalde-Bad (Schießplatz Rügenwalde-Bad, today Darlowo in Poland) in Farther Pomerania at the South coast of the Baltic Sea. From 1937 the guns were produced in cooperation with Hanomag in Hanover. By February 1940 eight were built and a total of 24 K 5 until 1945, with the Deutsche Reichsbahn Series numbers 919 201, 919 210, 919 211, 919 212 (“Bruno”), 919 213,

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919 214, 919 215, 919 216 (“Robert“),

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919 217, 919 218, 919 219 (“Leopold"), 919 220, 919 354, 919 356, 919 396, 919 397, 919 398, 919 399, 919 400, 919 443, 919 444, 919 445, 919 446 and 919 683.

The guns were marked with “Dessart“ (Deutsche schwerste Artillerie = German heaviest artillery) “Berlin W35”, plus “Deutsche Reichsbahn”. Heimatbahnhof (depotstation) of all K-5 guns was the Bahnhof (Railway Station) Wustermark Vbf.

kh
08-06-2012, 05:09 AM
Railway Batteries with K 5 were in 1938 the Eisenbahnbatterien 712, 713 and 765.

At the beginning of Unternehmen Barbarossa the Heeresgruppe Süd had the
2. / Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Abteilung 725 with 1 K 5 and
the Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Batterie 701 with 1 K 5.
The Heeresgruppe Mitte had
the Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Batterie 710 with 2 K 5,
the Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Batterie 712 with 2 K 5,
the Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Batterie 713 with 2 K 5 and
the Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Batterie 765 with 2 K 5

Most K 5s were stationed in the West. In summer 1940 three railroad batteries, each with two K5 guns, were transferred to the Channel coast by the Wehrmacht for Operation Sealion. Battery E 712 took up position near Pointe aux Oies, E 713 near Hydrequent and E 765 at first in the railroad yards of the harbor depot of Calais; later this battery was transfer to Coquelles.

After Operation Sealion had been given up, the three batteries remained on the Channel. To protect the cannons,

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the Organization Todt built two domed bunkers for Batteries 712 and 713, with room inside for the guns and their Diesel locomotives.

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For Battery 765, a multistory tunnel layout was built in a quarry near Coquelles. This also contained ammunition stores, housing and administrative offices. The K5 guns were aimed via a built in rail-switching system and turntable. Along with the Navy's long range guns, the 28cm railroad gun dominated the Channel and the south coast of Britain. In addition, they could fire on any shipping traffic at the harbors of Ramsgate, Dover and Folkstone.

29 September 1944 there were the Eisenbahn-Batterien 686, 688, 710, 712, 713, 749 and 765.

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Of those the Heeresgruppe B had the batteries 688 and 749.

Technical Data:

Weight: 218 t (215 long tons; 240 short tons)
Length Travel: 30 m (98 ft)
Combat: 32 m (105 ft)
Barrel length: 21.539 m (70 ft 8 in) L/76.1
Shell 255 kg (560 lb)
Caliber 283 mm (11.1 in)
Elevation +50°
Traverse 2°
Rate of fire 15 rounds per hour
Muzzle velocity 1,120 m/s (3,675 ft/s)
Maximum Range 64 km (40 mi), 151km with the special Peenemunde arrow shell

Gosha
08-07-2012, 12:45 AM
Gosha must have built up almost a lifetime supply by now :laugh:

Apparently you have not seen me drink. :burp

:laugh:

Gosha
08-07-2012, 12:48 AM
Of course!!!! One more beer!

I sincerely hope that I get the chance to collect.

:)

kh
08-07-2012, 01:47 AM
I sincerely hope that I get the chance to collect.

:)
You "just" need to come!

kh
08-07-2012, 01:50 AM
02 02 One of the big guns of Anzio came from “Eisenbahn Batterie K5 28 cm Kanone (E) 712” (Railway Gun Battery 712 with cannon K5 (Railway) 28 cm) with the Reichsbahnnummer (German Railway Identification Number) 919216.

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It was called “Robert” by its crew and marked with an “R”.

The second gun was of the

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"2./Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Abteilung 725” (2nd/Railway Artillery Group 725)

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with the Reichsbahnnummer 919219.

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It was called “Leopold” by its crew and marked with “Leopold” (after it was captured later it became marked “Anzio Express” also).

"Robert" and "Leopold" were combined into a battery, while the other two guns of the batteries 712 and 725 remained in northern Italy.

US names for both guns were “Anzio Annie”, “Anzio Express” and “Whistling Willie”.

kh
08-07-2012, 01:55 AM
US names for both guns were “Anzio Annie”, “Anzio Express” and “Whistling Willie”.

02 03 The crew did not consist of 150 men, as some newspapers reported those days, but of 41, the Geschützführer (gun commander), in case of “Leopold” Feldwebel (sergeant) Sauerbier, the Elektrounteroffizier (NCO for electrics), the Richtunteroffizier (direction finding NCO), the Munitionsunteroffizier (NCO for ammunition), the Wagenführer (driver), the Batterieschlosser (locksmith for the gun), the Motorenschlosser (engine locksmith), the Elektriker (electrician) 25 soldiers for the gun and 8 soldiers for the ammunition.

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Manual

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Leopold Crew

kh
08-07-2012, 01:58 AM
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K-5 Crew

kh
08-07-2012, 02:05 AM
03 The Trains
A K5 (E) battery normally had two guns. Each gun was transported with one train, but if it was intended to use a “Vögele-Turntable” two separate trains were used.Those gun trains differed slightly from one another. They consisted of 24 and 23 cars with a length of 294 and 278 m respectively.

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The 'gun train' consisted of the following:

1 locomotive, mostly a

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locomotive BR 50 or

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BR 52 of the Reichsbahn

kh
08-07-2012, 02:09 AM
1 diesel switching locomotive

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(mostly model WR 360 (V36),

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sometimes model WR 200

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or D 311) for moving elements into position.

1 K5 (E) gun

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1 Temperierwagen (air-conditioned ammunition car) for keeping the powder at a constant temperature of 10°C

2 shell cars each carried 113 shells
2 propellant charge cars
1 equipment car with small tools and supplies
1 armored rail car for defense of the gun crew using small arms
1 kitchen and supply car
1 fire control car-blast proof

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1 flat car with 2cm Flakvierling 38 for air defense (some references mention one additional 88 mm Flak, but I did not find a proof for that)

3 buses for reconnaissance and supply units
Passenger and Cargo Cars

The 'turn-table' train consisted of the following:
1 locomotive
1 car for each section of the 29.46 meter diameter turntable
1 car carrying 16 sections for the circular traverse track for the turntable and the construction crane
Passenger and Cargo Cars
3 ammunition cars
1 equipment car with small tools and supplies
1 flat car with 2cm Flakvierling 38 for air defense
9 flat cars for carrying buses and other vehicles used by the battery

The last wagons were added to the 'gun train' when the turntable was not used.

In addition to the trains for the guns there was the staff train with the following composition:
Steam Locomotive plus tender, passenger cars, special boxcars with ammunition, box cars with food and field kitchen, a box car with railway equipment, a diesel locomotive, flatbed cars with vehicles, equipment and anti aircraft guns. The train consisted of 34 cars, including locomotives, with a total length of 374m.

kh
08-07-2012, 02:17 AM
04 Rail Firing Devices

04 01 Arrival of the Gun

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After it arrived in the firing position normally the gun was ready to fire within about 15 minutes. The wagons and the diesel locomotive were disconnected from the locomotive

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and the tarpaulin cover and muzzle protection removed from the gun.

kh
08-07-2012, 02:25 AM
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Then it was pushed into the firing position by the diesel locomotive together with the ammunition wagons.

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The grenades and powder bags were brought to the gun, lifted by a crane there and pushed into the barrel electrically.

kh
08-07-2012, 02:29 AM
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For aiming the vertical direction was carried out electrically; the power supply came from an own separate generator.

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Firing

kh
08-07-2012, 02:35 AM
As the gun itself was able to alter the direction horizontally only for 2° (which is very much at a range of 40mi), traverse was achieved by several rail devices.

04 02 Schießkurve

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A “Schießkurve” (firing curve) is the curved portion of a track system, which is necessary for the horizontal directing of a gun, which barrel can not or not enough be pivoted. Normally an existing curve in a rail system will be used, sometimes a specially constructed track for this purpose. To aim the gun was pushed forward or backward until the barrel pointed into the right direction.

04 03 Kreuzbettung

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Another system was the “Kreuzbettung” (crosswise bedding). It used a small turntable and two crossing tracks. The forward car of the gun was brought on the cross track, the rear one remained on the other one. The gun was directed by moving the forward car.

04 04 Vögele Richtdrehscheibe

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A more versatile solution was to run the gun onto a turntable so it could be pointed it any direction wanted. The Germans designed a portable turntable just for this purpose. Especially in France, where the guns remained a long time, the “Vögele Richtdrehscheibe” (Vögele directional turntable) was used.

car99
08-07-2012, 02:54 AM
Great subject KH, I recognize the BR50 from my old Marklin train set.

kh
08-07-2012, 03:17 AM
Great subject KH, I recognize the BR50 from my old Marklin train set.
Many thanks, car99. I had one Märklin BR50 also.

Tater792
08-07-2012, 08:31 AM
KH, great quiz and great pics of the different big guns!! My dad was at Anzio with the 1st Armored Div. and told me me many a tale of "Anzio Annie". He didnt call it by that name just that "dammed gun". In pic 2 of Nettuno, his outfit was in the wooded area inland of the beachhead . I have several pics of his bunker and others in that area . He did go back to the Anzio area in 1968 . Wish he was still with us as I would show him these pics , of course, knowing him his response wouldn't be printable here . Thanks again KH .

kh
08-08-2012, 01:17 AM
KH, great quiz and great pics of the different big guns!! My dad was at Anzio with the 1st Armored Div. and told me me many a tale of "Anzio Annie". He didnt call it by that name just that "dammed gun". In pic 2 of Nettuno, his outfit was in the wooded area inland of the beachhead . I have several pics of his bunker and others in that area . He did go back to the Anzio area in 1968 . Wish he was still with us as I would show him these pics , of course, knowing him his response wouldn't be printable here . Thanks again KH .

Many thanks, Tater792!

It is good that some family history came up also!

kh
08-08-2012, 01:25 AM
04 05 At Anzio

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In front of the Anzio-Nettuno bridgehead the gun “Leopold” of the battery 712 fired from a “Kreuzbettung” situated several miles to the south of Ciampino at Frattocchio Station.

kh
08-08-2012, 01:29 AM
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“Robert” of the battery 2./725 used a “Schießkurve”southeast of Rome near the

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Ciampino Airfield. After firing the guns were hidden away in

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tunnels between today's Marino and Albano Laziale stations.

kh
08-08-2012, 01:35 AM
05 The Battle

The troops and sailors tended to lump all enemy guns under the nickname of "Anzio Annie" or the "Anzio Express." However, the incoming artillery shells were of all calibers. And even "Anzio Annie" and the "Anzio Express," the names the troops used interchangeably, were two guns, not just one. Late January to May, the beachhead was under constant aerial and artillery bombardment, made worse by the two Krupp K5 (E) heavy railway guns.

Other railroad guns used at Anzio were

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a battery of 21 cm SK "Peter Adalbert" (SK - Schnelladekanone (quick-loading cannon) kept in a tunnel west of Albano, not far from Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer palace. The Germans had a formidable array of heavy artillery in addition to the railroad guns:

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22-cm-Mörser (p),

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21-cm-Mörser 18 and

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17-cm-Kanone 18 guns. The 170's, on surrounding hills, possessing a range of about 30,000 yards, even did more damage than the railroad guns. On 16 February, when the Germans began their big counteroffensive, they fired 454 rounds from six 170-mm guns and only 50 rounds from the two 210-mm. railroad guns. On 29 February they had eighteen 170-mm guns, which fired 600 rounds; and on that day they fired only 12 rounds from their 2l0-mm railroad guns. The railroad guns were freaks; but Anzio Annie symbolized that the Germans had in the 170-mm a gun that outranged the best gun the Allies had, the 155-mm Long Tom, with its maximum range of 25,700 yards.

An important German step was to create systems of deception in order to render detection of the K-5 guns, from the air or otherwise, as difficult as possible. For that Colonel Filzinger built a number of dummy guns built in wood and iron, painted like the real thing, and covered with camouflage netting. The dummies were dispersed at railway yards in the vicinity. To confuse the spotting of muzzle blast, flash simulators were erected at various sites as well as at the dummy gun sites. These simulators were fired to coincide with Annie's shots. As we shall see, these efforts proved to be highly successful. This addressed the basic problem faced by any artillery battery operating in the open. Once the smoke, sound, or flash of a gun is spotted, a retaliatory bombardment will surely follow. To escape this, the battery would have to move to a new position, requiring setting up and range-taking all over again. Annie's hideout obviated all this.

“Leopold” opened fire on 7 February. When the gun was ready, with the target position worked out beforehand, it was pushed out of the tunnel by its diesel locomotive into the rail yard, quickly sighted, and fired. Traverse was achieved by using curved rail tracks, apart from the inherent 2° traverse. At night, the muzzle flash was 30 to 40 metres long, and could be seen for many miles. To reduce the danger of detection, Deuneberger salts were added to the charge to reduce muzzle flash to just a thin, pencil-like, flame.

The first shot was a special ranging shell, raising a massive black smoke plume to make it easily visible. An observation post would radio the fall of shot and corrections were made on this. Eventually, only 45 seconds were needed to report the fall of each shell to the gunners. After firing six to eight rounds, requiring some four to seven minutes per round, the gun was pushed back into the safety of the tunnel. Important maintenance work could then be done.

On 5 February 1944, thirteen days after the landing, the gun Robert opened fire first, landing fifteen rounds on the beachhead. The effect was stunning, since no artillery fire of such magnitude had been expected from that direction. The Allies actually thought there was only one K5 gun, and quickly dubbed it 'Anzio Annie'. It would also become known as 'Whistling Willie' or 'Anzio Express', the latter name no doubt due to the shell sounding like an express train as it roared overhead. The immediate reaction of those on the beachhead was to locate the position of the gun in order to take it out.

On 16 February, Robert and Leopold fired fifty rounds and repeated requests to silence the guns were followed by fighter-bomber attacks with 500kg bombs landing on suspected positions. Due to the safety of the tunnel, however, only minor damage was suffered.

kh
08-08-2012, 01:49 AM
What followed for the next three months was a cat and mouse game in deadly earnest, the mouse running to its hole when the cat approached. Allied losses due to Annie were adding up. On 18 February, she destroyed a harbour utility vessel and damaged a destroyer and a freighter. This forced the supply ships 5km out to sea to avoid being sunk.

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The British cruiser HMS Mauritius (80,

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Captain William Wellclose Davis), was ordered to take Ciampino rail yard under shells, but she would not take the risk and, with her 24km range, could not take out Annie in any case.

On March 9, using air reconnaissance photographs, Annie fired eight shells at night and

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took out a fuel dump, causing a massive fire that lasted for three days, setting back the Allied effort for more than a month. Thus the game of hide and seek continued for almost three months, without the 'Annies' suffering any damage at all.

By then, Allied reconnaissance planes had noticed two 'Annie' guns at Ciampino rail yard, covered with camouflage netting, and an attack by eight

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Curtiss P-40 Warhawk planes of the 79th FG of

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Colonel Earl E. Bates, Jr. from Capodichino Airport, Naples, carrying 250kg bombs followed. The aircraft reported direct hits on two guns and the destruction of the rail link. Borchers heard over the radio that he was probably dead and his guns destroyed. It sounded good, but in fact the Annies were safely in the tunnel and the attack had merely destroyed two wood and iron dummy guns. After the attack, Annie fired four rounds to show that she was alive and well, and the next day

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sank a liberty ship to emphasise this.

kh
08-08-2012, 01:55 AM
Clark was exasperated. Annie's threat was also psychological, and the troops lived in constant fear of the next shell from Annie. The scream, 'Here comes Annie', sent the GIs running for cover. The shell's passage was compared to a freight train passing overhead and blasting a hole big enough to swallow a Jeep. It paralysed the thought and actions of the men. Once, the glint from an officer's white map board drew fire from Annie and the story went around amongst GIs that you could not even talk to each other without Annie chipping in. Veterans said that Annie was as timely as a Swiss watch. General Mark Clark, in his memoirs, mentions the harrowing sound of the shells as they roared overhead, causing him many sleepless nights.

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K-5 Impacts

The two Annies could not really stop the Allies, but this might have been possible some more. At one stage, things really looked bad for the Allies and General John Porter Lucas, who showed signs of despondency, was replaced by General Lucian King Truscott, Jr. in an attempt to instil more stamina.

kh
08-08-2012, 02:01 AM
The tunnel puzzle remained unsolved and more air photos were requested in order to pinpoint Annie's position. This effort was seriously hampered by the German flash simulators and other deception measures. The Annies' performance depended, of course, on regular ammunition supply and every day three rail trucks with shells and powder arrived from La Spezia. At times, the rate of firing was curtailed by the lack of ammunition, giving the Allies some much-needed breathing space.

The notches on Robert and Leopold's barrels grew in number as the guns picked off more targets, concentrating on ammunition dumps. On one day alone, they destroyed 182 tons of ammunition; on another, 353 tons of ammunition; and on yet another, they took out 233 tons of ammunition and 5 000 gallons of petrol and sank an LCT in the harbour. They once engaged and severely damaged a destroyer and a freighter at a range of 50km. In one month alone, the two Annies took out 1,500 tons of badly needed ammunition, but by then their hits on ships had been reduced, since these targets anchored 10km out at sea, keeping them out of the Annies' range. On one day in particular, Borchers fired 72 shells, the pinnacle of the Annies' bombardment achievement and, by the end of April 1944, they had

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fired 529 shells (not 5,523!) onto the beach. Some fragments of an Annie shell were recovered and identified by a British officer as the type of shell fired on Dover, either 280mm or 350mm. By then, no dud rounds had been salvaged.

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The Americans introduced twelve 240 mm M1 howitzers, popularly nicknamed "Black Dragon", which had almost the range of their Long Tom, but with a heavier 160kg shell.

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They also had two 203 mm M1 howitzers with supercharged ammunition, that could have reached Annie, but again the effort was hampered by lack of knowledge of her exact position.

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Sixty cannons 155 mm M1 Long Toms pounded her suspected positions, one battery firing 3,240 shells in one day. More reconnaissance flights were requested when it became obvious that the Annies were still not being destroyed, despite many claims to the contrary. Eventually, a dud shell was excavated and examined, so at least the calibre of Annie became known, but this information did not make much of a difference.

kh
08-08-2012, 02:07 AM
Raiding parties were sent forward in an attempt to take out the Annies. Operation Ginny was launched to destroy rail connections,

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especially a tunnel, between Genoa and La Spezia, thus hoping to stop supplies from reaching the Annies' sector. The first attempt, Operation Ginny I, was made on February 27-28

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under the command of 1st Lt. Albert R. Materazzi. It was called off when the correct landing area could not be found in the dark. March 22-23 the second attempt, Operation Ginny II, followed. The U.S. Navy’s Higgins 78ft Torpedo Boats

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PT-214, commanded by Lieutenant R.T. Boehel, and

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PT-210,

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commanded by Lieutenant Harold J. Nugent, both of Motor Torpedo Boat squadron 15

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(Squadron Commander Comdr. Stanley Maitland Barnes), left Bastia at 5:55 pm and made landfall west of

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Stazione di Framura at 10:45 pm. The overall mission and the boat party were commanded again by 1st Lt. Albert R. Materazzi.

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15 men were landed, 11 of them had participated in the “Ginny I” attempt already. The demolition team was commanded by 1st Lt. Vincent (“Vinny”) J. Russo. The security party was under the command of 1st Lt. Paul J. Traficante. The commander Materazzi stayed with the boat party of three men.

But the team was cornered within days and the raiders captured. In clear violation of the Geneva Convention all 15 men of the demolition and security parties were shot, following the “Commando Order” of A.H. Just the boat party escaped.

kh
08-08-2012, 02:14 AM
By then it was suspected that the guns could be in caves, but nobody detected where. It remains a mystery why Allied intelligence, aided by local informers, was still unable to discover the Annies' position. Eventually, almost by chance, fighter planes discovered the Annies' lair when panicking men fled into the tunnel.

The suspicious tunnel was raided, with fighter-bombers dropping heavy bombs, and the

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French cruiser Emile Bertin,

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commanded by capitaine de frégate Marie Joseph Gaston Bataille, firing 350 rounds in three days at the hideout. With both guns way back in the tunnel, however, only the forward-placed kitchen cars were damaged. From the gunners' point of view this was, of course, a serious matter as it interfered with their meals. On 13 May 1944, the Allies broke through at Cassino, and advanced towards Rome. With the hideout discovered, and with the increasing Allied aerial and ground strength, Filzinger decided to remove the guns.

On 18 May, Leopold and Robert fired their last sixteen rounds. Then Leopold escaped after dark along the coastal rail route into the rail yard in Civitaveccia, in preparation for evacuation towards Rome. The net was closing, however, and escape became impossible. With a heavy heart, Sergeant Sauerbier decided to destroy the gun that had served him so well. Time was running short, with the Allies advancing, and he only managed to blow up the breech blocks and elevation generators before he himself escaped towards Rome.

As the railway tracks were destroyed, “Robert” was not able to withdraw to Civitavecchia. The gun was (partly) destroyed in front of its tunnel and abandoned.

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Robert Abandoned

kh
08-09-2012, 01:03 AM
06 After the Battle
Three days after Sauerbier had spiked the gun, the first successful raid on it followed. The entire train was bombed in Civiaveccia yard, the locomotives and the cars overturned, and the gun damaged. General Truscott, unaware of this development, had already decided on a masterstroke to take out the guns with massive aerial bombardment of Leopold’s tunnel. Two days after the capture of the guns, bombers with 5 000kg Tallboy bombs blasted the tunnel, one bomb penetrating the tunnel roof through 25m of earth before exploding. The tunnel was now useless and the hideout destroyed, but the gun was gone. Leopold and Robert were already in Allied hands, captured in and near Civitavecchia by the 168th Regiment ("Third Iowa" under Col. Henry C. Hine, Jr.) of the 34th Division. Robert was brought to Civitavecchia also. There soldiers climbed on them like children with a new plaything. Officers of all ranks flocked to the yard, and everybody started picking off souvenirs until guards were posted. Only then was it realized that there had been two guns and not only one Anzio Annie as everybody had thought.

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Leopold Captured

kh
08-09-2012, 01:07 AM
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Leopold Captured

kh
08-09-2012, 01:09 AM
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Robert Captured

kh
08-09-2012, 01:21 AM
07 Today
Fortunately the Americans decided not to destroy the guns, but to send them to the USA for evaluation.

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Leopold on the Way

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Robert on the Way

“Leopold” was the less damaged piece. Together with “Robert” it was moved to Naples and some months later embarked aboard the liberty ship SS Robert R. Livingston, by means of a crane and a barge. On 6 July 1944, she docked in New York and, in September the same year, “Leopold” arrived at Aberdeen Artillery Proving Ground, where it was (unfortunately not complete) restored by using parts of “Robert”.

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Leopold

kh
08-09-2012, 01:26 AM
Several authors write that “Leopold” and “Robert” are the only remaining K5 E guns in the world and only “Leopold” emigrated to America, whereas “Robert” stayed in Europe and shall be now on permanent exhibition at the Atlantic Wall Museum at Cap Griz Nez in France, installed next to the Battery “Siegfried” gun emplacement. First, the battery is much better know as “Batterie Todt” in Audinghen/France (“Siegfried” was the first name of the battery), and second it is not “Robert”.

Fact is that in 1980 a railway gun was discovered behind a factory building of the French state artillery workshop in Tarbes, in the south of France. It turned out to be a 28cm K5 (E). There was interest from quite a few museums, but in the end it went to the Musée du Mur de I'Atlantique (Atlantic Wall Museum) in Audinghen on Cap Griz Nez on the Channel Coast.

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K5 in Audinghen

How the gun came to Tarbes is unknown. The best guess is that it is one of the guns from Eisenbahnbatterie 749.

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The two 28 cm K5 guns of E.749 were captured at Livron in Southern France in the summer of 1944 by US troops. These guns were transferred afterwards to the French Army and it is likely that they ended up at the military facilities at Tarbes. The remaining gun was manufactured by KRUPP in 1941. It is an Ausf. D (two ammunition trolleys possible). The gun was repainted grey and all the painted lettering has gone so no carriage number is known.

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The manufacturer’s marks are clearly visible, though. It is the only other surviving K 5 gun.

car99
08-09-2012, 02:02 AM
So Robert's location is unknown? If so, it was probably cut up for scrap along with almost all US Army coastal artillery after the war. From your first photos of the Anzio - Nettuno area it is remarkable on how little cover, other than canals and stream beds, there was.

kh
08-09-2012, 02:15 AM
So Robert's location is unknown? If so, it was probably cut up for scrap along with almost all US Army coastal artillery after the war. From your first photos of the Anzio - Nettuno area it is remarkable on how little cover, other than canals and stream beds, there was.
Robert was brought to the States, but today it simply does not exist any longer, perhaps except remaining parts, as it was used for spare parts for Leopold.

kh
08-09-2012, 09:51 AM
As always:

Questions, remarks, comments etc. are very welcome.

tplan
08-09-2012, 10:11 AM
Very nice, as always, KH. Of course, some of your photos are from the latest part of Leopold's story. The carriage was moved from Aberdeen Proving Ground to Fort Lee, VA., in late 2010, and the barrel joined it there in early 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOFHYGMvTYw

kh
08-09-2012, 10:30 AM
That's a great movie, tplan!!!

nwellons
08-09-2012, 01:10 PM
I wasn't sure I would be as interested in a story about Anzio; I had read two or three books on the subject over the years but somehow the story didn't interest me as much as many other military history ones.

Wow, as it turned out, this thread was very interesting. Both the photos and information brought this facet of the Anzio action to life better than anything I had read before.

kh
08-09-2012, 01:14 PM
I wasn't sure I would be as interested in a story about Anzio; I had read two or three books on the subject over the years but somehow the story didn't interest me as much as many other military history ones.

Wow, as it turned out, this thread was very interesting. Both the photos and information brought this facet of the Anzio action to life better than anything I had read before.
Many, many thanks, nwellons!!!!

cruisey
08-10-2012, 06:41 AM
Great quiz kh, the photos in this one were really good

Tater792
08-10-2012, 08:35 AM
KH , here are a few pics my dad took at Anzio. The comments are what he wrote on the back of the pics . I have his photo album with pics of his time in Italy and N. Africa . Truly a family treasure !!

clayshooter2
08-10-2012, 10:53 AM
Wow Tater! That is amazing! Those are the best example of a snapshot of history I think I have ever seen. Thank you so much for posting these.

Tater792
08-10-2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks Clayshooter. 99% of the pics in his photo album have notes written on the back. My dad had graduated from Georgia Tech as a civil engineer in May 0f 1941 so a lot of the pics he took are of buildings and such in Italy.

hlhanna
08-10-2012, 12:29 PM
My Dad was on a gun crew that fired "Anzio Annie", and no, he was not in the German Army. He was with the Coast Artillery from 1947-49, stationed at Ft. Story, Virginia, manning one of the 16 in. gun batteries. They army brought the gun to Ft. Story for test firing and my dad was one of the loaders for the test. He said that when they loaded a maximum charge for the range test the German gun had more muzzle blast than the 16 in. guns at the fort, and the concussion blew out window glass in the barracks.

kh
08-16-2012, 12:35 AM
KH , here are a few pics my dad took at Anzio. The comments are what he wrote on the back of the pics . I have his photo album with pics of his time in Italy and N. Africa . Truly a family treasure !!
Wow, that's great, Tater792. Really a family treasure!!!!
More if possible!

kh
08-16-2012, 12:38 AM
My Dad was on a gun crew that fired "Anzio Annie", and no, he was not in the German Army. He was with the Coast Artillery from 1947-49, stationed at Ft. Story, Virginia, manning one of the 16 in. gun batteries. They army brought the gun to Ft. Story for test firing and my dad was one of the loaders for the test. He said that when they loaded a maximum charge for the range test the German gun had more muzzle blast than the 16 in. guns at the fort, and the concussion blew out window glass in the barracks.
Very interesting, hlhanna!

I thought, Leopold was restored incomplete, but it seems that's not true. Did your dad make photos thos days?

car99
08-16-2012, 02:34 AM
I remember reading (but don't know if it's true) that Annie, or Leopold, and the K5 design was what the US Army based the atomic cannon on.

kh
08-16-2012, 03:57 AM
I remember reading (but don't know if it's true) that Annie, or Leopold, and the K5 design was what the US Army based the atomic cannon on.Yes, at least a little bit. The M65 Atomic Cannon, often called Atomic Annie, was created by the engineer Robert Schwartz who used the German K5 railroad gun as a point of departure for the carriage. The name "Atomic Annie" likely derives from the nickname "Anzio Annie" given to the German K5 guns which were employed against the American landings in Anzio.

cruisey
08-16-2012, 06:34 AM
Tater those pictures are great, this is another thing I like about the quiz, not only the challenge of solving, but sometimes hearing about a personal experience of the event.

Haduwolff
11-29-2014, 06:16 PM
Wonderful history...great work.

One thing... I ve read, the the only railway-gun that fires in "Kreuzbettung" is the 21cm K12. For exercising this the K5 is not constructed.

Its funny, you took my pictures of my 1/35th-scale-K5 from my website in your posting 66 ---these are models... ;)

Here the link to my K5-project....:

http://modell-und-geschichte.jimdo.com/projekt-28cm-k5/

kh
12-02-2014, 09:57 AM
Wonderful history...great work.

One thing... I ve read, the the only railway-gun that fires in "Kreuzbettung" is the 21cm K12. For exercising this the K5 is not constructed.

Its funny, you took my pictures of my 1/35th-scale-K5 from my website in your posting 66 ---these are models... ;)

Here the link to my K5-project....:

http://modell-und-geschichte.jimdo.com/projekt-28cm-k5/
Many thanks, Haduwolff,

I know that the your excellent photos in #66 are of models, but when there are no original pics....

MIKE WISKEY
12-02-2014, 10:06 AM
well............
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/mikewiskey/BIGGUN2.jpg