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Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, built in WW-I, was the last standing on the Rhine and was captured on 7 March 1945. only a limited number of troops were able to cross the Rhine before the bridge's collapse.
(courtesy Rex Combs collection)

Hurtgen, Germany
east of the Belgian-German border was the scene of one of the most fierce battles in WW-II
(courtesy Rex Combs collection)

German Artillery
In April 1945, troops of the Seventh US Army captured this 274mm railroad gun near Rentwetshausen in central Germany.  The mammoth easily holds these 22 men lined up on the barrel. Although of an 1887 French design, the gun packs a powerful wallop.
   Could this be the same gun that bombarded the 81mm Mortar Platoon of the 2nd Battalion of the 508th during Operation Market Garden in 1944??
(courtesy National Archives - some commentary by Irv Shanley)
Another Possibility: The Krupp K5 series were consistent in mounting a 21.5 m long gun barrel in a fixed mounting with only vertical elevation of the weapon. This gondola was then mounted on a pair of 12-wheel bogies designed to be operated on German commercial and military rails. This mounting did not permit any degree of horizontal traverse, but instead the carriage had to be aligned on the rails first, with only minimal fine leveling capable once halted. Hence the gun could only fire at targets tangential to an existing railway track.
   To track targets needing greater traverse either a curved length of railway was used with the gun shunted backwards or forwards to aim; a cross-track was laid with the front bogie turned perpendicular to the rest of the gun and moved up and down the cross-track to train the weapon; or for 360 degree traverse, the so-called "Vögele Turntable" could be constructed, consisting of a raised rail section (the "firing bed") carrying the gun, running on a circular track with a central jack to raise the gun during traverse and to take some of the enormous weight.
   The main barrel of the K5 is 283 mm in caliber, and is rifled with twelve 7 mm grooves. These were originally 10 mm deep, but were later made shallower to rectify cracking problems. 
[Source: Wikipedia]
   NOTE:  In the upper left is a hoist apparatus especially shaped to grasp a reload set.  That set is waiting on the platform at bottom right.  The set consists of 1 keg of black power, two cloth wads and a shell.  The hoist drops the set in the open hatch to the rear of the elevated barrel.

German Mk VI Tiger tank Knocked out in Germany Feb. 1945.
Only 484 of these tanks were built.  Note at right that the first 50 had a unique curving turret thereby proving this one to have been manufactured as number 51 or later.
(courtesy Rex Combs collection)


The Mk VI, TIGER II AUSF B Königstiger (King Tiger) was the heaviest operational tank in WW-II weighing in at 69.7 tons.  It carried a crew of 5 the fearsome 88mm gun plus 3 machine guns for armament.  Its armor plating ranged from 25-l50mm over a nearly rectangular hull that was 24.24ft x 12.5ft x 10.26ft..  Propulsion was through a gasoline engine producing 700hp and capable of reaching 23.5 mph.  Range is unknown.

This was a Henschel design to the VK.4502 requirement calling for a replacement for the infamous Tiger (Tiger Ausf E). tank   The prototype was completed in November 1943 with first production models appearing in November 1944.  Delay was caused by design changes to standardize parts with other-tanks (e.g., Tiger Ausf E, Panther, and projected Panther II); there was also disruption by enemy action. A total of 484 Tiger Ausf B vehicles were completed by the end of World War II in May 1945..

A rival design (the VK.4502(P)) was offered by Porsche to meet the same requirement. Like other Porsche designs, this had petrol-electric drive. It was not accepted, but turrets for the anticipated order for 50 initial production vehicles were built and these were subsequently used on the first 50 Henschel-built Tiger Ausf B tanks. The Porsche turrets were distinguished by a bulging cupola and curved turret front. The Henschel turret on subsequent vehicles had smooth sides and a conical mantlet.