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Although I see that in this section the subject is small arms, I could not find another place in the forum where to ask about this First World War photograph. It has been sugested that it is a Big Bertha with its barrel blown off, and that explanations sound possible, but the french inscription translated to something like: French piece to destroy Berta, or so I think it does.

The equipment, or what is left of it, is on a railroad wagon as the Big Berthas were. I will thank any explanation.

Eduardo

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It has been sugested that it is a Big Bertha with its barrel blown off, and that explanations sound possible, but the french inscription translated to something like: French piece to destroy Berta, or so I think it does.

Hello Eduardo,

The French text literally says : "French piece that destroyed ...", i.e. past tense. Also the reference to the Chemin des Dames battle and the village of Margival would place this piece of "equipment" behind the French lines, not on the German side of the front. So, in my opinion, a French contraption. Not too sure about it being mounted on a railway carriage : no rails to be seen and may be it's a caterpillar carrier ? Very curious and interesting !

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Thanks Hendrik and Octave. It must be some kind of a big mortar that was used to destroy the Big Bethas. Hendrik, you are right there are no rails under the equipment and it looks as a caterpilar. The inscription "Bertha's destroyer" was just wishfull thinking, or this equipment as used purposely and with constant results for that?

Eduardo

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Hello Eduardo,

No idea about the accuracy of that piece of artillery but I guess the text is not entirely devoid of a bit of propaganda in the good cause of French patriotism :rolleyes: <-- whistling the "Marseillaise" ? !

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Thanks Hendrik and Octave. It must be some kind of a big mortar that was used to destroy the Big Bethas. Hendrik, you are right there are no rails under the equipment and it looks as a caterpilar. The inscription "Bertha's destroyer" was just wishfull thinking, or this equipment as used purposely and with constant results for that?

Eduardo

Hallo Eduardo, :beer:

having had a look online I can say this is not "Bertha", so its possibly a French item, I still think it was originaly mounted on a railway, if you look at the cropped photo, and imagine it with steel railway wheels where I altered the picture with photo-shop, looking at the amount of weeds and debris around this, it has been in the postion for a while.

Kevin. :D

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I saw a picture that shows the same like structure the caption reads"Feeding Granny" it took 12 men to load this gun. They also had 270 mm guns another thought is this could have been a captured Big Bertha that was renamed " Thing" that then was used on the Germans Big Bertha just a thought.

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The thing is the carriage car for the French 240mm Gun Mle 1903, i found the following info in Allied Artillery of WW1 by Ian Hogg..............Fom the book "The vehicle was fitted with four wheels of standard gauge plus two narrow gauge four wheel bogies,one at each end of the car ,For normal running and covering major journeys it travelled as a standard gauge hehicle as close to its firing site as could be arranged.After that it could be jacked onto a set of road wheels and pulled by a traction engine,or shifted onto a narrow gauge track by lowering the narrow gauge bogies by means of screw jacks.It was then run into its firing position,which was a prepared bed of earth and timber through which the narrow gauge track ran.Once the car was straddling this bed the jacks were used to lower it into a firm contact.In order to lighten the equipment when travelling by road or narrow gauge ,the gun could be lifted from the carriage to a separate transport car,this was done by a large A-frame with lifting tackle pemanently fitted to the carriage vehicle.All in all this was a very complicated piece of equipment which involved a great deal of hard work to get into place,once emplaced it was satisfactory enough.However ,relatively few appear to have been built"

Edited by spotter
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So its actully a heavy duty piece of lifting machinery to raise the guns that may have destroyed the Big Bertha? - Or maybe its that piece of equipment atually detroying a big Bertha in the original pic?

Jim

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So its actully a heavy duty piece of lifting machinery to raise the guns that may have destroyed the Big Bertha? - Or maybe its that piece of equipment atually detroying a big Bertha in the original pic?

Jim

Hallo Jim, :beer:

To my eyes it looks like the traversing mount for the gun, less the actual barrel, and its traveling waggon, either hit by fire from Bertha or responsible for firing on a Bertha, (as the Germans had more than one Bertha) and not to be confused with "Big Bertha" the massive Railway gun the Germans used to lob shells onto Paris from over 70km or miles away :unsure:

In my original post I did suggest it had a railway connection and thanks to spotter for clarifying exactly what it is :beer:

Spotter the "Milky Bars" are on me :P

Kevin in Deva :D

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So its actully a heavy duty piece of lifting machinery to raise the guns that may have destroyed the Big Bertha? - Or maybe its that piece of equipment atually detroying a big Bertha in the original pic?

Jim

Hallo Jim some interesting pictures of similar if not the same equipment here:

http://www.ecpad.fr/ecpa/PagesDyn/result.a...p;collectionid=

Obusier de 240 mm mod?le 1903-1904. Durant le conflit, l'artillerie et notamment l'artillerie lourde prend de plus en plus d'importance pour essayer de briser les lignes ennemies.

R?f?rence : SPA 20 X 759

Date : 3 mai 1916

And:

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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Hey Kev!

Interesting pics! Ruddy big beasties with one heck of a punch is all I can say!

Funny how we did not know what the item was and now its skulking about in all the pics ;)

Jim :cheers:

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