I first heard of this project reading about it in Ian Hogg’s book Artillery back in the 1970’s. That book didn’t have too many details and I’ve never really thought about it much since. This post has most of the details and what the V3 was about.
Apparently there is a documentary coming out about the guns and their installation. The fact is that this thing would never have succeeded because it’s was too obvious and too big a target. And it would have solved any of Germany’s strategic problems even if had been deployed and used. The ammunition for the gun was about the same size as the Qassam rockets that Hamas uses to hit Sredot and as about as accurate. And Germany had no way of determining the effect of the weapon and would be firing blind. In the end this was a waste of resources that Germany desperately needed elsewhere
Big fixed thing like this are asking to become bombing targets. Especially when they are a short distance from the oppositions airfields. This gun and the big V2 bases that the Germans built were nothing more than bomb magnets and perfect testing grounds for large ordnance.
But these huge complexes served to fulfill Hitler’s vision of impregnable defenses. This probably was the result of his WW1 experiences, but in most ways the big constructions turned out to be like the big defensive constructions built by just about every nation, a total waste of resources
Still superguns do seem to have an allure for dictators. Saddam Hussein started to have one built by Gerald Bull. Of course, it too suffered from the fact that it’s critical parts were easy to spot and interdict and it was, again, an obvious target.
Big projects that are essentially useless seem to be power signals by dictators. I have to guess that it’s because they know that they are only where they are because of crazyforce and if they aren’t always demonstrating how looney they are, somebody will get rid of them. or the idea that they can push endless piles of slave labor around like toy soldiers gets to their head. In any case the world is littered with monuments to power mad leaders with delusions of grandeur. Future leaders should remember the poem “Ozymandius” and create strong and prosperous societies as their legacy, but somehow they always think that other people’s strength makes them weak.
Not that they will.