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The Paris Gun of the German Empire in World War 1 was not so much to destroy the city as it was a psychological weapon against the people in it. As its name suggested, the weapon was developed with the sole intent to engage Paris at long range, proving to its citizens that they were not immune to the fighting along the Western Front. Krupp manufactured seven 210mm barrels for the Paris Gun program as fracturing and wear were constant issues when dealing with such forces at play. In this way, the gun proved a success as a psychological terror weapon but was largely inaccurate, prone to technical issues, and required many resources which then produced limited results. Within German-held territory in France, the weapon was able to target Paris which lay some 75 miles away. The retreating Germans then elected to have the weapon completely destroyed lest it fall into enemy hands - not even its design plans survived the fighting.


The 69-foot long barrel, and complex mounting hardware, sat atop a specially-configured railway car and its crew numbered 80 specialists and assistants - these personnel pulled from the ranks of the German Navy as the gun held a naval origin.
In this way, the Paris Gun was something of a failure as a true battlefield artillery piece.
It opened up in anger against the city on March 21st, 1918 and continued its terror campaign into August of that year, withdrawn amidst the advancing Allied forces. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance or general operation. With the arrival of the Paris Gun, however, the Germans produced a weapon that could launch a man-made projectile into the stratosphere - up to 26 miles up - the first such act of its kind recorded in astronautics. During its operational tenure, it managed to fire at least 320 shells, kill 250 Perisians, and injure a further 620 citizens while accounting for considerable damage from the 210 shells.


The weapon typically operated alongside a battery of standard German guns to help shield its position from wandering Allied reconnaissance aircraft and ground scouts. Initially, its projectiles were thought to have been derived from a passing German bomber or Zeppelin until fragments were studied more closely and shown the true artillery origins.



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