Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
17,815 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A visit to the Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Just off I-95 north of Baltimore, and open to the public via the Rte 715 gate.

The museum will be moving to Ft. Lee, VA in a few years as a consequence of BRAC. Ft. Lee is already the home of a couple of other Army museums and the center of a more consolidated approach to the Army's support activities. I'm sure that Ordnance Corps veterans will still regard APG as the Home of Ordnance, but at least the spaces at Ft. Lee will put a roof over the collection, which is now in various stages of deterioration.

I was a bit disappointed at the exhibits inside the museum building, which generally consisted of small arms, machine guns, and mortars. There was lots of stuff there, though it stopped short of the current generation. Being a veteran of the "wooden stock Army," I wanted to get a look at the current stuff too and understand the next step of evolution. Also, I thought the museum's organization was kind of sloppy.

(Edit: I've updated a bit and added some links about the museum and the individual items. There doesn't seem to be any description available about the mine clearing vehicle.)


German Leopold 280 mm railroad gun, WW II. Lobs a 250 kg shell 50 km. Barrel length 70 feet. This one was left behind at Anzio when the Germans retreated.



US M65 280 mm, mid-1950s. "The atomic cannon," with Leopold in the background.



Experimental mine clearing vehicle, built on the Abrams tank platform. Never deployed due to software problems! :icon_rolleyes:



The first "tank" (at rear). WW I, British. To keep their existence secret they were covered with tarps in transport and labeled "tank." The name stuck. Whippet tank at front, also WW I.
 

·
Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
Joined
·
24,101 Posts
for some reason I see that railroad cannon not shooting very far, and the cannon itself just being propelled down the tracks in the other direction.
Also I like how they had to support the "atomic cannon" in the middle since it'd probably try and snap itself in half if they didn't.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback Limited
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
for some reason I see that railroad cannon not shooting very far, and the cannon itself just being propelled down the tracks in the other direction.
Also I like how they had to support the "atomic cannon" in the middle since it'd probably try and snap itself in half if they didn't.
They would actually shoot very far. But, destroy the train tracks and they can't use it anymore. Still 50km was a loooong distance those days.
 

·
Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
17,815 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I didn't get the impression that Leopold was deployed with a high degree of mobility. They would locate it on a curved section of track for maximum azimuth, and back it into a tunnel for concealment when not in use. Warfare was a bit more static back in those days.

The Germans attempted to demilitarize Leopold when they abandoned it. I doubt that we ever tried using it back against them.

The "Atomic Cannon" was of course never fired in anger. I don't know whether it also would fire conventional rounds. They did have one dummy round on display. According to the Museum's description, the gun was made at Watervliet and the carriage at Watertown (the latter now out of business). I was living in the Boston area when the mounted gun was rolled out from Watertown. It wasn't really a secret, but they did do it early in the morning.
 

·
Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
17,815 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wow!

A 1953 video of an actual firing of a nuke round from the M65. They were very public about this. The thing probably earned its keep just through this sort of publicity, never having been fired in anger.

Note that it was detached from its two prime movers and lowered to ground before firing. That certainly helped contain the recoil.

YouTube - 280mm Atomic/Nuclear Artillery

Wikipedia says that it was quickly obsoleted by the development of nuke rounds for the existing 155 mm howitzer and 203 mm (8") gun. But that didn't matter if it still scared the pants off of the bad guys. And check out that utterly minimal development cost of it. We couldn't do that nowdays!

Ordnance was a favorite branch choice for guys in my ROTC unit at MIT. I chose it second or third, but ended up with my first choice. It would have been fun! We also had to make a combat arms choice, so I went for Artillery. It seemed more interesting than Infantry!

 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top