Det var i forbindelse med min tur til Peenemünde i Tyskland i september 2017 at jeg leste litt om V-3. I Peenemünde utviklet de V-1 og V-2 rakettene under andre verdenskrig. V-3 er ikke en rakett, men et tredje “gjengjeldesvåpen” som Hitler og Tyskland utviklet under andre verdenskrig. Dette var ingen rakett, men derimot en “superkanon”. V-3 var en kanon som var tenkt å brukes mot London under andre verdenskrig. Kanonen hadde et løp på 130 meter og flere slike skulle graves ned nær Mimoyecques på den franske kanalkysten. V-3 skulle skyte ut granater med en kaliber på 15 cm som veide 140 kilo hver. Den teoretiske rekkevidden skulle være 165 kilometer. Tanken var at man med disse kanonene skulle skyte opp til 600 granater per døgn mot London. Langs løpet var det kruttkamre som tente når prosjektilet hadde passert for å gi økt utgangshastighet, men etter testing viste det seg at rekkevidden ikke var mer enn 2/3 av den teoretiske. Når dette ble meddelt Hitler la han ned hele prosjektet.
Det finnes et museum i Mimoyecques i Frankrike om viser frem V-3 prosjektet i forskjellig grad av ferdigstillelse, rester av skytevåpen og en nedskalert modell av V-3. Jeg har derimot besøkt testanlegget i Wicko, Polen hvor det skulle bygges tre slike V-3 “superkanoner” for testing. Men først om V-3 kanonen fra wikipedia:
The V-3 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 3, «Retribution Weapon 3») was a German World War II supergun working on the multi-charge principle whereby secondary propellant charges are fired to add velocity to a projectile.
The weapon was planned to be used to bombard London from two large bunkers in the Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, but they were rendered unusable by Allied bombing raids before completion. Two similar guns were used to bombard Luxembourg from December 1944 to February 1945.
The V-3 was also known as the Hochdruckpumpe («High Pressure Pump,» HDP for short), which was a code name intended to hide the real purpose of the project. It was also known as Fleißiges Lieschen («Busy Lizzie»).
The gun used multiple propellant charges placed along the barrel’s length and timed to fire as soon as the projectile passed them in order to provide an additional boost. Solid-fuel rocket boosters were used instead of explosive charges because of their greater suitability and ease of use. These were arranged in symmetrical pairs along the length of the barrel, angled to project their thrust against the base of the projectile as it passed. This layout spawned the German codename Tausendfüßler («millipede»). The barrel and side chambers were designed as identical sections to simplify production and allow damaged sections to be replaced. The entire gun would use multiple such sections bolted together. The smoothbore gun fired a fin-stabilized shell that depended upon aerodynamic forces rather than gyroscopic forces to prevent tumbling (distinct from conventional rifled weapons which cause the projectile to spin); this resulted in a lower drag coefficient.
The origin of the multi-chamber gun dates back to the 19th century. In 1857, U.S. arms expert Azel Storrs Lyman (1815–1885) was granted a patent on «Improvement in accelerating fire-arms», and he built a prototype in 1860 which proved to be unsuccessful. Lyman then modified the design in collaboration with James Richard Haskell, who had been working for years on the same principle.
Haskell and Lyman reasoned that subsidiary propellant charges could increase the muzzle velocity of a projectile if the charges were spaced at intervals along the barrel of a gun in side chambers and ignited an instant after a shell had passed them. The «Lyman-Haskell multi-charge gun» was constructed on the instructions of the U.S. Army’s Chief of Ordnance, but it did not resemble a conventional artillery piece. The barrel was so long that it had to be placed on an inclined ramp, and it had pairs of chambers angled back at 45 degrees discharging into it. It was test fired at the Frankford Arsenal at Philadelphia in 1880 and was unsuccessful. The flash from the original propellant charge bypassed the projectile due to faulty obturation and prematurely ignited the subsidiary charges before the shell passed them, slowing the shell down. The best velocity that could be obtained from it was 335 metres per second (1,100 ft/s), inferior to the performance of a conventional RBL 7 inch Armstrong gun of the same period. New prototypes of multi-charge guns were built and tested, but Lyman and Haskell abandoned the idea.
During the same period, French engineer Louis-Guillaume Perreaux, one of the pioneers of the motorcycle, had been working on a similar project since before 1860. Perreaux was granted a patent in 1864 for a multi-chamber gun. In 1878, Perreaux presented his invention at the World Exhibition of Paris.
In 1918, the French Army made plans for a very long range multi-chamber gun in response to the German Paris Gun. The Paris Gun was built by Friedrich Krupp AG and could bombard Paris from German lines over a distance of no less than 125 kilometres (78 mi). However, the French initiative did not reach the prototype stage, as it was discontinued when the retreat of the German armies and the armistice put an end to the bombardment. The plans for the multi-chamber gun were archived, as they had been envisioned to counter the German fire.
France collapsed in June 1940 at the beginning of World War II, and German troops acquired the plans of this long-range gun. In 1942, this patent attracted the attention of August Cönders, developer of the Röchling shell and chief engineer of the plants «Röchling Stahlwerk AG» in Wetzlar, Germany. Cönders thought that the gradual acceleration of the shell by a series of small charges spread over the length of the barrel might be the solution to the problem of designing very long range guns. The very strong explosive charge needed to project shells at a high speed were causing very rapid degradation of the gun tubes of conventional guns.
Cönders proposed the use of electrically activated charges to eliminate the problem of the premature ignition of the subsidiary charges, the problem experienced by the Lyman-Haskell gun. Cönders built a prototype of a 20 mm multi-chamber gun using machinery readily available at the Wetzlar plant, machinery that was producing tubes of this caliber for the Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns of 20 mm. The first tests were encouraging, but to get the support of the Ministry of arms, Hermann Röchling had to present to Albert Speer Cönders’ project of a cannon capable of firing on London from the coast of the Pas-de-Calais. The project intended to use two batteries to crush London under a barrage of hundreds of shells per hour, shells of 140 kilograms (310 lb) with an explosive charge of 25 kilograms (55 lb).
Speer told Adolf Hitler about the proposal in May 1943. After the Royal Air Force (RAF) bombed the Peenemünde rocket center on 17 August, Hitler agreed to Speer’s suggestion that the gun be built without more tests. Cönders constructed a full-calibre gun at the Hillersleben proving ground near Magdeburg but, by the end of 1943, he had encountered severe problems both in putting the gun’s basic principle into operation and in producing a feasible design for the shells that it was to fire. Even when everything worked, the muzzle velocity was just over 1,000 metres per second (3,300 ft/s), which was nowhere near what had been promised. Nonetheless, a proposal was made to build a single full-sized gun with a 150-metre (490 ft) barrel at Misdroy on the Baltic island of Wolin, near Peenemünde, while construction went ahead at the Mimoyecques site in France (which had already been attacked by the USAAF and the RAF). The Heereswaffenamt (Weapon Procurement Office) took control of the project by March 1944, with no good news from Misdroy, and Cönders became one of the engineers working on the three chief problems: projectile design, obturation, and ignition of the secondary charges.
Six different companies produced satisfactory designs for projectiles, including Krupp and Škoda Works. Obturation problems were solved by placing a sealing piston between the projectile and the initial propellant charge, which in turn prevented the flash from the charge from getting ahead of the projectile and solved the problem of controlling the initiation of the secondary charges. By the end of May 1944, there were four designs for the 150-mm finned projectile, one manufactured by Fasterstoff (designed by Füstenberg) and three others by Röchling (Cönders), Bochumer (Verein-Haack), and Witkowitz Ironworks (Athem).
Trials were held at Misdroy from 20–24 May 1944 with ranges of up to 88 km (55 mi) being attained. On 4 July 1944, the Misdroy gun was test-fired with 8 rounds (one of the 1.8 m (5.9 ft) long shells travelled 93 km (58 mi)). The gun burst during the testing, putting an end to the tests.
Major Bock of Festung Pioneer-Stab 27 (the fortification regiment of LVII Corps, Fifteenth Army, at the time based in the Dieppe area) was given the task of finding a suitable site for the HDP batteries following Hitler’s decision that HDP guns should be sited in northern France to bombard London. A study in early 1943 concluded that a hill with a rock core would be most suitable, as the gun tubes could be placed in drifts (inclined tunnels) and support equipment and supplies located in adjacent tunnels. The guns would not be movable and would be permanently aimed at London.
A suitable site was selected at a limestone hill about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the Hidrequent quarries, near Mimoyecques in the Pas-de-Calais region of northern France behind Cap Gris Nez, very close to the French end of the present day Channel tunnel, where V-1 and V-2 launch sites were already under construction. The site was 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the sea and 165 kilometres (103 mi) from London. It was code-named Wiese (meadow) and Bauvorhaben 711 (Construction Project 711), and Organisation Todt began construction in September 1943 with the building of railway lines to support the work, and began to excavate the gun shafts in October. The initial layout comprised two parallel facilities approximately 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) apart, each with five drifts which were to hold a stacked cluster of five HDP gun tubes, for a total of 50 guns. Both facilities were served by an underground railway tunnel and underground ammunition storage galleries.
The eastern complex consisted of five drifts angled at 50 degrees reaching 105 metres (344 ft) below the hilltop. The five drifts exited the hilltop through a concrete slab 30 metres (98 ft) wide and 5.5 metres (18 ft) thick. Large steel plates protected the five openings and each drift had a special armoured door. Extensive tunnels and elevator shafts supported the guns and, if the site had become operational, about 1,000 troops from Artillerie Abteilung 705 and supporting units would have been deployed at Mimoyecques. Artillerie Abteilung 705 had been organised in January 1944 under Oberstleutnant Georg Borttscheller to operate the Wiese gun complex.
The plans were to have the first battery of five gun tubes ready for March 1944, and the full complex of 25 gun tubes by 1 October 1944. A failure occurred, however, at the Misdroy proving ground in April 1944 after only 25 rounds had been fired and, as a result, the project was further cut back from five drifts to three, even though work had begun on some of the other drifts. The site was finally put out of commission on 6 July 1944, when bombers of RAF Bomber Command’s 617 Squadron (the famous «Dambusters») attacked using 5,400-kilogram (11,900 lb) «Tallboy» deep-penetration bombs.
Les mer om V-3 på wikipedia!
Når jeg skulle ta turen til Wicko i Polen hadde jeg lest at det var mange som klaget på at det var eviglange køer til ferga i Świnoujście i Polen. Jeg valgte derfor å kjøre rundt, for det skulle ifølge Google maps ikke ta så fryktelig mye lengre tid, og da var jeg sikker på at jeg ville rekke frem til museet i tide. Så kunne jeg ta ferga tilbake. For det var en ganske mye kortere strekning. Men lite visste jeg hvor mye veiarbeid og andre forsinkelser jeg skulle møte på denne turen, turen rundt tok derfor en evighet. Men jeg kom meg nå omsider frem til det lille V-3 museet i Wicko i Polen. Med trykk på lite, for det er virkelig lite. Jeg hadde lest litt tilbakemeldinger om museet, og flere hadde påpekt at det var virkelig lite og at man fikk lite for penga. Selve museet viste seg å bare være et lite rom i bunkeren som ligger ved veien. Jeg betalte 2 euro for å komme inn og de hadde heldigvis litt informasjon om V-3 på engelsk også. Han som drev museet derimot kunne ikke stort når det kom til engelsk. Så det var ikke så lett å spørre han om noe som helst. Etter at jeg hadde sett på det som var utstilt inne i museet, prøvde jeg å spørre hva de andre rommene i bunkeren var for noe, men det fikk jeg ikke noe svar på. Men det virket som ihvertfall en av dem var en bar eller noe lignende.
Men det mest interessante her i Wicko er å ta turen opp skråningen og inn i skogen for å se selve “rampene” for V-3 kanonene. Det var tre slike ramper her i Wicko, og de er mildt sagt i ganske forskjellig forfatning! Det er uten tvil den første man kommer til som er i best forfatning. Det er ingen rester av selve V-3 kanonen eller kanonløpet for den saks skyld her i Wicko. Det man ser er skråningen hvor disse ble bygget og betongfundamentene som står igjen. Men bare å få sett stedene hvor disse ble bygget og betongfundamentene som står igjen gjør det verdt å ta turen for min del. Men man bør som sagt være klar over at det er et lite museum og det er ikke så mye de har utstilt. Men så betaler man jo ikke så veldig mye for å ta turen inn i det lille museet heller. Men det som er aller mest interessant, er som sagt det som befinner seg i skogen bak museet. Men man bør ta en tur inn i museet for å se bildene, informasjonen om V-3 og i tillegg har de en nedskalert modell av en av rampene også! Modellen er i skala 1:200.
Ifølge hjemmesiden til museet (på polsk, tysk, engelsk er under utvikling) er bunkeren som museet er lokalisert i bunkeren som V-3 granatene ble lagret i. Museet er forøvrig åpent fra 1. mai til 30. oktober 10-18 (10-20 i juli og august). Det var forøvrig ikke noe problem å lokalisere det første og det andre stedet for rampene til V-3 kanonene her i Wicko, den tredje derimot. Men etter å ha gått runden i skogen og havnet nede på veien litt bortenfor museet, fant jeg en åpning i skogen og en skråning. Det var det tredje stedet, men det var ingenting igjen av betongfundamentene til den tredje V-3 gjengjeldelseskanonen i Wicko, Polen. Jeg tok litt flere bilder fra utsiden av bunkeren og mini-museet før jeg satt meg ned på en trestokk på parkeringsplassen for å nyte det nydelige været og slappe av litt. Før jeg valgte å vende “hjemover” igjen mot Rügen og Putbus. Nå skulle jeg ta turen tilbake via ferga og regna egentlig med å stå en stund i kø for å komme med ferga. Jeg hadde brukt ca 4,5 time med å kjøre rundt, så jeg håpte på å bruke kortere tid tilbake.
Og noen nevneverdig kø for å komme med ferga opplevde jeg ikke, det tok nemlig ikke mange minuttene før jeg var ombord. Så kan man jo si at det var helt unødvendig å kjøre rundt, men nå vet jeg selvfølgelig ikke hvor lang kø det hadde vært tidligere på dagen. Men det er nok veldig liten sjanse for at jeg kjører rundt neste gang. Får eventuelt stå litt i kø hvis det skulle være sånn. For turen rundt synes jeg var ekstremt lang og tidkrevende. Men det ble en dagstur ut av det hele. På vei tilbake benyttet jeg anledningen til å fylle diesel i Polen, det ble ca 11,09 norske per liter diesel. Jeg dro fra hotellet kl 11.30 og var tilbake igjen kl 22.16 på kvelden etter å ha tilbakelagt 514 kilometer med et gjennomsnittlig dieselforbruk på 0,49 per mil. Det ble 3.906 skritt denne mandagen.
Les mer om V-3 her: