This is a Krupp K5 E railway gun that was used by the German Army in World War Two. It is believed that this K5 E railway gun was captured in the Montélimar pocket in the South of France in August 1944 and is one of the two railway guns that belonged to EisenbahnBatterie 749 of the German Wehrmacht.
The K5 E railway gun is on display on an unconnected railway track at the Musée du Mur de l’Atlantique Batterie Todt in Audinghen, France since 1992. The K5 E gun is one of only two surviving railway guns of this type today.
After the war the railway gun came in the possession of the French Army and awaited its fate at the Atelier de Construction in Tarbes (ATS) in the North of France. The museum owner of Batterie Todt heard about the existence of the German gun in the 1980s and negotiated its transportation to Audinghen. The museum has put a lot of effort in the restoration of the K5 gun all these years and continues to do so.
These Krupp K5 E railway guns were used during the Battle of Anzio, after the Allied amphibious landing on the Anzio beach in Italy in Februari 1944. Strategically hidden inside a railway tunnel on the Ciampino-Frascati branch railway line that was ideally located 30 kilometers away from the Anzio beachhead, the 280mm shells of these K5 E guns named “Robert” and “Leopold” roared down on the pinned down Allied forces, earning them the nickname “Anzio Annie”.
The K5 E guns were made by Krupp AG Essen in Germany and taken into service in 1941. In it’s type classification “K” stands for “Kanone“, “5” indicates the range of 50 kilometers and “E” stands for “Eisenbahngeschutz” (Eng: railway gun).
Barrel length: 21.5m
Barrel weight: 94 tons
Overall length: 41.2m (including railcars)
Overall width: 2.60m
Mass in action: 218 tons
Mass of HE shell: 260kg
Muzzle velocity: 1,128m/s
Maximum range: 63km with HE shell (151km with the special Peenemunde arrow shell)
Breech: Horizontal sliding block
Rate of fire: 15 rounds per hour
Of the twenty-one K5 E Railway guns built by Krupp, only two survived. K5 E gun “Leopold” of the Battle of Anzio was shipped to the United States and is preserved at the US Army Ordnance Museum in Fort Lee (Petersburg, Virginia) and this K5 E gun is on display at the Batterie Todt Museum, Audinghen, France.
You can admire this massive railway gun at the Batterie Todt – Atlantic Wall Museum in Audinghen, France.