Despite the name, we are not talking about the Jewish legend of David
. The subject of this article is the largest cannon ever built, unknown why called by its creators “Little David”.
His goal was to destroy Japanese bunkers during the invasion of the Japanese main island planned by US Army
. And, the other reason Little David was built is because of the ineffectiveness of 16-inch (410mm)
battleship cannons against the Japanese
bunkers. David’s diameter is more than twice bigger – 32 inches (914mm),
thus exceeding the calibers of German grand cannons “Karl”
and the “Fat Bertha
” (Bertha was the name of the builder’s daughter, she has been really nice and far from fat girl). The biggest siege mortar in the world was, in fact, never used in combat because Japan capitulated and therefore the ground offensive became needless.
Little David was able to throw a 1654kg
projectile over 6 miles
distance with the help of 22-feet long barrel. Solely the mortar weighed 80 000 pounds (36 tons)
and the semi-circular under it weighed 93 000 pounds (42 tons)
. In total, the whole ready-to-fire complex weighed 173 000 pounds (78 tons).
The deployment and preparation for fire takes 12 hours which makes Little David much more mobile than the largest known German mortars (3 weeks needed to be prepared for fire).