S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com ORDNANCE Atomic Cannon Continuation Page 1 keywords = ordnance Aberdeen Proving Ground atomic Jarrett Churchill Yuma tank armor track history self-propelled artillery gun cannon rifle recoil HARP Maryland airplane bomb shell cartidge casing ammunition ammo FLZ Franz Langenhan Zella Mehlis Kropatschek Werndl Steyr Gras Lebel Colt Woodsman Comet Authenticast

Updated:   28 Aug 2015; 20:20  ET
[Page created 30 Oct 2008;

[original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/ordatcn1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/ordatcn1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Atomic Cannon
Continuation Page 1


This continues on ORDNANCE Continuation Page 1.

Please refer to the HELP section on Continuation Page 3.


On the Main Ordnance Page:
  "Jeep" vs. "GP"   new.gif (11 Jan 10)
  Unindexed ORDNANCE APOCRYPHA, below

On the Ordnance Atomic Cannon Page:

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 0:
    (combined here from the Main Page and Continuation Pages 1 and 2 on 18 Dec 2006).

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 1:

(Moved from Ordnance Page 2 on 12 Feb 2002).

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 2:

On Ordnance Continuation Page 3:
  CALIBER (Calibre).
  Anzio Annie
  Russian Armor

On Ordnance Continuation Page 4:
  Drake Cannon
  Coastal Defense Guns at Fort Casey
  M274 Mechanical Mule

On the Atomic Cannon Page:
  Atomic Cannon CQ (Seek You = HELP!)

On this Atomic Cannon Continuation Page 1:
  Atomic Cannon in Asia!
  Atomic Cannon Tip-Over.   new (28 Aug 2015)

On the Atomic Cannon Pictures Page:
  Battery B, 265th Field Artillery Battalion, Baumholder, Germany, 1955 and 1956.
  Atomic Cannon Training Manual.

On the 175mm "Baby" Atomic Cannon Towed Mount Page.   added (12 Jan 2013)
  175mm "Baby" Atomic Cannon Towed Mount
  Atomic Cannon Background.

Ordnance Models Page.

The Ordnance Supergun Page

Comet Metal Products Authenticast Models Page.

- WWII tank ID plates and nameplates available on cont. page 2!

news-rt  -  Here's a fantastic Atomic Cannon site, with info., photos, drawings, and a 1:72 scale model to incredible detail; it is Paul Gaertner's The ATOMIC CANNON - Cold War Deterrent and I highly commend it to your attention.   new (09 Nov 2010)

Although I was either unaware of it or have forgotten, there was at least one Atomic Cannon battalion stationed in Asia during the Viet Nam War.  The 663rd Field Artillery Bn was on Okinawa from 1955 thrugh 1957 and was at Sukeran in 1956-57.  Dave Owen was the youngest volunteer there (RA - all the way!), just 18, whereas the majority of those he served with were WWII vets or just out of Korea and in their late '20s-early '30s.  That makes most of them in their late '80s to over 100 now!  Most of them are slowly dying off and Dave would like to connect with his old buddies before they are all gone.

Is there a 663rd FABn association or some similar group where he can contact anyone he served with on Okinawa?

Dave dug up some old shots of 280s firing into the East China Sea in 1956 (left, below) and firing at night at Yanaberu (right, below):

EChinaSea56 YanaberuNt
(Ca. 1956 photos courtesy of D. Owen - all rights reserved.)
[Thumbnail images; click on photos for larger images.]

Some more photos may follow.

Dave recalls that security around the arrival of the big guns was quite lax, probably deliberately, so that all and sundry would know of our deterrent capability.  Five minutes after the six guns were unloaded in the port of Naha, every nation in the world knew we had them on Okinawa.  They drove them up the only main paved highway for all to see, flaunted them, and left them out in plain view in the motor pool, observing mnay locals driving by and snapping pictures.  Even when they fired the guns, they had an audience and any security they had was either non-existent or they 'deliberately' wanted the world to see and understand what we had... PLUS they provided many news releases to the local and Japanese press and the armed forces newspapers.  The point was to be a deterrent in the Far East... and the 280s did their job exceptionally well, especially for the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Viet Cong, and a slew of other unfriendly nations which had to back down.  One interesting point Dave recalls is that periodically the Chinese Navy would send ships around Okinawa just within the horizon but beyond the traditional 3-mile limit; after the 280s arrived, that stopped.  Dave guesses the Chinese understood we could have sunk their entire Navy with one round!

Stay tuned and please let us know of any Okinawan veterans' organizations Dave could contact.

280mm Cannoneers - see this site:

    42nd FA Bn, USAREUR.

Atomic Cannon Tip-Over - ever since the first news leaked across the pond of tip-overs in Germany, I have been searching for pictures of such accidents.  The awful reproduction of a news clipping on the Atomic Cannon Pictures Page, which I'll repeat here, was all I had:   new (28 Aug 2015)

(click on thumbnailed image for larger picture with far less moiré)

Well, all that's changed, now, and HOW!  First thing this morning (28 Aug 2015), I got a call froom Eric Wimsatt, grandson of (then-)Sp3 Bernard J. Wimsatt, who served with the 265th Field Artillery Battalion in Baumholder from 1953 to 1955.  Would I like some pix of a tip-over?  Would I?  WOULD I?  Would I EVER!  Within a half hour, in came the scans; I have reordered them and cropped them to the bare images but otherwise they are as received.

First, some deployment shots:

Wimsatt016 Wimsatt017
B. J. Wimsatt 016 || B. J. Wimsatt 017
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Wimsatt001 Wimsatt003
B. J. Wimsatt 001 || B. J. Wimsatt 003
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)

Wimsatt015 Wimsatt014
B. J. Wimsatt 015 || B. J. Wimsatt 014
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Now, the pièces de résistances, uncaptioned, but they speak for themselves - the front driver swerved to avoid a bicyclist and lost control, a ditch and a telephone pole intervened, and this was the most-unfortunate result (the pictures aren't necessarily quite in order but close enough):

Wimsatt004 Wimsatt010
B. J. Wimsatt 004 || B. J. Wimsatt 010
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Wimsatt011 Wimsatt006
B. J. Wimsatt 011 || B. J. Wimsatt 006
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Wimsatt007 Wimsatt008
B. J. Wimsatt 007 || B. J. Wimsatt 008
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Wimsatt012 Wimsatt013
B. J. Wimsatt 012 || B. J. Wimsatt 013
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)
[1950s pictures from B. J. Wimsatt courtesy of E. Wimsatt - all rights reserved]

Wimsatt009 Wimsatt005
B. J. Wimsatt 010 || B. J. Wimsatt 011
(click on thumbnailed images for larger pictures)

That rear tractor (can a rear power vehicle be called a tractor?) sure took a beating!  It required the combined efforts of at least an M26 Armored Semi-tractor Dragon Wagon in wrecker configuration, an M74 ARV, and some kind of truck-mounted mobile crane to right (awful pun) things.

I've asked Eric for more details, if available.

Much more on the Atomic Cannon follows on the Atomic Cannon Pictures Page.

I found three fantastic sites with coverage of the 280 and of AFVs and also one with coverage of superguns; I started a new, separate page on the latter.  The sites are:

    Les Canons de l'Apocalypse (The Cannons of the Apocalypse), in French, as noted above,

    AFV Database, and

    JED Military Enthusiasts Directory


    Encyclopedia Astronautica - Gun-Launched.

The ORDNANCE Main Page had to be split; it continues on ORDNANCE Continuation Page 1, et seq.
Similarly, the Atomic Cannon page had to be split, continuing on this page.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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