S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com ORDNANCE Atomic Cannon Pictures Page keywords = ordnance Aberdeen Proving Ground 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 Comet Authenticast

Updated:   13 Jan 2013, 00:30  ET
[Page created 02 Jan 2004;

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


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 the Atomic Cannon Continuation Page 1:
  Atomic Cannon in Asia!

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

On this Ordnance Atomic Cannon Pictures Page:
  Battery B, 265th Field Artillery Battalion, Baumholder, Germany, 1955 and 1956.
  868 Field Artillery Battalion, Baumholder, Germany, 1953-1955.
  Atomic Cannon Training Manual.

Comet Metal Products Authenticast Models Page.

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




(photos from Training Manual)

However, I must add this dramatic night shot here:

(Photo courtesy of E. Johns - all rights reserved)

This great Oct 1954 shot, supplied by Ed Johns, was from the 868 FA Battalion in Baumholder (see following) and shows one gun silhouetted against the muzzle flash of another.

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)

Battery B, 265th Field Artillery Battalion,
Baumholder, Germany, 1955 and 1956

From 1955 through 1956, Harold J. Weuve was with Battery B of the 265th Field Artillery Battalion, stationed in Baumholder, Germany, an Atomic Cannon group.  he brought back a bunch of photos and a clipping that are of significant interest to Ordnance aficionados.  All photos shown here are courtesy of Weuve's son Craig.  First, here's the Battery posed in front of crossed cannon (no mean feat in itself!):


(photo by Helmut G. Haak, Giebelstadt, Germany, taken with LINHOF Technika)

Here's Weuve's liberty pass from 18 Mar 55:


Weuve took (or got copies of) these photos showing units deployed in the Baumholder area:

The sign on the bumper reads:

30m LANG

98½' LONG]



But, to my mind, the best of all is this tattered, yellowed clipping from an unidentified newspaper, which shows one of the units tipped over in a ditch!  It's not nice to look a gift horse in the mouth, or to carp at unexpected good fortune, but how I would like to have and post a really good picture of this, or a similar accident!  I TOLD you this sort of thing happened; oh ye of little faith!


Weuve told Craig that the power steering went out and all of the guys in the cab [he didn't remember if his dad said there were four or five of them (or which cab)] grabbed the wheel and tried to muscle the wheel to make a corner and failed, putting the whole thing in the ditch. atcn1 Wimsatt!

868th Field Artillery Battalion, Seventh Army
Baumholder, Germany, 1953-1955

Ed Johns, noted above, was in the radar section of the 868 FA Battalion, Seventh Army, stationed in Baumholder, and sent me a slew of pix; some have little to do with the guns themselves but they give a good flavor of the cannoneers' lives, so I'll post the lot (I had promised to add full captioning later - which I promptly forgot to do!).

These are Ed's comments, only slightly edited by SB,III {bracketed comments are mine}:

Ed was a draftee (24 Mar 53 to 19 Mar 55); after 16 weeks of infantry training, he had 8 weeks of 105 artillery training at Camp Chaffee, Fort Smith, Arkansas, then a 2-week furlough, and was then sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for radar school.&nbsop; They kept him over for 3 more 8 week training periods as an instructor.

One year to the day after he was inducted he left Fort Sill for a 30 day furlough before reporting to Camp Kilmer to be processed to go to Germany.  When he reached his battery in Baumholder, it was Sunday right after dinner.  As he unloaded his gear, several of the troops coming back from chow said, "Here is my replacement".  He had 10 months left at that point and he shipped home before a couple of the wise guys!

Below is one of the 280's on the road.  Sometimes the drivers would drive in different lanes on the Autobahn, which made them look like they were traveling slightly sideways.  Ed did not think the officers approved of this style of driving.

With the steering on the front and the back, the 280 could maneuver down a street that a semi-truck could not traverse.  Once, an auto was parked far from the curb and the prime movers could not get past.  A dozen of the guys gathered around the small car, picked it up, and moved it out of the way.  The driver must have had fun getting his car moving again; they deposited the car over the curb and onto the grass, between two trees with just inches clearance front and back.

(This and following photos courtesy of E. Johns - all rights reserved)

{Some clowns liked to drive down the highway with one tractor in one lane and the other in the second lane;
great fun if you don't get caught!}

{The following also may well have been normal, but it is definitely how NOT to get anywhere:}




{A heck of a lot of hauling and that steel ramp, emplaced by British Engineers, did the trick;
once all gets straightened out, you can shoot the fool piece
(that night shot again):}

The 280 mm is firing at night at the range in Baumholder, West Germany, in 1954.  One gun is silhouetted in front of a great fire ball as the cannon behind fires.

As noted above, Ed Johns was in the radar section of the 868 Field Artillery Battalion, Seventh Army, stationed at Baumholder, West Germany.  They tracked the outgoing rounds.  They might just as well have been home in bed; not once was information passed between their radar unit and the officers or gun crew.  It was if they were not there.  The old-time officers did not think much of the "new" electronic way of tracking shells.  They could track a round, 280 mm or small mortar round, to impact within 30 feet or less.

Once, on the screen, Ed saw that a round had exploded at the high point of the arc of travel and told their warrant officer that ran the radar unit that there had been a premature air burst.  He said Ed was wrong as the round was still over populated air space.  A minute or two later the forward observer could be heard on the radio saying the round was overdue.

Here's how Ed got overseas and back (NINE days on a troopship each way):

Ed was sea sick almost before New York was out of sight.  The next day he was "volunteered" to go up to the civilian crews mess hall for KP.  What a happy chore that turned out to be.  They set the table, served the food to 40-50 crew members, and cleared the table.  Others did dishes.  They could hang around that area all day if they wanted.  They ate the same food that the officers, the officers's dependents, and the crew ate.  One evening, they had on the menu (yes, there was a printed menu that he still has somewhere) a choice of leg of lamb, roast duck, and a standing rib roast.  For desert the was pie or baked Alaska (something with a scoop of ice cream that was put in a browning oven for a few seconds and then served).  Down in the hold, the troops had C-rations that day.

By the seventh day, it took 4 quarts of milk to get a glass full of liquid to drink.  It did not taste too bad.  One night, when he cleaned up, he asked what to do with the huge chunk of standing beef rib.  "Throw it over the side with the trash" was the answer.  The chief cook said the ship left New York with a hold full of food - XX amount of potatoes, XX amount of other food, and XX sides of beef.  If they left with 50 sides of beef and came back with 4 sides, the new supply of provisions would include only 46 sides of beef including the 4 old sides (not 46 plus the 4 old sides).  He said any beef sides (and other supplies) that were going to be left over when the ship arrived back in New York would be thrown overboard.  Our tax dollars hard at work!  {The right way, the wrong way, and the Army way, eh?}

On the nine day trip home, Ed was stuck eating below.  He had six meals a day; three meals down and three meals up.  By the time he got ashore, he was dehydrated and started drinking fluids.  He stopped to drink at every drinking fountain; he had four cartons of milk at dinner plus any other liquid he came across.  By the time he boarded the plane for the trip to Fort Sheridan, he could have backed up to a screen door, let loose, and nothing would have been left on the screen. At the processing center, he could not keep food down.  After two days, he went on sick call and they gave him something to make his stomach settle down.  He went to bed and slept 30 hours (and, yes, he got up to go to the bathroom).  Ed missed roll call and all the meals; he does not know how or why the Sergeant moving them through their discharge process let him off without hollering.  His buddies tried to get him up for meals but he would have no part of getting up.

Ed says these pix should be very familiar to anyone with experience on a troopship; the hard part:


[His view from his pipe-and-canvas bed in the third hold down in the troopship; he had to fold up the frame above him or he could not have put his knees up.]

And the nicer part:


[One of the few times the deck was not elbow to elbow with troops.]

{More water crossings} The 868th Field Artillery Battalion crosses the Rhine:

They crossed the Rhine River one Sunday when the river traffic comes to a stop.&jnbsp; Engineers put up this 60-ton pontoon bridge.  The cannon plus the two prime movers exceeded 60 tons by many tons.  The weight was spread out, so the pontoons lowered only a little.  Ed was driving the 6x6 truck right behind a 280 and was glad to get across and still be dry.  The four officers are standing on a steel plank roadway and talking to the officer that was in charge of laying the planks:



This is a Q10 radar unit for tracking rounds.  The four-wheel trailer was modified from a gun carriage if Ed remembers the introduction they received at the Radar School at Fort Sill {sure looks like a 76mm Skysweeper AA radar unit chassis to me - SB,III}.  The school knew the firing locations, their radar locations and the target locations to the inch.  At Fort Sill we could find the target or the gun location to within a few yards.  We practiced with 105, 155 and the smaller mortar rounds.  They were trained to tell our guns where their rounds landed or where to shoot to hit enemy locations.  This photo of the Q10 was in Germany at Baumholder, 1954-55.

That's Ed Johns on the unit.  The cabinets were all jammed full of radio tubes, any of them that could go bad and shut them down.  It did not happen often.  Today the racks of tubes are probably replaced by a small box of transistors and chips.

When looking through the 2-powered scope when the radar was tracking a round it was possible to see the 280mm round in flight {I used to watch 8" rounds with my naked eyes and 280mm = 11"}.  The scope was used to triangulate in your location from three or more known points such as church steeples or other known object that were on their very detailed maps.

(Preceding photos courtesy of E. Johns - all rights reserved)

[Full captions added 08/12 Mar 2006 - sorry 'bout that!]

Baumholderer, I {SB,III} hope you enjoy this bit of nostalgia!

Here's even more; a clipping Ed's wife found in Aug 2004, from an undated "Stars & Stripes" of 1954 (the release is dated "June 23"):

1954 Stars & Stripes Clipping.
(clipping courtesy of E. Johns)
[click on the image for a larger one]

The "us" refers to Ed and the 868th FAB; it was on that Sep 1954 exercise, Battle Royal, that they went over the Rhine and into a ditch.  "Along the highways laterally", eh?   Literally; driving diagonally and ditching!

Ed also found this old photo in family things; he thinks it is from Baumholder, not Fort Sill (I can't tell):

(photo courtesy of E. Johns - all rights reserved)
[artificially lightened by SB,III]

Hold on a sec.!  let's look at that picture again, up close:

(extracted from photo courtesy of E. Johns - all rights reserved)
[artificially lightened by SB,III]

That guy at the right is at attention, not a normal position while firing, as is the guy at the left, who holds a wreath and is saluting!  Wonder if they're not firing off some comrade's ashes?  Note also that the lanyardman is either circled or is surrounded by a whipping lanyard and that the shock wave can plainly be seen rushing outward on the ground!

Xmas 2007 - Ed Johns was looking for the shipboard menu noted above and found this photo from the Counter Mortar Radar training school (or some such) at Fort Sill; the Q9 was in service before the Q10 seen above:   new.gif (26 Dec 07)

(photo courtesy of E. Johns)
[click on the image for a larger one]

Ed never saw the Q9 in use; they might have disappeared (been junked out) before he left Fort Sill in March 1954.

Atomic Cannon Training Manual

These are pages from an unidentified Atomic Cannon Training Manual of Harold Weuve's, cropped, doctored, and rotated to best display the text and images (what a fantastic find!):

[They are slightly out of order in order to fit better on the page.]
{Thumbnails 3 and 16 were unavailable due to typos in HTML coding;
they have been fixed and 7 has been resized.}
  new.gif (03 Jan 04)

TrainMan1 TrainMan3
(Thumbnail images; click on photos for larger images.)

TrainMan2 TrainMan4

TrainMan5 TrainMan7

TrainMan6 TrainMan8

TrainMan9 TrainMan10

TrainMan11 TrainMan15

TrainMan12 TrainMan13

TrainMan14 TrainMan16


TrainMan17 TrainMan19

Craig went to a lot of trouble to provide the images (and I did to download, process, thumbnail, and upload and post them all); you vill enchoy!  Thanks, Craig!  He would like to hear from anyone who served with his dad (let me know).

The ORDNANCE Main Page had to be split; it continues on ORDNANCE Continuation Page 1, et seq.


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


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