Little David

by Rob Morgan

In my wargames, ordnance is the heart of the battlefield and I do have a love of unusual weapons – the great medieval bombards, the massive mortars and trench pieces of WWI, and railway guns, too. I recently came upon an amazing late-WWII artillery weapon which, with a calibre of 36 in. and a length of over 28 ft., reminded me of one of the immense guns of the fifteenth century.

Hence my question.

Now, ‘Little David’ was one of the bunker busting inventions designed for use in the invasion of Japan, but for technical reasons, i.e., the surrender, it didn’t see service. It was cumbersome and took a long time to emplace, but obviously had amazing destructive potential, then and post-war. It fired a 3,700 lb. shell, so, a precise accuracy problem complained of by the artillery at the time might not have been so important.

I think the only example built is on display at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the few photographs I’ve seen are not of it emplaced, but in travelling fit.

Has any member used this astonishing weapon in a wargame? Rate of fire for the muzzle-loading weapon must have been slow, but what was its range?

I can’t find a suitable scale model of it perhaps not surprisingly, but there may be one produced by an American manufacturer- somewhere. Any further information, or even a photo or two would be useful.

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2 Responses to Little David

  1. Martin S. says:

    I wouldn’t have a big enough table for it, Rob…even in 2mm !!

  2. George Banic says:

    Hi Rob,
    I Googled ‘Little David’ (never heard of this piece of kit before) and the search came up with some WW2 film footage of the tests, including emplacement process, loading and firing. Max range was stated as 9500 yards. Left one hell of a crater!
    Cheers
    G

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