.: Tim Hales' Hobby Boss Karl-Gerat 040 Mortar

Hobby Boss
Modelling Time:
~3 mths
PE/Resin Detail:

"Good quality kit, but painting instructions
were very limited. "


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Karl-Gerät 040
60 cm Karl-Gerät "Ziu" firing in Warsaw, August 1944.
Type Self-propelled siege mortar
Place of origin  Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1941–1945
Used by  Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Rheinmetall
Designed 1937–1940
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Produced 1940–1942
Number built 7
Variants Gerät 041
Weight 124 t (137 short tons; 122 long tons) (firing)
Length 11.15 m (36 ft 7 in)
Barrel length 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) L/7
Width 3.16 m (10 ft 4 in)
Height 4.38 m (14 ft 4 in) (firing)
Crew 21 (Gun Commander, Driver, Assistant Driver, 18 x Gunners)

Shell separate loading, cased charges
Caliber 60 cm (24 in)
Breech horizontal sliding wedge
Recoil hydro-pneumatic
Elevation 55° to 70°
Rate of fire 1 round/10 min

Engine Daimler-Benz MB 503 A gasoline or Daimler-Benz MB 507 C diesel
580 hp (590 PS)
Power/weight 4.8 hp/ton
Suspension torsion-bar
Fuel capacity 1,200 l (260 imp gal; 320 US gal)
42 km (26 mi) (gasoline engine)
60 kilometres (37 mi) (diesel engine)
Speed 6 to 10 km/h (3.7 to 6.2 mph)
Karl-Gerät 041
A section of three 54 cm Karl-Geräte in the field. The Munitionsschlepper is shown on the right.
Weight 126.35 t (139.28 short tons; 124.35 long tons) (firing)
Length 11.37 m (37 ft 4 in)
Barrel length 6.24 m (20 ft 6 in) L/11.55
Width 3.16 m (10 ft 4 in)
Height 4.38 m (14 ft 4 in) (firing)

Caliber 54 cm (21 in)

"Karl-Gerät" (040/041) (German literally "Karl-device"), also known as Thor and Mörser Karl, was a World War II German self-propelled siege mortar (Mörser) designed and built by Rheinmetall. It was the largest self-propelled weapon to see service.[1] Its heaviest munition was a 60 cm (24 in) diameter, 2,170 kg (4,800 lb) shell, and the range for its lightest shell of 1,250 kg (2,800 lb) was just over 10 km (6.2 mi). Each gun had to be accompanied by a crane, a heavy transport trailer, and several modified tanks to carry shells.

Seven guns were built, of which six saw combat between 1941 and 1945. It was used in attacking the Soviet fortresses of Brest-Litovsk and Sevastopol, bombarded Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw and participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the attacks against the Remagen Bridgehead. Only two exist today; the others were scrapped after the war.


In March 1936 Rheinmetall made a proposal for a super-heavy howitzer to attack the Maginot Line. Their initial concept was for a weapon that would be transported by several tracked vehicles and assembled on site, but the lengthy preparation time drove them to change it to a self-propelled weapon in January 1937. Extensive driving trials took place in 1938 and 1939 using the first Neubaufahrzeug tank prototype and a scale model to investigate the extremely high ground pressure and steering of such an enormous vehicle. Firing trials took place in June 1939.[2] The full-scale driving trials were held at Unterlüss in May 1940. General Karl Becker of the Artillery was involved in the development, from whom the huge weapon gained its nickname.[3]

In total, seven Karl-Geräte howitzers were manufactured. The first six had the nicknames "Adam", "Eva", "Thor", "Odin", "Loki", and "Ziu"; the seventh, the research and test weapon (Versuchs-Gerät), had no name. Delivery of the six production vehicles took place from November 1940 to August 1941.[4]

In February 1941, discussions commenced concerning increasing the range of the weapon, and in May 1942, 54 cm barrels (Gerät 041) were ordered for the six vehicles. At a conference with Adolf Hitler in March 1943 it was stated that the first 54 cm Gerät 041 would be delivered by June 1943, and the third, by mid-August. Only three of the 54 cm barrels were actually completed and they could be mounted on Nr. I, IV, and V,[5] although any vehicle could be converted to use the smaller weapon.

Twenty-two Panzer IV Ausf. D, E and F chassis were modified with a superstructure capable of carrying four shells that replaced the turret and outfitted with a crane as Munitionsschlepper ammunition transporters/loaders.[6] Two or three of these Munitionsschlepper were assigned to each weapon.


  • Gerät 040: original model, armed with a short 60 centimetres (24 in) caliber barrel;
  • Gerät 041: later model, armed with a long (L/11.55) 54 centimetres (21 in) caliber barrel.

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Thanks Wikipedia!

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