Have you ever run into a spider web at night, and gotten a case of the "screaming mimi's?" Ever met a sizeable lady, and silently spoken the words "Big Bertha?" Ever fired a bottle rocket at your cousin on the Fourth of July, used a GPS nav system, or shot a gun? Well, you have artillery to thank for all of that. And a lot more.
Big artillery pieces are like great warriors in their own rights. They've got names, personalities, biographies, and histories of their own. Gustav and Dora, Thor and Little David, Davey Crockett and Satan himself; they all have seen battle from time to time. It's kind of odd how much of artillery history has worked its way into pop culture, and how often we refer to the big guns of days gone by.Here are a few of the biggest, coolest and most important ballistic weapons in history. Vote up the best artillery pieces from history, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.
Of all of Germany's terrible and incredible "secret weapons," probably none measure up in terms of reputation and impact to the V-2 rocket. A ballistic artillery weapon in the classic sense, the V-2 launched from bases in Penemunde and landed on London with clockwork regularity. The most frightening aspect of the weapon was the random, sudden nature of its destruction. A V-2 could simply drop out of the sky, anytime, anywhere, and there was nothing to be done about it. Fortunately, V-2s were expensive, difficult and temperamental enough that they didn't have quite the effect on the war that they could have.The V-2's legacy has been mixed. On the one hand, his experience with the V-2 provided its architect Werhner von Braun the research necessary to launch rockets into space. Without the V-2, we'd have no space travel, no satellites, no GPS, and no moon landing. One the other hand, his development also lead to ICBMs and that 50-year nuclear standoff known as the Cold War. One way or the other, though, von Braun's V-2 is probably the single most important weapon of all time.