The self-propelled version of the 60cm siege mortar was ordered in June 1937. General Karl Becker of the Artillery was involved in the development; hence the name Karl, which was used to describe the gun. The driving trials were held at Unterluss in May 1940. Delivery of the six production vehicles took place from November 1940 to August 1941. In February 1941, discussions commenced concerning increasing the range of the weapons. In May 1942, 54cm barrels (Gerat 041) were ordered for the six vehicles. At a conference with Hitler in March 1943, it was stated that the first 54cm Gerat 041 would be delivered by June 1943, and the third, by mid-August. The 60cm and the 54cm barrels appear to have been interchanged as required. In 1945, US forces captured vehicle II with a 60cm, and vehicle V with a 54cm.
The prototype chassis, built in 1939, had eight road wheels with external swing arms. The production Karl, had eleven road wheels. Ammunition was transported in a tracked Munitionsschlepper converted from the PzKpfw IV with four rounds in each Schlepper. For the 60cm Gerat 040, the s Be Granate weighed 2.117 tons and the le Be Granate, 1.70 tons; in the case of the 54cm Gerat 041, 1.58 tons and 1.25 tons respectively. Maximum rate of the fire was 6rph (rounds per hour). Guns I-IV went to the Russian Front in July 1941 with the 628th schwere Artillerie Abteilung. They saw action at various sites, including Lemburg in that year. The best known action was against Sevastopol in 1942. Later, four guns were issued to the 833rd schwere Artillerie Abteilung (mot). These guns had the names Adam and Eve (1st Batt.), and Thor and Odin(2nd Batt.). The names for the guns V and VI were Loki and Ziu.
Seven Morser Karl self-propelled siege howitzers were designed and built by Rheinmetall from November 1940 to August 1941. Due to General Karl Beckers leadership in the development of this gun, his men named the weapon after him. The 12-cylinder Daimler-Benz powerplant provided a Maximum speed of 6.2 miles per hour. The muzzle velocity was measured at 6,950 meters per ton and the entire gun was mounted to a thick massive baseplate to absorb the tremendous recoil. Only six of these hefty guns were ever produced and all saw action across the war's many fronts. Despite its size and available firepower, the Karl had not been decisive in any single engagement and the value of such a massive weapon was highly questionable.
Easy Model Platinum Collection
The Easy Model "Platinum Collection" range presents highy-affordable, ready-made plastic models of military vehicles. While these models may not have the same "heft" as their diecast siblings, they do offer remarkable value for money. Most importantly, they look perfectly at home alongside diecast modes, allowing collectors to "flesh out" their collection with types and paint-schemes not yet available in diecast.
Easy Model "Platinum Collection" display military vehicles feature:
Moulded plastic construction
Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details
Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals