History fact: it happened on August 9 in Paris

Published by Manon C. · Published on 9 August 2021 at 19h08
On August 9, 1918, Big Bertha fires one last shell on Paris, putting an end to 4 months of continuous bombing. Genuine psychological war weapon, this German army artillery gun had a 128km (79.53mi) range, a record for this era.

It happened on August 9 in Paris. On August 9, 1918, Big Bertha fires one last shell on Paris. For four months, from March 23 to August 9, Parisians have suffered from continuous firing from this Germany army artillery gun of an unparalleled range and size.

Nicknamed “Grosse Bertha” – or Big Bertha – by the French, although this name used to be for another howitzer for the Germans, these Pariser Kanonen (“Paris canons”) designed by German engineer Rausenberger and industrial Krupp measured 34 meters (111.54ft) long and weighted 750 tons, and could fire to 128km (79.53mi), namely 4 times the maximum range of the era’s artillery.

Éphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à Paris

Genuine psychological war weapon designed to terrorize the Parisian population and urge the French government to capitulate, Big Bertha bombed Paris and cities around (Pantin, Vanves, Châtillon-sous-Bagneux) 367 times in four months, killing 256 people and injuring 620 more.

The first three days, 58 shells fell on Paris, namely one shell every fifteen minutes the first day of the bombing. On March 29, 1918, the Pariser Kanone set on Mont de Joie in Crépy, Aisne, fires a shell landing on the Church of Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais in Paris 4th arrondissement, making the vault collapse, killing 91 Parisians gathered in the church for the Holy Friday’s vespers. This was the most-killing Big Bertha’s bombing.

Éphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à ParisÉphéméride : Ça s'est passé un 9 aout à Paris 

Although it made half a million terrified Parisians leave, Big Bertha did not have the expected impact on the war, and the German general staff put an end to the operation on August 9, 1918.

Practical information

Location

Paris
75 Paris

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