The “Big Berta” can barely move
The war machinery weighed heavily in the early 20th century. The technical developments of this time made possible a whole new dimension of warfare. But, the matter also had a hook. Heavy guns and ammunition together weighed several tons – a weight that even distributed on partial loads is impossible to be drawn by a horse or horse-drawn wagon or even a normal tractor, which had been practiced a lot before the First World War.
Extra rails had to be laid for the “Big Bertha” a gun with a weight of remarkable 150 tons. Since this turned out to be a logistical disaster, several smaller variants were built, which still weighed respectable 42.6 tons each.
They were transported by a special heavy duty tractor. In 1912, two years before the beginning of World War I, Ferdinand Porsche designed such a tractor. The M 08 had a four-wheel drive and a large motorized winch with a 300m long cable. It has served well especially in mountain areas. Altogether twelve tractors of this type were built for the Austrian-Hungarian army.
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