1918 WW1 photo of captured German ‘Amiens Gun’

$37.50 CAD

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Photo of the captured large German WW1 rail-mounted artillery gun famous for bombing Amiens France in August 1918. There was a small controversy on whether the gun was captured by British or Australian troops.

Stopped at a railway station on its trip across France. Surrounded by police officers, railway officials.

Written on the ide of the gun car ‘CAPTURED by BRITISH 4th ARMY’.

Pin-holes in 4 corners. LR corner creased.

12 x 16 cm


A huge German Railway gun captured at the Battle of Amiens on 8th August 1918 became a source of some Allied controversy. The Australian 31st Battalion effected its capture, but, in the wake of the continued Allied advance, the gun received a large painted inscription stating that the gun had been captured by the British 4th Army of which the ANZAC Corps was a component. A thorough investigation was made of the circumstances of the gun's capture - an insightful example of the contested nature of war material involving notions of identity and ownership - before it was finally transported to Australia for public display The gun was originally intended for naval use, mounted in the battleship SMS Hessen.


The capture of the Amiens Gun by Australian and British soldiers was a significant achievement. During the summer of 1918, it had been used by the Germans to fire on the city of Amiens, about 25 kilometres away, from a railway carriage. Attempts had been made by the Allies to destroy this powerful weapon, but to no avail. During the August 8 advance, the train was bombed by a British Sopwith Camel, causing the German soldiers on board to evacuate. Although RAF aircraft and British cavalry were the first to engage the gun, it was then quickly claimed by the advancing Australian infantry. 

The Amiens gun barrel weighs 45 tons (40,824 kilograms) and has a calibre measurement of 28 centimetres (11.15 inches). Built in 1904 by Friedrick Krupp, it was originally a German naval gun, until it was modified to be used as a railway gun during the war. The "Amiens gun" was later exhibited in Paris before it was sent to England for transport to Australia as a war trophy.