Now, nothing was more obvious and everyday during the long nightmare of Europe's great bomber war. Most places in a big German city were not far from one of these:
That's an 88/56 (88 mm diameter barrel with a barrel length 56 times the diameter) 8.8cm FlaK 37, firing a 9.2kg shell with a muzzle velocity of 790 meters/second. It weighed 7,407kg in action, and, like all quick-fire guns, has a nominal rate of fire of 15--20 rounds, basically the ergonomic estimate of how many rounds an experienced crew could get off when working at top rate.
In a British city, it would be one of these (though hopefully in better shape):
This is the QF 3.7"AA, a 94/50, for comparison's sake. It fired a 12.7kg shell at a muzzle velocity of 2670 feet/second. Given that lengthening the barrel (in calibre lengths) will have the effect, all other things being equal, of increasing muzzle velocity while decreasing barrel life, we can see that there have been some nice ballistic achievements made here compared with the earlier and slightly smaller German gun.
Oh. And it weighed 9,317kg. Just to put this in perspective, the British army's standard field gun, the 25 pounder (88mm calibre, if you're interested in these things) weighed 1,633kg. The heaviest new British gun of World War II, the enormous 7.2" howitzer that rained 90kg shells on hapless enemies 15 kilometers away, was a 10 ton gun, and the 9.2" howitzer that was the BEF's standard siege gun at the outbreak of WWI weighed less than 6. That, alone, is an intimation of the social change this gun is going to enact. For this weapon to work as a means of national defence, we need a fleet of these, and the consequences of turning social logistics over to big trucks are still being worked out today. But it will probably turn out in the long run that it's something much more humble that leveraged all of this social change. That weight doesn't come from nothing. The nobby bits on this gun are machinery. Computery machinery.
(After the break, math.)