Manufacturing artillery pieces is an utterly fascinating process – especially if one has any knowledge of manufacturing. Specifically, creating the barrels is perhaps one of the most technically challenging parts of making the howitzers. Outside of the physical forming of the barrel itself, putting in precision rifling over the length of the part usually measured in meters is a challenge that few companies have mastered. Its far harder than making a mere AR barrel.
Often, the processes used to manufacture these pieces are closely held secrets. Companies understandably work very hard to keep their proprietary processes close to the chest.
Fortunately for us, a fantastic little YouTube channel, World War 2: The Lost Footage has a bit of found footage for us to marvel at courtesy of Germany during the war. With basic footage of of the forging process along with some of the lathe turning, the video focuses a bit more on the assembly of the weapons, including some interesting footage on how the breech was loaded on the massive railway weapons of the war.
For those who geek out on manufacturing processes, the video is an invaluable look into the truly heavy industry needed to create those truly heavy guns. Be sure to check out The Lost Footage as well for additional films.