|(Minor) faction(s)||Allied Nations|
|Type||Base Defence/Strategic Artillery|
|Designation||Long Range Anti Ground Bombardment Platform|
|Country of Origin||France|
|Joffre Army Base, Strasbourg|
|Key Features|| » 406mm cannon|
» 17 m³ cannon base
» Manual aiming system (obsolete)
» Map of local area (for targeting)
» Bunker storage (filled with food)
The Past Edit
While the nations of Europe have trembled under the might of Premier Cherdenko's Red Army and its march across the continent, the elder citizens can recall that this is not the first time that they have experienced a Soviet occupation. Only a decade earlier, the Soviets had invaded in what would be known as World War II. In what the Germans would dub "Blitzkrieg", the Soviets swept through Eastern Europe in months, descending on Germany and almost managing to invade France itself. The people of France hid in bunkers and lived on canned food to protect themselves from air raids and what everyone thought of as the inevitability of the Soviet Army coming.
Meanwhile, the Soviets were indeed creeping closer and closer to the border between France and Germany. The Allied Nations had just been formed, and the French Army was still unorganised and outdated. The French took to putting their faith in their pride - the Maginot Line, a massive defence complex sprawling from Switzerland to Luxembourg. However, many French officers could see what they feared, that the Line wouldn't hold against the massive onslaught of the Soviet Army. The cannons were simply outdated.
While the man responsible has been lost to history, the story of the reversal has not. One of the key problems with the Maginot Line defences was that the Soviet vehicles had simply grown too large for the cannons to hold against, especially due to their numbers. French officers tried unsuccessfully to remedy this problem by altering the specifications of the turrets, increasing their fire arc or changing the ammunition. Someone, probably a soldier whose name was erased by the ashamed generals, put forward the idea to simply make the cannons larger. In truth, the idea would likely have appeared soon enough without intervention, but the stress of the war clouded the officers' minds.
Larger than most things seen at that time, giant turrets were constructed all over the Maginot Line, mounted with 406mm cannons that could fire across great distances. The blueprint was also used for defences in other parts of the world, from England to California, and soon the newly dubbed Grand Cannons were commonplace over Allied-controlled territories. Although they would not play major roles in halting the Soviet advances directly, their size demoralised the enemy troops and is credited for slowing down the Blitzkrieg markedly.
The Present Edit
With the unprecedented progress in technology after the end of the war, Grand Cannons became just as obsolete as the cannons they were replacing within ten years. While packing a punch, the aiming system was just too inefficient to hit moving forces as locomotors improved. The cannons were also incredibly difficult to maintain due to their size, and most of them fell into decline after the war as rebuilding cities and researching new technologies was more important than keeping poor cannons in shape.
While too costly to dismantle, most Grand Cannons remaining are simply ignored, awaiting eventual decay. While they proved vital in emergencies during World War III, such as the Battle of Brighton, generally they were of no use in defending what they were supposed to. This was especially visible with the fall of the Maginot Line, where only a fraction of shots actually hit their targets.
Behind the Scenes Edit
The Grand Cannon is a reference to the French special defences in Red Alert 2, here taking the form of the coastal guns seen in Brighton and the observatory cannon in Santa Monica. They are not buildable, but their spirit lives on in the Grand Collider, which has a similar role.