In the 1950’s the U. S. Army developed the M65 280mm artillery piece known as the atomic cannon, also nicknamed “Atomic Annie.” It was capable of firing a 15 kiloton W9 nuclear warhead at a range of up to 32 kilometres. Weighing 75 metric tons it is 26 meters long. It was deployed briefly but was supplanted almost immediately by more mobile and compact rocket systems.
Twenty examples of the M65 were constructed. Following its removal from service a number were placed in museums. One was placed in the Museum of Really Big Stuff That Goes Boom in Teeantee, Texas. The museum went bankrupt when patrons were no longer able to travel to it due to Covid-19 restrictions and revenue dried up. At this point, Mr. Max Avarice, Chief Executive Officer of TexxonMogul, purchased the cannon through the bankruptcy court. The purchase price was not disclosed but it is estimated that it was for not much more than scrap metal value.
2P News has learned that a contract has been signed for an undisclosed armaments company (possibly KryssenThrupp of Germany) to restore the cannon to working order and manufacture a supply of 280 millimetre high explosive armor-piercing shells. No thought was given to acquiring atomic munitions because that will get you locked in federal SuperMax prison until the universe implodes.
So why would Mr. Avarice buy such a massive, impractical device? Gulliver Phlogiston, Senior Vice President of Crazy-ass Projects at TexxonMogul, suggested that it might be used in the oil sands region of Alberta. Fire the cannon directly down into the earth and the explosion should loosen up a huge volume of oil sand as well as remove the overburden. He also thinks it would look cool parked on the front lawn of TexxonMogul headquarters and would be a big hit at Veterans’ Day parades.
The real reason? We surmise that Avarice found out that the CEO of ComicalPhilistine had bought a surplus 155 mm howitzer for his militaria collection and Avarice can’t stand to be outgunned by anybody.