The Austrians developed the Skoda 30.5 cm howitzer at Pilsen in 1910. Although 28 tons it was designed to be road-transportable. Once it arrived at the firing-site it took only 40 minutes to assemble. The gun needed a crew of twelve men and could fire ten rounds per hour. The 846 lb shell had a range of 13,124 yards.
On the outbreak of the First World War, Skodas were erected outside the fortress of Liege in Belgium. During August these guns destroyed the ring of 12 forts around the city. News of the success of this new weapon encouraged other countries involved in the conflict to produce large mobile guns.