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The French Grand Cannon is the ultimate defensive gun, firing at long range for massive damage.
- Red Alert 2 France multiplayer loading screen
RA2 Grand Cannon Icons

Grand cannons are special Allied defensive structures designed by France during the Third World War and the Psychic Dominator Disaster.

Background

Soviet rush tactics had left French commanders reeling with terror. Sensing that their Pillbox and Turret somewhat were ineffective against rushes, the French quickly revamped their defensive structure. As they felt that the pillbox design had somewhat reached its maturity, they chose to utilize a Turret design instead. The modification included adding a rather large long range howitzer with a very large caliber and reinforcing the armour. Thus, the Grand Cannon was born. Other Allied countries, however, thought this structure was somewhat overwhelming, thus it was not fully adopted by them.

The Grand cannon is basically a large turret capable of firing very powerful shells to an extreme range. The cannons are effective against both infantry and tanks, and would cause considerable collateral damage in the area around the target. Any lightly armoured unit that was unlucky enough to get within its range of fire could be destroyed in a single shot, which includes some infantry as well. They also do splash damage, so even when playing against an easy enemy in skirmish, a Grand cannon can kill AI basic infantry battalions with three shots at most. Their range is comparable to that of most siege units, and only air units can safely dispatch these gargantuan turrets. Despite their lack of agility and slow rate of fire, a few of these deadly howitzers pose an intimidating and formidable presence on the battlefield.

Deployment history

A few Grand cannons, presumably French-built, were also found in use in the United States, namely in San Francisco and Chicago. In Chicago, the Cannons guarding the way into the city were acquired by the Soviet forces upon the city's capture and had to be destroyed by the Allies.

In San Francisco, four cannons guarded the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay against the initial Soviet invasion. During the Psychic Dominator Disaster, France authorized their design and knowledge to be shared in an effort against Yuri. Their design somehow spread beyond their intentions as such designs can be obtained by the Soviets via a secret Tech Secret Lab in their final battle in Transylvania.


The Grand Cannon does not appear in Red Alert 3 but the Pacifier FAV has twin grand cannons when deployed.

Game building

PROS

  • Extreme Range, outranges most artillery units.
  • Heavy Splash damage that is great for softening tight groups of ground or naval units.
  • Powerful against pretty much any surface target when the shell hits on impact; be it infantry, vehicles, ships or buildings.
  • Seriously devastating in groups and in turn pose an intimidating presence on the battlefield.

CONS

  • The shells fired from its cannon are rather inaccurate, and will likely miss moving targets, but a direct hit may not be required, given the powerful blast the projectile has.
  • No defense against aircraft and incoming missiles.
  • Expensive at 2000 credits.
  • It is the only defensive structure to have a 2x2 foundation.
  • The structure has a minimum range of 3 cells and is affected by differences in elevation. 
  • Causes friendly fire.
  • Requires a lot of power to operate.
  • It has a slow rate of fire
  • Large numbers of Rhino tanks can outnumber it.

Trivia

  • One of the Russian localizations erroneously translated Grand Cannon as "Grand Canyon".
  • A possible historic inspiration for the idea of French grand cannon fortification was the Maginot Line.

Gallery

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