26.04.

1812: Steel Tycoon Alfred Krupp – The German “Cannon King”

1812: Steel Tycoon Alfred Krupp – The German “Cannon King”
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 26 April 1812
  • Alfred Krupp was called the "Cannon King" (German "Kanonenkönig") for his role in the production of modern steel cannons. At the time of his death, the Krupp company was the largest industrial conglomeration in the German Empire.

German industrial tycoon Alfred Krupp was born on this day in 1812.

He is notable for organizing the manufacturing of modern steel breech-loading cannons, which greatly transformed the way of waging war.

Namely, cannons were earlier made mainly of bronze, and were loaded from the front (i.e. muzzle-loaded). Krupp’s cannons were loaded from the rear, which is the normal practice today. Old muzzle-loaded bronze cannons soon became a thing of the past.

Because of his role in the production of modern guns, Alfred Krupp was called the the “Cannon King” (German “Kanonenkönig”).

It is interesting that his business did not go smoothly. At first, the officers did not have confidence in his steel cannon and stubbornly clung to muzzle-loaded bronze cannons. Since there was no interest, Alfred Krupp initially had to donate his modern guns to the Prussian army for free.

Only when people noticed the potential of the new guns did the business take off. Using Krupp’s steel cannons, the Prussians defeated the French in the famous Franco-Prussian War, which allowed the unification of Germany.

Krupp’s guns finally started to sell successfully, and there was even a kind of buying frenzy.

Large orders arrived, so that Krupp’s company produced 24,576 guns during its owner’s lifetime.

At the time of his death, the Krupp company was the largest industrial conglomeration in the German Empire.

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