15 cm SK L/40 naval gun

15 cm SK L/40
SMS Wolf 15 cm gun AWM P05338.179.jpg
A 15 cm SK L/40 gun aboard the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Wolf circa. 1916–18

Naval gun

Coast-defence gun
Place of origin German Empire
Service history
In service 1898—1945
Used by German Empire
The Netherlands
Nazi Germany
Wars World War I
World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Designed 1897
Manufacturer Krupp
Variants No.2, No.3, No.4, No.5
Krupp 15 cm L/40 K94
Škoda 15 cm L/40 K96
Weight 4,460 kg (9,830 lb)
Length 6 m (19 ft 8 in)
Barrel length 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)

Shell Separate-loading, cased charge
Caliber 149.1 millimeters (5.87 in)
Breech horizontal sliding breech block
Elevation -7° to +20°
Traverse -150° to +150°
Rate of fire 4-5 rpm
Muzzle velocity 800 m/s (2,600 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 13.7 km (8.5 mi) at 20°.[1]

The 15 cm SK L/40[Note 1] was a German naval gun that was used as secondary armament on pre-dreadnought battleships, protected cruisers and armored cruisers of the Imperial German Navy in World War I.[1] It was also used as a coast-defence gun during World War II.


The 15 cm SK L/40 gun was constructed of A tube, two layers of hoops and used a Krupp horizontal sliding-wedge breech block. It used separate loading metallic cased propellant charges and projectiles. Unlike other large naval guns of the time which used separate loading bagged charges and projectiles, this gun used charges inside of a brass cartridge case to provide obturation.[1] The guns were often mounted in single casemates or single turrets amidships. In addition to guns produced for the Imperial German Navy comparable export models were produced for the Royal Netherlands Navy and produced under license by Škoda for the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Export Models No.2 No.3 No.4 No.5 Krupp 15 cm L/40 K94 Škoda 15 cm L/40 K96
Users Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary
Weight 4,420 kg (9,740 lb) 4,850 kg (10,690 lb) 5,200 kg (11,500 lb) 4,880 kg (10,760 lb) 4,500 kg (9,900 lb) 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)
Rifling Length 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in) 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in) 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
Muzzle Velocity 680 m/s (2,200 ft/s) 680 m/s (2,200 ft/s) 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s) 745 m/s (2,440 ft/s) 690 m/s (2,300 ft/s) 690 m/s (2,300 ft/s)[1]

Naval Use[]

Ship classes that carried the 15 cm SK L/40 include:[1]


Ammunition was of separate loading quick fire type. The projectiles were 39–46.5 cm (1–2 ft) long with a cartridge case and bagged charge which weighed 10 kg (22 lb).

The gun was able to fire:

See also[]

Gun plan for a field mounting


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); L - Länge in Kaliber (length in caliber)
  2. ^ World War I Ammunition
  1. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Norman (2011-01-01). Naval weapons of World War One. Seaforth. ISBN 9781848321007. OCLC 786178793.


External links[]