Used for anti-torpedo boat batteries for capital ships. The stern guns on the Courbet and Bretagne classes were mounted too low, only 12 feet (3.6 m) above the waterline and were liable to be washed out in even light seas. They were removed and the ports plated over. Some of these guns were then used on sloops and in coastal defense batteries.

Of built-up construction with a screw breech and used separate ammunition.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 138.6 mm/55 (5.46") Model 1910
Ship Class Used On Courbet, Bretagne, Normandie, Lille and Arras Classes
Date Of Design 1910
Date In Service 1913
Gun Weight 11,680 lbs. (5,300 kg)
Gun Length oa N/A
Bore Length about 300.1 in (7.623 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist Uniform RH 1 in 36
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire about 5 - 6 rounds per minute


Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights SAP: 87.1 lbs. (39.5 kg)
HE: 69.4 lbs. (31.5 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length SAP: 27.8 in (70.7 cm)
HE: 23.11 in (58.72 cm)
Propellant Charge 23 lbs. (10.4 kg) BM9
Cartridge: 52.07 lbs. (23.62 kg)
Muzzle Velocity SAP: 2,592 fps (790 mps)
HE: 2,756 fps (840 mps)
Working Pressure SAP: 15.1 tons/in2 (2,380 kg/cm2)
HE: 12.7 tons/in2 (2,000 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A

The same size cartridge case was used in all 138.6 mm (5.46\") guns from the Model 1910 onwards, although the type and quantity of propellant was not always the same. Projectiles were different from those used in later 138.6 mm (5.46\") guns


Range with various shells
Elevation 87.1 lbs. (39.5 kg) SAP 69.4 lbs. (31.5 kg) HE
25 degrees 17,600 yards (16,100 m) 16,500 yards (15,100 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single Casemate Mounts: Courbet (22) 1 , Bretagne (22) 1 , Normandie (24) and Lille (24)
Weight N/A
Elevation Originally -7 / +15 degrees, later increased to -7 / +25 degrees
Rate of Elevation N/A
Train About: +80 / -80 degrees
Rate of Train N/A
Gun Recoil N/A
Loading Angle N/A
  1. ^1.11.2Four, then later eight of these mountings were removed in the early 1930s from the Courbet and Bretagne classes.

Additional Pictures


Data from:

  • "Battleships and Battlecruisers 1905 - 1970" by Siegfried Breyer
  • "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
  • "Battleships of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley

Page History

16 May 2006
28 March 2012
Updated to latest template
06 April 2013
Added sketch