These weapons armed the last of the German pre-deadnoughts. Two ships of the Deutschland Class (not to be confused with the famous "Panzerschiffes" of World War II) were still in service with this gun during World War II. These guns were also used as Coastal Artillery during World War II in the Graf Spee battery located at Wangerooge and later at Brest.

This was a built-up design and used a horizontal wedge breech mechanism.

These were the last large-caliber German guns not to use separate main and fore charges, all propellant was in a single cartridge case.

These mountings used hydraulic power with steam pumps as prime movers. The breech mechanisms were hand-worked as was the ramming.

All German 28 cm guns had an actual bore diameter of 28.3 cm (11.1").

Gun Characteristics

Designation 28 cm (11") SK L/40
Ship Class Used On Braunschweig and Deutschland (1904) Classes
Date Of Design 1902
Date In Service 1904
Gun Weight 99,870 lbs. (45,300 kg) including BM
Gun Length oa 440.9 in (11.200 m)
Bore Length 409.5 in (10.401 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume 7,512 in3 (125.3 dm3)
Rate Of Fire about 2 rounds per minute


Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights 1
  • World War I
    • AP L/2,6 2: 529 lbs. (240 kg)
    • HE L/2,9 base fuze: 529 lbs. (240 kg)
    • World War II
      • HE L/4,3 base fuze: 529 lbs. (240 kg)
      • HE L/4,1 nose fuze: 529 lbs. (240 kg)
      • HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze: 626 lbs. (284 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length AP L/2,6: 29.0 in (73.6 cm)
HE L/2,9 base fuze: 32.3 in (82.1 cm)

HE L/4,3 base fuze: 47.4 in (120 cm)
HE L/4,1 nose fuze: 45.2 in (115 cm)
HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze: 49.0 in (124.5 cm)
Propellant Charge World War I: About 161 lbs. (73 kg) RPC 12
World War II: 154.3 lbs. (70 kg) RPC 38
Muzzle Velocity AP L/2,6: 2,690 fps (820 mps)
HE L/4,3: 2,690 fps (820 mps)
HE L/4,1: 2,690 fps (820 mps)

HE L/4,4: 2,428 fps (740 mps)
Working Pressure 20.3 tons/in2 (3,200 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Braunschweig and Deutschland: 85 rounds
  • ^
    Actual designations for Projectiles
    AP L/2,6 Psgr. L/2,6
    HE L/2,9 base fuze L/2,9 Bdz
    HE L/4,3 base fuze L/4,3 Bdz (mhb)
    HE L/4,1 nose fuze L/4,1 Kz (mhb)
    HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze L/4,4 Bdz u. Kz (mhb)
  • ^The AP L/2,6 was about 2crh.


World War I

Range with 529 lbs. (240 kg) AP L2,6
Elevation Distance
30 degrees
(Max elevation of turret)
20,590 yards (18,830 m)

World War II

Range with 626 lbs. (284 kg) HE L4,4
Elevation Distance
30 degrees
(Max elevation of turret)
28,040 yards (25,640 m)
Coast Defense Gun
Range @ 45 degrees
30,350 yards (27,750 m)

Armor Penetration

Armor Penetration with 529 lbs. (240 kg) AP L2,6
Range Side Armor Deck Armor
13,120 yards (12,000 m) 6.3 in (160 mm) ---

Data from "Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie."

Mount / Turret Data

  • Two-gun turrets
    • Braunschweig (2) and Deutschland (2): Drh.L. C/01
Weight N/A
Elevation -4 / +30 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
Loading Angle N/A

Additional Pictures


Data from:

  • "Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting" and "Naval Weapons of World War Two" both by John Campbell
  • "Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
  • "Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906-1922" by Randal Gray and Robert Gardiner (Editor)
  • "German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner
  • "The Big Gun: Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges
  • "Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie" by Paul Schmalenbach
  • "German Capital Ships of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley

Special help from Richard Worth and Bernard Sage

Page History

13 October 2006
25 March 2009
Added Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm class
27 March 2009
Added picture of Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm
05 February 2011
Distinguished between KL/40 and SK L/40 types
20 November 2012
Split up KL/40 and SK L/40 datapages
28 February 2016
Minor edits