These guns were used as secondary armament on many pre-dreadnoughts and large cruisers of the late 1890s and early 1900s. A number of guns were exported to Austria-Hungary where they were used on a few ships. Guns were also used to arm the auxiliary cruiser Wolf, one of the more successful commerce raiders of World War I.
During the Second World War, this gun equipped a few transports and supply ships and was used in some coastal artillery batteries. Many of the latter were supplied with a new, more streamlined shell.
Constructed of A tube and two layers of hoops. Used the Krupp horizontal sliding wedge breech block.
All German 15 cm guns had an actual bore diameter of 14.91 cm (5.87 in).
|Designation||15 cm/40 (5.9") SK L/40|
|Ship Class Used On||Kaiser Friedrich III, Wittelsbach, Victoria Louise, Fürst Bismarck, Prinz Heinrich, Prinz Adalbert, Roon and Scharnhorst (1907) classes|
|Date Of Design||1897|
|Date In Service||1898|
|Gun Weight||9,833 lbs. (4,460 kg)|
|Gun Length oa||235 in (5.960 m)|
|Bore Length||218 in (5.540 m)|
|Grooves||N(44) 0.055 in D x 0.280 in W (1.40 mm D x 7.11 mm W) 1|
|Lands||0.1415 in (3.68 mm)|
|Twist||Uniform RH 1 in 44 to 1in 23.8 at muzzle|
|Chamber Volume||1,013 in3 (16.6 dm3)|
|Rate Of Fire||4 - 5 rounds per minute|
- ^Rifling information from a British source using captured documents, may not be entirely accurate conversions.
|Projectile Types and Weights||
|Approximate Barrel Life||N/A|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||Kaiser Friedrich III: 120 rounds
Wittelsbach: 140 rounds
Victoria Louise, Fürst Bismarck and Prinz Heinrich: 120 rounds
Prinz Adalbert: 150 rounds
Roon: 160 rounds
Scharnhorst: 170 rounds
|14,990 yards (13,700 m)|
(World War II shell)
|15,640 yards (14,300 m)|
|Weight||about 37,480 lbs. (17,000 kg)|
|Elevation||MPL: about -7 / +20 degrees 1a|
|Elevation Rate||Manual operation, only|
|Train||about +150 / -150 degrees|
|Train Rate||Manual operation, only|
- ^The elevations shown above are "as designed." Following the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak), many mountings were modified to increase their maximum elevations to +27 degrees.
- "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
- "Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
- "German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner Page History
- 20 October 2008
- 20 May 2012
- Updated to latest template
- 25 November 2012
- Added gun and projectile details
- 04 February 2016
- Removed photograph, updated links to Austrailian War Memorial supply