A good, reliable weapon used as secondary armament on battleships and battlecruisers as well as on most cruisers built during World War I. Some pre-war cruisers were rearmed with these weapons during the war.
In the 1920s, this weapon was used to arm the Light Cruiser Emden. During the Second World War, it was notable for equipping some of the famous merchant raiders and was used in coastal artillery batteries.
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/45 (5.9") SK L/45|
|Ship Class Used On||Most Capital Ships of World War I
Frankfurt, Elbing, Bremse, Königsberg (II), Dresden (II) cruiser classes
Many cruisers were rearmed with this gun 1915-1918
Merchant Raider Ships of World War II
|Date Of Design||1906|
|Date In Service||1908|
|Gun Weight||12,632 lbs. (5,730 kg)|
|Gun Length oa||264.2 in. (6.710 m)|
|Bore Length||249.1 in (6.326 m)|
|Rifling Length||200.6 in (5.095 m)|
|Twist||RH Increasing from 1 in 45 to 1 in 30 at the muzzle|
|Chamber Volume||1,324 in3 (21.7 dm3)|
|Rate Of Fire||5 - 7 rounds per minute 1|
- ^In "Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting" by John Campbell, it is stated that German capital ships were provided with an ammunition hoist for each 15 cm (5.9") gun and that these could provide 7 or more complete rounds per minute. For light cruisers the rate of supply was about three to five rounds per minute per gun once the ready ammunition had been used up.
|Projectile Types and Weights||
|Cartridge||150 x 865 mm
World War I Filled Cartridge: 49.8 lbs. (22.6 kg)
World War II Filled Cartridge: 50.2 lbs. (22.8 kg)
|Muzzle Velocity||2,740 fps (835 mps)|
|Working Pressure||20.0 tons/in2 (3,150 kg/cm2)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||1,400 rounds|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||Nassau, Helgoland, von der Tann, Moltke, Brummer: 150 rounds
Kaiser, König, Bayern, Seydlitz, Derfflinger, Mackensen: 160 rounds
Blücher (1914): 165 rounds
Wiesbaden: 128 rounds
Königsberg (1918), Cöln: 130 rounds
Emden (1925): 120 rounds
|19 degrees||14,760 yards (13,500 m)|
|20 degrees||16,300 yards (14,900 m)|
|22 degrees||17,280 yards (15,800 m)|
|25 degrees||18,040 yards (16,500 m)|
|27 degrees||18,373 yards (16,800 m)|
|30 degrees||19,250 yards (17,600 m)|
|20,120 yards (18,400 m)|
(World War II Raiders)
|21,220 yards (19,400 m)|
During World War II, Merchant Raiders armed with these guns were apparently supplied with the more streamlined shells as used for the 15 cm/55 SK C/28.
|Weight||MPL C/06: 34,767 lbs. (15,770 kg)
MPL C/06.11: 36,449 lbs. (16,533 kg)
MPL C/13: 39,573 lbs. (17,950 kg)
MPL C/14: 35,681 lbs. (16,185 kg)
MPL C/16: 37,734 lbs. (17,116 kg)
|Elevation 2||MPL C/06: -7 / +20 degrees
MPL C/06.11: -10 / +19 degrees
MPL C/13: -8.5 / +19 degrees
MPL C/14: -10 / +22 degrees
MPL C/16: -10 / +27 degrees
World War II Raiders: -10 / +30 degrees
|Elevation Rate||Manual operation, only|
|Train||about +150 / -150 degrees|
|Train Rate||Manual operation, only|
|Gun recoil||MPL C/06: 11.4 in (29.0 cm)
MPL C/06.11: 16.9 in (43.0 cm)
MPL C/13: 17.1 in (43.5 cm)
MPL C/14: 17.1 in (43.5 cm)
MPL C/16: 17.7 in (45.0 cm)
British postwar examination of Baden found that the German ammunition supply for secondary guns was superior to their own. Baden had a dredger hoist for each gun running directly from the magazine to the casemate carrying both projectile and charge. Projectile fuzes were protected by a leather cap during the hoist. Dredger hoists were equipped with sliding anti-flash doors and an external waiting tray. Hoists were powered by electric motors at the top of the hoist, presumably to eliminate a fire hazard in the magazines. Baden was equipped with five combined magazines and shell rooms on each side. The British also commented favorably on the MPL mountings having +19 degree elevations, considerably more than those on British capital ships. The British determined that the flash protection for the casemates on Baden to be much improved over those for earlier German ships.
Crew was nominally eight men: Elevation, Training, Range Setter, Deflection Setter, First Loader, Second Loader, Rammer man and Breech worker.
- ^The elevations shown above are "as designed." After the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak), many mountings were modified to increase their maximum elevations to +22 or +25 degrees. Some MPL C/13 were modified to allow +22 degrees and this increased the total weight to 40,454 lbs. (18,350 kg). Late in the war, some light cruisers may have been modified to increase elevation to +30 degrees and these were probably the mountings that were used on the Merchant Raiders of World War II.
- "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
- "German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner
- "German Battlecruisers 1914-18" and "German Battlecruisers of World War One" both by Gary Staff
- "German Warships of World War I" by John C. Taylor
- "German Cruisers of World War Two", "Cruisers of World War Two" and "German Capital Ships of World War Two" all by M.J. Whitley
- Tony DiGiulian's personal data files
Special Help from Peter Lienau