17 cm/40 (6.75") SK L/40
Updated 05 February 2016
This weapon was used as secondaries on German pre-deadnoughts.  During World War I, a number of guns were removed from ships relegated to training duties and were then used as field artillery, rail guns and in coastal batteries.

In World War II these guns were still in use as coastal artillery.  They were then supplied with a lighter shell with a larger propellant charge for increased range.

Constructed of A tube, two reinforcing layers and a jacket.  Used a horizontally sliding breech mechanism.

Actual bore diameter was 17.26 cm (6.795 in).


Pre-dreadnought Hessen about 1930
The 17 cm guns are in the amidships turrets and casemate emplacements
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 88049


Schlesien showing her broadside 17 cm guns
Bain News Service Photograph
Library of Congress Photograph ID LC-DIG-ggbain-04269


Two 17 cm/40 (6.75") guns on SMS Deutschland
Picture courtesy of Peter Lienau


17 cm gun being used as field artillery in 1918
IWM photograph Q 55393

Gun Characteristics
Designation 17 cm/40 (6.75") SK L/40
Ship Class Used On Braunschweig and Deutschland (1904) Classes
Date Of Design about 1904
Date In Service 1906
Gun Weight 23,700 lbs. (10,750 kg) inc. breech
Gun Length 272.8 in (6.930 m)
Bore length 242.4 in (6.411 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 6 - 6.7 rounds per minute
Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights World War I
   HE L/3,0 - 141 lbs. (64 kg)
   Common L/3,3 - 141 lbs. (64 kg)
   Shrapnel L/2,7 - 141 lbs. (64 kg)

World War II
   HE - 138.5 lbs. (62.8 kg)

Bursting Charge World War I
   HE L/3,0 - 7.71 lbs. (3.5 kg)
   Common L/3,3 - 3.74 lbs. (1.7 kg)
   Shrapnel L2,7 - 1.54 lbs. (0.7 kg) black powder, number and weight of balls N/A

World War II
   HE - N/A

Projectile Length HE L/3,0 - about 20.1 in (51 cm)
Common L/3,3 - about 22.1 in (56.1 cm)
Shrapnel L/2,7 - about 18.1 in (45.9 cm)
Propellant Charge
see Note
World War I
   51.8 lbs. (23.5 kg) RP C/00 or C/06
   50.7 lbs. (23.0 kg) PR C/12

World War II

Muzzle Velocity World War I:  2,789 fps (850 mps)
World War II:  2,871 fps (875 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun 130 rounds
Note:  These guns, like most large caliber German guns of this era, used a "fore charge" which was propellant in a double bag silk case and a "main charge" which was propellant in a brass case.  The brass case helped to seal the breech of the gun.  I lack the weight breakdown for the two charges.
Elevation World War I HE Shell
Range @ 22 degrees in World War I 15,860 yards (14,500 m)
Range @ 30 degrees in World War I 18,500 yards (17,000 m)
Elevation With 138.5 lbs. (62.8 kg) HE Shell
Range @ 22 degrees
As Coastal Artillery in World War II
22,000 yards (20,100 m)
Mount / Turret Data
Designation Single turrets
   Braunschweig (2):  DrL C/01

   Braunschweig (12):  MPL C/02
   Deutschland (14):  MPL C/02-04

Weight  DrL C/01:  71.8 - 73.8 tons(73 - 75 mt)
MPL C/02 and C/02-04:  23.8 to 24.5 tons (24.2 to 24.9 mt)
Elevation Turrets:  -5 / +30 degrees
Casemates:  -5 / +22 degrees
Elevation Rate Drl C/01:  2.2 degrees per second
Train about +80 / -80 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
Note:  Turrets were electrically trained and elevated.
Data from
"Naval Weapons of World War Two" 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
"German Warships of World War I" by John C. Taylor
Special help from Peter Lienau and Dave Alton
Page History

21 May 2006 - Benchmark
28 March 2010 - Added picture of Schlesien
06 February 2011 - Updated template, added some gun and projectile details
22 November 2012 - Added gun, projectile and mounting information
06 December 2014 - Redid photograph of Deutschland
05 February 2016 - Added photograph of gun being used as field artillery