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).

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 1
  • 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: N/A
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
  • ^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.


Range with HE Shell during World War I
Elevation Distance
22 degrees 15,860 yards (14,500 m)
30 degrees 18,500 yards (17,000 m)
Range with 138.5 lbs. (62.8 kg) HE during World War II
Elevation Distance
22 degrees
As Coastal Artillery
22,000 yards (20,100 m)

Mount / Turret Data

  • Single turrets
    • Braunschweig (2): DrL C/01
  • Casemates
    • 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 1a
Train about +80 / -80 degrees
Train Rate N/A 1a
Gun recoil N/A
  • ^1.11.2Turrets were electrically trained and elevated.

Additional Pictures


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
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