These weapons were intended for the Francesco Caracciolo class battleships. Construction of these ships was suspended in 1916 and the guns were then used on monitors, floating batteries (pontoons), railway guns and coastal fortifications.
During World War II the monitor Faà di Bruno (redesignated as GM 194) still carried these weapons and there were a total of ten guns mounted in Italian coastal defenses as of June 1940. During modernization programs prior to World War II, the coastal fortifications at Genoa and Augusta had their turrets modified for increased elevation.
In 1913 three companies were each given an order for twn guns: Elswick Pattern "A" (Pozzuoli), Vickers Mark "A" (Terni) and Schneider-Ansaldo. The first two companies built wire-wound guns but the Schneider-Ansaldo guns were of monobloc construction and considerably lighter. Actual production was the proof gun and nine production guns from Schneider-Ansaldo, about twelve from Elswick and three from Vickers.
Unlike many other European 38 cm guns, the bore of this gun was actually 381 mm (15.0"). Actual bore length may have been 40.9 calibers.
|Designation||381 mm/40 (15") Model 1914|
|Ship Class Used On||Battleship (never completed): Francesco Caracciolo Class
Monitors: Faà di Bruno and Alfredo Cappellini
Pontoons: Sabotino (ex Tina), Monte Santo (ex Jella), Monte Grappa, Montello and Monte Novegno
|Date Of Design||1914|
|Date In Service||1916|
|Gun Length oa
(not including breech)
|Armstrong and Vickers: 620.3 in (15.755 m)
Ansaldo: 620.1 in (15.750 m)
|Bore Length||about 600.0 in (15.240 m)|
|Rifling Length||511.7 in (12.9972 m)|
|Twist||RH 1 in 44.927|
|Rate Of Fire||1.5 - 2 rounds per minute|
|Projectile Types and Weights||AP: 1,949 lbs. (884 kg)
HE: 1,949 lbs. (884 kg)
Common: 1,949 lbs. (884 kg)
|Bursting Charge||AP: N/A
HE: 110.23 lbs. (50 kg) trotyl
Common: 84.85 lbs. (38.45 kg)
|Propellant Charge||326 or 331 lbs. (148 or 150 kg) C2|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,297 fps (700 mps)|
|Working Pressure||21.3 16.7 tons/in2 (2,996 kg/cm2)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||400 rounds|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||Faà di Bruno: 45 rounds
|Designation||Twin Turrets: Francesco Caracciolo (4), monitors (1)
Single Mountings: Pontoons (1)
|Weight||about 551 tons (550 mt)|
|Elevation||about -5 / +20 degrees 1|
|Train||+162 / -162 degrees|
- ^The turret on Faà di Bruno was modified to allow +30 degrees elevation. Pontoons had a single open mounting with +35 degrees maximum elevation and +/- 15 degrees of train. The coastal fortifications at Genoa and Augusta were modified to allow +30 degrees elevation.
- "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
- "L'artiglieria Italiana nella Grande Guerra" (Italian Artillery of the Great War) by Andrea Curami and Alessandro Massignani
- "Italian Warships of World War II" by Aldo Fraccaroli
- "Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
Special help from Eugenio Vajna and Caspar Vermeulen