15 cm SK L/45

The 15 cm SK L/45[Note 1] was a German naval gun used in World War I and World War II.

15 cm SK L/45
German gun from SMS Bremse - geograph.org.uk - 118942.jpg
Gun salvaged from SMS Bremse, at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Hoy, Orkney
TypeNaval gun
Railroad gun
Coastal artillery
Place of originGerman Empire
Service history
In service1908—45
Used byGermany
WarsWorld War I
World War II
Production history
Mass5,730 kilograms (12,630 lb)
Length6.71 metres (22 ft 0 in)
Barrel length6.32 metres (20 ft 9 in)L/45

Shellseparate loading quick fire
Caliber149.1 millimetres (5.87 in)
Breechhorizontal sliding-wedge
ElevationSee table
Traverse−150° to +150°
Rate of fire5-7 rpm
Muzzle velocity840 metres per second (2,800 ft/s)
Maximum firing rangeSee table

Naval serviceEdit

The 15 cm SK L/45 was a widely used naval gun on many classes of World War I Dreadnoughts and Cruisers in both casemates and turrets. It was constructed of an A tube and two layers of hoops with a Krupp horizontal sliding-wedge breech block. During World War I a few pre-war cruisers that were armed with 10.5 cm guns were rearmed with these weapons. In World War II the 15 cm SK L/45 was widely used as Coastal artillery and as primary armament on German Auxiliary Cruisers.

Ship classes that carried the 15 cm SK L/45 include:

15 cm SK L/45 Mounts[1]
Type of Mount Designation Weight Elevation Range (during World War I) Ship classes
Single pedestal mounts in casemates MPL C/06 15,770 kg (34,770 lb) −7° to +20° 14.9 km (9.3 mi) at 20° Nassau, Helgoland, Kaiser, von der Tann, Moltke, Blücher
MPL C/06.11 16,533 kg (36,449 lb) −10° to +19° 13.5 km (8.4 mi) at +19 König, Seydlitz, Derfflinger, Lutzow
MPL C/13 17,950 kg (39,570 lb) −8.5° to +19 13.5 km (8.4 mi) at +19 Bayern, Hindenburg, Mackensen
MPL C/13 mod 18,350 kg (40,450 lb) −8.5° to +22 15.8 km (9.8 mi) at +22 Wartime modification to MPL C/13
Single pedestal mounts in open half-shields MPL C/14 16,185 kg (35,682 lb) −10° to +22° 15.8 km (9.8 mi) at +22 Wiesbaden, Königsberg II
MPL C/16 17,116 kg (37,734 lb) −10° to +27° 16.8 km (10.4 mi) at +27 Cöln II, Emden II
MPL C/16 mod −10° to +30 17.6 km (10.9 mi) at +30 wartime modification to MPL C/16


Ammunition was of separate loading quick fire type. The projectiles were 61 cm (2 ft) long with a single bagged charge which weighed 13–14 kg (29–31 lb).

The gun was able to fire:

Coast Defense GunEdit

15 cm SK L/45 coastal artillery gun at Nordarnøy, Gildeskål, Norway
Rear view of the above pictured gun

The same gun was used for coast defense duties in concrete emplacements after World War I. One example was 3./Marine-Artillerie Abteilung 604 ("3rd Battery of Naval Artillery Battalion 604") in Jersey.[2] They show it using 44 kilograms (97 lb) shells with a range of 18,000 metres (20,000 yd)

Railroad GunEdit

It was also used as a railroad gun during World War I.

See alsoEdit

Weapons of comparable role, performance and eraEdit


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); L - Länge in Kaliber (length in caliber)
  1. ^ from NavWeaps
  2. ^ Gander and Chamberlain, p. 266


  • Gander, Terry; Chamberlain, Peter (1979). Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939–1945. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-15090-3.
  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.

External linksEdit