3.7 cm SK C/30

The 3.7 cm SK C/30[Note 1] was the German Kriegsmarine's primary 3.7 cm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War. It was superseded by the fully automatic 3.7 cm FlaK 43 late in the war.

3.7 cm SK C/30
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MN-0945-08, Schulboot "Drache", Doppelflak.jpg
3.7 cm SK C/30 on a Dopp L C/30 stabilized mount
TypeAnti-aircraft cannon
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1935–1966
Used byNazi Germany
WarsSecond World War
Production history
Variants3.7 cm SK C/30U
Mass243 kilograms (536 lb)
Length3.074 metres (10 ft 1 in)
Barrel length2.962 metres (9 ft 9 in) L/83

Shellfixed, cased charge
Shell weight0.68 kilograms (1 lb 8 oz)
Caliber37 x 380Rmm
Breechsemi-automatic, vertical sliding-block
Elevationdepends on the mount
Rate of fire30 rpm (practical)
Muzzle velocity1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Effective firing range2,000 m (6,600 ft) (effective ceiling)
Maximum firing range8,500 m (9,300 yd) at 37.5°


The C/30 was a single-shot anti-aircraft gun that was loaded one round at a time which dropped its effective rate of fire to a mere 30 rounds per minute, far inferior to the 120 rounds per minute of its contemporary, the Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. Its muzzle velocity was on the other hand slightly superior (about 12-15% higher), which slightly eased the aiming. The SK C/30U gun was modified for use by submarines. All mountings were suitable for use against both air and soft surface targets.[1]

Ship classes that carried the 3.7 cm SK C/30 include:


SK C/30U on a type IX U-Boat (U-103) in 1939

The Doppellafette C/30 (Dopp L C/30) was a twin mount with each gun in a separate cradle. It had a six-man crew on the mount itself plus additional ammunition handlers. The mounting was manually traversed and elevated and was gyro-stabilized up to a limit of 19.5° degrees to counteract the roll and pitch of the ship. Most German ships, fleet torpedo boat or larger, carried at least one Dopp L C/30 mounting. The Einheitslafette C/34 (Einh L C/34, universal mounting model 34) was a single gun mounted on a pedestal with a two-man crew. Some mounts were fitted with a 8-millimetre (0.31 in) gun shield. It was used on the smaller Kriegsmarine ships like the Schnellboot. A number were used on land to supplement the anti-aircraft defenses of ports. The Ubts L C/39 submarine mount used the SK C/30U gun. It was a simple pedestal mount with a two-man crew, one of whom trained the gun with the shoulder stirrup; the other used gears to elevate the gun.[2]

Mounting weight elevation
Dopp L C/30 3,670 kg (8,090 lb) -9° to +85°
Einh L C/34 1,860–2,020 kg (4,100–4,450 lb) -10° to +80°
Ubts L C/39 1,450 kg (3,200 lb) -10° to +90°


The SK C/30 used two types of tracer rounds. The 3.7 cm Br Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37M was a high-explosive round with an incendiary filling while the 3.7 cm Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37 lacked the incendiary fill, but was otherwise identical. Tracers were available in red, yellow or white and were marked on the shell by a painted band of the appropriate color. A complete round weighed 1.78 kilograms (3.9 lb).[3]

Comparison of anti-aircraft gunsEdit

Country Gun Model RPM Projectile Weight Weight of fire
  Nazi Germany 3.7 cm SK C/30 30 .74 kg (1.6 lb)[4] 22.2 kg (49 lb)
  France Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925 15–21 .72 kg (1.6 lb)[5] 10.8–15.12 kg (23.8–33.3 lb)
  Italy Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) 60–120 .82 kg (1.8 lb)[6] 49.2–98.4 kg (108–217 lb)
  United States 37 mm Gun M1 120 .87 kg (1.9 lb) 104.4 kg (230 lb)
  Nazi Germany 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43 150 .64 kg (1.4 lb)[7] 96 kg (212 lb)
  Soviet Union 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) 80[8] .73 kg (1.6 lb)[9] 58.4 kg (129 lb)
  United Kingdom QF 2-pounder naval gun 115 .91 kg (2.0 lb)[10] 104.6 kg (231 lb)
  Sweden Bofors 40 mm gun 120 .9 kg (2.0 lb)[11] 108 kg (238 lb)


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); C - Construktionsjahr (year of design)


  1. ^ Campbell, p. 256
  2. ^ "German 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30U". 23 March 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  3. ^ Hogg, p. 223
  4. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  5. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "France 37 mm/50 (1.46") Model 1925 and CAIL Model 1933 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  6. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Italy 37 mm/54 (1.5") Models 1932, 1938 and 1939 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  7. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/57 (1.5") Flak M43 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  8. ^ Foss, Christopher (1977). Jane's pocket book of towed artillery. New York: Collier. p. 229. ISBN 0020806000. OCLC 911907988.
  9. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Russia / USSR 37 mm/67 (1.5") 70-K - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  10. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "United Kingdom / Britain 2-pdr QF Mark VIII - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  11. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "USA Bofors 40 mm/60 Model 1936 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.


  • Campbell, John (2002). Naval Weapons of World War Two. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • 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.
  • Hogg, Ian V. (1997). German Artillery of World War Two (2nd corrected ed.). Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 1-85367-480-X.
  • Stehr, Werner (1999). Leichte und mittlere Artillerie auf deutschen Kriegsschiffen [Light and Medium Artillery on German Warships] (in German). Wölfersheim-Berstadt: Podzun-Pallas-Verlag. pp. 8–11. ISBN 3790906646.

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