Thursday, 8 August 2013

The 40.6cm (16-inch) SKC/34

I have managed to find out some more information about the guns that were mounted at the Kristiansand Cannon Museum/Batterie Vara.

The guns were originally designed to be mounted in twin turrets and to form the main armament of the projected H-class battleships, hence the designation SKC/34 (SK = Schiffskanone [ship's gun] and C/34 is the nominal year of the design). The guns that were used for coastal defence purposes were modified to give them bigger combustion chambers, and they were known as Adolf. (The coastal defence variant of the 38cm (15-inch) SKC/34 was known as Siegfried.)

The coastal defence guns were mounted in single BSG (Bettungsschiess-Gerüst) mountings that allowed the guns to be elevated to a maximum angle of 52°.

The specification for the single-mounted coastal defence variant are follows:
  • Bore: 40.6cm/16-inches
  • Weight: 159,900kg/157.4 tons
  • Length overall: 21.13m/69 feet 3 inches (52 cal.)
  • Length of bore: 19.75m/64 feet 9 inches (48.6 cal.)
  • Length of chamber: 2.48m/8 feet 2 inches
  • Muzzle velocity: 810m per second/2657 feet per second
  • Maximum range: 56,000m/61,240 yards (= 34.75 miles!) (firing the special lightweight shell)
Besides being mounted at Kristiansand Cannon Museum/Batterie Vara, three 40.6cm SKC/34 guns were used to arm Batterie Lindemann near Sangatte, Northern France (the battery was capable of firing at Dover on the other side of the English Channel) and others were mounted as part of the coastal defences at Gotenhafen (which is now known by its Polish name ... Gdynia!).

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