Description

An improved version of the 130 mm (5.1") Model 1919 with an autofretted barrel. Essentially, this was a scaled-down version of the 138.6 mm/40 (5.46") Model 1923. Used the same ammunition as did the earlier weapon, but its slightly lower maximum elevation gave it a correspondingly shorter range.

Constructed of a built-up autofretted barrel and used a Welin breech mechanism.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 130 mm/40 (5.1") Model 1924
Ship Class Used On L'Alcyon (1,500 tonnes) class
Date Of Design 1924
Date In Service 1927
Gun Weight 3.75 tons (3.81 mt)
Gun Length oa 212.1 in (5.387 m)
Bore Length 204.7 in (5.200 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 5 - 6 rounds per minute 1
  • ^In theory this gun had a firing cycle of about 8 - 9 rounds per minute but in practice it was closer to 5 rounds per minute. This was partially because Inhibitors had been installed to prevent firing unless the ship was in the middle of a roll. Unfortunately, the ships rolled badly in heavy seas and heeled greatly at large rudder angles. The inhibitors also had the effect of slowing or halting firing when they malfunctioned.

Ammunition

Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights 1a 2a 3a SAP M1923: 70.5 lbs. (32.05 kg)
HE M1923: 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg)
Starshell M1925: N/A
Bursting Charge SAP: about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg)
HE: about 8 lbs (3.6 kg)
Projectile Length SAP: 25.6 in (65.0 cm)
HE: 25.6 in (65.0 cm)
Starshell: 23.0 in (58.5 cm)
Propellant Charge SAP and HE: 17 lbs. (7.7 kg) BM9
Starshell: N/A
Cartridge Case Type, Size and Empty Weight Model 1919, Brass, 177 x 674, 38.6 lbs. (17.5 kg)
Muzzle Velocity 2,379 fps (725 mps)
Working Pressure 16.3 tons/in2 (2,570 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun 110 rounds per gun 4a
  • ^This same ammunition was also used for the 130 mm (5.1") Model 1919.
  • ^
    Actual French designations
    SAP M1923 OPFA Mle 1923
    HE M1923 OEA Mle 1923
    Starshell M1925 OEcl M1925
  • ^Dye was introduced about 1938 with red issued for the lead ship in the flotilla, green for the second and white (later yellow) for the third. See sketches below.
  • ^Magazines held 440 projectiles and 462 charges along with 60 starshell. In addition, ready racks were fitted next to the guns and these each held 24 rounds.

Range

Range with 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
35 degrees 20,450 yards (18,700 m)

Armor Penetration

Armor Penetration with 70.4 lbs. (32 kg) SAP
Range Vertical Armor Horizontal Armor
10,900 yards (10,000 m) 3.15" (80 mm) ---
19,700 yards (18,000 m) (45 mm) ---

This data is from "Destroyers of World War Two" and "French Destroyers."

Armor Penetration with 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg) HE
Range Vertical Armor Deck Armor
3,820 yards (3,500 m) 7.87" (200 mm) ---
18,150 yards (16,600 m) 3.46" (88 mm) ---

This data is from "Warships after Washington" which notes that the low muzzle velocity of this gun made it inaccurate at long ranges.

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single Splinter Shielded Mounts: L'Alcyon (4) 1b 2b
Weight 12.5 tons (12.7 mt)
Elevation -10 / +35 degrees
Rate of Elevation Manually operated, only
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Rate of Train Manually operated, only
Gun Recoil 18 in (45 cm)
Loading Angle Any 3b
  • ^The shields for this class were the new "wrap-around" type and was larger than on the preceeding class. Hoists were identical to those for the Model 1919 with two hoists serving the four guns.
  • ^Gun No. 4 was replaced in 1940 by two Thornycroft DCT on eight out of fourteen of these destroyers. The destroyers Brestots, Foudroyant, Boulonnais, Fougueux, Frondeur and Forbin retained the gun. Following the Armistice, Le Mars, La Plame, Bordelais and L'Alcyon had the gun reinstalled during 1941. The other four destroyers were either lost or interned at Alexandria, Egypt.
  • ^Unlike the 130 mm Model 1919, this weapon used an automatic spring-powered rammer which gave it a slightly faster firing rate, but loading was difficult at angles over 15 degrees. The automatic loading tray that was retrofitted to the Model 1919 was used on these ships as commissioned. The trunnion height for this mounting was 6.3 inches (16 cm) lower than the preceding 130 mm Model 1919 mountings in order to ease loading but it was still relatively high in order to allow a large maximum elevation. Although they used an automatic spring rammer for shells - the cartridges being hand loaded - the trunnion height hampered working of the gun at elevations greater than +15 degrees.

Additional Pictures

Sources

"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Warships after Washington: The Development of the Five Major Fleets 1922 - 1930" by John Jordan
"French Destroyers: Torpilleurs d'Escadre & Contre-Torpilleurs 1922 - 1956" by John Jordan and Jean Moulin
"Destroyers of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley
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"Merkbuch: über die Munition für die 13 cm K Mod. 1919/24 (Französische Beute)" M.Dv. Nr. 170,76 by Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine
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Special help from Thorsten Wahl

Page History

16 May 2006 - Benchmark
28 March 2012 - Updated to latest template
17 June 2012 - Added gunnery and armor penetration information and sketch
20 September 2015 - Additional information on guns, ammunition and mountings
18 February 2019 - Converted to HTML 5 format, reorganized notes, added ammunition information and sketches from M.Dv. Nr. 170,76