A complicated built-up weapon with a good rate of fire designed specifically for the Danton class. After the ships were scrapped the guns were used as coastal artillery during World War II.

French guns designed between about 1902 and 1922 were designated in centimeters. Actual bore length was 48.92 calibers.

Some of the AP projectiles for these guns were later converted to aircraft AP bombs.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 24 cm/50 (9.45") Model 1902-1906
Ship Class Used On Danton class
Date Of Design 1902 / 1906
Date In Service 1911
Gun Weight 29.09 tons (29.55 mt) including breech mechanism
Gun Length oa 481.11 in (12.220m)
Bore Length 447.28 in (11.361 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves 72 grooves at 4 degrees
Lands N/A
Twist RH 1 in 57
Chamber Volume 6,798 in3 (111.40 dm3)
Rate Of Fire 3 rounds per minute


Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights AP 1: 487.2 lbs. (221 kg)
HE: 487.2 lbs. (221 kg)
Bursting Charge 14.5 lbs. (6.59 kg) melinite (2.6%)
Projectile Length about 33.3 in (84.5 cm)
Propellant Charge 2 148.2 lbs. (67.2 kg) BM15
Muzzle Velocity AP: 2,625 fps (800 mps)
Working Pressure 16.5 tons/in2 (2,600 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A
  • ^AP was a dual-fuze, heavyweight design similar to that used for the 30 cm/45 AP projectiles.
  • ^Propellant charges were in thirds.
  • Aircraft AP bomb weighed 487.2 lbs. (221 kg).


Range with 487.2 lbs. (221 kg) AP Shell
Elevation Range
13 degrees
(maximum elevation of turrets)
15,300 yards (14,000 m)
45 degrees
(maximum range of coastal artillery)
26,040 yards (23,812 m)

Mount/Turret Data

  • Twin Turrets
    • Danton (6): Model 1902
Weight N/A
Elevation -5 / +13 degrees
Elevation Rate 3 degrees per second 1a
Train about +80 / -80 degrees
Train Rate 6 degrees per second 2a
Gun recoil N/A
Loading Angle Between -5 and +11 degrees
  • ^Manual elevation was possible with a single crewman able to elevate each gun at 1.0 degrees per second.
  • ^Manual training was possible with three crewmen required with training speed reduced to 2.5 degrees per second.
  • These turrets were similar in concept and design with those used on contemporary armored cruisers. There was a cylindrical working chamber suspended beneath the gunhouse and rotated with it. The hoists between the magazines and working chamber were fixed. The working chamber held the winches and motors for the upper hoists and the transfer equipment for moving the projectiles and rounds between lower and upper hoists.
  • The magazines and shell rooms were on two levels. Each of the third charges was stowed in a case of soldered tin and the cases were stowed on shelving. Projectiles were stowed horizontally on wooden racks in the shell rooms.
  • The Danton class had six ready projectiles for each gun and a total of thirty-six third charges were stored in each turret.
  • The turret captain was equipped with a Barr & Stroud 1.37 m (54 inch) FQ2 rangefinder.
  • Armor thickness for the Danton Class as given in "French Battleships of World War One:"
        Face: 8.9 in (22.5 cm) FH over two layers of 0.6 in (1.6 cm) plates
        Sides: 7.4 in (18.8 cm) FH over two layers of 0.6 in (1.6 cm) plates
        Rear: 7.4 in (18.8 cm) FH over two layers of 0.6 in (1.6 cm) plates
        Roof: Three layers of 0.9 in (2.4 cm) plates
        Floor: 2.4 in (6.0 cm) over two layers of 0.8 in (2.0 cm) plates
        Barbette (parapet tronçonnique) above weather deck: 6.1 in (15.4 cm) over two layers of 0.5 (1.2 cm) plates

Additional Pictures


"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
"French Battleships of World War One" by John Jordan and Philippe Caresse
"Navies of the Second World War - The French Navy" by Henri le Masson
Tony DiGiulian's personal files

Page History

18 November 2005 - Benchmark
07 January 2012 - Added picture of shells
02 August 2018 - Converted to HTML 5 format, reorganized notes, added details on guns, ammunition and mountings