These guns were used to arm Germany's first "Dreadnought" type battleships and battlecruisers. The battlecruiser Von der Tann used these weapons to sink HMS Indefatigable at the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak).
During World War II these guns were used only as coastal artillery. They were then supplied with a lighter shell with a larger propellant charge for increased range.
Constructed of A tube, two layers of hoops and a jacket. Used the Krupp horizontal sliding wedge breech block.
All German 28 cm guns had an actual bore diameter of 28.3 cm (11.1").
|Designation||28 cm/45 (11") SK L/45|
|Ship Class Used On||Nassau and Von der Tann Classes|
|Date Of Design||1907|
|Date In Service||1909|
|Gun Weight||87,743 lbs. (39,800 kg) 1|
|Gun Length oa||501.4 in (12.735 m)|
|Bore Length||472.7 in (12.006 m)|
|Rifling Length||381.9 in (9.699 m)|
|Grooves||(80) 0.11 in D x 0.272 in W (2.8 mm D x 6.92 mm W)|
|Lands||0.165 in (4.2 mm)|
|Twist||Increasing RH 1 in 45 to 1 in 30 at muzzle|
|Chamber Volume||9,154 in3 (150 dm3)|
|Rate Of Fire||3 rounds per minute|
- ^The often-seen figure of 117,947 lbs. (53,500 kg) for this weapon actually includes the weight of the Weige (gun cradle).
|Type||Cartridge - Bag|
|Projectile Types and Weights 1a||
|Bursting Charge||APC L/3,2: 19.74 lbs. (8.95 kg)
|Projectile Length||APC L/3,2: about 35.3 in (90 cm)
HE L/3,6 base fuze: about 39.7 in (101 cm)
HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze: about 48.5 in (123 cm)
|Propellant Charge 2a||
|Muzzle Velocity||World War I: 2,805 fps (855 mps)
World War II: 2,871 fps (875 mps)
|Working Pressure||20.9 tons/in2 (3,300 kg/cm2)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||210 - 260 rounds|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||Nassau: 75 rounds
Von der Tann: 82.5 rounds
Actual designations for Projectiles APC L/3,2 Psgr. L/3,2 (mhb) HE L/3,6 base fuze Spr.gr. L/3,6 Bdz HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze Spr.gr. L/4,4 Bdz u. Kz (mhb)
- ^These guns, like most large caliber German guns of this era, used a "fore charge" which was propellant in a double bag silk case and a "main charge" which was propellant in a brass case. The brass case helped to seal the breech of the gun.
- ^I lack the breakdown between the fore and main charges for the RPC/38 propellants used after 1942.
|Range||Side Armor||Deck Armor|
|13,120 yards (12,000 m)||7.9 in (200 mm)||---|
The above information is from "Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie."
|Weight||Drh LC/1906: 394 tons (400 mt)
Drh LC/1907: 418 - 428 tons (425 - 435 mt)
|Elevation||Drh LC/1906: -6 / +20 degrees
Drh LC/1907: -8 / +20 degrees
Coastal artillery: -5 / +50 degrees
|Elevation Rate||Drh LC/1906: 3.5 degrees per second
Drh LC/1907: 4.0 degrees per second
Coastal Artillery: 10 degrees per second with shell loaded
|Train||End Turrets: About +150 / -150 degrees
Beam Turrets: About +80 / -80 degrees
Coastal Artillery: -220 / +220 degrees
|Train Rate||Drh LC/1906: 3.5 degrees per second
Drh LC/1907: 3.6 degrees per second
Coastal Artillery: 4 degrees per second
|Gun recoil||Nominal: 33.9 in (86 cm)
Mechanical Limit: 35.4 in (90 cm)
|Loading Angle||Ships: 2 degrees
Coastal Artillery: 0 degrees
Shell rooms were below the magazines in the battleships. On Von der Tann, the bow and wing turrets had the magazines above the shell rooms but the stern turret had the magazine below the shell room.
Following the Dogger Bank action, German mountings were modified to improve flash precautions. Double flap doors were installed at the beginning and end of the cartridge hoist and ready ammunition was removed from the gun houses.
Gun axes were 89.4 in (227 cm) apart.
Armor thickness given in "Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman Drh LC/1906 and Drh LC/1907
(except on Von der Tann)
(on Von der Tann)
Face 11.0 in (28 cm) 9.1 in (23 cm) Sides 8.7 in (22 cm) 7.1 in (18 cm) Rear 10.2 in (26 cm) 9.1 in (23 cm) Roof 2.4 to 3.5 in (6 to 9 cm) 2.4 to 3.5 in (6 to 9 cm)
- ^The Drh LC/1906 mountings used electrically powered training and elevation gear. Lower hoists did not rotate with the gunhouse.
- ^The Drh LC/1907 mountings used electrically powered training gear but the elevation gear was hydraulic. Lower hoists rotated with the gunhouse.
- "Battleships of the World: 1905-1970" by Siegfried Breyer
- "Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting" and "Naval Weapons of World War Two" both by John Campbell
- "Battleship Design and Development 1905-1945" and "Naval Weapons of World War One" both by Norman Friedman
- "German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner
- "The Big Gun: Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges
- "Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie" by Paul Schmalenbach
- "German Battlecruisers 1914-18" by Gary Staff
- "German Capital Ships of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley
- M.DV.Nr. 234.6, "Vorläufige Beschreibung der 28 cm S.K.L/45, 28 cm S.K.L/50 und 30,5 cm S.K.L/50 in Kst.Drh.L.C.37" Berlin 1941, Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine
Special help from Peter Lienau
- 24 April 2008
- 16 April 2009
- Replaced pictures of Von der Tann and Westfalen
- 20 May 2012
- Updated to latest template
- 24 November 2012
- Added details about guns, ammunition and mountings