A lighter-weight gun used near the end of World War I on large destroyers and "U-boat Kreuzers." The difference between the models was in the mountings, the guns themselves were identical. A Flak version of the latter gun was produced but details are lacking.

Following the end of World War I, ships armed with these guns were transferred to the Allies as war reparations, including the destroyer S113 which was recommissioned in the French Navy as Amiral Sénès and the destroyer V116 which became the Italian Premuda. The easy and reliable operation of the semi-automatic gun breeches aboard ex-S113 impressed French ordnance officers who copied the design for their 138.6 mm/40 (5.46") Model 1927. The French later reused the German guns to arm two merchant cruisers during World War II.

During World War II the Germans used these guns to arm merchant ship raiders, supply ships and as coastal artillery.

Spain acquired 12 of these guns in 1936. These were emplaced in three coastal defense batteries located at Rule (Chipiona), Port of Passages and Malaga.

All German 15 cm guns had an actual bore diameter of 14.91 cm (5.87 in).

Gun Characteristics

Designation 15 cm/45 (5.9") Tbts KL/45
15 cm/45 (5.9") Ubts + Tbts KL/45
15 cm/45 (5.9") Ubts + Tbts Flak L/45
Ship Class Used On Germany - 1918
   Destroyer classes: S113, V116, G119 and B122
   U-boat classes: U117 (Project 45), U127 (Project 42), U139 (Project 46) and U213 (Project 42A)

France - 1939
   Armed merchant cruisers: Barfleur and Charles Plumier

Date Of Design about 1917
Date In Service 1918
Gun Weight 8,800 lbs. (3,990 kg) including breech
Gun Length oa 262.8 in (6.675 m)
Bore Length 247.7 in (6.291 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves (48) 0.055 in D x 0.210 W (1.40 mm D x 5.3 mm W)
Lands 0.176 in (4.47 mm)
Twist Uniform RH 1 in 24.9
Chamber Volume 858 in3 (14.06 dm3)
Rate Of Fire 4 - 5 rounds per minute
  • The Italian Navy (Regia Marina) designated these weapons as 149/42 cannon.


Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights HE L/4,1 C/09 base fuze - 99.8 lbs. (45.3 kg)
Common L/4,1 nose fuze - 99.8 lbs. (45.3 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge World War I - N/A
World War II - 18.34 lbs. (8.32 kg) RPC/38 (6.5/2.8)
Muzzle Velocity 2,231 fps (680 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun S113 - 90 rounds
U-Boat cruisers - 500 rounds


Range with 99.8 lbs. (45.3 kg) HE
Elevation World War I World War II
30 degrees 15,860 yards (14,500 m) 17,390 yards (15,900 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single Pedestal Mounts
   Destroyers (4): N/A (possibly Tbts MP LC/16)
   U-Boats (1): N/A (possibly Ubts MP LC/16)
Weight 18,186 lbs. (8,525 kg)
Elevation -4 / +40 degrees
Elevation Rate Manual operation, only
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Train Rate Manual operation, only
Gun recoil N/A

Additional Pictures


"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
"Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906-1922" by Randal Gray and Robert Gardiner (Editor)
"German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner
"French Destroyers: Torpilleurs d'Escadre & Contre-Torpilleurs 1922 - 1956" by John Jordan and Jean Moulin
"Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie" by Paul Schmalenbach
"German Warships of World War I" by John C. Taylor
"German Cruisers of World War Two", "Cruisers of World War Two" and "German Capital Ships of World War Two" all by M.J. Whitley
Tony DiGiulian's personal data files
Special Help from Peter Lienau and Javier Villarroya del Real

Page History

28 December 2008 - Benchmark
06 February 2011 - Added Flak version
25 November 2012 - Added details on guns, ammunition and mountings
16 December 2013 - Redid photograph of V116
29 January 2014 - Added photograph of U-Boat
05 April 2020 - Updated to HTML 5 format
04 February 2021 - Added photograph of gun at Barcelona