This was the standard Italian close-range AA weapon used on larger ships during World War II. The guns used in the Model 1932 twin mounting were water-cooled with a recirculating pump, all other mountings used air-cooled guns. The magazines held only six rounds, but it was possible to load them sequentially and thus maintain a high rate of fire.
Differences between models were mainly mounting related.
|Designation||37 mm/54 (1.5") Models 1932, 1938 and 1939|
|Ship Class Used On||Battleships and Cruisers|
|Date of Design||1932|
|Date In Service||1934|
|Gun Weight||611 lbs. (277 kg)|
|Gun Length oa||N/A|
|Bore Length||78.7 in (1.998 m)|
|Rate Of Fire||Selectable: 60, 90 and 120 rounds per minute cyclic|
|Weight of Complete Round||3.59 lbs. (1.63 kg)|
|Projectile Types and Weights||HE: 1.814 lbs. (0.823 kg)|
|Bursting Charge||0.053 lbs. (0.024 kg) TNT|
|Projectile Length||6.4 in (16.25 cm)
Complete round: 15.1 in (38.4 cm)
|Cartridge||Brass, 37 x 251 mm|
|Propellant Charge||0.44 lbs. (0.2 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,625 fps (800 mps)|
|Working Pressure||17.8 tons / in2 (2,800 kg / cm2)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||N/A|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||about 1,500 rounds|
|45 degrees||8,530 yards (7,800 m) max.
4,370 yards (4,000 m) effective
|AA Ceiling||16,400 feet (5,000 m)|
|Designation||Twin Mounts: Model 19321
and 1938 2
Single Mounts: Model 1939 4 and RM 1939 5
|Weight||Model 1932: 4.9 tons (5.0 mt)
Model 1938: 4.2 tons (4.3 mt)
Model 1939: 1.48 tons (1.5 mt)
RM 1939: 1.97 tons (2.0 mt)
|Elevation||Singles: -5 / +90 degrees
Twins: -10 / +80 degrees
|Elevation Rate||Manual operation, only|
|Train||about +120 / -120 degrees|
|Train Rate||Manual operation, only|
|Gun recoil||Model 1939 and RM 1939: 3.9 in (10 cm)
Others: None (fixed barrel)
|Alberto da Barbiano||8|
|Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta||8|
|"Capitani Romani"||8 (these replaced the planned 65 mm guns)|
- ^Model 1932 was a circulating water-cooled twin mount with a stabilized line of sight through +/-10 degrees of roll.
- ^Model 1938 was a simpler twin mount without water cooling. Both of these mountings had bad vibration problems as the barrels remained fixed and only the breeches recoiled and thus the mountings needed a strong supporting structure to compensate. Stabilization was via a simple but heavy device that allowed the trunnion axis to list to either side. A system of rollers was used between the platform base and the base of the mounting with a heavy weight that tried to keep the mounting stable. This system did not work well and was discontinued. Magazines fed vertically into the guns.
- ^Gun crew for the Twin Model 38 consisted of gun captain, layer, trainer, two first loaders and two ammunition handlers. Guns were normally supplied from ready lockers located close to the guns.
- ^Model 1939 was a single collapsible mounting used on the forecastles of the Littorio and Duilio classes.
- ^RM 1939 was a conventional single mounting. These single mountings had less vibration than did the twin mounts as they had an equilibriator linked to the cradle which allowed the entire gun to recoil. Magazines fed horizontally into the guns. This gun was popular in the Italian Navy and proved to be an accurate weapon.
"The Italian Navigatori Class, 1926" article by Elio Andò in "Warship Special 2: Super Destroyers" edited by Antony Preston
"The Littorio Class: Italy's Last and Largest Battleships 1937 - 1948" by Erminio Bagnasco and Augusto de Toro
"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Italian Warships of World War II" by Aldo Fraccaroli
"Battleships: Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II" by W.H. Garzke, Jr. and R.O. Dulin, Jr.
"Italian and French Explosive Ordnance: Ordnance Pamphlet No. 1668" by Department of the Navy
Special help from Larry Sawh
31 January 2008 - Benchmark
26 May 2012 - Updated to latest template
23 September 2012 - Added pictures of museum guns
11 October 2012 - Corrected projectile weights, added number of guns and added notes about vibration problems
11 January 2015 - Added additional pictures page, additional ammunition and mount / turret data
22 April 2018 - Updated to HTML 5 format, added burster weight
14 February 2021 - Added photograph by Graham Overman