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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 15 cm Kanone 18
15-cm K 18

Rheinmetall won the contract in 1933 to build the heavy guns to arm the divisional batteries. Production didn't start right away as priority was given the the 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18.

The army was happy with the range, but not with the carriage. There was a special transport carriage for just the gun when traveling long distances. Putting it on it's turntable took even more time to assemble.

Rate of fire was low at two rounds per minute.

Fixed defenses

Due to the carriages short comings, many of the K 18s were placed in coastal defenses or garrison divisions.

Special rounds with red dye were created to help in marking and ranging the guns.

Limited production

Production of the K 18 ended well before the end of the war as heavier guns were prefered.

  15 cm Kanone 18
Caliber 5.87"
149.1 mm
Length of gun 26' 10.8"
8.2 m
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Weight traveling 41,226 lb
18,700 kg
Weight in action 27,470 lb
12,460 kg
Elevation -2° to +43°
Traverse Platform: 360°
Carriage: 11°
Muzzle Velocity 2,838'/sec
865 m/sec
Range of shell 26,800 yards
24,500 m
Shell weight 94.8 lb
43 kg
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons from World War II to the Present Day, 2006, Chris Bishop
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site