Technical Layout

Armament

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Main Armament
380 mm-SK-C/34 Turret A 380 mm-SK-C/34 Turret B, C, D
View right side View right side
View from above View from above

380 mm-SK-C/34 (Heavy Artillery)
Gun Characteristics
Designation 380 mm/L48,5 grooves, cal. 52 overall (14,96") caliber SK C/34

Note :
The calibre of the German 380 mm guns (i.e. diameter of bore multiplied by number of calibre to give length of barrel) has traditionally been stated at 47. This figure is no longer quoted in qualified sources and it has been impossible to trace its origins. Furthermore, cal. 47 seems to be inconsistent with the considerable weight of the piece (more than 110 tons) compared with the weight of other modern battleship guns.
Please see:
- Schlachtschiff Bismarck - Eine Technikgeschichtliche Dokumentation by Siegfried Breyer and Gerhard Koop, page 42
- Battleships - Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II by William H. Garzke, Jr. and Robert O. Dulin, Jr., page 502
- Naval Weapons of World War II by John Campbell, page 229)
- Fortress Europe - The Atlantic Wall Guns by Karl-Heinz Schmeelke and Michael Schmeelke.
Date of design 1934
Date in service 1939
No. of weapons installed 8
Locations Allways in two double turrets, forward and aft, two of them raised
Gun weight (complete) 110,700 mt (244,051 lbs)
Bore 380 mm (14,96")
Length overall 19,630 m (772,83 in)
Length in calibres
(entire barrel)
52" (51,66")
Length of bore 18,405 m (724,61 in)
Length
(rifled/not incl. chamber)
48,5"
Number of grooves 90
Depth of grooves 4,5 mm
Width of grooves 7,76 mm
Length of rifling 15,982 mm (629,2 in)
Chamber volume 319 dm³ (19,467 in³)
Rate of fire 18 seconds (3,3 rounds per gun per minute)
Powder charge Forward: 99,5 kg (219,4 lbs.)
Main: 112,5 kg (248,0 lbs.)
Ammunition
Type Cartridge - Bag
Projectile Types and Weights Ship Projectiles:
APC L/4,4 - 800 kg (1.764 lbs.)
HE L/4,5 base fuze - 800 kg (1.764 lbs.)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze - (800 kg (1.764 lbs.)

Special Coastal Artillery Projectiles:
Siegfried HE L/4,5 - 495 kg (1.091 lbs.)
HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze - 510 kg (1.124 lbs.)

Actual Projectile designations were as follows:
APC L/4,4 - Psgr. L/4,4 (mhb)
HE L/4,5 base fuze - Spr.gr. L/4,5 Bdz (mhb)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze - Spr.gr. L/4,6 Kz (mhb)
Siegfried HE L/4,5 - Si.gr. L/4,5 Bdz u. Kz (mhb)
CA SAP L/4,4 - Spr.gr. L/4,4 Bdz u. Kz (mhb)

Bursting Charge APC L/4,4 - 18,8 kg (41,4 lbs.)
HE L/4,5 base fuze - 32,6 kg (71,9 lbs.)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze - 64,2 kg (141,5 lbs.)
Others: N/A
Projectile Length APC L/4,4 - 1672 mm (65,8 in)
HE L/4,5 base fuze - 1710 mm (67,3 in)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze - 1748 mm (68,8 in)
Siegfried HE L/4,5 - 1710 mm (67,3 in)
HE L/4,4 base and nose fuze - 1672 mm (65,8 in)
Propellant Charge Fore: 99,5 kg (219,4 lbs.) RPC/38 (17/7)
Main: 112,5 kg (248,0 lbs.) RPC/38 (17/7)
Brass case for main charge: 70 kg (154 lbs.)

The guns used a "fore charge" which was propellant in a silk bag, and a "main charge" which was propellant in a brass case. The brass case helped to seal the breech of the gun.
Fore and Main charges were rammed together.

Muzzle Velocity For naval shells: 800 kg (1.764 lb) shell: 820 meter per second (2.690 feets per second)
For coastal artillery shells: 1.050 meter per second 3.445 feets per second)
Maximum pressure 3.200 kg/cm² (20,3 tons/in²)
Approximate Barrel Life 250 - 300 rounds (use of the lighter coastal artillery projectiles increased the life of the barrel)
Ammunition Inventory 840 - 960 rounds in total
108 rounds per gun (designed)
Range
Elevation 800 kg (1.764 lb) AP Shell Striking Velocity Angle of Fall
Range at 2.2° 5.000 m (5.470 yards) 727 mps 2.385 fps 2.4°
Range at 4.9° 10.000 m (10.940 yards) 641 mps 2.103 fps 5.8°
Range at 8.1° 15.000 m (16.400 yards) 568 mps 1.864 fps 10.4°
Range at 12.1° 20.000 m (21.870 yards) 511 mps 1.677 fps 16.4°
Range at 16.8° 25.000 m (27.340 yards) 473 mps 1.552 fps 23.8°
Range at 22.4° 30.000 m (32.810 yards) 457 mps 1.499 fps 31.9°
Range at 29.1° 35.000 m (38.280 yards) 462 mps 1.516 fps 40.3°
Range at 30° (max elevation of turret) 36.520 m (39.589 yards) N/A N/A
Armor Penetration (800 kg (1,765 lb) AP Shell)
Range Side Armor Deck Armor
0 m (0 yards) 742 mm (29,23")  
4,572 m (5,000 yards) 616 mm (24,26") 19.3 mm (0,76")
18,000 m (19,685 yards) 419 mm (16,50") 75 mm (2,96")
22,000 m (24,060 yards) 393 mm (15,49") 104 mm (4,15")
27,000 m (29,528 yards) 304 mm (11,98") 126 mm (5,02")
Note: Based upon the USN Empirical Formula for Armor Penetration and a muzzle velocity of 820 meter per second (2:690 feets per second)
Armor Penetration (800 kg (1,765 lb) AP Shell)
Range Side Armor Deck Armor
10,000 m (10,936 yards) 510 mm (20,08")  
20,000 m (21,872 yards) 364 mm (14,33")  
21,000 m (22,966 yards) 350 mm (13,78")  
25,000 m (27,340 yards) 308 mm (12,13")  
30,000 m (32,808 yards)   about 120 mm (4,70")
35,000 m (38,276 yards)   about 170 mm (6,69")
Note: Based upon German face-hardened (vertical) and homogenous (deck) armor penetration curves and a muzzle velocity of 820 meter per second (2.690 feets per second)
Mount/Turret Data
Weight 1.052.000 kg (2.319.253 lbs)
Elevation -5.5°/+30°
Elevation Rate 6° per second
Train about +150°/-150°
Train Rate 5° per second
Gun recoil 1,050 m (41,3 in)
Loading Angle +2,5°
Notes: 1) The turrets used electrically powered main training, auxiliary training, auxiliary elevation, auxiliary hoists and reserve power for some of the loading gear, otherwise they were hydraulically powered by two electrically driven pumps in each turret. Run out was pneumatic. Emergency hand elevation equipment was provided.

2) The turrets were supported by ball bearings.

3) Local rangefinders was originally mounted on turret "A" of the Bismarck. Due to malfunctions caused by sea water it was removed while the Bismarck was at Blohm & Voss shipyard in December 1940 - January 1941. The local rangefinders on turret "A" was installed on Tirpitz too, but was removed during the ships fitting-out period.




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