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|24 cm SK L/40|
Twin C/92 turret aboard SMS Wettin
|Place of origin||German Empire|
|Used by||German Empire
World War I
World War II
|Variants||Krupp 24 cm L/40 K94
Skoda 24 cm L/40 K97
Skoda 24 cm L/40 K/01
|Weight||24–25.6 t (26.5–28.2 short tons)|
|Length||9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)|
|Barrel length||8.8 m (28 ft 10 in)|
|Shell||Separate loading cased charges and projectiles|
|Shell weight||140–151 kg (309–333 lb)|
|Caliber||24 cm (9.4 in) 40 caliber|
|Breech||Horizontal sliding wedge|
|Elevation||Naval Mounts: -5° to +30°
Coastal Artillery: -5° to +46°
|Traverse||-150° to +150°|
|Rate of fire||3 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||WWI: 690 m/s (2,300 ft/s)
WWII: 810 m/s (2,700 ft/s)
|Maximum firing range||WWI: 16.9 km (10.5 mi) at +30°
WWII: 26.6 km (16.5 mi) at +46°
The 24 cm Schnelladekanone Länge 40, abbreviated as 24 cm SK L/40, was a German naval gun developed in the years before World War I that armed a number of the Imperial German Navy's pre-dreadnought battleships and armored cruisers. Later guns removed from these ships were converted to coastal artillery and were used during World War I and World War II. The actual bore diameter was 23.8 cm (9.4 in), but the classification system for artillery rounded up to the next highest centimeter.
The 24 cm SK L/40 was designed in 1894 and produced in 1898 by Krupp for the Imperial German Navy. Krupp also produced a variant of the 24 cm SK L/40 for the Austro-Hungarian Navy called the 24 cm L/40 K94 which armed coastal defense ships, pre-dreadnought battleships and armored cruisers. Skoda later produced the Škoda 24 cm L/40 K97 and the Škoda 24 cm L/40 K/01 under license. Krupp 24 cm guns also armed coastal defense ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
This was the first large caliber German naval gun to use a Krupp horizontal sliding wedge breech block and separate loading metallic cased propellant charges and projectiles. Unlike other large naval guns of the time which used separate loading bagged charges and projectiles, this gun used charges inside of a brass cartridge case to provide obturation. The first twelve guns were constructed of an inner tube, two reinforcing layers of hoops and a jacket. Later guns had a third hoop added near the breech, which added 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) of weight.
The 24 cm SK L/40 was the primary armament of two classes of pre-dreadnought battleships, the Kaiser Friedrich III-class and the Wittelsbach-class. It was also the primary armament of two unique armored cruisers, the SMS Fürst Bismarck and SMS Prinz Heinrich of the Imperial German Navy.
Krupp 24 cm guns were also mounted as primary armament on the Koningin Regentes-class of coastal defense ships and two unique coastal defense ships, the HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck and the HNLMS Marten Harpertszoon Tromp of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
During 1915-1916 the Kaiser Friedrich III-class and the Wittelsbach-class battleships were decommissioned and disarmed. The 24 cm SK L/40 guns salvaged from these ships were also converted to coastal artillery. Eight guns in four turrets from the Kaiser Friedrich III-class were emplaced at Libau. Four guns were emplaced at Battery Hamburg on Norderney. Lastly four guns were emplaced at Battery S2 on Sylt. During World War II Battery Hamburg at Norderney was still in action and was moved to Cherbourg, where it saw action against Allied naval forces during the Bombardment of Cherbourg.