Cannone da 381/50 Ansaldo M1934
|Cannone da 381/50 Ansaldo M1934|
381/50 guns firing during the Battle of Cape Spartivento.
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||Regia Marina|
|Wars||Second World War|
|Manufacturer||Gio. Ansaldo & C., OTO|
|Weight||102.4 metric tons (101 long tons)|
|Barrel length||19.05 meters (62 ft 6 in)|
AP: 885 kilograms (1,950 lb)|
HE: 774 kilograms (1,710 lb)
|Caliber||381 millimeters (15.0 in)|
|Breech||Welin breech block|
|Muzzle velocity||850–870 meters per second (2,800–2,900 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||42,260 meters (46,220 yd)|
The Cannone da 381/50 Ansaldo M1934 was a 381-millimeter (15.0 in), 50-caliber naval gun designed and built for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) by Gio. Ansaldo & C. in the 1930s. The gun served as the main armament of Italy's last battleships, the Littorio class. These built-up guns consisted of a liner, a cylinder over the chamber and part of the rifle bore, a full-length cylinder, and a 3/4 length jacket with a hydro-pneumatically operated side-swinging Welin breech block. Each battleship carried nine guns mounted in three triple turrets with maximum elevation of 35°. Time between salvos was approximately 45 seconds.
The charge was contained in six cloth bags. Each bag contained 45 kilograms (99 lb) of smokeless powder. High explosive (HE) shells weighed only 774 kilograms (1,710 lb). Anticipated useful barrel life was approximately 120 effective full charges (EFC).
While considered very powerful guns (their theoretical maximum range was comparable to that of the much bigger 40 cm/45 Type 94 guns of the Yamato-class battleships), their high muzzle velocity is considered a disadvantage, as it reduced barrel life and worsened the dispersion.
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- Breyer, Siegfried (1973). Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905–1970. Doubleday and Company. ISBN 0-385-07247-3.
- Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.