12-inch/50 Mark 8 (305 mm)

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12-inch/50 Mark 8 cannons on the USS Alaska


The 12-inch/50 Mark 8 is a 305 mm naval gun that was developed by the United States Navy in the early 1900s. It was first installed on the USS South Carolina, a pre-dreadnought battleship that was commissioned in 1910. The gun was highly regarded for its accuracy and power, and was used in a variety of combat scenarios, including in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The gun fires 305 mm rounds at a maximum range of over 24 km and could fire up to 2 rounds per minute.

Available ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
Mk.17 HC HE 68 68 68 68 68 68
Mk.18 AP APCBC 621 582 524 475 434 374
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
Mk.17 HC HE 808 426.38 0 0.1 35.31 79° 80° 81°
Mk.18 AP APCBC 762 517 0.035 17 7.73 48° 63° 71°

Comparison with analogues

Give a comparative description of cannons/machine guns that have firepower equal to this weapon.

Usage in battles

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Pros and cons

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After the Wyoming-class dreadnoughts were completed in 1912, the United States Navy halted construction of 12-inch guns in favour of larger 14-inch and later 16-inch guns for their battleships. However, they began to re-evaluate their naval forces after the rise of German "pocket battleships" such as the Admiral Graf Spee and Scharnhorst along with the planned Japanese B-65 which were all designed to counter the 8-inch gun heavy cruisers codified by the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. As a result, the United States began construction of what became the Alaska-class large cruiser to counter these threats. The 12-inch was thus revived as the 12-inch/50 Mark 8. Designed to fire a new armour-piercing "super heavy" shell to better penetrate deck armour while retaining side plate penetration capabilities, this gun had superior characteristics to the pre-Treaty 14-inch guns. The 12"/50 Mark 8 was only used on the USS Alaska and USS Guam.


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See also

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  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

USA naval cannons
20 mm  20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark V · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24
25 mm  25 mm/87 Mk.38
28 mm  1.1 inch/75 Mk.1
37 mm  AN-M4
40 mm  Bofors L/60 Mark 1 · Bofors L/60 Mark 2 · Bofors L/60 Mark 3
76 mm  3 inch/23 Mk.4 · 3-inch/50 Mk.10 · 3-inch/70 Mk.37 · 3-inch Mark 10 · 3 inch Mk.33 · 3-inch Mk.34
102 mm  4 inch/50 Mk.9
127 mm  5 inch/25 Mk.11 · 5 inch/25 Mk.13 AA · 5 inch/38 Mk.12 · 5-inch/50 Mk.5 · 5 inch/51 Mk.7 · 127 mm/54 Mark 18
152 mm  6 inch/47 Mk.16 · 6 inch/47 DP Mk.16 · 6 inch/53 Mk.12 · M81
203 mm  8 inch/55 Mark 9 · 8 inch/55 Mark 12 · 8 inch/55 Mark 14 · 8 inch/55 Mark 16
305 mm  12-inch/45 Mk.5 · 12 inch/50 Mk.7 · 12 inch/50 Mk.8
356 mm  14 inch/45 Mk.8 · 14 inch/45 Mk.12 · 14 inch/50 Mk.11