12-inch/50 Mark 8 (305 mm)
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
The gun fires 305 mm rounds at a maximum range of over 24 km and could fire up to 2 rounds per minute.
|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|
|12-inch Mk.17 HC||HE||68||68||68||68||68||68|
|12-inch Mk.18 AP||APCBC||621||582||524||475||434||374|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|12-inch Mk.17 HC||HE||808||426.38||0||0.1||35.31||79°||80°||81°|
|12-inch Mk.18 AP||APCBC||762||517||0.035||17||7.73||48°||63°||71°|
Comparison with analogues
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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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|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|
|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/53 Mk.12|
|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|