12-inch/52 pattern 1907 (305 mm)

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The 12-inch/52 calibre pattern 1907 is the most powerful gun to be completed for a Russian warship and served through 3 successive Russian governments (the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and the Russian Federation) before being retired in 1999, making it one of the longest serving large-calibre naval weapons too.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

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Available ammunition

Msg-info.png 12-inch HE patt.1928 is available only for Marat and Parizhskaya kommuna.

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
HE patt.1911 HE 71 71 71 71 71 71
AP patt.1911 APCBC 522 471 398 340 295 238
SAP patt.1911 SAPCBC 395 356 301 257 223 180
HE patt.1928 HE 72 72 72 72 72 72
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
HE patt.1911 HE 762 470.9 0 0.1 47.48 79° 80° 81°
AP patt.1911 APCBC 762 470.9 0.05 17 12.96 48° 63° 71°
SAP patt.1911 SAPCBC 762 470.9 0.05 17 55.2 48° 63° 71°
HE patt.1928 HE 950 314 0 0.1 55.41 79° 80° 81°

Comparison with analogues

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Usage in battles

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Pros and cons

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The story began in the 1880s when the Imperial Russian Navy grew concerned about the British Mediterranean Fleet seizing the Bosphorus and expanding into the Black Sea. The Ekaterina II-class was built in response, compact battleships armed with forward-facing 12-inch 40-calibre guns. These guns were built by the German company Krupp and began delivery in 1886 before local production started in 1891. These guns would continue in Russian naval service into World War I, despite the 1892 Franco-Russian Alliance leading to a switch to French-designed weapons in all other parts of the navy. The Great War actually prompted a second production run of the Krupp-designed 12-inch 40-calibre naval guns to replace worn-out guns on their pre-dreadnought battleships.

The Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905 was a serious wake-up call to the Imperial Russian Navy. Facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Navy, including 12 battleships destroyed, 6 captured, and having the dubious "honour" of having the first modern battleships lost to only gunfire and to a torpedo with the Oslyabaya and Knyaz Suvorov respectively at the Battle of Tsushima. The Admirals began to re-examine their tactics and warships and identified the need for a dreadnought with twelve 12-inch guns. The 12-inch pattern 1907 was created to fulfill this requirement based on the older Krupp design. The guns were fitted to the Gangut and later the Imperatritsa Mariya-class dreadnoughts in four triple turrets. The gun had a 52 calibre barrel and had muzzle velocity and chamber pressure change multiple times during production. The final product fired a 1,038-pound shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,500 feet per second and a total weight of 56 short tons. In addition to its use on dreadnoughts, the Russians used the guns to arm Peter The Great's Naval Fortress in the Gulf of Finland. Between 126 and 144 of the 198 guns ordered were built in 1916 and only 12 of the scheduled 42 had been delivered by 1917 when the Russian Revolution broke out.

In Soviet service, the four Gangut-class dreadnoughts used these guns including the Parizhskaya kommuna, along with the sister ships to the Imperatritsa Mariya, the Voila and the Svobodnaya Rossiya. The Soviets briefly restarted production in 1921 using the parts left for unfinished guns. Along with inheriting the guns from their dreadnoughts, the Soviets used them as coastal defense guns at Vladivostok and Sevastopol which were built in the inter-war period. After the Poltava was damaged by a fire in 1919 while in storage at Petrograd, the guns were removed and repurposed as coastal batteries at the Maxim Gorky Fortress on the Crimean Peninsula where they were extensively used during the Siege of Sevastopol in 1941 before being knocked out. In 1938, three railway guns were also built based on 3 guns salvaged from the Imperatritsa Mariya, which had been lost to a magazine detonation in port at Vladivostok in 1916. The TM-3-12 railway guns were used during the Battle of Hanko during WWII, where they were disabled to keep them out of enemy hands as the Soviets retreated.

The Voila (ex-Imperator Aleksandr III) had an interesting history for the fate of its guns. The ship was ceded to the Germans in 1918, who in turn ceded it to the British and gave it to the anti-communist White Fleet as the General Aleksayev. The guns were removed after the French scrapped the ship in 1920 to pay for its docking fees. The guns were kept by the French in storage in Bizerte, Tunisia before being sold to the Finns when the Winter War began. Only 8 of the guns made it to Finland, the remaining four were captured by Germany in the Port of Narvik, Norway when they invaded in April 1940 and were used at Batterie Mirus on the occupied Channel Island of Guernsey after being modified to use German ammunition. Of the eight guns Finland got, 4 were mounted as coastal batteries on the Isosaari and Mäkiluoto islands, two were used to repair destroyed TM-3-12 railway guns left behind by the Soviets at Hanko during World War II, and the last two were kept as spares. One of these spares would later get used in the 1970s when one of the Pattern 1907s blew its barrel during a test with "super charges". The TM-3-12s would later be delivered back to the Soviets after World War II and remained in operational service until 1999.


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See also

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  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
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External links

USSR naval cannons
20 mm  ShVAK
25 mm  2M-3
30 mm  AK-230 · 30 mm/54 AK-630 · BP "Plamya"
37 mm  37 mm/67 70-K · V-11
45 mm  45 mm/46 21-K · 45 mm/68 21-KM · 45 mm/89 SM-20-ZIF · 45 mm/89 SM-21-ZIF
57 mm  AK-725
75 mm  75 mm/50 Canet patt.1892
76 mm  34-K · 39-K · 76 mm/60 AK-176M · AK-726 · D-56TS · F-34 · Lender AA gun, pattern 1914/15
85 mm  85 mm/52 92-K · 85 mm/54.6 ZIS-C-53 · 90-K
100 mm  100 mm/56 B-34 · 100 mm/70 SM-5-1 · Minizini
102 mm  Pattern 1911
120 mm  120 mm/50 pattern 1905
130 mm  130 mm/55 pattern 1913 · 130 mm/58 SM-2-1 · B-13
152 mm  152 mm/57 B-38
180 mm  180 mm/57 B-1-P · 180 mm/60 B-1-K
305 mm  12-inch/52 pattern 1907 · 305 mm/54 B-50
40 mm  2pdr QF Mk.IIc (Britain) · Skoda (Czechoslovakia)
47 mm  3 pdr QF Hotchkiss (Britain)
76 mm  76 mm/40 Ansaldo mod.1917 (Italy)
88 mm  SK C/30 (Germany)
120 mm  120 mm/50 Mk.4 Bofors M1924 (Sweden) · 120 mm/50 O.T.O. Mod.1933 (Italy)
152 mm  152/53 mm O.T.O. Mod.1929 (Italy)
320 mm  320 mm/44 Ansaldo model 1934 (Italy)