14 inch/45 Mk.8 (356 mm)

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14 inch/45 Mk.8 cannon on the USS Arizona


The 14 inch/45 Mk.8 is an American 356 mm naval gun. Developed in the early 1930s by the United States Navy, it was first used in combat during World War II. The gun was a crucial component of battleships and heavy cruisers, providing them with the firepower needed to engage enemy vessels at long ranges.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The 14 inch/45 Mk.8 had a range of up to 23 miles and could fire a variety of shells, including armour-piercing, high explosive, and illumination rounds. The 14 inch/45 Mk.8 was designed to be a versatile weapon, capable of engaging a variety of targets. Its high muzzle velocity and heavy shell made it ideal for engaging other warships, but it was also effective against land-based targets such as fortifications and coastal batteries. During World War II, the gun was used extensively in the Pacific theatre, where it played a critical role in several major naval battles.

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.9 HE HE 71 71 71 71 71 71
Mk.8 APCBC APCBC 637 597 536 484 439 372
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
Mk.9 HE HE 823 635 0 0.1 46.67 79° 80° 81°
Mk.8 APCBC APCBC 823 635 0.035 17 15.24 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


  • High calibre inflicts devastating damage
  • Can hit targets from long range


  • Very long reload time
  • Only 2 types of shells available


Between 1906 and 1919, the United States constructed 29 battleships and 6 battlecruisers as part of the international naval arms race around the turn of the century. During the 1908 Newport Conference, the United States decided to upgrade to 14-inch guns from their older 12-inch/45 Mk.5 guns. This move was to ensure supremacy against the Royal Navy and German Navy which had adopted 13.5-inch and 12-inch guns respectively. The resulting 14-inch/45 Mark 1 guns were first mounted on the New York-class battleships the USS New York and its more famous sister ship, USS Texas. The 14"/45 would subsequently be mounted on the Nevada-class ships the USS Nevada and USS Oklahoma, and the Pennsylvania-class ships USS Pennsylvania and USS Arizona. After World War I, the Washington Naval Treaty put a 10-year "holiday" on capital ship construction for the five signatory nations and the United States would keep most of their World War I-era dreadnoughts in service until World War II, but they did not go through the interwar period unchanged. The escalation of tensions of Germany and Japan in the 1930s led to modernization of the United States' existing dreadnoughts.

The 14-inch/45 Mark 1 gun was upgraded and re-designated the Mark 8 with a more modern construction and larger chamber volume for more powerful charges. The 14-inch/45 guns were effectively interchangeable between ships which did occur after the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma were sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Three of Arizona's guns from the number 2 turret were undergoing a relining at the time and were installed on the USS Nevada which would serve in the coastal bombardment role at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The number 1 turret was too badly damaged to be salvaged, but the remaining guns were repurposed as coastal artillery defending Hawaii with US Army Coastal Artillery Corps Battery Arizona on the west coast of Oahu while Battery Pennsylvania was assigned to Mokapu Point.

On the remaining ships, USS New York provided coastal bombardment support during Operation Torch in 1942 attacking Safi Harbor, Morocco alongside USS Pennsylvania. The USS Pennsylvania herself would later serve during the Aleutian Island Campaign in 1943. The USS Texas took part in the naval landings of Normandy known as Operation Overlord supporting both the US Army Ranger landings at Pointe Du Hoc, and the landings at Omaha Beach. The USS Nevada (not yet refitted with the Arizona's gun turrets) also participated at Normandy by bombarding the Cherbourg Peninsula. The USS Pennsylvania would serve a long career throughout the Pacific Theater, with its 14-inch guns also bombarding Makin Atoll, the Marina Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Philippines, while the New York and Texas would join the Nevada at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.


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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