SK L/45 (380 mm)

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38 cm SK L/45 cannons on the SMS Bayern


Write an introduction to the article in 2-3 small paragraphs. Briefly tell us about the history of the development and combat using the weaponry and also about its features. Compile a list of air, ground, or naval vehicles that feature this weapon system in the game.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.

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 L/4,1 Bdz. SAP 458 402 325 266 221 170
Psgr. L/3,5 APCBC APCBC 595 553 492 440 396 332
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100% L/4,1 Bdz. SAP 800 750 0.025 26 67.1 47° 60° 65°
Psgr. L/3,5 APCBC APCBC 800 750 0.025 26 25 48° 63° 71°

Comparison with analogues

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Usage in battles

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Pros and cons

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By 1910, navies around the world were moving towards guns that were larger than 12 inches in calibre and Germany was not one to get left behind in the global naval arms race. Britain's condemnation of German "gunboat diplomacy" during the Agadir Crisis in 1911 gave Alfred von Tirpitz, State Secretary of the Riechsmarineamt (Imperial Navy Office), the needed justification to persuade the Reichstag (Imperial Diet or Parliament) to get further funding to make warships with larger calibre guns to face the Royal Navy. Tirpitz first considered arming what would become Bayern-class with 13.6 inch (34 cm) guns, but designers soon found that 25% hit chance would be gained from up-gunning to 15-inch (38 cm) guns and so the decision was made to arm the SMS Bayern and her sister ships with the SK L/45.

The largest guns to be made by Imperial Germany, the SK L/45 would ironically have amore noteworthy career on land then at sea. The Germans began prioritize their new U-boats when World War I started leading to the SMS Bayern and her sister ship SMS Baden to be the last dreadnoughts to enter service. Too late to see action at the decisive 1916 Battle of Jutland, there was little opportunity for naval action for the SK L/45 which was nicknamed "Langer Max" (Long Max) by the Germans. However, it found a quite successful career as a railway gun and artillery battery. Needing to break the stalemate on the Western Front, Germany decided to take the guns from their low-priority Bayern-class dreadnoughts, and adapt them as siege artillery in concrete casemates. In capacity, the Langer Max provided the opening salvo of Germany's artillery bombardment during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. Later for the 1918 Ludendorff Offensive, the concrete casemates were replaced with faster to build steel casemates. One of these cannons assigned to Saxon Battery 1015 was used in July 1918 to fire 141 shots from the French town of Bésu-Saint-Germain.

However, these concrete emplacements were time-consuming in construction so for expediency and better mobility, some of the guns were adapted to serve as railway guns during World War I. Fitted with a large counterweight near the trunnions for stability, the gun suffered from some drawbacks. Specifically it was only capable of being loaded at zero degrees elevation meaning it had to re-aimed after each shot, its range at 24,300 yards was relatively short, and it could only fire at elevations below 18.5 degrees to avoid the breech hitting the ground during the recoil action. Worn-out barrels of the L/45 along with the railway carriage built by Krupp would both be used for construction of the infamous Paris Gun. The railway gun variants were used during the Spring Offensive of 1918 and during the Second Battle of the Marne later that year. 8 railway guns were built in total with 7 being destroyed after the war by the Inter-Allied Commission of Control enforcing the Treaty of Versailles' ban on such artillery pieces and the lone survivor was captured by the Belgian Army while serving in a coastal defense role as part of Battery Pommern at Koekelare on October 16th, 1918. The gun was later given to France for testing in 1924 and was recaptured by the Germans in 1940 during World War II, though it did not appear to see service.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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

Germany naval cannons
15 mm  MG 151
20 mm  2 cm/65 C/30 · 2 cm/65 C/38 · 2 cm/65 Flakzwilling 38 · 2 cm/65 Flakvierling 38 · MG 151/20
30 mm  MK103/38
37 mm  FlaK-Lafette C/36 · 3.7 cm FlaK-Lafette LM/42 · SK C/30 · FlaK.36 · FlaK43
40 mm  40 mm/70 MEL58 · Bofors Flak 28 · Bofors L/70 model 1948
52 mm  52 mm/55 SK L/55
88 mm  8.8 cm/76 SK C/32 · S.K.C/35 · FlaK.18 · Flak.36 · 88 mm/45 AA SK L/45 · 88 mm/45 casemate SK L/45
100 mm  100 mm/55 MLE model 53
105 mm  SK C/32 · SK C/33 AA
120 mm  L45
128 mm  12.8 cm/45 SK C/34
150 mm  150 mm/45 SK L/45 · 15 cm/48 KC/36 · 15 cm/55 SK C/28 · 15 cm/60 SK C/25
203 mm  20.3 cm/60 SK C/34
283 mm  283 mm/45 SK L/45 · 283 mm/52 SK C/28 · 283 mm/54,5 SK C/34
305 mm  305 mm/50 SK L/50
380 mm  38 cm SK L/45
23 mm  ZU-23 (USSR)
30 mm  AK-230 (USSR)
37 mm  V-11 (USSR)
76 mm  76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact (Italy)
100 mm  100 mm/56 B-34 (USSR)