15 cm Kanone 16

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15 cm Kanone 16
15 cm Kanone 16 on display outside the Australian War Memorial in October 2016.jpg
A 15 cm Kanone 16 on display outside the Australian War Memorial in 2016
TypeHeavy field gun
Place of originGerman Empire
Service history
In service1917–45
Used byGerman Empire
Nazi Germany
WarsWorld War I
World War II
Production history
Variants15 cm K 16 im Mrs. Laf.
Mass10,870 kilograms (23,960 lb)
Length6.81 metres (20 ft)
Barrel length6.41 metres (21 ft 0 in) L/43[1]

Shellseparate-loading, cased charge
Shell weight51.4 kilograms (113 lb) (HE)
Caliber149.3 mm (5.88 in)
Breechhorizontal sliding-block
Carriagebox trail
Elevation-3° to +43°
Rate of fire3 rpm
Muzzle velocity757 metres per second (2,480 ft/s)
Maximum firing range22,000 metres (24,000 yd)[1]

The 15 cm Kanone 16 (15 cm K 16) was a heavy field gun used by Germany in World War I and World War II. Guns turned over to Belgium as reparations after World War I were taken into Wehrmacht service after the conquest of Belgium as the 15 cm K 429(b). It generally served on coast-defense duties during World War II.


15 cm Kanone 16 in transport configuration. Photo taken in the Middle East.

The K 16 was a thoroughly conventional design for its day with a box trail, steel wheels for motor transport and a curved gunshield. The axle was suspended on a traverse leaf spring. For transport the barrel was generally detached from the recoil system and moved on its own trailer. In 1941 a small number of K 16 barrels were placed on 21 cm Mrs 18 carriages to become the 15 cm K 16 in Mrs Laf.


It fired 2 types of high-explosive shells, which differed only in which fuzes they could accept. It used a three part charge in its cartridge case. Charge 1 yielded a muzzle velocity of 555 metres per second (1,820 ft/s). Charge 2 replaced Charge 1 in the cartridge case and propelled the shell with a velocity of 696 metres per second (2,280 ft/s). Charge 3 was added to Charge 2 and raised the muzzle velocity to 757 metres per second (2,480 ft/s).[2]

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Heavy artillery. Gander, Terry,. New York: Arco. p. 23. ISBN 0668038985. OCLC 2143869.
  2. ^ Hogg, pp. 82-3


  • Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke, 1974.
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979. ISBN 0-385-15090-3.
  • Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997. ISBN 1-85367-480-X.

External links[edit]