15 cm Kanone 39

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15 cm Kanone 39
TypeHeavy gun
Place of originGermany
Service history
Used byNazi Germany
WarsWorld War II
Production history
No. built61
Weightcombat: 12,200 kg
(26,896 lbs)
travel: 18,282 kg
(40,305 lbs)
Barrel length8.195 m (28 ft) L/55

Shell weight43 kg (95 lb)
Caliber149.1 mm (5.87 in)
BreechHorizontal sliding-block
CarriageSplit trail
Elevation-3° to +46°
Traverse60° on carriage (trail legs open)
360° on platform
Rate of fire2 rpm
Muzzle velocity865 m/s (2,838 ft/s)
Maximum firing range24.7 km (15.3 mi)

The 15 cm Kanone 39 (15 cm K 39) was a German heavy gun used in the Second World War. First deliveries began in 1940 to the Wehrmacht. In the Battle of France, only the independent Artillerie-Batterie 698 was equipped with the gun.[1] For Operation Barbarossa, it served with the Artillerie-Abteilungen 680, 731, 740 and 800.[2] A year later, for Fall Blau, they served with Artillerie-Abteilungen 511, 620, 680, 767 and 800.[3]

Design and history[edit]

Designed by Krupp as a dual-purpose heavy field and coast defence gun in the late-1930s for Turkey. Only two had been delivered before the rest were appropriated by the Heer upon the outbreak of World War II. In the coast defense role, it was provided with an elaborate portable turntable. This had a central platform and twelve radial struts that connected to an outer ring. In action, the trails would be locked together and put on a small trolley that rode on the outer ring. Coarse aiming was by cranking the trolley back and forth while fine laying was done by traversing the gun on its mount, up to the 6° limit imposed by the closed trails.

For transport, it broke down into two loads, the barrel being removed and carried on its own wagon. A third wagon was necessary to carry the firing platform. It could fire the same ammunition as the 15 cm Kanone 18 as well as its own special ammunition designed to Turkish specifications.


  • 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: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X
  • Weapon Production Totals on Sinews of War


  1. ^ Niehorster, Leo W. G. German World War II Organizational Series, Vol. 2/II: Mechanized GHQ units and Waffen-SS Formations (10 May 1940), 1990, p. 23
  2. ^ Niehorster, Leo W. G. German World War II Organizational Series, Vol. 3/II: Mechanized GHQ units and Waffen-SS Formations (22nd June 1941), 1992, p. 22
  3. ^ Niehorster, Leo W. G. German World War II Organizational Series, Vol. 4/II: Mechanized GHQ units and Waffen-SS Formations (28th June 1942), 2004, p. 20