3.7 cm SK C/30

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3.7 cm SK C/30
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MN-0945-08, Schulboot "Drache", Doppelflak.jpg
3.7 cm SK C/30 on a Dopp L C/30 stabilized mount
Type Anti-aircraft cannon
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1935–45?
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars Second World War
Production history
Designer Rheinmetall
Designed 1930—35
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Produced 1935—43
Variants 3.7 cm SK C/30U
Weight 243 kilograms (536 lb)
Length 3.074 metres (10 ft 1 in)
Barrel length 2.962 metres (9 ft 9 in) L/83

Shell fixed, cased charge
Shell weight 0.68 kilograms (1 lb 8 oz)
Caliber 3.7 centimetres (1.5 in)
Action single-shot
Breech semi-automatic, vertical sliding block
Elevation depends on the mount
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 30 rpm (practical)
Muzzle velocity 1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Effective firing range 2,000 m (6,600 ft) (effective ceiling)
Maximum firing range 8,500 m (9,300 yd) at 37.5°

The 3.7 cm SK C/30[Note 1] was the German Kriegsmarine's primary 3.7 cm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War. It was superseded by the fully automatic 3.7 cm FlaK 43 late in the war.


The C/30 was a single-shot anti-aircraft gun that was loaded one round at a time which dropped its effective rate of fire to a mere 30 rounds per minute, far inferior to the 80-100 rounds per minute of its contemporary, the Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. Its muzzle velocity was on the other hand far superior (about 25% higher), which greatly eased the aiming. The SK C/30U gun was modified for use by submarines. All mountings were suitable for use against both air and soft surface targets.[1]

Ship classes that carried the 3.7 cm SK C/30 include:


SK C/30U on a type IX U-Boat (U-103) in 1939

The Doppellafette C/30 (Dopp L C/30) was a twin mount with each gun in a separate cradle. It had a six-man crew on the mount itself plus additional ammunition handlers. The mounting was manually traversed and elevated and was gyro-stabilized up to a limit of 19.5° degrees to counteract the roll and pitch of the ship. Most German ships, fleet torpedo boat or larger, carried at least one Dopp L C/30 mounting. The Einheitslafette C/34 (Einh L C/34, universal mounting model 34) was a single gun mounted on a pedestal with a two-man crew. Some mounts were fitted with a 8 millimetres (0.31 in) gun shield. It was used on the smaller Kriegsmarine ships like the Schnellboot. A number were used on land to supplement the anti-aircraft defenses of ports. The Ubts L C/39 submarine mount used the SK C/30U gun. It was a simple pedestal mount with a two-man crew, one of whom trained the gun with the shoulder stirrup; the other used gears to elevate the gun.[2]

Mounting weight elevation
Dopp L C/30 3,670 kg (8,090 lb) -9° to +85°
Einh L C/34 1,860–2,020 kg (4,100–4,450 lb) -10° to +80°
Ubts L C/39 1,450 kg (3,200 lb) -10° to +90°


The SK C/30 used two types of tracer rounds. The 3.7 cm Br Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37M was a high-explosive round with an incendiary filling while the 3.7 cm Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37 lacked the incendiary fill, but was otherwise identical. Tracers were available in red, yellow or white and were marked on the shell by a painted band of the appropriate color. A complete round weighed 1.78 kilograms (3.9 lb).[3]

Comparison of anti-aircraft guns[edit]

Country Gun Model RPM Projectile Weight Weight of fire
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm SK C/30 30 .74 kg (1.6 lb)[4] 22.2 kg (49 lb)
 France Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925 15-21 .72 kg (1.6 lb)[5] 10.8–15.12 kg (23.8–33.3 lb)
 Italy Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) 60-120 .82 kg (1.8 lb)[6] 49.2–98.4 kg (108–217 lb)
 United States 37 mm Gun M1 120 .87 kg (1.9 lb) 104.4 kg (230 lb)
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43 150 .64 kg (1.4 lb)[7] 96 kg (212 lb)
 Soviet Union 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) 60 .73 kg (1.6 lb)[8] 43.8 kg (97 lb)
 United Kingdom QF 2-pounder naval gun 115 .91 kg (2.0 lb)[9] 104.6 kg (231 lb)
 Sweden Bofors 40 mm gun 120 .9 kg (2.0 lb)[10] 108 kg (238 lb)


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); C - Construktionsjahr (year of design)


  1. ^ Campbell, p. 256
  2. ^ "German 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30U". 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  3. ^ Hogg, p. 223
  4. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  5. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "France 37 mm/50 (1.46") Model 1925 and CAIL Model 1933 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  6. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Italy 37 mm/54 (1.5") Models 1932, 1938 and 1939 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  7. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/57 (1.5") Flak M43 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  8. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Russia / USSR 37 mm/67 (1.5") 70-K - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  9. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "United Kingdom / Britain 2-pdr QF Mark VIII - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  10. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "USA Bofors 40 mm/60 Model 1936 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 


  • Campbell, John (2002). Naval Weapons of World War Two. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. 
  • Gander, Terry; Chamberlain, Peter (1979). 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. ISBN 0-385-15090-3. 
  • Hogg, Ian V. (1997). German Artillery of World War Two (2nd corrected ed.). Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 1-85367-480-X. 
  • Stehr, Werner (1999). Leichte und mittlere Artillerie auf deutschen Kriegsschiffen [Light and Medium Artillery on German Warships] (in German). Wölfersheim-Berstadt: Podzun-Pallas-Verlag. pp. 8–11. ISBN 3790906646. 

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