Armstrong Whitworth 12 inch /40 naval gun
|Type 41 12-inch 40-calibre
BL 12 inch Mk IX gun
Forward guns of Fuji
|Place of origin||United Kingdom, later licence-produced in Japan|
|Used by||Royal Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
World War I
|Designer||Elswick Ordnance Company|
|Manufacturer||Elswick Ordnance Company
|Weight||49 long tons (50 t)|
|Barrel length||40-foot-5-inch (12.32 m) bore (40 calibres)|
|Shell||850 pounds (390 kg) separate charges and shell|
|Calibre||12 inches (305 mm)|
|Breech||Welin interrupted screw|
|Rate of fire||1 round per minute|
|Muzzle velocity||Japanese service : 2,400 ft/s (732 m/s)
UK service: 2,481 ft/s (756 m/s), 2,612 ft/s (796 m/s) (King Edward VII class)
|Effective firing range||15,000 yards (14 km); 15° elevation|
The Armstrong Whitworth 12 inch naval gun of 40 calibres length was designed by, and manufactured mainly by, Armstrong's ordnance branch, Elswick Ordnance Company. It was intended for the Royal Navy's Royal Sovereign-class battleships, but budgetary constraints delayed their introduction. The first units were instead supplied to Japan. As the Type 41 12-inch (305 mm)/40 caliber naval gun it was the standard main battery on several early United Kingdom-built pre-dreadnought battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
It later entered service with the RN as the 12 inch Mark IX, being fitted to warships of three pre-dreadnought classes prior to World War I. Also, during the war several guns were converted for use as railway guns, and, towards the end of the conflict, for use on the M-class submarine monitors.
The gun also saw service with the Italian Regia Marina, in two classes of pre-dreadnought battleships.
- 1 Design and development
- 2 Japanese service
- 3 United Kingdom service
- 4 Italian service
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
Design and development
The Type 41 12-inch naval gun was produced by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne, as a slightly modified version of the "EOC G pattern" 12-inch guns used on contemporary Royal Navy battleships.
In combat at the Battle of the Yellow Sea in the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese battleships Asahi, Shikishima and Mikasa all had one of their main guns taken out of action due to bore prematures. The cause was traced to faulty fuses, and the problem was rectified prior to the Battle of Tsushima.
The gun was officially designated as "Type 41" from the 41st year of the reign of Emperor Meiji on 25 December 1908. It was further re-designated in centimetres on 5 October 1917 as part of the standardization process for the Imperial Japanese Navy to the metric system.
United Kingdom service
- Formidable-class battleships: Eight ships, laid down 1898 and mounting four guns each.
- Duncan-class battleships: six ships laid down 1899, each mounting four guns.
- King Edward VII-class battleships of 1904. Five of the eight ships of this class (HMS King Edward VII, HMS Commonwealth, HMS Hindustan, HMS Dominion and HMS New Zealand) carried the Mark IX gun.
M-class submarine mounting
The gun was in service mounted on the three M-class submarines. HMS M2 and M3 had their guns removed in 1927-28.
United Kingdom ammunition
Common Pointed capped shell, 1912
Armstrongs also sold versions of their 12-inch 40-calibre gun to Italy to arm the two Regina Margherita-class (commissioned 1905) and the four Regina Elena-class battleships (commissioned 1908). The version for the Regina Elena class fired a heavier 417 kg (919 lb) shell. The Regina Margueritas were lost during the war, the Regina Elenas scrapped after the war.
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- 305 mm/40 Modèle 1893/1896 French equivalent
- Russian 12 inch 40 caliber naval gun Russian equivalent
- I.e. Mark 9 : Britain used Roman numerals to identify Marks (models) of its ordnance - this was the 9th 12-inch breech-loading naval gun in service with the Royal Navy
- Text Book of Gunnery, 1902. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Harrison and Sons, St. Martin's Lane
- Brown, D. K. (2003). Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development, 1860-1905. Book Sales. ISBN 1-84067-529-2.
- Brown, D. K. (2003). The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development, 1906-1922. Caxton Editions. ISBN 978-1-84067-531-3.
- Gardiner, Robert; Lambert, Andrew (eds.). Steam, Steel and Shellfire: The Steam Warship, 1815-1905. Conway's History of the Ship. Book Sales. ISBN 978-0-78581-413-9.
- Hodges, Peter (1981). The Big Gun: Battleship Main Armament, 1860-1945. United States Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-917-0.
- Parkes, Oscar (1990) . British Battleships. United States Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-075-4.
- DiGiulian, Tony. "Britain 12"/40 (30.5 cm) Mark IX". NavWeaps.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elswick BL 12 inch 40 calibres naval gun.|
- DiGiulian, Tony. "Japanese 30.5 cm/40 (12") Type 41". NavWeaps.com.