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"305-mm Skoda Coast Defense Gun L/50" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following WWII intelligence report on the German 305-mm Skoda coast defense gun was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 12, November 19, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The particulars and general description of the Skoda 305-mm CD gun L/50 have been received and are presented here for general information.

The 305-mm CD gun is constructed to meet all modern coast defense requirements. There are three particulars in which this gun is outstanding.

(a) It is long range and very accurate.

(b) The turret has a wide traversing arc, easily and speedily controlled by a specially constructed, electrically operated traversing gear, and hydraulic universal transmission. By means of this apparatus, the revolving speed of the turret is easily controlled, and the movement of a target can be accurately followed even at the longest ranges by using the hand-control wheel of the traversing gear.

(c) The elevating gear is likewise operated by an electric motor and universal transmission, giving easy and rapid control at long range. Again, a moving target can be accurately followed and covered by using the hand-control wheel.

The movement of the barrel into the loading position and back again takes place at high speed. This, in addition to the rapid feeding, loading, and firing devices, insures a very high rate of fire.

The gun is mounted in a revolving turret, which rests on the revolving half of a ball-race and is supported by a circular, walled platform. The fixed lower half of the race rests on an anchor ring bolted to the concrete bed. Between the armored wall of the support platform and the inner side of the surrounding concrete wall, there is a gallery in which runs the turret ammunition trolley. The revolving cupola rests on the top of this walled support platform, on a system of leaf springs which run around the whole circumference, so that, if hit by an enemy shell, the cupola descends upon the circular outer mantlet, and strain is taken off the support platform.

Inside the turret itself are two platforms dividing the turret into three compartments, one above the other.

The particulars of this gun follow:

Weight of shell       925 lbs
Muzzle velocity2,788 f/s
Maximum range43,600 yds
Caliber305 mm
Length of barrel50 cals
Elevation-4° to +45°
Maximum traversing speed1/2° in 1 sec
Maximum elevating speed4° in 1 sec


Barrel and cradle       79,200 lbs
Armored cupola638,000 lbs
Base of turret264,000 lbs
Revolving turret1,058,200 lbs
Mantlet and armorplate in gallery391,600 lbs
Anchorage145,200 lbs
Total weight of turret1,595,000 lbs


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