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BL 15 inch Mk I naval gun: Wikis


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BL 15 inch Mark I
Animated gun turret.gif
An animation showing the loading cycle of the Mark I turret for the BL 15 inch Mark I.
Type naval gun
Place of origin UK
Service history
In service 1913-1959
Used by UK
Production history
Designed 1912
Manufacturer see text
Produced 1912-1918
Number built 186
Weight 100 long tons (100 t)[1]
Length 650.4 inches (16.52 m)[1]

Shell separate charges and shell
Calibre 15 in (381 mm)
Recoil 46 inches (1.2 m)[1]
Rate of fire 2 rounds per minute
Maximum range 32,500 yards (29,720 m): 30° elevation, streamlined shell

The BL 15 inch Mark I was the first British 15 inch (381 mm) gun design and the most widely used and longest lasting of any British designs. The barrel was 42 calibres long (i.e. 15 in x 42 = 630 in) and was referred to as "15 inch/42". The gun fired a 1920 lb (871 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,575 ft/s (785 m/s). Maximum range in shipboard mountings was 32,500 yards (29,720 m) (30 degrees elevation) but coastal artillery mounting with higher elevations could reach 44,150 yards (40,370 m). Two coastal guns (Clem and Jane) were mounted near Wanstone Farm in Kent in the 1940s. Five guns were mounted in Singapore in the 1930s. The firing life of a 15 inch gun was approximately 335 full charge firings, after which it had to be re-lined.[2]



Aft guns of HMS Hood trained forward to port, 1926
On monitor HMS Terror, 1915
One of Singapore's 15 inch coastal defence guns elevated for firing

These guns were used on several classes of battleships from 1915 until HMS Vanguard, the last battleship to be built for the Royal Navy, completed in 1946.

Warships with the BL 15 inch Mark I gun:


186 guns were manufactured between 1912 and 1918.[3] They were removed from ships, refurbished, and rotated back into other ships over their lifetime.

Two guns, one formerly from HMS Ramillies (left gun) and one from HMS Resolution (right gun), are mounted outside the Imperial War Museum in London.

World War II ammunition

Unexploded shell in the cathedral in Genoa (Italy).jpg
108 lb Cordite cartridge ¼ charge
AP shell Mk XXII BNT
AP shell and cap, as fired by HMS Renown or HMS Malaya into Genoa on 9 February 1941

See also


  1. ^ a b c Buxton. Big Gun Monitors. p. 181.  
  2. ^ Roskill. H.M.S. Warspite. p. 89.  
  3. ^ Buxton. Big Gun Monitors. p. 179.  


  • Buxton, Ian Lyon (1978). Big Gun Monitors. Tynemouth: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-06-1.  
  • Roskill, Captain Stephen Wentworth (1974). H.M.S. Warspite: The Story of a Famous Battleship. London: Futura Publications. ISBN 0860071723.  

External links



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