380 mm/45 Modèle 1935 gun

The 380mm/45 Modèle 1935 gun was a heavy naval gun of the French Navy. It was the largest calibre naval gun ever fielded in French service.

Country Name Origin Year
France 1935
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
France 1935 1969 View

The built-up guns were used on the two battleships of the Richelieu class, Richelieu and Jean Bart. They were mounted in quadruple turrets, which allowed mounting all the main battery at the bow, and saved weight on turret armour in the context of the Washington Naval Treaty.

During World War II seven guns were captured by the Germans and three of these were taken to Norway. It was planned to install them in a coastal battery at Vardaasen (MKB 6./501 Nötteröy), using Bettungsschiessgerüst (Firing platform) C/39 armoured single mounts, but the war ended before the battery became operational. In 1949 the guns were returned to France (in exchange for 3 German 38 cm SKC/34 from "Batterie Todt") where they were then refurbished at Ruelle.

Two guns remain on display at the Arsenal of Brest, under Recouvrance Bridge, and at the École Navale . The honour room of the École Navale also displays two 380mm shells and tampions. A third gun survives at Gâvres, near Lorient.

Type naval gun
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1935-1969
Used by France
Wars Second World War, Suez Crisis
Production history
Designed 1935
Number built 16 guns
Weight Turret: 2,476 tonnes
Single Gun: 94.13 tonnes
Length 17.882 m (58 ft 8 in)
Barrel length 17.257 m (56 ft 7 in)
Shell AP: 884 kilograms (1,950 lb)
separate charges and shell
Calibre 380 mm (15 in)
Breech Welin breech block, hydro-pneumatically powered
Recoil 132.5 cm (4 ft 4 in)
Elevation 6°/s
Traverse 300°, 5°/s
Rate of fire 1.8 /min
Muzzle velocity 830 m/s (2,700 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 41,700 m (45,600 yd) 35° elevation, streamlined shell

End notes