14" - 45 cal. Naval Gun
in the 1930s, old 14"/45 (35.6 cm) guns were constructional
upgraded and the chamber volume enlarged to allow larger charges to
increase the muzzle velocity. Marks 1, 3 and 5 became Marks 8, 9
and 10, respectively. The Mark 12 was a further conversion, with
chromium plating to increase barrel life. These guns were
interchangeable and most battleships had a combination of Mark numbers.
The Nevada and Pennsylvania classes were further upgraded to increase
their maximum elevations to 30 degrees.
Two turrets were salvaged from USS Arizona for use as coastal artillery, but these were not completed until nearly the end of the war.
These guns were constructed of an A tube (no liner), jacket, eight hoops and a screw box liner.
Photo is the USS Texas BB35 turret #1 and #2.
Photo By: D. Mitchell
|Designation||14"/45 (35.6cm) caliber Mark 8, 9, 10 and 12|
|Ship Class Used On||New York (BB-34),
and Pennsylvania (BB-38) Classes
|Date Of Design||As Modernized: 1928|
|Date In Service||As Modernized: 1933|
|Gun Weight||62 tons (63 mt)|
|Gun Length oa||642.5 in (16.318 m)|
|Bore Length||630 in (16.002 m)|
|Number Of Grooves||84|
|Length Of Rifling||542.7 in (13.530 m)|
|Chamber Volume||17,943 in3 (294.0 dm3)|
|Rate Of Fire||about 1.25 - 1.75 rounds / minute|
|Projectile Types and Weights||AP - 1,500 lbs.
HC - 1,275 lbs. (578 kg)
|Propellant Charge||420 lbs. (190.5 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||AP - 2,600 fps (792
HE - 2,735 fps (834 mps)
|Working Pressure||18.0 tons/in2 (2,835 kg/cm2)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||Marks 8, 9 and 10:
175 - 200 Rounds
Mark 12: 250 Rounds
|Note: The propellant charge was in four bags.|
|Elevation||With 1,500 lbs. (680.40 kg) Mark 16 AP||With 1,275 lbs. (578 kg) HC|
|Range @ 15 degrees
(max elevation of
|23,000 yards (21,030 m) (approx. 13 miles)||23,500 yards (21,490 m)|
|11,500 yards (10,520 m)||
18" (457 mm)
|13,500 yards (12,350 m)||
2" (51 mm)
|14,800 yards (13,530 m)||
16" (406 mm)
|18,800 yards (17,190 m)||
14" (356 mm)
|23,400 yards (21,400 m)||
12" (305 mm)
|These figures are taken from armor penetration curves published in 1942.|
|Designation||3-gun turret, BB-37
and BB-38 Classes
2-gun turret, BB-34 and BB-37 Classes
New York Class: 532 tons (541 mt)
Oklahoma Class: 618 tons (628 mt)
|Elevation||The New York Class was
not modernized and retained their original -5 / +15 degree elevation.
Oklahoma and Pennsylvania Classes: -5 / +30 degrees
|Rate of Elevation||about 4 degrees per second|
|Train||about -150 / +150 degrees|
|Rate of Train||about 2 degrees per second|
|Gun Recoil||40 in (102 cm)|
|Loading Angle||+1 degree|
www.NavWeaps.com"Battleships: United States Battleships 1935-1992" by W. H. Garzke and R. O. Dulin
14"/45 TURRET CREW OPERATIONS
About 25 men manned each turret:
Junior officers assigned to booths
in the rear of each turret controlled turret operations. To load, they directed
gun pointers, who controlled gun elevation and were seated beneath the guns with
the trainers, to level the guns so they would line up with the loading trays.
Gun captains, standing on the outboard side of each gun carriage, then pulled
levers which rotated interrupted screw type breeches open and swung the breech
block outboard, exposing the chambers.
Compressed "gas ejection" air was blown into the chamber to expel smoldering remnants of a preceding round's propellant charge bag out the muzzle. The 1st loader, positioned inboard of the breech on the gun pan, tilted the upper hoist car, spilling a projectile onto the transfer tray, where it was rolled onto the loading tray. He inspected the bore to ensure it was clear and then, assisted by the 2nd loader on the opposite side of the breech, extended the loading tray into the breech. (The High Capacity rounds weighted approx. 1275-lbs. The Armor Piercing rounds weighted approx. 1500-lbs.)
If ordered, the 1st and 2nd loaders replaced the nose plugs on high capacity projectiles with mechanical time fuzzes then set the fuzzes so that the round would burst over their targets after a predetermined time of flight. Each gun's electric rammer operator depressed a lever pushing the projectile forward until its brass rotating band engaged the lands of the gun's rifling the forward end of the chamber.
Two powder men in the gun pit beneath the breech muscled the 105-lb propellant charge bags up to the gun pan in pairs. The 1st and 2nd loader hoisted them onto the loading tray. Two rammer men then pushed each pair of bags, red ignition pad facing to the rear, into the chamber using a 10 ft. wooden pole. The pole had a leather pad on one end designed to prevent accidental sparks ignition of the propellant (total of four powder bags for each projectile). The gun captain then closed the breech and inserted a .44 Caliber primer cartridge into the firing lock. This lock could fire the gun locally by percussion, or from remote stations by electricity. When loading was completed, the gun was matched up with remote fire control data from gun plot, or laid on target optically in local control by the turret crew. Turret crewmen braced where gun recoil would not jar or crush them. The recoil of the 14"/45 was 40". Turret personnel conveyed ready status via light indicators. A salvo-warning bell was rung and the turret was fired. Firing rate depended on crew stamina and training, equipment status, sea state location of ammunition, and whether or not fuzzes were required.
Normally, it took about 45 seconds between rounds. Turrets Two and Four were equipped with 21' optical range finders and could serve as fire control directors against targets visible from the ship in emergencies.
Although guns, hoist, and rammer drive functions were normally accomplished by electric motors; chain falls in a compartment forward of and below the trunnions could be rigged to drive gun equipment.
First through the Fifth Divisions manned turrets with corresponding numbers, for example, 5th Division was responsible for Turret Five. The 3rd Division had the additional responsibility of maintaining the catapult atop their turret and assisting the aviation detachment with aircraft functions.
About 45 men manned the ammunition hoists and “Magazines”, the ammunition storage compartments associated with each turret. Projectiles were stored nose down in the shell rooms and on the “Shell Deck” or “Circle Deck”, located within the cylindrical “Barbette”, which protected the ammunition and machinery. The projectiles were moved by temporarily inserting two “Padeyes” or metal rings in their bases. Hooks attached to the overhead rails were then inserted into one of the padeyes. The projectiles stored in the magazines and on the circle deck were pushed along the monorails to one of the two lower hoists, which are positioned outboard of the turret center column. Electrically driven chain hoists inside the hoist tubes were attached to the previously unused 2nd padeye (this ensured positive control on the 14” rounds). At this point, the monorail chain hoist was unhooked , and the projectile was lifted to the shell deck directly beneath the rear part of the Turret.
photo showing the loading of 14" shells aboard the Texas.
Drawing is from Ship's Data 6, Leeward Publishing
On Tom Scott's web site is an animation of how to load the USS Texas 14" guns. Click here if you care to see it.
From the shell deck, the projectiles were lifted via the upper hoists to a position behind and inboard of the gun breeches. Where the 1st loaders tilted them to a horizontal position and they spilled them onto the transfer trays with their noses toward the breech.105 lb. Propellant charges were wrapped in silk fabric. Black powder within. Red quilted ignition pads were sewn on one end. These “Bags” were stored in metal cans, two to a can, in the powder magazines. In order to fire the guns, the bags were removed from the cans and passed through scuttles designed to prevent any fire etc. from passing from or into the powder magazines. (note picture above). Water tubs were kept handy to immerse broken bags or loose propellant grains. The powder bags were placed in hoists which brought them up in pairs to a position forward of the “trunnions” or gun supports. Men then passed the bags through a scuttle which emptied onto the tray in the “Gun Pit” beneath the breech of the 14” guns.
To give you an idea of man power requirements, it took 25 men to operate the different levels of the turret. However, to man and operated the lower section on the turret, (the magazines) required 45 men. There fore, It required 70 men to operate each turret “system safely and efficiently.
Click here to see a 1/24th scale model of a 14" Turret
For More details on Naval weapons I highly recommend : http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_Main.htm