3.7 cm SK C/30

The 3.7 cm SK C/30[Note 1] was the German Kriegsmarine's primary 3.7 cm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War. It was superseded by the fully automatic 3.7 cm FlaK 43 late in the war.

3.7 cm SK C/30
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MN-0945-08, Schulboot "Drache", Doppelflak
3.7 cm SK C/30 on a Dopp L C/30 stabilized mount
TypeAnti-aircraft cannon
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1935–1966
Used byNazi Germany
WarsSecond World War
Production history
Variants3.7 cm SK C/30U
Mass243 kilograms (536 lb)
Length3.074 metres (10 ft 1 in)
Barrel length2.962 metres (9 ft 9 in) L/83

Shellfixed, cased charge
Shell weight0.68 kilograms (1 lb 8 oz)
Caliber37 x 380Rmm
Breechsemi-automatic, vertical sliding-block
Elevationdepends on the mount
Rate of fire30 rpm (practical)
Muzzle velocity1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Effective firing range2,000 m (6,600 ft) (effective ceiling)
Maximum firing range8,500 m (9,300 yd) at 37.5°


The C/30 was a single-shot anti-aircraft gun that was loaded one round at a time which dropped its effective rate of fire to a mere 30 rounds per minute, far inferior to the 120 rounds per minute of its contemporary, the Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. Its muzzle velocity was on the other hand far superior (about 25% higher), which greatly eased the aiming. The SK C/30U gun was modified for use by submarines. All mountings were suitable for use against both air and soft surface targets.[1]

Ship classes that carried the 3.7 cm SK C/30 include:


Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MW-3930-23A, U-Boot U-103 in See
SK C/30U on a type IX U-Boat (U-103) in 1939

The Doppellafette C/30 (Dopp L C/30) was a twin mount with each gun in a separate cradle. It had a six-man crew on the mount itself plus additional ammunition handlers. The mounting was manually traversed and elevated and was gyro-stabilized up to a limit of 19.5° degrees to counteract the roll and pitch of the ship. Most German ships, fleet torpedo boat or larger, carried at least one Dopp L C/30 mounting. The Einheitslafette C/34 (Einh L C/34, universal mounting model 34) was a single gun mounted on a pedestal with a two-man crew. Some mounts were fitted with a 8-millimetre (0.31 in) gun shield. It was used on the smaller Kriegsmarine ships like the Schnellboot. A number were used on land to supplement the anti-aircraft defenses of ports. The Ubts L C/39 submarine mount used the SK C/30U gun. It was a simple pedestal mount with a two-man crew, one of whom trained the gun with the shoulder stirrup; the other used gears to elevate the gun.[2]

Mounting weight elevation
Dopp L C/30 3,670 kg (8,090 lb) -9° to +85°
Einh L C/34 1,860–2,020 kg (4,100–4,450 lb) -10° to +80°
Ubts L C/39 1,450 kg (3,200 lb) -10° to +90°


The SK C/30 used two types of tracer rounds. The 3.7 cm Br Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37M was a high-explosive round with an incendiary filling while the 3.7 cm Sprgr Patr 40 L/4.1 Lh 37 lacked the incendiary fill, but was otherwise identical. Tracers were available in red, yellow or white and were marked on the shell by a painted band of the appropriate color. A complete round weighed 1.78 kilograms (3.9 lb).[3]

Comparison of anti-aircraft guns

Country Gun Model RPM Projectile Weight Weight of fire
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm SK C/30 30 .74 kg (1.6 lb)[4] 22.2 kg (49 lb)
 France Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925 15–21 .72 kg (1.6 lb)[5] 10.8–15.12 kg (23.8–33.3 lb)
 Italy Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) 60–120 .82 kg (1.8 lb)[6] 49.2–98.4 kg (108–217 lb)
 United States 37 mm Gun M1 120 .87 kg (1.9 lb) 104.4 kg (230 lb)
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43 150 .64 kg (1.4 lb)[7] 96 kg (212 lb)
 Soviet Union 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) 80[8] .73 kg (1.6 lb)[9] 58.4 kg (129 lb)
 United Kingdom QF 2-pounder naval gun 115 .91 kg (2.0 lb)[10] 104.6 kg (231 lb)
 Sweden Bofors 40 mm gun 120 .9 kg (2.0 lb)[11] 108 kg (238 lb)


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); C - Construktionsjahr (year of design)


  1. ^ Campbell, p. 256
  2. ^ "German 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30 3.7 cm/L83 (1.5") SK C/30U". 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  3. ^ Hogg, p. 223
  4. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  5. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "France 37 mm/50 (1.46") Model 1925 and CAIL Model 1933 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Italy 37 mm/54 (1.5") Models 1932, 1938 and 1939 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  7. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/57 (1.5") Flak M43 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  8. ^ Foss, Christopher (1977). Jane's pocket book of towed artillery. New York: Collier. p. 229. ISBN 0020806000. OCLC 911907988.
  9. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "Russia / USSR 37 mm/67 (1.5") 70-K - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  10. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "United Kingdom / Britain 2-pdr QF Mark VIII - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. ^ DiGiulian, Tony. "USA Bofors 40 mm/60 Model 1936 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.


  • Campbell, John (2002). Naval Weapons of World War Two. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Gander, Terry; Chamberlain, Peter (1979). Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939–1945. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-15090-3.
  • Hogg, Ian V. (1997). German Artillery of World War Two (2nd corrected ed.). Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 1-85367-480-X.
  • Stehr, Werner (1999). Leichte und mittlere Artillerie auf deutschen Kriegsschiffen [Light and Medium Artillery on German Warships] (in German). Wölfersheim-Berstadt: Podzun-Pallas-Verlag. pp. 8–11. ISBN 3790906646.

External links

3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43

The 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43 was a series of anti-aircraft cannon produced by Nazi Germany that saw widespread service in the Second World War. The cannon was fully automatic and effective against aircraft flying at altitudes up to 4,200 m. The cannon was produced in both towed and self-propelled versions. Having a flexible doctrine, the Germans used their anti-aircraft pieces in ground support roles as well; 37 mm caliber guns were no exception to that. With Germany's defeat, production ceased and, overall, 37 mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon fell into gradual disuse, being replaced by the Bofors 40 mm gun and later, by 35-mm anti-aircraft pieces produced in Switzerland.

3.7 cm Flak M42

The 3.7 cm Flak M42 was the marine version of the 3.7-centimetre (1.5 in) Flak 36/37 and used by the Kriegsmarine on surface ships and as the M42U on Type VII and Type IX U-boats. The 3.7 cm Flak M42U used several types of mounts and entered service in autumn 1943.

37 mm Gun M1

The 37mm Gun M1 was an anti-aircraft autocannon developed in the United States. It was used by the US Army in World War II.

In addition to the towed variant, the gun was mounted, with two M2 machine guns, on the M2/M3 half-track, resulting in the T28/T28E1/M15/M15A1 series of multiple gun motor carriages.

In early World War II, each Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Auto-Weapons battalion was authorized a total of thirty-two 37 mm guns in its four firing batteries, plus other weapons.During World War II the 37 mm gun M1 was deployed in coast defense Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Batteries (AMTB) alongside 90 mm guns, usually four 90 mm and two 37 mm guns per battery. Some AMTB batteries consisted of four 37 mm guns, but most sources have little information on these batteries. In the later part of the war the 37 mm gun was typically replaced by the 40 mm Bofors gun M1.

37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)

The 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) (Russian: 37-мм автоматическая зенитная пушка образца 1939 года (61-К)) is a Soviet 37 mm calibre anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. The land-based version was replaced in Soviet service by the ZSU-57-2 during the 1950s. Guns of this type were successfully used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets. It also had some usefulness against lightly armoured ground targets. Crews of the 37 mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes. The mean quantity of 37 mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds.

37 mm caliber

37mm gun or 3.7 cm gun can refer to several weapons or weapons systems. The "37mm" refers to the inside diameter of the barrel of the gun, and therefore the diameter of the projectile it fires. However, the overall size and power of the gun itself can vary greatly between different weapons, in spite of them all being called "37mm" guns.

The 37mm version of the Maxim gun used by both sides during World War I

QF 1 pounder pom-pom, the British version

37-mm air-defense gun M1939 (61-K), a Soviet World War II anti-aircraft gun

37 mm anti-tank gun M1930 (1-K), a Soviet World War II anti-tank gun

37 mm Gun M1, an American World War II anti-aircraft gun

37mm Gun M3, an American World War II anti-tank gun

3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43, a German World War II anti-aircraft gun

3.7 cm PaK 36, a German World War II gun

3.7 cm SK C/30, a German World War II naval anti-aircraft gun

BK 3,7, a German World War II airborne anti-tank gun

Bofors 37 mm, a Swedish designed anti-tank gun

Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda), an Italian World War II naval anti-aircraft gun

Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925, a French World War II naval anti-aircraft gun

Canon d'Infanterie de 37 modèle 1916 TRP, a French World War I gun; In US World War I service known as the 37mm M1916

COW 37 mm gun, a British World War II airborne anti-tank gun

M4 cannon, an American World War II airborne anti-tank gun

Milkor Stopper 37/38 mm riot gun, a riot gun

Nudelman N-37, a Soviet airborne auto-cannon

Nudelman-Suranov NS-37, a Soviet World War II airborne anti-tank auto-cannon

Puteaux SA 18, a French semi-automatic gun mounted on armored vehicles and in bunkers used during and after World War I

Skoda 37 mm A7, a Czech World War II gun

Skoda 37 mm Model 1934, a World War II gun

Skoda 37 mm Model 1937, a World War II gun

Type 11 37 mm Infantry Gun, a World War II Japanese infantry support gun

Type 1 37 mm Anti-Tank Gun, a World War II Japanese anti-tank gun

37-mm trench gun M1915, a World War I Russian gun

37 mm flare, civilian variant of the 40 mm grenade system

3,7cm ÚV vz. 38

Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda)

The Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) was a 37 mm (1.5 in) automatic anti-aircraft gun produced by the Breda company in Italy.

It was used by both the Regia Marina and the Regio Esercito during World War II, with the former using it as the standard light anti-aircraft weapon on its battleships and cruisers. Nazi Germany used captured weapons after the surrender of Italy in 1943 as the 3.7 cm Breda (i).

Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925

The Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925 was a widely used family of French anti-aircraft guns used by the French Navy during World War II.

German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin

The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the lead ship in a class of two carriers of the same name ordered by the Kriegsmarine. She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany and represented part of the Kriegsmarine's attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. The carrier would have had a complement of 42 fighters and dive bombers.

Construction on Graf Zeppelin began on 28 December 1936, when her keel was laid down at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel. Named in honor of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the ship was launched on 8 December 1938, and was 85% complete by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Graf Zeppelin was not completed and was never operational due to shifting construction priorities necessitated by the war. She remained in the Baltic for the duration of the war; with Germany's defeat imminent, the ship's custodian crew scuttled her just outside Stettin in March 1945. The Soviet Union raised the ship in March 1946, and she was ultimately sunk in weapons tests north of Poland 17 months later. The wreck was discovered by a Polish survey ship in July 2006.

German aviso Grille (1934)

The aviso Grille was ordered as Flottentender "C" (Fleet Tender "C") and her keel was laid down in June 1934 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. She was built to be the official German state yacht in 1935.

German cruiser Nürnberg

Nürnberg was a German light cruiser of the Leipzig class built for the Kriegsmarine. She was named after the city of Nuremberg and had one sister ship, Leipzig. Nürnberg was laid down in 1934, launched in December of that year, and completed in November 1935. She was armed with a main battery of nine 15 cm (5.9 in) guns in three triple turrets and could steam at a speed of 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph). Nürnberg was the longest-serving major warship of the Kriegsmarine, and the only one to see active service after the end of World War II, though not in a German navy.

In the late 1930s, Nürnberg took part in the non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War without major incident. After the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, she was used to lay defensive minefields off the German coast. She was thereafter used to escort offensive mine-layers in the North Sea until she was torpedoed by a British submarine in December 1939. She was thereafter used as a training ship in the Baltic Sea for most of the rest of the war, apart from a short deployment to Norway from November 1942 to April 1943. In January 1945, she was assigned to mine-laying duties in the Skaggerak, but severe shortages of fuel permitted only one such operation.

After the end of the war, Nürnberg was seized by the Royal Navy and ultimately awarded to the Soviet Union as war reparations. In December 1945, a Soviet crew took over the ship, and the following month took her to Tallinn, where she was renamed Admiral Makarov. She served in the Soviet Navy, first in the 8th Fleet, then as a training cruiser based in Kronstadt. By 1960, she had been broken up for scrap.

German destroyer Z32

Z32 was a German Type 1936A (Mob) destroyer, which was completed in 1942 and which served with the 8th Destroyer Flotilla of the Kriegsmarine during the Second World War. She fought in the Battle of the Bay of Biscay against HMS Glasgow and HMS Enterprise, alongside the German 8th Destroyer Flotilla and the 4th Torpedo Boat Flotilla. She mainly operated from German-occupied French Atlantic ports, escorting blockade runners and U-boats, and was sunk during the Battle of Ushant on 9 June 1944.

German training ship Bremse

Bremse was built as an artillery training ship (Artillerieschulschiff ) of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine with a secondary function as a testbed for new marine diesel engines later installed in German panzerschiffs. During World War II, she operated as an escort ship until her sinking in September 1941.

Königsberg-class cruiser (1927)

The Königsberg class, sometimes referred to as the K class, was a class of light cruisers of the German Reichsmarine and Kriegsmarine. The class comprised three ships named after German cities: Königsberg, Karlsruhe, and Köln, all built between 1926 and 1930. These ships were the first of the Reichsmarine with a modern cruiser design; their predecessor, Emden, was based on World War I-era designs. They were armed with a main battery of nine 15 cm (5.9 in) guns and with twelve 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes.

All three ships of the class were used extensively as training cruisers throughout the 1930s. They went on numerous overseas cruises and participated in the non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–1939. After the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the three ships laid defensive minefields in the North Sea. They all saw action in Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway, in April 1940; Königsberg was damaged by Norwegian coastal guns outside Bergen and sunk by British bombers the following day. Karlsruhe was sunk by the British submarine HMS Truant; only Köln survived the attack on Norway.

After returning to Germany, Köln operated Flettner Fl 282 helicopters as an experiment. She provided gunfire support to German ground forces during Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, and returned to Norway in 1942. Ultimately, she was sunk in Wilhelmshaven in March 1945 by American bombers. Her guns were still above water, which allowed her to support the defending German army against British ground forces until the final days of the war.

Le Fier-class torpedo boat

The Le Fier class was a series of sea-going torpedo boats built for the French Navy. Laid down in 1940, the ships were incomplete as of the fall of France and remained unfinished for the rest of World War II.

Leipzig-class cruiser

The Leipzig class was a class of two light cruisers of the German Reichsmarine and later Kriegsmarine; the class comprised Leipzig, the lead ship, and Nürnberg, which was built to a slightly modified design. The ships were improvements over the preceding Königsberg-class cruisers, being slightly larger, with a more efficient arrangement of the main battery and improved armor protection. Leipzig was built between 1928 and 1931, and Nürnberg followed between 1934 and 1935.

Both ships participated in the non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937. After the outbreak of World War II, they were used in a variety of roles, including as minelayers and escort vessels. On 13 December 1939, both ships were torpedoed by the British submarine HMS Salmon. They were thereafter used in secondary roles, primarily as training ships, for most of the rest of the war. Leipzig provided some gunfire support to German Army troops fighting on the Eastern Front.

Both ships survived the war, though Leipzig was in very poor condition following an accidental collision with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen late in the war. Leipzig was therefore used as a barracks ship before being scuttled in 1946. Nürnberg, however, emerged from the war largely unscathed, and as a result, was seized by the Soviet Navy as war reparations, and commissioned into the Soviet fleet as Admiral Makarov; she continued in Soviet service until the late 1950s, and was broken up for scrap by 1960.

List of naval anti-aircraft guns

Naval anti-aircraft guns include anti-aircraft guns specially designed or adapted for mounting on ships, and naval guns adapted for high-angle fire. Today they have been largely superseded by surface-to-air missiles and automatic close-in weapon systems.

O-class battlecruiser

The O class was a planned class of three battlecruisers for the Kriegsmarine (German navy) before World War II. Prompted by a perceived lack in ship numbers when compared with the British Royal Navy, the O class' design was born with the suggestion of modifying the P-class cruiser design with 380 mm (15 in) guns instead of 283 mm (11.1 in).

The ships were incorporated into the 1939 Plan Z for the re-equipment and expansion of the Kriegsmarine; while an aircraft carrier, H-class battleships and smaller ships engaged convoy escorts, one or more O-class ships would attack the merchant ships.

The O class' design reflected their intended role; a heavy main armament (six 380 mm guns in three dual turrets) for possible encounters with escorting 203 mm (8 in)-armed heavy cruisers, enough armor to defend against the same and nothing more, and a high top speed so that they could get away from slower but much better armored capital ships.

Although planned and ordered, construction did not progress due to lack of materials and higher priorities for ship construction.

SMS Arcona (1902)

SMS Arcona was the ninth member of the ten-ship Gazelle class, built by the Imperial German Navy, and named after Cape Arkona on the German island of Rügen. She was built by the AG Weser dockyard in Bremen, laid down in 1901, launched in April 1902, and commissioned into the High Seas Fleet in May 1903. Armed with a main battery of ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes, Arcona was capable of a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph).

Arcona served in all three German navies in the first half of the 20th century. She served both with the fleet and abroad during her career in the Imperial Navy in the early 1900s. In World War I, she was used as a coastal defense ship and then as a support vessel for the U-boat campaign in the Atlantic. After the war, she served briefly in the Reichsmarine before being withdrawn and used for secondary duties. After the German Navy became the Kriegsmarine in 1935, it rebuilt Arcona as a floating anti-aircraft battery and used her to defend several German ports during World War II. She was scuttled in the final days of the war, and broken up for scrap in 1948–1949.

SMS Medusa

SMS Medusa was the seventh member of the ten-ship Gazelle class, built by the Imperial German Navy. She was built by the AG Weser dockyard in Bremen, laid down in early 1900, launched in December 1900, and commissioned into the High Seas Fleet in July 1901. Armed with a main battery of ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes, Medusa was capable of a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph).

Medusa served in all three German navies over the span of over forty years. She served as a fleet scout in the period before World War I, and during the first two years of the conflict, she was used as a coastal defense ship. She was one of six cruisers Germany was allowed to keep by the Treaty of Versailles, and she served in the early 1920s in the Reichsmarine. She was withdrawn from service in 1924 and used in secondary duties, but in 1940, the Kriegsmarine converted Medusa into a floating anti-aircraft battery. She defended the port of Wilhelmshaven until the closing days of the war, when she was scuttled by her crew. The wreck was ultimately broken up for scrap in 1948–1950.

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