135 mm/45 Italian naval gun
The Cannone da 135/45 OTO 1937 was a 135 mm (5.3 in) 45-caliber naval gun built for the Regia Marina in the late 1930s. Built as a response to the French Canon de 138 mm Modèle 1929, it was meant to have the same range as the widespread 120 mm gun, but with less muzzle velocity and less dispersion.
|Cannone da 135/45 OTO 1937 and 1938, Ansaldo 1938|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|In service||1940 - 1972|
|Used by||Kingdom of Italy|
|Wars||Second World War|
|Designer||Odero Terni Orlando|
|Manufacturer||Odero Terni Orlando|
|Mass||6.01 t (13,200 lb)|
|Length||6.075 m (19 ft 11.2 in)|
|Caliber||135 mm (5.3 in)|
|Elevation||-5° to +45°|
|Rate of fire||6-7 rounds per minute|
|Muzzle velocity||825 metres per second (2,710 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||19,600 m (21,400 yd)|
This gun was of loose barrel, jacket and bracket ring, with a horizontal, hand-operated sliding block. The mountings, all with individual cradles for each gun, were either triple (on battleships) or double, with electrical-powered ramming (which, however, was too weak for elevations above 30°, which therefore required hand loading, which rendered the gun unsuitable for anti-aircraft use).
The gun fired both AP and HE shells, all weighing 32.7 kg (72.1 lb), at a muzzle velocity of 825 mps (2.707 fps).
The triple mountings were used on the Andrea Doria-class battleships as a secondary battery (with each having four turrets); four double mountings each were fitted on the three completed Capitani Romani-class cruisers. Single shielded mounts were used to rearm the Premuda (captured Yugoslav destroyer Dubrovnik) and Spalato (captured Yugoslav destroyer Split) while others were built for the never completed aircraft carrier Aquila and Comandanti Medaglie d'Oro-class destroyers. Studies for twin dual-purpose mountings were begun, intended for the two unfinished Etna-class cruisers and the salvaged battleship Conte di Cavour, but this work was still far from finished in 1943.
The gun proved successful (having only a quarter of the dispersion of the 120 mm gun); however, with the 45° maximum elevation and the limit for mechanical ramming being at 30°, it could not be used against aircraft.
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- Bagnasco, p. 35
- Campbell, p. 334-5
- Campbell, ibidem
- Bagnasco, p. 36
- Campbell, ibidem
- Bagnasco, p. 37