14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun

The 14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun was the standard surface battery for Japanese submarine cruisers of World War II. Most carried single guns, but Junsen type submarines carried two. Japanese submarines I-7 and I-8 carried an unusual twin mounting capable of elevating to 40°. The appended designation 11th year type refers to the horizontal sliding breech block on these guns. Breech block design began in 1922, or the eleventh year of the Taishō period in the Japanese calendar.[4] The gun fired a projectile 14 centimeters (5.5 in) in diameter, and the barrel was 40 calibers long (barrel length is 14 cm x 40 = 560 centimeters or 220 inches).[5]

14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun
14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun aboard Japanese submarine I-400 being inspected by United States Navy personnel.
TypeNaval gun
Place of originJapan
Service history
In service1922–1945
Used byImperial Japanese Navy
WarsWorld War II
MassSingle Mount: 8,600 kilograms (18,960 lb)
Twin Mount: 18,300 kilograms (40,345 lb)[1]
Length5.9 meters (19 ft 4 in)
Barrel length5.6 meters (18 ft 4 in) (bore length)

Shellseparate-loading, cased charge
Shell weight38 kilograms (84 lb)
Caliber14-centimeter (5.5 in)
BreechHorizontal sliding breech block
ElevationSingle Mount: +30°  to −5° 
Twin Mount: +40°  to −7° [2]
Rate of fire5 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity700 meters per second (2,300 ft/s)
Maximum firing range16,000 meters (17,000 yd) at +30°[3]

World War II

This gun was the weapon used by I-17 to sink SS Emidio and to later shell the Ellwood Oil Field near Santa Barbara, California. It was also used by I-25 for the Bombardment of Fort Stevens in Oregon near the mouth of the Columbia River and by I-26 to shell the Estevan Point lighthouse in British Columbia.[6]

Similar weapon

A longer-barreled 14 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval gun was used aboard surface ships and for coastal defense. The .40 caliber/11th Year Type guns were intended for use against destroyers, and fired base-fuzed projectiles with thinner shell walls allowing a larger bursting charge than the .50 caliber/3rd Year Type guns for potential use against armored ships. The lower velocity .40 caliber gun had a useful life expectancy of 800 to 1000 effective full charges (EFC) per barrel.[7]


  1. Campbell 1985 pp.190–191
  2. Campbell 1985 pp.190–191
  3. Campbell 1985 pp.190–191
  4. Campbell 1985 pp.173 & 191
  5. Fairfield 1921 p.156
  6. Webber 1975 pp. 14–16 & 40–62
  7. Campbell 1985 pp.190–191


  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Fairfield, A.P. (1921). Naval Ordnance. The Lord Baltimore Press.
  • Webber, Bert (1975). Retaliation: Japanese Attacks and Allied Countermeasures on the Pacific Coast in World War II. Oregon State University Press.
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