BL 18 inch / 40 naval gun

The British 18 inch naval gun was the largest gun ever in the service of the Royal Navy. The official designation was "18 inch /40 Mark I". The gun was up-scaled from the BL 15 inch /42 naval gun and proved accurate and reliable. Only the Second World War Japanese 40 cm/45 Type 94 had a slightly larger calibre, 18.1 inches, but the British shell was heavier.

A total of 3 guns were built by Armstrong Whitworth in Elswick. One gun was installed in the "large light cruiser" (a form of battlecruiser) HMS "Furious" in a single turret, but was removed after trials showed the vessel could not handle firing and she was converted into an aircraft carrier. Two other guns were mounted in the "Lord Clive" monitors "General Woolfe" and "Lord Clive" and were used for bombarding German occupied Belgium in 1918. Two guns were scrapped in 1933 and the third was used for trials until it too was scrapped in 1947. A total of 85 18" shells were fired in action.


* Entered service - 1917
* Bore - 18 inches (457 mm)
* Length - 40 calibres (18.29 m)
* Rate of fire - 1 round per minute maximum [installed in turret on HMS "Furious"]
* Shell weight - 3,320 lb (1,506 kg)
* Propellant weight - 630 lb (285.8 kg)
* Range - up to 40,500 yards at 45 degrees. General Wolfe fired in action at a range of 33km, the greatest range at which a Royal Navy vessel has engaged an enemy with gunfire.
* Muzzle Velocity - Standard Charge: 2,270 ft/s (683 m/s), Super Charge: 2,420 ft/s (738 m/s)
* Mountings
** Single turret 15" B (840 Metric tonnes, 30 degree elevation)- used on HMS "Furious"
** Single non rotating mounting (390 metric tonnes, 45 degree elevation) - used on monitors

ee also

*List of artillery#Naval_guns


* [ page from Nav weapons .com]

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