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15cm Kanone 16 (15cm K16)

Imperial Germany (1917)
Picture of 15cm Kanone 16 (15cm K16) 150mm Towed Heavy Field Gun

The15cm Kanone 16 led a long, useful battlefield career - used from World War 1 in 1917 to the end of World War 2 in 1945.

Detailing the development and operational history of the 15cm Kanone 16 (15cm K16) 150mm Towed Heavy Field Gun.  Entry last updated on 5/10/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

Field guns of all types were used by all sides in World War 1 in an attempt to break down fortifications and dislodge enemy troops dug into fortified trench networks. For the French, this charge fell to the Canon de 155mm GPF and, for the British, the role went to the BL 6-inch Mk XIX series. During 1917, the German Empire introduced the 15cm (150mm) Kanone 16 (K16) which was produced by storied arms maker Krupp. Production spanned from 1917 to 1918 before the Armistice of November. Following the war, a stock of these guns fell to the Belgians and were eventually reclaimed by their German owners during World War 2.

The weapon was of a traditional design utilizing the key components of gun tube, mounting/recoil hardware and carriage. The gun tube's caliber was actually 149.3mm but rounded up in its designation. The carriage utilized a steel two-wheeled configuration and box trail assembly for moving by beasts of burden or tractor vehicle. Overall weight tipped the scales at 23,960lbs and overall length measured 21 feet. Loading and unloading of projectiles was managed through a horizontal sliding breech block at the gun tube's rear. The gun mounting hardware held an inherit elevation span of +43 to -3 degrees with traversal of 8-degrees.

The K16 fired a 113lb cased-charge High-Explosive (HE) shell out to 24,000 yards at a muzzle velocity of 2,480 feet per second. Trained crews could reach rates-of-fire of about two to three rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity could vary based on number of charges used and desired range effect while the projectile retained its lethality in any case. In transport, the barrel assembly was disconnected from the carriage to produce two, more manageable, sections.
The K16 saw reliable service throughout the remainder of World War 1. After the war, they remained in circulation and, when the Germans conquered Belgium, the Belgian Army stocks were retaken into German Army service under the designation of 15cm K429(b) - "b" signifying their Belgian origins (despite them being German). Such reconstituting proved commonplace for the Germans in their conquest of the West and East where any and all war-making goods from former operators were reused in all ways possible. Some K16 guns ended as defensive emplacements along Hitler's Atlantic Wall to protect against an Allied invasion in the Northwest of Europe. Some K16 gun tubes were featured in the "15cm K16 Morser Laf" gun systems when mated to the carriages of the 21cm Morser 18 artillery piece - such became the desperate nature of useful artillery weapons in the war.

Supported Mission Types:
Troop Transport
Infantry Support
High Mobility
Tank Destroyer
Special Forces
Towed Artillery
Self-Propelled Artillery
Rocket Artillery
Airspace Denial
Special Purpose
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Service Year: 1917
Manufacturer(s): Krupp - Imperial Germany
Classification Type: 150mm Towed Heavy Field Gun
Production Units: 500
Global Operators:
Belgium; Imperial Germany; Nazi Germany
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Operating Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the 15cm Kanone 16 (15cm K16) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.




22.31 ft

6.8 m


Tons (US Short)
12 t

10,900 kg

24,030 lb

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
None. This is a towed artillery piece.


14 mi

22 km

Armament and Ammunition:

1 x 149.3mm gun barrel

Dependent on ammunition carrier.
Optional Systems / Capabilities:

Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Protection: None
Nightvision (NV) Equipment: None
Variants: Series Model Variants
• 15cm Kanone 16 - Base Series Designation
• 15cm K16 - Shortform designation
• 15cm K 429(b) - Captured Belgian guns in new German Army service.