10.5 cm Flak 38
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-621-2942-17, Schwere Flak einer Küstenbatterie.jpg
A Flak 38 105 mm anti-aircraft gun at a coastal battery, 1942
TypeAnti-aircraft gun
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1937–62
Used byNazi Germany (1937-45), French Navy (1953-62)
WarsWorld War II
Production history
No. builtApprox 4,200
Specifications (Flak 39)
Mass10,224 kg (22,540 lbs)
Length6.648 m (21 ft 10 in)
Barrel length5.547 m (18 ft 2 in) L/63
Width2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
Height2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)

Shell105 × 769 mm. R
Shell weight15.1 kg (33 lb 5 oz)
Caliber105 mm (4.13 in)
BarrelsOne, 36 grooves with right-hand increasing twist from 1/48 to 1/36
BreechHorizontal semi-automatic sliding-block
Elevation-3° to +85°
Rate of fire15–18 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity881 m/s (2,890 ft/s)
Effective firing range17,600 m (19,247 yds) ground target
9,450 m (31,003 ft) effective ceiling
Maximum firing range11,400 m (37,401 ft) maximum ceiling[1]

The 10.5 cm FlaK 38 was a German anti-aircraft gun used during World War II by the Luftwaffe. An improved version was introduced as the 10.5 cm FlaK 39.[2]


Land version

The Flak 38 was introduced as a competitor to the 8.8 cm FlaK 18. In this role it proved to be too heavy for field use while having roughly similar performance as the 88 mm, therefore it was used primarily in static mounts.[2]

The Flak 39 was an improved version, which replaced the electrical gun laying system with a mechanical one.

Naval version

The 10.5 cm SK C/33[Note 1] was used by the Kriegsmarine, the German Navy. Related to the Flak 38, it was installed on the Bismarck and Scharnhorst classes of battleships as well as the Deutschland- and Admiral Hipper-class cruisers. After the war, it was used for a few years by the French Marine Nationale on the reconstructed ex-Italian light cruisers, Châteaurenault[3] and Guichen.[4] In the late 1940s, the French also planned to equip the battleship Richelieu with twelve of these mountings, but the project was cancelled due to credit shortage.

They were mounted in pairs on an electrically powered tri-axial mounting, intended to compensate for the motion of the ship and maintain a lock onto the intended target. The mounting was not properly waterproofed and as the mountings were open to the weather and sea swell, this resulted in a high maintenance burden.


  1. ^ SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); C - Construktionsjahr (year of design)
  1. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Anti-aircraft guns. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 23. ISBN 0668038187. OCLC 2000222.
  2. ^ a b Bishop, Chris. The encyclopedia of weapons of world War II. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2002, p.153
  3. ^ Le Châteaurenault sur le site alabordache.fr
  4. ^ Le Guichen sur le site alabordache.fr