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16 inch Coastal Defense Gun M1919
16 in Coastal Defense Gun at the US Army Ordnance Museum
16 in Coastal Defense Gun at the US Army Ordnance Museum
Type Coastal Artillery
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1920—1946
Used by United States Army
Wars World War II
Weight 484 tons
Barrel length 50 calibers 67 ft, (20.32 m)

Shell HE; 2,340 lb (1,060 kg)
Caliber 16 in (406 mm)
Carriage M1919 Barbette, fixed
Elevation -7° to +65°
Traverse 215° (Btry. Hamilton)
Muzzle velocity 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s)
Maximum range 26 mi (42 km)

The 16 inch Coastal Defense Gun M1919 was a large artillery piece installed to defend the United States' major seaports between 1920 and 1946.


The first 16-inch gun was started in 1895[1] (M1895) and completed in 1902 by the Watervliet Arsenal.[2] It was eventually mounted on a disappearing carriage in Fort Grant, Panama Canal Zone, where it served until scrapped in 1943.[1]

The second 16-inch (410 mm) was the United States Army 50 caliber Model 1919 (M1919). It was deployed to Fort Michie, Great Gull Island, New York.[1] An additional six of the Army designed M1919 gun were built and deployed.[3] In 1922, the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty caused the US Navy to cancel the South Dakota-class battleships and the Lexington-class battlecruisers, surplusing 16-inch/50 caliber Mark II and Mark III barrels. These 20 guns were transferred to the Army, who built a new version of the M1919 mount for the naval guns. On 27 July 1940, the Army's Harbor Defense Board recommended the construction of 27 16-inch gun batteries to protect strategic points along the US coastline. Typical of this plan were the guns placed to protect Narragansett Bay, two 16-inch guns were placed in Battery Gray, Fort Church, Little Compton, Rhode Island and two more were placed in Battery Hamilton, Fort Greene, Point Judith. A second battery of 16-inch guns at Fort Greene, Battery 109, had construction suspended in 1943 and never received guns. These batteries were placed such that they not only protected Narraganset Bay, but interdicted the main channels into Buzzards Bay and the east end of Long Island Sound.[4]


The gun fired a 2,240 lb (1,020 kg). projectile to a range of 26 miles (42 km).[4] The estimated cost of the gun and barbette was US$520,000 in 1938.[4] The new M1 Gun Data Computer was used in directing these guns.

Surviving examples

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "16-inch Gun Technical Data". Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  2. "Watervliet Arsenal Museum". Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "16-Inch Coast Defense Gun". Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Walter K. Schroder (1980). Defenses of Narragansett Bay in World War II. Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation. pp. 37–50. ISBN 0-917012-22-4. 

General references

  • TM 9-2300 Standard Artillery and Fire Control Materiel FEB. 1944
  • TM 4-210 Seacoast Artillery Weapons Oct. 1944
  • TM 9-471
  • SNL E-10
  • SNL E-20
  • SNL E-58
  • American Coast Artillery Materiel 1922 [1] (extensive manufacturing information)

External links

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