Military Wiki
17 cm Kanone (E)
Type Railway Gun
Place of origin Germany
Service history
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Designed 1937–38
Manufacturer Krupp
Produced 1938
Number built 6
Weight 80,000 kg (180,000 lb)
Barrel length L/40

Shell separate-loading, cased charge
Caliber 173 millimetres (6.8 in)
Breech horizontal sliding block
Elevation 10°–45°
Traverse 360°
Muzzle velocity 875 m/s (2,870 ft/s)
Effective range 13,350 m (14,600 yd)
Maximum range 27,200 m (29,700 yd)
Filling weight 6.4 kg (14 lb) of TNT

The 17 cm Kanone in Eisenbahnlafette (17 cm K (E)) was a German railroad gun used in the Second World War.

Design & History

This weapon was designed with the intent of replacing the 15 cm K (E) mounted on the same carriage, although only 6 were built before it was realized that both guns were too small to justify railroad mounts. The gun was mounted on a simple pivot mount on a ballrace on a well-base flatcar with four outriggers. In action the outriggers and their jacks would be dropped to stabilize the gun and absorb the firing recoil. In addition jacks locked the spring suspension, bore on the surface of the rails and screw clamps gripped the rails for more stability. The elderly 17 cm Schnelladekanone L/40 was used because it was available in some numbers, having been designed as the casemate gun for the Deutschland-class predreadnought battleships. It fired a 17 cm Sprgr L/4.7 KZ mit Hb shell weighing 62.8 kilograms (138 lb). This was a standard HE shell with a nose fuze beneath a ballistic cap.

They spent the war assigned to Artillerie-Batteries 717 and 718 (E) along the Channel coast.


  • Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke, 1974
  • François, Guy. Eisenbahnartillerie: Histoire de l'artillerie lourd sur voie ferrée allemande des origines à 1945. Paris: Editions Histoire et Fortifications, 2006
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  • Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X
  • Kosar, Franz. Eisenbahngeschütz der Welt. Stuttgart: Motorbook, 1999 ISBN 3-613-01976-0

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