17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn)

The 17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) was a slightly larger version of the 15cm K (E), but wasn’t powerful enough to be worth the effort required to produce it, and only a handful were ever built.

The 17cm K (E) emerged from the 1936 emergency armament programme. The first railway to be produced under this scheme was the 15cm Kanone (Eisenbahn), which first appeared in 1937. Only four of these were produced, as the 15cm gun was too small to be worth the effort of mounting it on a railway carriage, and was the same calibre as the standard corps artillery of the German Army. In an attempt to take advantage of the development work, a series of ex naval 17cm L/40 guns were mounted on the same railway carriage to produce the 17cm K (E).

The 17cm gun was mounted towards the front of a rectangular fighting platform. This was mounted on a turntable carried on a flatbed railway carriage, which gave it a range of traverse of 360 degrees. Outriggers could be put down to keep the carriage stable when firing.

Although the 17cm fired a heavier shell over a longer distance than the 15cm version, it still wasn’t really worth the effort of production and only six were built. They were split between Eisenbahn batterien 717 and 718, and spent most of their active service career on the French, Belgian and Dutch coasts. They remained in service into 1945, but had little impact on the course of the fighting.


17cm K (E)


172.6cm (6.8in)

Barrel Length

6.90m (22ft 7.66in)

Weight for transport


Weight in action

80 tons


10 to 45 degrees


360 degrees on turntable

Shell Weight

62.8kg (138lb)

Muzzle Velocity

875m/ sec

Maximum Range

26,100m (28,545 yards)

Rate of Fire

60 rounds/ hour

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 May 2018), 17cm Kanone (Eisenbahn) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_17cm_kanone_eisenbahn.html

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