15 cm/53 (5.9")
15.2 cm/53 (6") Model 1942
Updated 20 January 2007

These Bofors guns were to be used in the Netherlands Eendracht class cruisers, but the outbreak of World War II stopped work on those ships.  Delays in shipbuilding caused by the war allowed Bofors to design and develop an automatic shell handling system which included dual ammunition hoists (AA and AP).  Eventually, these weapons wound up on the Swedish Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) class cruisers.  Later still, new guns were produced to arm cruisers for the Netherlands.  The turret designs for both nations were also by Bofors and had high maximum elevations to allow these guns to operate in the AAA mode.  In the postwar designs, the bore diameter was apparently increased to allow the use of Swedish 6" (15.2 cm) shells.

The Swedish ammunition for these guns is unusual in that the projectiles and cartridge cases are stowed separately but are rammed together on a cartridge carrier to become a fixed round before hoisting into the gun.  This design has been criticized by British observers on the grounds that it requires very tight tolerances on all cartridges and mechanisms involved and is an obvious source of problems should this not be the case.  Given the problems experienced by the British and United States with their automatic 6 inch (15.2 cm) guns of the same period, it would be interesting to know if Bofors had similar problems.

The data that follows is, wherever possible, for both nation's ships.


Swedish Cruiser Gota-Lejon


Netherlands Cruiser de Zeven Provinciën

Gun Characteristics
Designation Eendracht:  15 cm/53 (5.9")

Tre Kronor and de Ruyter:  15.2 cm/53 (6") Model 1942

Ship Class Used On Netherlands:  Eendracht Class (not built) and de Ruyter

Sweden:  Tre Kronor Class

Date Of Design Netherlands:  1939 

Sweden:  1942

Date In Service 1947
Gun Weight N/A
Gun Length N/A
Bore Length about 318 in (8.072 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire Eendracht Class:  about 6 rounds per minute 

Tre Kronor and de Ruyter:  10 (AP) or 15 (AA) per minute

Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights HE - 101 lbs. (45.8 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge N/A
Cartridge - 71.8 lbs. (32.6 kg)
Muzzle Velocity HE - 2,952 fps (900 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A
Elevation With 101 lbs. (45.8 kg) HE Shell
Range @ 45 degrees 28,400 yards (25,969 m)
AA Ceiling about 50,000 feet (15,250 m)
Mount / Turret Data
Designation Twin Turrets
   Eendracht (2), Tre Kronor (2) and de Ruyter (4)

Triple Turrets
   Eendracht (1) and Tre Kronor (1)

Weight  Twin Turrets on de Ruyter:  113 tons (115 mt)

Triple Turrets:  N/A

Elevation Eendracht Class:  -10 / +60 degrees 

Tre Kronor and de Ruyter classes:  -10 / +70 degrees (one source says -10 / +60 degrees)

Elevation Rate N/A
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
Data from
"The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems 1991/92" and "Naval Radar" both by Norman Friedman
"Cruisers of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley
Special help from Joakim Wohlfeil