Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

5"/38 cal. mountrs

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Chariot Whiskey, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Chariot Whiskey

    Chariot Whiskey Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I know that 5"/38 cal gun mounts are always referred to as Mounts but I was reading a book about the naval battles at Guadalcanal and the author referred to the dual 5" mounts on the Atlanta class AA cruisers as Turrets. As these mounts were the primary batteries on a cruiser was he correct in that nomenclature?
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

    May 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    As you can see the 5" guns were the primary guns on the Atlanta class, so either term would be acurate.
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Nov 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    God's Country
    Please refer to the links below, they will tell you everything you might ever want to know about the 5"/38. It came in a variety of mountings and variations differentiated by the Mk. numbers. Be sure to look at the stats, many of the Mk's of the mounts differ in the thickness of the armor plating.

    USA 5"/38 (12.7 cm) Mark 12


    Now as to definitions:

    Base Ring - US designation. The entire gun mounting turns on a bearing race which for larger guns is big enough such that there is a space in the center where ammunition can be fed to the gun. All of the fully enclosed and most of the open mountings for the 5"/38 (12. 7 cm) were base ring types. Mountings for many smaller guns developed during World War II, such as the quad 40 mm Bofors, were base ring types as this design distributed the weight of the gun and mounting better than did a pedestal type.

    Gunhouse - The armored portion of the rotating structure extending above the barbette.

    Turret - There is always a controversy about whether a particular rotating enclosed gun emplacement should be called a "Turret" or a "Mount." In the USN, the difference between a turret and a mount is that a "Turret" is built into the ship, has a stalk that extends well below the weather deck and includes a barbette, while a "Mount" is not part of the ship's structure and does not include a barbette. As a general rule, 5 inch (12.7 cm) and smaller guns are in "Mounts" while 6 inch (15.2 cm) and larger guns are in "Turrets." Other navies had similar distinctions.
    Turret Definitions - In the USN, when multi-gun turrets are described as "two-gun" or "three-gun" it means that their guns are individually sleeved and that each gun can elevate independently of the others. When the mounting is described as "twin" or "triple" it means that all guns share a single slide or cradle and that individual guns can not elevate independently from the others. Other nations do not use these distinctions.

    These definitions and others may be found here:
    Definitions and Information about Naval Guns - Part 1

    Now I learned some of the terminology differently. Each weapons station would be a mount, example: forward port side 40mm quad mount or 16"/45 triple mount in th "A" position. A mount could be of several types such as single shielded pedistal, twin turreted enclosed base ring, etc. A mount could be turreted, open, shielded, etc. I was taught that the difference between a turret and a gunhouse, both of which are enclosures, is that in a turret each tube/barrel can elevate individually and in a gun house they must be elevated in unison and that common usage was for the gun enclosure above the barbette or deck, (this latter definition is similar to the one given above). I was also taught that when referring to 5" or smaller guns it was never turret, but gun enclosure, mount, or gunhouse. So if we were speaking of the foremost 5"/38 mount on an Atlanta class cruiser you could state something several ways:
    1.) The "A" position twin mount was penetrated by shrapnel.
    2.) The forward most 5"/38 gunhouse was penetrated by shrapnel.
    3.) The "A" position 5"/38 enclosed mount was penetrated by shrapnel.
    To say that, the "A" position 5"/38 turret was penetrated by shrapnel would technically be incorrect, but such terminology was commonly used.

    I hope I have now sufficiently confused you!!!!:confused:
    belasar and Slipdigit like this.
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Apr 27, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Reading, PA
    Mount is the correct term - not turret.

    The "primary armament" argument is irrelevant. A turret will always have a barbette structure below it, while a mount may or may not have a barbette structure.

    FWIW, many authors call the 5-inch/38 mounts "turrets", simply because they have a gunhouse structure and rotate.

    Edit - I see USMC Price beat me to it.
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Jan 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Price, I'm not only confused, but my eyes glazed over. I'm not even sure we talk the same language.

Share This Page