eMail Arthur

38 cm SK C/34 in turret C/34

Due to international regulations (the Washington Treaty) Germany had to change the layouts of their capital ships more than once. The battlecruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" were constructed within those regulations. When both ships became operational, the plan for a major refitt of one of them was already made. "Gneisenau" would be re-armed and would be the only "O" class battleship. Orders were given to make three turrets with each two 38 cm guns, exactly the same as placed on "Bismarck" and "Tirpitz". This refitt never took place as the "Gneisenau" was heavily damaged and pinned down at Gotenhafen (now Gdynia, Poland). Krupp had made a fourth turret of this kind for a Russian order. Due to the changes in the warscenario, this sale was cancelled.

Battery Location Turrets Bunkertype Remarks
Vogelnest Oxby, Denmark 2 - 2 S 561  
Castel Vendon Cherbourg west, France 2 - 2 Shafts  

Two 38 cm turrets landed in Oxby, Denmark. The emplacements were never finished and one of the bunkers is a museum now. The other two turrets were planned in France.There are reports in the archives, that cover meetings on the construction of a 38 cm German battery at Castel Vendon in the "Westeck" of Cherbourg. On 15 August 1943 the order was issued to make new underground constructions. Please note that these works have nothing to do with the already existing two French shafts for 34 cm turrets, made in the late 30-ties.
There are also sources that place one turret at Castel Vendon and the fourth turret in a shaft at the battery "Paimpol", France. "Paimpol" however remained equipped with her two 20.3 cm railroadguns. We stick to the Castel Vendon story with two newly built German shafts on the eastern side of the mainroad. Due to the lack of material and most of all, workmen and transport, the construction of both shafts was stopped in December 1943. The battery "Gréville" with four 15,5 cm guns in bunkertype M 272, was built instead.

The shaft of the museum-S 561 in Oxby.

One of the old French 34 cm shafts at Castel Vendon.

One of the guns of the battery "Vogelnest" was for years in a museum in Jutland. (John Asmussen)

But recently it was relocated to the museum at Hangstholm, where it is now in a more historical fitting environment.