Monthly Archive for July, 2010

7.92 mm Karbiner 98K (Mauser-Kar. 98K): Rifle

7.92 mm Karbiner 98K (Mauser-Kar. 98K): Rifle

This is the standard shoulder weapon of the German Army and is very similar to the M1903 rifle used in the American Army. Known as the Mauser Kar. 98K, it may be regarded as a carbine or a short rifle.

This rifle has no windage adjustment or peep sight but gives good results at medium range. It is a bolt-operated, magazine-fed shoulder weapon.

Older models of this weapon, which operate in the same fashion, differ only in having longer barrels and in minor variations in fittings. They are known as the Gewehr 98, Kar. 98, and Kar. 98B.

The safety is a thumb-operated lever mounted on the bolt plug, operating in the same manner as the safety on the U.S. Rifle, M1903 (Springfield). The rifle is also loaded in the same manner as the M1903 rifle—the empty clip being ejected as the bolt is closed. Double-pull trigger action is also similar. A short knife bayonet is made for this rifle and several types of rifle grenade launchers may be attached. At least two different types of telescopic sights are found when this rifle is used for sniping. One is the ZF39, a conventional Zeiss 4X sight attached to mounts which are fitted to the receiver ring and bridge. The other, the ZF41, is a short 1 1/2 x scope with long eye-relief of 16 3/4 in. which is attached to the rifle by a side mount which is attached to the left side of the rear sight base.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight (approx.) 9 lb.
Overall length 43.5 ins.
Length of barrel 23.4 ins.
Principle of operation Manually operated bolt action
Capacity of magazine 5 rds.
     Front Inverted V blade (which is sometimes equipped with a hood)
     Rear Leaf with open V notch sliding on ramp, graduated from 100 to 2,000 meters.
     Telescopic See Text
Muzzle velocity 2,600-2,700 f/s
     Maximum (approx.) 2,500 to 3,000 yds.
     Effective (approx.) 600 to 800 yds.
Ammunition 7.92 mm German Mauser ground types

German: p. 207

15 cm s.F.H. 18: Medium Howitzer

15 cm s.F.H. 18: Medium Howitzer

This howitzer has been in use by the German Army since before 1939, and is soon to be replaced by the s.F.H. 42. It has a horizontal sliding breechblock mechanism, and a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism.

This gun is mounted on the Pz. Kpfw. IV tank chassis, also on the French Lorrain tank chassis. A captured document states that the new s.F.H. 42 gun is fitted with a muzzle brake and bored-out chamber for use with charge 8 ammunition. The s.F.H. 42 gun uses the same range table as the s.F.H. 18 gun.

The gun is generally tractor-drawn with a two-wheeled limber attached to the trails. The tube is moved out of battery into transport on the cradle. Braking the piece in transport can be accomplished either by hand or by air brakes controlled from the prime mover.

The tube is of monobloc construction fitting into a reinforcing jacket. The breech ring is secured to the jacket and receives the horizontal sliding breechblock. Located above the tube is the counterrecoil cylinder and the lower cylinder under the tube brakes the gun in recoil and serves as a buffer in counterrecoil. A cooling jacket is found around the recoil cylinder.

The carriage interchangeable with the 10 cm (s. 10 cm K 18) med. gun is constructed of welded and riveted steel with split trails mounted on solid rubber tires. Detachable spades for soft soil are attached to the rear end of the trails when desired but are mounted to the side of the trails in transport.


Caliber         14.9 cm (5.91 ins.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 8.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 6 tons
Length (travelling position)
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 142.6 ins.
No. of grooves 40 right hand twist
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (shell) 1,705 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 14,570 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire 4 rds. per min.
Traverse 60°
Elevation 45°
Length of recoil 44.09 ins.
Ammunition H.E. (3 types—anticoncrete—smoke (2 types)—A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 95.7 lb.

German: p. 105

7.62 cm Pak 36 (r): Antitank Gun (Ex-Russian)

7.62 cm Pak 36 (r): Antitank Gun (Ex-Russian)

The original 7.62 cm Pak 36, a Russian weapon, was captured by the Nazis and modified to increase the velocity. The built-up tube was rebored to seat a longer cartrige case, and a two-baffled muzzle brake added to cut down recoil energy. The breech mechanism is of the vertical sliding type, and the firing mechanism of the continuous pull type. The breech ring has been bored to seat a safety lock which holds the firing mechanism in a safe or firing position. A firing lever attached to the left side of the cradle enables the gunner to traverse as well as fire the piece. The elevating handwheel is generally situated on the right side of the cradle. Two puller type equilibrators located under the front of the cradle and attached to the rear by chains compensate for muzzle preponderance.

The carriage is of welded steel construction with synthetic filled pneumatic tires and split trails, which can be spread to an angle of 60 ° for firing. The hydropneumatic recoil system consists of two cylinders, one for recoil and the other for counterrecoil. This model is semi-automatic in operation.

The weapon is reported to use the following types of ammunition: A.P.C.; H.E. A sight bracket is attached to the left of the trunnion, and the German range indicator is graduated for the types of ammunition mentioned above.


Caliber         76.2 mm (3 ins.)
Weight (complete) 3,564 lb.
Length of gun (overall) 23 ft., 5 ins.
Length of tube 12 ft., 1 in.
Carriage Steel split trails with rubber tires
Breech mechanism Vertical sliding block
Firing mechanism Continuous pull
Recoil mechanism Hydropneumatic
Rifling 32 lands & grooves; R.H. twist
Elevation 72°
Depression -4°
Traverse 27° right; 30° left

  Range        Thickness of armor in mm
  Yards           30°         Normal
P.B.   4.1 5.2
500   3.7 4.6
1000   3.2 4.1
1500   2.9 3.6
2000   2.5 3.1
2500   2.2 2.8
M.V. 2430 f/s
Wt. of shell 16.7 lb.

German: p. 116

7.62 cm F.K. 39 (r): Antitank Gun (Ex-Russian)

7.62 cm F.K. 39 (r): Antitank Gun (Ex-Russian)

This gun, recently captured in Sicily, has the general simplicity of design characteristic of most Russian weapons. This was formerly a Russian piece, modified by the Germans to use Pak 36 (r) ammunition. The tube which is provided with a jacket is shorter than the Russian 7.62 cm F.K. 36, and is fitted with a double baffled muzzle brake, similar to that used on the 7.5 cm Pak 40. The breechblock is of the vertical falling block type, and appears to be wholly hand operated.

The buffer is located inside the cradle, whereas the recuperator is mounted above the piece. On recoil, the recuperator cylinder moves with the barrel, the piston rod being attached to the upper end of the bracket which is secured to the forward end of the cradle.

Sighting gear consists of a range drum (calibrated for use with Pz. Gr. 40 and Pz. Gr. 39 ammunition) and dial sight carrier mounted on the left trunnion. There appears to be no provision for a telescopic antitank sight.

Traversing and elevating mechanisms are operated by handwheels on the left and right hand sides of the gun.

The weapon is mounted on a crosshead consisting of a short hollow rectangular shaft provided with bearings at either end for the trail heads. The split trails, constructed from rectangular girders, are operated by traversing handles secured to each trail end. Wheels are disk type with pneumatic type tires filled with synthetic.

The shield is a single flat sheet of metal cut away at the lower corners for the wheels. The top is curved upward to the center where there is a sliding center piece over the barrel. A rectangular sighting aperture with sliding cover is cut out on the left hand side in front of the dial sight carrier.


Caliber         76.2 mm
Length (overall with muzzle brake) 11.4 ft.
Length of barrel (including breech ring) 10.4 ft.
Length of barrel 299 cm (9.8 ft.)
Rifling 32 lands and grooves; R.H. twist
Length of rifling 215 cm (7.05 ft.)
Max. range 14,216 yds.
Wt. in action 3,535 lb.

German: p. 115

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 231, 232, 263): 6-Wheeled Armored Cars

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 231, 232, 263): 6-Wheeled Armored Cars

This six-wheeled armored car is a heavy, highly mobile vehicle with a four-man crew. It is armed with one 20 mm KwK 30 and one M. G. 34 coaxially mounted in the turret.

Like the 8 Rad Panzerspähwagen, the six-wheeled vehicle can be operated from either the front or rear, duplicate controls being fitted at either end. Steering is by front wheels only. It has a six-wheeled final drive; single wheels at the front, and dual double wheels at the rear. The front springs are fitted to the frame with shock absorbers. The rear springs are suspended by tubular traverse, semi-elliptical springs. It has six forward and six reverse speeds.

Special gripper chains are available for fitting over the rear wheels, thus giving each pair the function of a track. Slightly smaller wheels may be fitted outside the front wheels giving extra traction on soft ground.

The engine, manufactured by Bussing Nag, is a water-cooled, 100 horsepower, gasoline type. The superstructure is built by Deutsche Werke, Kiel.

This vehicle carries the same nomenclature as its 8-wheeled counterpart. Model 231 is the heavily armored variation carrying both the cannon and the machine gun. No. 232 is a wireless command vehicle and No. 263 an armored wireless vehicle without the 20 mm gun.

These cars are used for reconnaissance, police patrol work, as command vehicles, and as radio receiving and sending stations.


Weight         6 tons
Length 18 ft., 5 ins.
Width 6 ft., 1 in.
Height 7 ft., 4 ins.
Ground clearance 9 ins.
Suspension Dual double wheels at rear, single wheels at front
Wheel base Between axles 1 and 2—8 ft., 3 ins.
  Between axles 2 and 3—2 ft., 11 ins.
Size tires 8.27 x 18
Fording depth 2 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 156 miles
     Cross-country 93 miles
     Roads 45 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 20 m.p.h.
     Front plate 15 mm
     Sides 7.5 mm
Armament 2 cm Kw.K. 30
  7.92 mm M.G. 34
Engine Bussing Nag, 100 hp.
Transmission Constant mesh, helical gear—6 speeds forward, 6 reverse
Steering Worm and nut
Crew 4

German: p. 42

l. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 221, 222, 223): 4-Wheeled Armored Cars

l. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 221, 222, 223): 4-Wheeled Armored Cars

There are three main types of German four-wheeled armored car, the Sd. Kfz. 221, 222, and 223, of which the 222 is the most common. The main differences between the types are in weight, armament, and turret construction.

Sd. Kfz. 222—Weighs 4.7 tons and has a crew of three. Its turret of 8 mm thick plates, set at a 55° angle to the horizontal, is ten-sided and traversable through 360°. The roof is fitted with two hinged frameworks covered with wire mesh which, in a closed position, form a bird-cage cover as a protection against grenades and as a framework for camouflage.

The four wheels are independently sprung. Power is furnished by an Auto-Union, Horch V-8 gasoline engine developing 85 B.H.P. at 2,000 r.p.m. The transmission is of the crash type, providing five forward speeds and one reverse. The drive is through all wheels and steering may be either two-wheeled or four-wheeled as desired.

A 2 cm Kw.K. 30 or 38 is mounted on a central pillar, together with a coaxial 7.92 mm M.G. 34 to the left. The car has a W/T transmitter and receiver with a radius of about 4 1/2 miles.

Sd. Kfz. 221—Similar to Sd. Kfz. 222. Weighs 4 tons and has a crew of two. Its turret is a seven-sided truncated pyramid with a wire-mesh grid over the fore part only. It mounts only an M.G. 34, although a machine carbine M.P. 38 or 40 is carried as auxiliary armament. It has no wireless.

Sd. Kfz. 223—Similar to Sd. Kfz. 222. Weighs 4.3 tons and has a crew of three. It mounts the 7.92 mm M.G. 34 as main armament, and carries a machine carbine M.P. 38 or 40. It has W/T and R/T communication. A horizontal rectangular aerial is supported above the car on four uprights which can be folded downward and backward, giving the gunner a clear field of fire.


Sd. Kfz. 222
Weight            4.7 tons
Length 15 ft., 9 ins.
Width 6 ft., 5 ins.
Height 6 ft., 7 ins.
Ground clearance 10 ins.
Suspension 4 single wheels, independent springing
Wheel base 9 ft., 2 ins.
Size tires 8.27 x 18
Fording depth 2 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 175 miles
     Cross-country 125 miles
     Roads 30 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 25 m.p.h.
     Front plate 8 mm
     Sides 8 mm
Armament 2 cm Kw.K. 30 or 38
  7.92 mm M.G. 34 (coaxial)
  9 mm M.P. 38 or 40
Ammunition 2 cm 100 rds. A.P., 120 rds. H.E.
  M.G.—2000 rds.
  M.P.—350 rds.
Engine Auto-Union, V-8, 85 B.H.P.
Transmission Crash type—5 speeds forward, 1 reverse.
Steering 2-4 wheel steer
Crew 3

German: p. 41

Pz. Kpfw. I kl. Pz. Bef. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 265): Light Command Tank

Befehlspanzer: Pz. Kpfw. I kl. Pz. Bef. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 265): Light Command Tank

This vehicle was planned as a commander’s armored office. Many of both Models A and B were used as Commander’s tanks. Some were used in the early battles on the Russian front.

The chassis is that of the standard Pz. Kpfw. I, Model B, and on this is mounted a fixed square turret with one machine gun in a ball mounting fitted forward to the right.

The turret is of octagonal form and comprises one unit with the upper glacis plate, the whole unit being of welded construction. It does not rotate and is bolted to the hull by means of an internal flange at the sides and rear, and by countersunk bolts at the front. A resilient gasket is fitted between the hull and turret. The cupola conforms to the shape of the turret top and is also of welded construction. Its corner plates are short and its internal measurement approximates 20 3/4 inches. Double slitted visors measuring 8 1/2 ins. x 3/4 in. are provided in each side.

Entry into the fighting compartment is by a pair of hinged 10 in. x 20 in. doors in the left side plate of the turret. An escape hatch, measuring 201/2 ins. square, is provided in the cupola top and is fitted with a pair of doors hinged to the right and left.

The hull is of welded construction except where additional armor is fitted, as in the case of the nose plates, where conical-headed bolts have been used. In some instances the extra plates are face hardened.

A mounting for a wireless aerial is provided on the right rear side of the turret. The aerial may be raised or lowered from the inside of the fighting compartment by a lever operating on a shaft coupled to the lead-in tube by insulated (porcelain) coupling. Radio communication forms an important adjunct in connection with the operation of these tanks.


Weight          6 tons
Length14 ft., 6 ins.
Width6 ft., 9 ins.
Height6 ft., 6 ins.
Ground clearance11 1/2 ins.
Tread centers5 ft., 5 ins.
Ground contact7 ft., 11 ins.
Width of track11 ins.
Pitch of track3 11/16 ins.
Track links99
Fording depth2 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads87 miles
     Cross-country72 miles
     Roads32 m.p.h.
     Cross-country15 m.p.h.
     Front plate15 + 17 mm
     Sides15 mm
ArmamentOne 7.92 mm M.G. 34
Ammunition (rds.)(est.) 1500
Engine100 h.p. Maybach Model NL 38T
Transmission5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
SteeringClutch brake

German: p. 3

Pz. Kpfw. I Aus. B (Sd. Kfz. 101): Light Tank

Pz. Kpfw. I Ausf. B (Sd. Kfz. 101): Light Tank

Produced by the Krupp Company. In this model the 100 horsepower, 6-cylinder, water-cooled Maybach engine replaced the former Krupp air-cooled engine.

The turret, from which the gunner’s seat is suspended, is hand traversed through 360°. The turret floor does not revolve. The inside diameter of the turret ring is 36 1/2 inches. The hull and superstructure are essentially the same as Model A.

The suspension differs from Model A in that an additional bogie wheel has been utilized. The trailing idler has been replaced by a rear elevated idler. There is also an additional return roller. The quarter elliptic spring is anchored to the under side of the transverse bogie casting allowing the spring to bump its own opposite end. The coil spring is not used except for the forward independently mounted bogie wheel. There are 99 links in the tracks.

With a bore of 90 mm and piston stroke of 100 mm the engine develops 100 h.p. at 3000 r.p.m. The valves are single overhead camshaft driven from helical timing gears at the rear of the engine, operating two inclined valves per cylinder through rockers mounted on independent shafts, one for inlet and one for exhaust The rockers are operated through rollers. Valve clearance is adjusted by rotation of eccentric bushings on rocker shafts. A Solex duplex type carburetor is utilized, and a Pallas gasoline fuel pump incorporating a bowl filter and hand primer, the latter operated by remote control from the fighting compartment. The transmission and steering mechanism remain the same as Model A.

The armament consists of two turret-mounted 7.92 mm M. G. 13’s. Five smoke candles are carried on a rack at the rear and may be released from inside the tank.


Weight        6 tons
Length 14 ft., 6 ins.
Width 6 ft., 9 ins.
Height 5 ft., 7 ins.
Ground clearance 11 1/2 ins.
Tread centers 5 ft., 5 ins.
Ground contact 8 ft.
Width of track 11 ins.
Pitch of track 3 11/16 ins.
Track links 99
Fording depth 2 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 87 miles
     Cross-country 72 miles
     Roads 32 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
     Front plate 15 mm
     Sides 10 mm
Armament Two 7.92 mm M. G. 13
Ammunition (rds.) 1525
Engine 100 h.p. Maybach Model N. L. 38 T
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake
Crew 2

German: p. 2

21 cm Nebelwerfer 42: Rocket Projector

21 cm Nebelwerfer 42: Rocket Projector

The 21 cm Nebelwerfer consists of a five-barrel assembly and a mounting. The barrels, which are disposed equally about a central channel, are 4 feet, 3 1/2 inches long, have an internal diameter of 9 1/4 inches, and are fitted at the breech end with 3/8 inch angle-iron guides, giving a clear diameter of 8 1/2 inches. Starting with the top barrel, they are numbered 1, 3, 5, 2, 4, probably indicating the order in which they are to be fired. Three spring levers at the base of each barrel prevent the projectile from sliding to the rear. The barrel assembly is strengthened and retained by two steel plates which are fitted around the circumference of the assembly at the breech end and half way between the breech and the muzzle respectively.

A junction box situated at the top of the barrel assembly suggests an electrical firing system similar to that of the 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41. The sight had been removed from the captured weapon, but instructions inside the lid of the sight box indicate that ranges of from 500 to 2,000 meters can be obtained. This, however, is not the extreme range of the weapon.

The mounting is a two-wheeled, pneumatic-tired type with a split trail at the rear and an adjustable leg at the front. The latter is raised when the weapon is being towed, and lowered to give stability when firing.

The Nebelwerfer 42 fires the 21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. mit Hbgr. Z. 35K.

There appears to be a six-barrel version of the 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 in addition to the one described above. However, the five-barrel type is believed to afford better balance and greater stability.


Caliber             210 mm (8.27 ins.)
Length of barrels 4 ft., 3 1/2 ins.
     45° 9,734 yds.
     30° 8,538 yds.
Ammunition 21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. mit Hbgr. Z. 35K

German: p. 351

5 cm Pzgr. patr. 40 Pak: 5 cm Arrowhead Ammunition

5 cm Pzgr. patr. 40 Pak: 5 cm Arrowhead Ammunition

This fixed round of ammunition is fired from the old model of German 5 cm short-barrel tank gun. The projectile has a plastic needlepoint ballistic cap, a mild steel projectile body, a tungsten carbide core, and a tracer. The cartridge case contains a propelling charge of diethylene glycol dinitrate tubular stick powder, and a charge of nitrocellulose granular igniter powder. An electric primer containing a quickmatch and black powder charge is also used.

The center of the projectile body is trimmed down, lightening the round and giving the ammunition an extremely high muzzle velocity. Armor-penetrating qualities are very good, but can be used only for short ranges due to the instability of the projectile in flight. On impact with armor plate, the plastic ballistic cap shatters and the tungsten carbide core is the only part that penetrates.

The projecile is unusual in that the forward bearing surface acts as the rotating band, and the rear bearing surface as the bourrelet. The rear bearing surface is in two parts, due to the crimping groove dividing it.


Weight of complete round         5 lb., 3 oz.
Weight of projectile as fired 1 lb., 15.86 oz.
Weight of tracer composition (kind not known) 0.12 oz.
Weight of primer composition (quickmatch and black powder) 0.07 oz.
Weight of igniting charge (nitrocellulose granular) 0.45 oz.
Weight of propellant 1 lb., 2.69 oz.
Length of complete round (overall) 14.480 ins.
Length of projectile w/tracer cup 5.75 ins.
Length of cartridge case 11.342 ins.
Diameter of bourrelet 1.950 ins.
Diameter of rotating band 2.269 ins.
Diameter of body midway of projectile 1.258 ins.

German: p. 307