8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43 (“Püppchen”): Rocket Launcher

8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43 ("Püppchen"): German Rocket Launcher

The piece is aimed by grasping two handles fitted to the left rear of the cradle and aligning the open sights on the target. The rear sight is adjustable from 180 to 700 meters.

The launcher fires from a closed breech which is operated by a handle on top of the breech ring. Opening of the breech cocks the hammer which is held in firing position by a sear. When the projectile has been inserted and the breech closed, a squeeze of the right handle depresses the sear, releasing the hammer. A safety device fitted to the left of the firing pin in the center of the breechblock must be turned to “F” position before the launcher can be fired. An additional safety feature prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the breech is fully closed. The small shock of recoil developed by the rocket gases against the closed breech is transmitted directly to the spade.

Ammunition used with the rocket launcher is a modified version of the 8.8 cm rocket projectile, having a percussion primer instead of the electric type. The rocket is fitted with a base plate with a protruding rim to seat the round in the tube. The base plate and primer are the only parts of the round which are extracted after firing.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber       88 mm (3.46 ins.)
Weight (firing position) 315 lbs.
Length of weapon (overall) 9 ft., 9 ins.
Length of barrel 63 ins.
Height (traveling position) 2 ft., 11 ins.
Height (on segments) 1 ft., 7 1/8 ins.
Width (overall) 3 ft., 4 ins.
Length of bore |
No. of grooves |
Width of grooves | Smooth bore
Depth of grooves |
Width of lands |
Muzzle velocity 460 f/s*
Max. range (horizontal) (limited by sight) 765 yds.
Rate of fire
Traverse on wheels: Right (max.) 28°
       Left (max.) 28°
Traverse on firing segments 360°
Elevation 23°
Depression 14°
Length of recoil none
Ammunition 8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4312
Wt. of projectile 5 lbs., 13 ozs.

*Not verified.

German: p. 352.1 (August 1, 1945)

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