Tag Archive for 'artillery'

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21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is very streamlined and in outward appearance resembles an artillery projectile. All metal components of the body are machined inside and out and appear to be of mild steel.

A complete round of this ammunition is made up of the following components (see photograph above):

(a) Nozzle assembly containing 22 orifices evenly spaced around the rim of the nozzle. These orifices are set an an angle of 16° from the axis of the rocket. This angle gives the rocket clockwise rotation in flight besides providing forward thrust. In the center of the nozzle there is an ignition hole which receives the electric squib.

(b) Motor body having two bourrelet surfaces.

(c) High-explosive body containing 22.4 pounds of TNT. It is made of mild steel with fairly thick walls and is threaded on its base and screwed into the motor body.

(d) False ogive, which completes the streamlined contour of the rocket.

(e) Trap, a casting painted rust red. Between the trap and the nozzle there is a tinfoil disk which is used as a moisture and dirt seal.

(f) Black powder base igniter.

(g) Igniter wick, a celluloid tube containing a charge of quickmatch.

(h) Propellant charge consisting of seven sticks 21.67 inches long and 2.46 inches in external diameter.

(i) Spacer to hold the head igniter in place and allow for the proper ignition of the entire propellant.

(j) Igniter.

(k) Booster cup.

(l) Point-detonating fuze.

(m) Wooden actuating rod.


Weight of projectile as fired         241.30 lb.
Weight of TNT bursting charge 22.40 lb.
Weight of propellant powder 39.50 lb.
Weight of high-explosive body 65.25 lb.
Weight of propellant body 87.75 lb.
Weight of nozzle assembly 5.12 lb.
Length 49.21 ins.
Diameter 8.27 ins.

German: p. 355

15 cm Nebelwerfer 41: Rocket Projector

15 cm Nebelwerfer 41: Rocket Projector

This 15 cm Nebelwerfer, formerly known as the Nebelwerfer d, is a six-barreled, breech-loading weapon firing gas, smoke and high-explosive projectiles. The four-foot barrels are not rifled, but have within them three straight guide rails about 1/3 inch deep. The projectile rotates in flight, however, due to the set of the gas jets. There is no breech mechanism, but each barrel has a kind of spring-operated latch to retain the ammunition in position after loading.

The rocket type projectiles are fired electrically by remote control at the rate of one ripple of six rounds in 90 seconds. They are always discharged from the projector in the following barrel order: 1, 4, 6, 2, 3, 5. This is a fixed firing order calculated to prevent the projector from being overturned by blast.

Due to extremely great dispersion, targets of limited area are not engaged.

The carriage is two-wheeled and has a split trail. Fire is directed by forward observers, telescopic observers, and surveying on targets. Each battery has an observer and a fire control officer.


Caliber         150 mm (5.9 ins.)
Length of barrels 51 ins.
Rate of fire 6 rds. per 90 secs.
     45° 7,723 yds.
     30° 7,018 yds.
     6 1/2° 2,710 yds.
Ammunition H.E. Shell, Smoke Shell, C.W. Shell
Weight 1,195 lb.
Traverse 30°
Elevation 44°
Velocity         1,120 f/s

German: p. 352

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

This projectile, which is fired from the German 10.5 cm L.F.H. 18 and L.F.H. 18M, has a steel case with a 1/8 inch cement liner built up on the wall of the filler chamber. This liner extends from the base to about one-half the length of the chamber. The ogive is composed of a metal resembling an aluminum alloy or German light metal. It screws into the projectile, holding all components of the filler in place.

The fuze, AZ 38, is made of aluminum and carries the primer detonator. It is armed by centrifugal force, and contains no other safety features. There are no delay adjustments, all functioning being instantaneous on percussion.

The explosive filler, composed of cyclonite with 5% of montan wax, is pressed into two pellets and enclosed in a waxed paper carton. A central hole is bored through both pellets for the full length of the charge. The forward pellet is hollowed out to accommodate a hemispherical metal liner. The aluminum flash tube, which passes through the hole in the center of the explosive pellets, is attached to the liner by means of a pressed collar. A heavy metal collar or baffle is attached to a washer on the rim of the liner. The purpose of the baffle may be to direct the flame of the primer detonator down through the flash tube, or it may have a use in developing the jet effect of the hollow charge.

A booster pellet of PETN and montan wax is contained in a cylindrical metal cup at the base of the rear pellet; a detonator in an aluminum case is located in the upper portion of this explosive in direct alinement with a flash hole in the bottom of the booster cup. This booster is ignited by the combined flame and blast of the fuze detonator which passes through the flash tube.


Cartridge case, length         6.10 ins.
     diameter at mouth 4.48 ins.
     diameter of rim 4.91 ins.
Projectile as fired 26 lb., 14 oz.
Explosive filler w/o booster 3 lb., 4.58 oz.
Primer detonator .07 oz.
Booster explosive w/o detonator .18 oz.
Detonator (in booster pellet) .03 oz.
Wt. of normal propelling charge         5 lb., 3.43 oz.

German: p. 310

Gw. I für 15 cm s.I.G. 33: S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer

Gw. I für 15 cm s.I.G. 33: S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer -- Bison I

This equipment consists of the 15 cm heavy infantry howitzer mounted on a turretless Pz. Kpfw. I model “B” chassis. This howitzer is also mounted on the Pz. Kpfw. II, and the Pz. Kpfw 38 (t) chassis. Due to the additional weight carried by the chassis, which approximates 3 tons more than its normal Pz. Kpfw. I complement, its road performance does not equal that of the Pz. Kpfw. I tank. The general appearance suggests that the equipment is overloaded.

The howitzer, which probably retains its wheels and trails, in addition to its original shield, traversing and elevating mechanisms, is mounted high in a tall, three-sided shield, and fires forward. The shield is 10 mm thick and is open at the top and rear.

The 15 cm. s.I.G. 33 is a standard German infantry support weapon. It has a length of 64.57 ins. and is used for either high or low trajectory shooting. It has a muzzle velocity of 790 f.s. and a maximum effective range of 5140 yards firing the 83.6 lb. H.E. shell with percussion fuze s.I. gr. Z. 23. The breech mechanism is of standard German type, and is similar to the 10.5 cm. l.F.H. 18 breech mechanism. The elevating gear is operated from the right. It consists of a worm gear, rack, pinion and shafting. The traversing gear is operated from the left by a system of gear wheels and shafting. The recoil system of buffer and recuperator is housed in a casing underneath the barrel.

Two types of ammunition are fired, the 15 cm I. Gr. 33 and the 15 cm I. Gr. 38. The two types of ammunition are for all practical purposes identical except that the former has a screwed-in base plate. The only other shell that this weapon is known to fire is a smoke shell, the 15 cm I. Gr. 38 Nb. The same percussion fuze, s.I. Gr. Z. 23, which weighs 75 lb., is used in each case.


Weight         9 tons
Length 14 ft., 6 ins.
Width 6 ft., 9 ins.
Height (approx.) 11 ft.
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
     Front plate 15 mm
     Sides 10 mm
     Gun shield 10 mm
Armament 15 cm S.I.G. 33
Ammunition (rds.)
Engine 100 h.p. Maybach Model N.L. 38 T
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake
Crew         Probably 4

German: p. 5

7.5 cm l.F.K. 18: Light Field Gun

7.5 cm l.F.K. 18: Light Field Gun

The 7.5 cm Gun, l.F.K. 18, was standard equipment for German Divisional Field Artillery until it was replaced by the 7.5 cm l.F.K. 38 and 7.62 cm F.K. 39 (r). The barrel is a solid-forged tube that screws into a detachable breech. The breech mechanism is a crank-operated, single-motion, horizontal sliding block type, fitted with a repeating trip-lock. It can be arranged for firing from the right-hand side only, or from either side at will. The top carriage is arranged to traverse about a vertical pivot up to 30° right and left. The cradle is mounted on the top carriage by trunnions set far to the rear. Forward preponderance is balanced by a pair of equilibrators, located one on either side of the cradle.

The screw type traversing gear is operated by a handwheel on the left side of the carriage; the elevating gear, of the toothed arc type, may be operated from either side in the case of light guns, and from the right-hand side only with heavier types.

Sighting gear consists of a pointed or indicating system on the left side. The sight is adapted to correct for 7° transverse out-of-level at any angle up to 45°. Adjustment for angle of site is provided up to +/- 12°. A panoramic telescope is also used.

The carriage of split trail construction is provided with spring suspension which is put into action automatically by closing the trails for traveling and out of action by splaying out the trails for firing. A traveling brake of the expanding type acts upon the inside of the brake drums on the wheels.

Separate-loading, high-explosive or shrapnel ammunition is used.


Caliber 75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight of gun in action        2,259 lb.
Weight of gun 628.1 lb.
Weight of gun in traveling position (including 3 rounds of ammunition) 2,975 lb.
Length in calibers 6.4 ft.
Length of recoil (maximum) 3.77 ft.
Length of recoil (minimum) 2.13 ft.
Muzzle velocity (maximum) 1,558 f/s
Range 10,935 yds.
Elevation 45°
Depression -7°
Traverse 30°

German: p. 120

7.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Airborne Gun

7.5 cm L. G. 40: Recoilless Airborne Gun German

The “Recoilless Gun” is a short rifled howitzer containing a tube of monobloc steel construction, a breech ring, breech mechanism and block, and a venturi tube. Intended for airborne operations, the weight of the L.G. 40 has been kept to a minimum by the use of hollow machine parts, plastic washers, tubular platform, and aluminum alloy body. It is used for antitank and antipersonnel purposes.

Interrupted collars on the breech end of the tube are used to attach it to the breech rings. The tube is also machined to seat the extractor and the barrel lock. The breech, which is of the horizontal sliding block type, is operated by a lever. This lever, when depressed, also cocks the piece.

The gun has no recoil or counterrecoil system. A funneled tube (venturi) attached to the rear of the bored breechblock allows the gases to escape to the rear, thus eliminating recoil.

The sighting equipment consists of a base bracket, oscillating bracket, cross-leveling gear, range gear, telescope carrier, and telescopes.

The carriage has a circular base to which three tripod legs are pivoted in lugs. The wheels, which can be detached for transport, are light-weight metal disks fitted with solid rubber tires.

The gun can be traversed 360° by locking the elevating mechanisms, but its ordinary traverse is 60°. Elevation is limited to 42° by stops, but the rack can be locked at 20°.


Caliber        7.5 cm (2.95 ins.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 325 lb.
Weight (firing position) 321 lb.
Length (travelling position) 45 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 17.5 ins.
No. of grooves 28
Width of grooves .2 in.
Depth of grooves .03 in.
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 1,197 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 7,400 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Traverse 30° x 2—360°
Elevation -15 +42°
Depression -15°
Length of recoil
Ammunition 3 types
Wt. of projectileH.E. 12 lb., 9 oz.; A.P.C.B.C. 15 lb.; hollow charge 10 lb., 2 oz.

German: p. 119

7.5 cm Geb. G. 36: Mountain Gun

7.5 cm Geb. G. 36: Mountain Gun: Gebirgsgeschütz

The 7.5 cm Geb. G. 36, used in the Tunisian campaign, is of comparatively recent manufacture. It can be broken down into six loads, each load having a maximum weight of 300 pounds. This enables the weapon to be used in mountainous country, as it can be easily transported by pack animal or in an airplane.

The tube is of monobloc construction, fitted with a perforated, six-baffled muzzle brake (some models of the gun are fitted with a perforated Solothurn type). The rear end of the piece is rectangular in shape, and dovetailed to fit into prepared recesses of the breech ring. A horizontal sliding type breech mechanism and continuous pull type firing mechanism are used in this gun. The recoil mechanism is hydropneumatic, but contrary to the usual design, both buffer and recuperator are positioned below the barrel.

The carriage is constructed of riveted and welded steel, with trunnion bearings to the rear. To preserve the proper balance, a spring equilibrator is located in the carriage immediately under the cradle. As is usual with most mountain guns, there is no shield. The carriage is mounted on steel disk wheels with solid rubber tires, and supported in firing position by riveted steel split trails with spade attachments.

The sight is graduated in mils from 0 to 1,250 (0° to 70° approx.) and also in meters from 0 to 1,000 (0 yds. to 1,094 yds.) for use with the hollow charge shell, 7.5 cm Gr. 38.

Both hollow-charge and high-explosive ammunition is used.


Caliber         75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight (complete) 1,090 lb. (approx).
Length of gun (overall) 66 ins.
Length of barrel (overall) 56 ins.
Carriage Steel, mounted on solid disk wheels with solid rubber tires
Breech mechanism Horizontal sliding block
Firing mechanism Continuous pull
Recoil mechanism Hydropneumatic
Rifling Lands and grooves; R.H. twist
Elevation 65°
Traverse 30°

German: p. 118

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

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

20 cm Leichte Ladungswerfer: Spigot Mortar

20 cm Leichte Ladungswerfer: Spigot Mortar

This electrically fired weapon, recently developed for service in engineer units of the German Army, is used principally to destroy minefields, concrete fieldworks, wires, etc. Two types of ammunition are used with the mortar: a heavy high-explosive bomb and a smoke bomb. The range is comparatively short.

The weapon comprises a spigot with supporting arm, a bipod mounting, and a base plate. The barrel, or spigot, consists of a drawn steel tube reduced at its lower end and screw threaded externally to receive the supporting arm and base plate. It is bored transversely at its lower end to receive contact pieces and insulation for the electrical firing gear. A T-shaped contact tube, held in position by an insulating spacing washer at the front end, extends from the contact pieces up into the spigot. The front end of the spigot is closed by a screw plug which is bored centrally to house a contact plug, the insulating bushes, and the firing needle and spring. The front face is prepared with an undercut groove to form a bayonet joint when the cartridge is placed in position.

The tubular supporting arm is elbow shaped. The rear is formed with a boss bored to receive the spigot; the front is solid and screw-threaded to receive a collar for positioning in the cradle.

The base plate, of usual German mortar design, is constructed with strengthening webs and spikes on the bottom. Elevating, traversing, and cross-leveling gears are all located on the bipod mounting which is attached to the supporting arm.


Caliber         200 mm (7.87 ins.)
Weight in action (total) 205 lb.
Weight of bipod 43 lb.
Weight of spigot and supporting arm 73.5 lb.
Weight of base plate 84 lb.
Length of spigot 1.76 ft.
Diameter of spigot 3.5 ins.
Range (max. with H.E. bomb) 766 yds.
Sight Collimating sight (Richtaufsatz 39)

German: p. 102