Tag Archive for 'rocket launcher'

8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54): Rocket Launcher

Panzerschreck Rocket Launcher: 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54) Rocket Launchers

The German antitank rocket launcher (Racketenpanzerbüchse 43), one of which was recently captured in Italy, is a comparatively new design, similar in appearance and operation to the American “Bazooka.” The German weapon is of larger caliber and is heavier than its American counterpart. It employs an 8.8 cm rocket (3.5 inches) weighing 7.16 pounds; the 2.36 inch American rocket, M6A3, weighs 3.5 pounds. The launcher, which is shoulder fired and handled by a two-man team, has a maximum range of 132 yards and a muzzle velocity of 346 f/s. It is 64.5 inches long, has an outside diameter of 3.7 inches; weighs 20.5 pounds; and is equipped with a foresight, a rearsight, and a carrying sling. An improved model with a face shield is known as 8.8 cm R PzB54.

After insertion into the tube, the round is prevented from slipping back by a retaining catch and from slipping forward by a spring-loaded plunger which engages the front edge of the tail unit. An electric socket inside a housing is located at the rear left side of the tube. The firing mechanism, which is also situated underneath the tube, consists of a spring-loaded rod (which is drawn forward into a compressed position when the piece is cocked) and a cylindrical component which appears to contain a magnetized rod and a coil. Two wires attached to this current-producing component connect with the socket on the launcher and with the plunger which contacts the tail of the projectile. When the trigger is pressed, the magnetized rod under the action of the compressed spring passes through the coil generating a current which is transmitted to the sparking element of the propellant igniting it.

The projectile, which is of the hollow charge type, has a nose fuze; the motor tube contains the propellant; and the tail is of the circular-fin type.

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

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 Rocket Projectile and Launcher

Japanese 20 cm Rocket Projectile and Launcher

This ground-launched rocket is fired from a trough shaped launcher approximately 7 feet long, which weighs approximately 175 pounds. The Japanese claim a range of 1,800 meters (1,970 yds.) at 50° elevation. The rocket is spin-stabilized, rotating in a clockwise direction. The complete round, without fuze, is approximately 41 inches long and weighs 198.3 pounds.

The projectile has a straight body and an ogival nose. It is fitted with a centrifugally armed point detonating fuze. In addition to this standard fuze, the Type 91 Time, Type 100 Combination, and Type 88 P.D. fuzes will also fit the fuze pocket. However, it is not known whether the rocket will produce sufficient setback to arm these fuzes. The explosive charge, Type 91 (trinitroanisol), is cast directly into the lacquered interior of the case. The base plate which screws into the projectile body is also threaded to take the motor.

The motor body, a straight cylinder, is closed at the rear by a base plate to which a grid is attached. A perforated cup fits against the motor closing plate at the forward end. Seven sticks of propellant (nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, NaCl, and centralite) fit securely into the combustion chamber between the perforated cup and the grid. Six sticks form a circle around an identical central stick; all have only a single axial perforation.

The motor base plate of hardened steel has six offset nozzles and a central threaded opening for a percussion type primer. Ignition is mechanical and from the forward end. A black silk powder bag lashed to the perforated cup forms the ignition charge.


Weight of projectile without fuze         49.9 kg.–110 lbs.
Weight of high explosive filling 17.5 kg.–38.6 lbs.
Overall length of projectile without fuze 588.0 mm–23.14 ins.
Minimum diameter of orifices 15.0 mm–.591 ins.
Angular cant of nozzles 25°
Diameter of body 210.5 mm (approx. 8.30 ins.)
Wall thickness 12.0 mm–.472 in.
Overall length of motor body 460 mm–18.11 ins.
Weight with propellant 40.0 kg.–88 lbs.
Weight of propellant 8.3 kg.–18.3 lbs.
Weight of black powder ignition charge 50.6 grams–1.77 ozs.
Wall thickness 10.0 mm–.39 in.
Length of propellant sticks 290.0 mm–11.41 ins.
Diameter of propellant sticks 58.0 mm–2.28 ins.
Diameter of perforation 11.0 mm–.43 in.
Weight of propellant sticks (each–varies slightly) 1.162 kg.–2.56 lbs.

Japanese: p. 352 (April 1, 1945)

Rocket Launcher and Rocket Motor Model 10

Rocket Launcher and Rocket Motor Model 10

This is a device designed to propel the 60 kg. (132 lbs.) aircraft bomb out of an inclined trough.

The launcher is constructed of wood and metal with legs made of iron pipe. The rear is attached by a pin to a base plate with six wedge cut ground pins. The launcher channel is a right angle trough about twenty feet long with a motor and bomb positioner made of 1/8-inch pierced sheet metal. This is “V” shaped, (The motor and bomb positioner is not shown in the schematic sketch above.) slightly over four feet long, and hinged at three points on the lower right side of the launcher. Elevation is controlled by cables run from the base plate to the legs, and between the legs.

The rocket motor resembles a blunt, short-bodied bomb. The propellant container is a cylinder with a cap welded on the front and a tail assembly and venturi tube secured on the rear. The propellant which weighs 12.94 pounds consists of three cylindrical sticks tied in a yellow silk bag. It is ignited by an igniter pad and an igniter fuze in the forward part of the motor by means of wires leading to a small hand blasting machine. When fired the motor propels the bomb from the launcher and then drops off. Ranges up to 1,300 yards are claimed by the Japanese for this device, but it is felt that little, if any, accuracy may be expected. It is evidently designed to deliver fire on beachheads and other similar wide targets at fairly short ranges.


Length of launcher (overall)       19 ft., 10 ins.
Width at leg shoes8 ft., 5.5 ins.
Height at 30° range setting11 ft.
Length of leg12 ft., 4 ins.
Diameter of leg1.75 ins.
Width outside of trough at base10 ins.
Width outside of trough at front7.5 ins.
Width inside of trough at base8.5 ins.
Width inside of trough at front6 ins.
Length of cable from baseplate to leg20 ft., 3 ins.
Length of motor and bomb positioner (overall)4 ft., 3 ins.
Length of motor (overall)33 ins.
Length of propellant cylinder11.5 ins.
Diameter of propellant cylinder (outside)7.44 ins.
Diameter of venturi tube (outside)1.5 ins.
Length of tail fin11.75 ins.
Width of tail fin3.625 ins.
Width of tail, fin to fin11.875 ins.

Japanese: p. 351 (April 1, 1945)

7.5 cm Multiple Fortress Rocket Projector

7.5 cm Multiple Fortress Rocket Projector - German WWII

This projector consists of 28 projector rails mounted in four rows of seven each, at the forward end of a long, low carriage. The projectors are constructed of welded T-section steel bar. Each row is a separate assembly, and is bolted to an inclined welded steel superstructure built above the carriage. The projectors are displaced from the center both for line and elevation to give dispersement of fire. Each row is fired as a unit by means of a bar provided with a firing hammer and striker for each projector. Each of the four bars may be separately cocked, and all may be fired by one pull of the firing cable from the central point.

The carriage consists of a framework of U-section steel extended well to the rear, where it terminates in a protected control point containing the elevating handwheel, the firing cable, and two handgrips for traverse. A 1 cm thick (0.39 inches) protection shield is provided. There are two metal-rimmed, rubber sprung detachable wheels 27 inches in diameter. The equipment can be traversed about a fixed center pivot or about its wheels. The center pivot is locked into a bracket welded to the center of the axle-tree and rear support is provided by two steel rollers welded on the under side of the carriage.

Each row of projectors is independently trunnioned and all four are elevated together by means of a linkage through a chain drive from the handwheel.


Overall length (approx.)        14 ft.
Overall width        5 ft., 11 ins.
Track (wheel center to center)        5 ft., 7 7/8 ins.
Width of each projector frame        49 ins.
Depth of each projector frame        5 3/4 ins.
Maximum height (above center pivot platform)        3 ft., 4 ins.
Maximum height (on road wheels)        4 ft., 5 ins.
Elevation (approx.)        55°
Depression (approx.)       

German: p. 352.3 (August 1, 1945)

7.3 cm “Föhn”: Multiple Rocket Launcher

7.3 cm Föhn: Multiple Rocket Launcher

This multiple rocket launcher, used for antiaircraft barrage purposes and known as the “Föhn” is of different design from any other weapon of its type used by the Germans. Launching sites were located along river fronts, indicating the use of this weapon against river crossings. There are 35 individual launchers, each 31 inches long and approximately 7.3 cm square, assembled in 5 horizontal and 7 vertical rows. The rockets are fired by hammer type firing pins mounted on horizontal shafts. All 35 of the pins are actuated by a single trigger. The whole assembly measures 32 inches from top to bottom, and 23 inches from side to side. A simple clamp at the rear of the racks holds the rockets in position until firing takes place. The frame of the assembly is made of 3/16-inch metal.

A trunnion, set in each side of this framework, rests upon arms extending up from the pedestal base. The weapon, with its pedestal base, is used with either a mobile or fixed mount. When used as a mobile mount, the launcher is fitted with a circular metal folding platform mounted on a 2-wheeled trailer. The fixed launchers are not provided with the folding platform, and it is believed that they are normally set up more or less permanently on sheet iron platforms.

The sight, trigger mechanism, and elevating and traversing mechanisms are mounted on the inside of a metal protective shield located on the left side of the launcher. Elevation is from -10° to 90°. The upper part of the front wall of the shield is made of transparent plastic for sighting purposes.

The 7.3 cm Raketen Sprenggranate, used with the launcher, is a spin stabilized rocket fitted with a nose percussion fuze and a self-destroying delay element ignited by the burning propellant.


Traverse       360°
Elevation 90°
Depression -10°
   7.3 cm R. Sprgr. (H.E.)
   Weight of complete round 6 lbs.
   Weight of propellant 1.19 lb.
   Weight of explosive charge 0.62 lb.
   Type of explosive “95″
   (RDX/TNT/WAX = 55/40/5)

German: p. 352.2 (August 1, 1945)