5 cm Granatwerfer 36

The 5 cm leichter Granatwerfer 36 (5 cm leGrW 36) was a light mortar used by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Granatwerfer 36
leGrW 36
TypeMortar
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service19361945
Used byNazi Germany
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Hungary[1]
Slovak Republic (1939–1945)
WarsSecond World War
Production history
DesignerRheinmetall
Designed1934
Produced1936–1943
No. built31,800[2]
Specifications
Mass14 kg (31 lb)[3]
Barrel length46.5 cm (1 ft 6 in)[3]
Crew2

Shell0.9 kg (2 lb) TNT filled[3]
Caliber50 mm (1.97 in)[3]
Elevation42° to 90°
Traverse33° 45'[4]
Rate of fire15-25 rpm
Muzzle velocity75 m/s (246 ft/s)
Effective firing range50 m (54.7 yd) min
510 m (557.7 yd) max
Maximum firing range520 m (568.7 yd)[4]
SightsTelescopic, later none

History

The mortar's development was started in 1934 by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG and it was adopted for service in 1936. Its intended role was to engage pockets of resistance that were beyond a hand grenade's throwing range. Until 1938, it used a complicated telescopic sight. By 1941, the Granatwerfer 36 was seen as too complex for its intended role. It fired too light a shell and had too short of a range. It was used as a platoon mortar and operated by a 3-man team. Production was terminated in 1941. By 1942, it had been gradually withdrawn from front line service. However, it remained in use with second-line and garrison units until the end of the Second World War in 1945. As ammunition stocks for the mortar dwindled during 1944-1945, coupled with the loss of the actual mortars, the Germans often relied on captured French[5] and Soviet 50 mm mortars. The 50 mm continued to be popular for the remainder of the war, simply because it was easily transported by two men, and provided infantry with hitting power and a range capability greater than any other weapon readily available at the squad or section level. A total of 22,112,000 rounds of ammunition were produced for the weapon from 1939 to 1943.[2]

References

  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  1. Lugosi, József (2008). "Gyalogsági fegyverek 1868–2008". In Lugosi, József; Markó, György (eds.). Hazánk dicsőségére: 160 éves a Magyar Honvédség. Budapest: Zrínyi Kiadó. p. 389. ISBN 978-963-327-461-3.
  2. (in German)
  3. German Infantry Weapons. United States War Department. May 25, 1943. p. 96.
  4. Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Mortars and rockets. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. ISBN 0668038179. OCLC 2067459.
  5. lexicon-der-Wehrmacht.de mentions German use of former Maginot Line 50-mm mortars in the Atlantic Wall.
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