8 cm Granatwerfer 34

The 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 (8 cm GrW 34) was the standard German infantry mortar throughout World War II.[4] It was noted for its accuracy and rapid rate of fire.

8 cm Granatwerfer 34
A GrW 34 at the Festung Hohensalzburg
TypeMortar
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1937–1952
Used byNazi Germany
East Germany
Bulgaria
Yugoslavian Partisans[1]
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerRheinmetall
Designed1932–1934
Unit cost810 RM
Produced1934–1945
No. built75,255[2]
Variants8 cm GrW 34/1
Specifications
Mass62 kg (136.6 lbs)
steel barrel
57 kg (125.6 lbs)
alloy barrel
Barrel length1.14 m (3 ft 9 in)[3]

Shell3.5 kg (7 lb 11 oz)
Caliber81.4 mm (3.20 in)
Elevation45° to 90°
Traverse10° to 23°[3]
Rate of fire15-25 rpm
Muzzle velocity174 m/s (571 ft/s)
Effective firing range400–1,200 m (440–1,310 yd)
Maximum firing range2.4 km (1.5 mi)[3]

History

The weapon was of conventional design and broke down into three loads (smooth bore barrel, bipod, baseplate) for transport.[4] Attached to the bipod were a traversing handwheel and a cross-leveling handwheel below the elevating mechanism.[5] A panoramic sight was mounted on the traversing mechanism yoke for fine adjustments. A line on the tube could be used for rough laying.[6]

The 8 cm GrW 34/1 was an adaptation for use in self-propelled mountings. A lightened version with a shorter barrel was put into production as the kurzer 8 cm Granatwerfer 42.

The mortar employed conventional 8 cm 3.5 kg shells (high explosive or smoke) with percussion fuzes. The range could be extended by fitting up to three additional powder charges between the shell tailfins.[6]

A total of 74,336,000 rounds of ammunition were produced for the Granatwerfer 34 from September 1939 to March 1945.[2]

Ammunition

List of available ammunition for the Granatwerfer 34.[7]

Name Caliber Mass of explosive material Target effect Other information
Wurfgranate 34
(Mortargrande 34)
80,7 mm 533 g Blast and shrapnel effect
Wurfgranate 34 Blauring
(Mortargrande 34 bluering)
530 g Blast, shrapnel and chemical effect Chemical agent: Adamsite
Wurfgranate 34 Ex
(Mortargrande 34 dummy)
0 g None (training ammunition) Ammunition used for learning general handling
Wurfgranate 34 Nb
(Mortargrande 34 smoke)
500 g Smoke effect Effect load: Sulfur trioxide in pumice stone
Wurfgranate 34 Üb
(Mortargrande 34 training)
57 g Minimal blast effect Trainig ammunition
Wurfgranate 34 Weißing
(Mortargrande 34 whitering)
550 g Blast, shrapnel and chemical effect Chemical agent: Phenacyl chloride
Wurfgranate 38
(Mortargrande 38)
400 g Blast and shrapnel effect
Wurfgranate 38 Deut
(Mortargrande 38)
200 g Ejection charge
Wurfgranate 38 umg
(Mortargrande 38 rebuild)
550 g Blast and shrapnel effect
Wurfgranate 39
(Mortargrande 39)
400 g Blast and shrapnel effect
Wurfgranate 40
(Mortargrande 40)
80,9 mm 2000 g Blast and shrapnel effect
Wurfgranate 40 Üb
(Mortargrande 40 training)
0 g None Training ammunition

See also

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era

References

  1. Vukšić, Velimir (July 2003). Tito's partisans 1941–45. Warrior 73. Osprey Publishing. pp. 25, 61. ISBN 978-1-84176-675-1.
  2. (in German)
  3. Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Mortars and rockets. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. ISBN 0668038179. OCLC 2067459.
  4. German Infantry Weapons. United States War Department. May 25, 1943. p. 102.
  5. German Infantry Weapons. United States War Department. May 25, 1943. pp. 103–104.
  6. US War Department, Military Intelligence Service; Special series no. 14 (May 25, 1943). German Infantry Weapons. Washington: US Government Printing Office. pp. 102–112.
  7. Database of the Dresdner Sprengschule GmbH

Sources

  • 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
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