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Light and Heavy Spigot Mortars

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by Gebirgsjaeger, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hello all,

    has anybody a good resource to the German "Leichte Ladungswerfer 20 cm" and the heavy version " Schwere Ladungswerfer 38 cm"? The German camouflaging code for the heavy mortar is 12cm Granatwerfer 42/2. The ammo was the "38cm Wurfgranate 40 " and the "38cm Wurfgranate (Nb)".

    Any information is appreciated!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
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  2. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Hi Ulrich,
    Transcribed verbatim from Gander's 'Small Arms, Artillery & Special Weapons of the Third Reich' - Dunno if it's any more than you already have.

    20cm leichter Ladungswerfer
    German Designation - 20 cm leLdg W
    Spigot diameter - 90mm
    Length of Spigot - 540mm
    Weight in action - 93kg
    Bomb weight - 21.27kg
    Maximum range - 700m
    Manufacturer - Rheinmetall Borsig AG

    Remarks - Specialised Spigot mortar evolved for Assault Engineers to demolish obstacles & strongpoints. Fired HE, Smoke, and special 'Harpunengeschosse', which carried ropes with hooks across minefields. Used operationally during 1940 Western campaign and in North Africa; gradually diverted to second-line engineer units after 1942.

    (Googled up image that is the same as the one in the book, only with the addition of a projectile. Whether it's the right projectile I don't know)
    [​IMG]
    (reference in book photo caption to bundles of explosives being drawn across minefields by the harpun projectile.)


    38cm Schwerer Ladungswerfer
    German designation - 38 cm sLdgW
    Spigot Diameter - 169mm
    Length of Spigot - 1680mm
    Weight in action (approx.) - 1600kg
    Traverse - 360 degrees
    Elevation - +37 to +85 degrees
    Muzzle velocity - 107m/sec (presumably they mean launch velocity, there being no muzzle...)
    Bomb weight - 149kg (?!!)
    Maximum range - 1000m
    Manufacturer - Rheinmetall Borsig AG

    Remarks - Specialised spigot mortar for assault engineers, evolved to 1938 OKH specifications. Only limited number built and issued as weapon proved too heavy for it's role and needed careful emplacing.

    No image popped up on very brief google, but happy to scan one in if nothing comes to light on line.
    (Reference in photo caption to both weapons being electrically fired)



    Interesting pieces really.

    ~A
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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  4. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi Von Poop,

    many thanks for all of the informations !!! This is much more than i have. Yes they are really interesting and its is hard to get more information especially to the 38cm mortar. Were only a few of them in use? I have only a drawing of it.

    Best Regards

    Ulrich
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm going to have to scan in a picture of the 38 if I can't find one, or you've not got one?
    Once you see it, and if that 1600kg weight is right, you'll appreciate it's 'limitations'!
     
  6. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    With that heavy weight it must have many limitations. I suppose it was more a stationary weapon for fortifications? With 1600kg´s it isn´t good to handle as an assault weapon in mud and snow or in the mountains.
    It would be great if you could post a pic!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Hmmm, remembered scanner won't talk to new Windows 7 pooter (cheers Microsoft!), and old pooter is making noise like asthmatic cow - so quicker to photograph from the book - apologies for image quality:

    38 cm sLdgW:
    [​IMG]
    1.6 metric tons of Heath robinson-esque spigot mortar... and I suspect that's without projectile.
     
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  8. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    GREAT!!!

    Many thanks to you! Indeed, it looks very immobile. Do you know where it was in use, Western or Eastern Front? It looks a bit like the heavy mortars from WWI.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The above is about all I had - nothing on usage really.
    They are indeed rather reminiscent of those WW1 trench mortars, the 20cm brings the British 'Toffee Apple' to mind.
     
  10. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Yes your right with the Toffee Apple mortar!
    Thank you for your efforts, now i have 100% more information than before!

    All the best

    Ulrich
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I shall keep an eye out Ulrich, may even start a thread over on WW2T as well (we've a fair chunk of 1940 nuts over there that might have a reference or two, though German operations are less well covered).
    I must have read that Gander book a dozen times, but for some reason these had never caught my eye. Damned strange things really, and I too would now like to know more.

    ~A
     
  12. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Great offer! Nice place the WW2T, i read a lot! Please let me know if there are some news on this topic. Thank you in advance!

    Best regards

    Ulrich

    PS: Thanks for the salute!
     
  13. Sentinel

    Sentinel Member

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    That looks like it could be quite dangerous to fire. Would the operator/gunner be exposed to blast from the mortar barrel?
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    With that rare informations i have it had a electric ignition so that there was nobody close to the mortar as it fired.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye GbJgr.
    A chap on WW2T, Gsyfestung, has kindly come up with these rather uncommon pictures of the things in place.
    These from Guernsey:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And this one in situ on Jersey:

    [​IMG]

    ~A
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Thanks von Poop, great pictures!
    As i see on the pic with the two Landsers it wasn´t a really "Leicht" mortar. Impressiv.
     
  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    One of the odder uses for this mortar was a special "harpoon" projectile, the Harpunengeschoß that fired a rope or wire rope up to about 500 meters. This round was designed to allow firing a line across a minefield that could then be used to pull explosive charges over it for clearing the mines.
     
  18. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Thanks T.A.

    Great additional information. Never thought to get something of those Mortars.
     

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