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Granatwerfer 36
260px
Two German infantry operating a Granatwerfer 36

Users

Germany

Entry into Service

1936

Effective Range

50 - 500 m

Rate of Fire

25 rounds per minute

The Granatwerfer 36 or LeGrW 36 was a light mortar that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

It could fire fifty millimetre mortar shells at a distance of up to 510 metres. The weapon's muzzle velocity was seventy-five metres per second and its maximum rate of fire was around twenty-five rounds per minute with around three shells being able to be launched every four seconds.[1]

The combat weight of the weapon was fourteen kilograms while its total length was 450 centimetres. This short stature allowed it to be taken to virtually anywhere with relative ease. However, most of the advantages of the Granatwerfer 36 with its small size were counteracted by its large weight and complicated nature. 

Although range of the weapon suffered, the Granatwerfer 36 was used by the Heer until the end of the war. In fact, the weapon was so small that it could even be carried by an individual soldier in a small carrying bag.[2]

The LeGrW 36 had a maximum elevation range from forty-two to ninety degrees and the minimum distance that the weapon was capable of firing was fifty metres.  For accurate targeting, the Granatwerfer 36 featured a special telescopic sight although this was later removed for ease of manufacturing. Unusually, the Granatwerfer was only capable of firing HE shells.[3] During the war, no further variants were ever produced of the Granatwerfer 36 but several minor improvements were made. 

HistoryBearbeiten

The Granatwerfer 36 was first developed in 1934 as an additional supplement to the reformed Heer's cache of weapons. It was accepted into the armed forces in 1936 and saw service until the end of the war. Although technically the Granatwerfer 36 was a good design, in the field it was often abandoned for its many faults such as having too light a round to be effective and its large weight. By 1942, the weapon was already being phased out of frontline service and replaced with cheaper and more reliable weapons. 

ReferencesBearbeiten

  1. http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ltmortar/index.html
  2. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waffen/Bilderseitenneu/5-cmGranatwerfer36.htm
  3. http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=300

Vorlage:German Infantry Weapons

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