7.58 cm Minenwerfer

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7.58 cm Minenwerfer a.A.
German 7.58 cm minenwerfer.jpg
A 7.58 cm Minenwerfer at the Brussels Army Museum.
Type Light mortar
Place of origin German Empire
Service history
Used by German Empire
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer Rheinmetall
Designed 1909-1914
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Variants n.A.
Specifications
Weight 147 kg (324 lbs)
Barrel length 23.5 cm (9.3 in) L/3.1
Crew 5-6

Shell 4.6 kg (10 lb 2 oz)
Caliber 75.8 mm (2.99 in)
Recoil hydro-spring
Carriage platform
Elevation + 45 to + 78 degrees
Traverse
Rate of fire 6 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 90 m/s (259 ft/s)
Effective firing range 300 m (328 yds) minimum
Maximum firing range 1,300 m (1,421 yds)

The 7.58 cm Minenwerfer a.A. (alter Art or old model) (7.58 cm leMW), was a German First World War mortar.

History[edit]

German infantrymen towing the minenwerfer in 1918
German troops using the minenwerfer as an anti-tank gun in October 1918

The Russo-Japanese War of 1905 had shown the value of mortars against modern fieldworks and fortifications and the Germans were in the process of fielding a whole series of mortars before the beginning of World War I. Their term for them was Minenwerfer, literally mine-thrower; they were initially assigned to engineer units in their siege warfare role. By the Winter of 1916-17, they were transferred to infantry units where the leMW's light weight permitted them to accompany the foot-soldiers in the advance.

In common with Rheinmetall's other Minenwerfer designs, the leMW was a rifled muzzle-loader that had hydraulic cylinders on each side of the tube to absorb the recoil forces and spring recuperators to return the tube to the firing position. It had a rectangular firing platform with limited traverse and elevation. Wheels could be added to ease transportation or it could be carried by at least six men. In 1916, a new version, designated as the n.A. or neuer Art, was fielded that included a circular firing platform, giving a turntable effect, which permitted a full 360 degree traverse. It also had a longer 16 inches (410 mm) barrel and could be used for direct fire between 0° and 27° elevation if the new 90 kg (200 lb) trail was fitted to absorb the recoil forces. In this mode it was pressed into service as an anti-tank gun.

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jäger, Herbert. German Artillery of World War One. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 2001 ISBN 1-86126-403-8

External links[edit]