Henschel Hs 297

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A Föhn rocket projector captured by US troops - its occasionally used nickname "Beercrate flak" becomes clear

The Henschel Hs 297 Föhn was a small German Surface-to-Air rocket from the Second World War.

In principle it was similar to the Fliegerfaust, the main difference being that the Hs 297 was not designed as a shoulder-mounted weapon. In both systems, several small-caliber weapons acting as unguided rockets were to be used against low-flying aircraft

The rockets had a caliber of 7.29 cm, a length of 29.5 cm and a weight of 2.7kg. The launch took place from simply-designed racks that could hold 35 rockets (5 × 7) and from which several rockets were fired simultaneously. Also launches of individual rockets were possible. The range was 1200 meters. Aiming was achieved by direct sight through a semi-circular visor.

For mass deployment in the Volkssturm the device was officially termed the Volk-Fla-R-Werfer - an abbreviation of Volkssturm-Flugabwehr-Raketenwerfer (Volkssturm anti-aircraft rocket launcher). By February 1945 50 units were delivered, which were provided to troops for testing. 24 of the launcher racks were assigned to the 3./FlakLehruVersAbt 900 (o) (3rd Anti Aircraft Training and Testing Division) in the Remagen area and were used for the first time on 2 March 1945 against Allied Fighter-bombers. A few days later, after capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen some of the launchers (classified as secret) fell intact into the hands of the Americans.

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