21 cm Mörser 16

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21 cm Mörser 16
Langer 21 cm morser hameenlinna 4.jpg
21 cm Mörser 16 in Hämeenlinna Finnish Artillery Museum.
Place of originGerman Empire
Service history
In service1916–50
Used byGerman Empire
Nazi Germany
WarsWorld War I, World War II
Production history
Mass6,680 kg (14,730 lb)
Barrel length2.67 m (8 ft 9 in) L/14.5

Shellseparate-loading, cased charge
Caliber211 mm (8.3 in)
Breechhorizontal sliding-wedge
CarriageBox trail
Elevation-6° to +70°
Rate of fire1–2 rpm
Muzzle velocity393 m/s (1,290 ft/s)
Maximum firing range11,100 m (12,100 yd)

The 21 cm Mörser 16 (21 cm Mrs 16), or 21 cm Lange Mörser M 16/L14.5,[1] was a heavy howitzer used by Germany in World War I and World War II (although classified as a mortar (Mörser) by the German military).


It was based on the earlier 21 cm Mörser 10, but had a longer barrel, a Gun shield and other refinements. Originally, it broke down into two loads for transport, but the Germans rebuilt surviving guns during the 1930s with rubber-rimmed steel wheels to allow for motor traction in one piece with a limber under the trail and generally removed the gunshield.

Combat service[edit]

Moving into action, Ham, March 1918

In German service, it used two shells, the 21 cm Gr 18 (HE) that weighed 113 kilograms (249 lb) and the 21 cm Gr 18 Be concrete-piercing shell of 121.4 kilograms (268 lb) with a filler of 11.61 kilograms (25.6 lb) of TNT.

They remained in first-line use with the Germans until replaced by the 21 cm Mörser 18 by about 1940. Afterwards, they were used for training, although some equipped units in secondary theaters.

The Swedes bought a dozen weapons in 1918 from the Germans and they remained in service until 1950. The Swedes had their own concrete-piercing shells, the 210 tkrv 51/65-ps R-/33 weighing 120.75 kilograms (266.2 lb), which had dispersion problems as the Finns found out.

The Finns bought four of these from the Swedes during the Winter War, although they did not participate in the war because the Finns lacked vehicles strong enough to tow their great weight to the front. This had been rectified before the Continuation War and the Finns equipped the 10th Separate Super-Heavy Artillery Battery with them for the duration of the war. They were put into reserve after the war and remained there until the late 1960s before being discarded.

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]


  1. ^ Engelmann, Joachim (1991). German heavy mortars. West Chester, PA: Schiffer. ISBN 088740-322-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Scheibert, Horst; Engelmann, Joachim (1974). Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz (in German). Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke.
  • Chamberlain, Terry Gander, Peter (1979). Weapons of the Third Reich : an encyclopedic survey of all small arms, artillery, and special weapons of the German land forces, 1939-1945. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-15090-3.
  • Hogg, Ian (2000). Twentieth-century artillery. New York: Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 0-7607-1994-2.
  • Jäger, Herbert (2001). German artillery of World War One (1. publ. ed.). Marlborough: Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-403-8.
  • Engelmann, Joachim (1991). German heavy mortars. West Chester, PA: Schiffer. ISBN 088740-322-0.

External links[edit]