8 cm Granatwerfer 34
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|8 cm Granatwerfer 34|
A GrW 34 at the Festung Hohensalzburg
|Place of origin||Nazi Germany|
|Used by||Nazi Germany
|Wars||World War II|
|Variants||8 cm GrW 34/1|
|Weight||62 kg (136.6 lbs)
57 kg (125.6 lbs)
|Barrel length||1,143 mm (45 in)|
|Shell||3.5 kg (7 lb 11 oz)|
|Caliber||81.4 mm (3.20 in)|
|Elevation||45° to 90°|
|Traverse||10° to 23°|
|Rate of fire||15-25 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||174 m/s (571 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||2,400 m (2,624 yds)|
The 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 (8 cm GrW 34) was the standard German heavy mortar throughout World War II. It gained a reputation for extreme accuracy and rapid rate of fire, although much of the credit should go to the training of the crews.
The weapon's design was conventional and it broke down into three loads (smooth bore barrel, bipod, baseplate) for transport. Attached to the bipod were a traversing handwheel, and a cross-leveling handwheel below the elevating mechanism. A panoramic sight was mounted on the traversing mechanism yoke for fine adjustments. A line on the tube could be used for rough laying.
The 8 cm GrW 34/1 was an adaptation for use in self-propelled mountings. A lightened version with a shorter barrel was put into production as the kurzer 8 cm Granatwerfer 42.
The mortar employed conventional 8 cm 3.5 kg shells (high explosive or smoke) with percussion fuzes. The range could be extended by fitting up to three additional powder charges between the shell tailfins.
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- Brandt Mle 27/31 original French mortar design of the 1920s, after which all 3"/8 cm/81.4 mm/82 mm mortars of the Second World War era were patterned
- Ordnance ML 3 inch Mortar British equivalent
- M1 mortar US equivalent
- Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
- US War Department, Military Intelligence Service; Special series no. 14 (May 25, 1943). German Infantry Weapons. Washington: US Government Printing Office. pp. 102–112.
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- German: Mortars & Infantry Guns
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