Talk:Katyusha rocket launcher

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Good article Katyusha rocket launcher has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 15, 2006 WikiProject peer review Reviewed
August 25, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Katyusha rocket launcher:
  • Add more inline references
  • Spin off detailed technical articles on BM-13, BM-8, BM-31
  • Expand post-war section
    • Models used by Hezbollah—clarify and add a reference

translation of Boyevaya Mashina[edit]

I think BM / Boyevaya Mashina should be translated "combat vehicle" or "fighting vehicle" rather than "battle machine". Bukvoed 10:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Sounds right. Michael Z. 2005-12-13 15:46 Z

I don't know. "Battle Machine" has a nice ring to it.


Sounds like a history channel special: "Modern Marvels: Battle Machines!! CynicalMe 19:19, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Organ tubes?[edit]

"The weapon was also known as a "Stalin Organ" (or Stalinorgel in German), so named by German troops due to the sound of its rockets, and its organ-like appearance (the missile tubes were arranged in parallel along its back, just as organ tubes are arranged)." (emphasis added)

The usual wording is "organ pipes". It's no big deal, but I'll change it. (OTOH, I see from today's paper that it was a big deal for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) when, advocating his telecommunications bill, he spoke of "Internet tubes" instead of pipes.) --ChrisWinter 22:26, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the reference to its appearance altogether. Zaloga (1984) and others only refer to the sound. Early in the war the Katyushas were kept very secret, and it's possible that the name Stalinorgel was coined by Germans who had never even seen one. Michael Z. 2006-08-07 21:39 Z

I seem to recall that it was the Russian nickname that resulted from the sound they made. The multi-faceted noise the rockets made upon launching sort of sounded like: "kut-YOOSH-ah." I can't remember where I read or heard this and could not find a confirmation on the 'net.--Hezekiah-1812 19:15, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Several sources are clear that the nickname comes from the song, which was a big hit at the time, although I'm not sure why it was associated with the rocket launcher. Michael Z. 2006-08-08 20:48 Z

No doubt the song inspired. But why that song and not another? And why nickname that weapon and not another with that song. I think the nexus is onomatopoeia--which I can barely spell, let alone prove. Is there a Russian source I might query?Hezekiah-1812 19:44, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

First Katyushas was marked latter K after Komentern plant where they was made. The song was extremely popular at that time and soldiers liked to give nicknames to weapon using first letter of official name. For example, artillery cannon M-30 was nicknamed as Matushka (Mother). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Disputing Range[edit]

There is no evidence that Katyushas reach a whopping ~150 kilometers. This is completely unfounded. At least not in the hands of the Hizbollah.

Could be referring to Zelzal missiles (see IDF concerned missiles could hit central Israel) -- 13:15, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The Iranian Fajr-5 Katyusha-type MRL rocket has a range of ~75 km. Perhaps there are larger such rockets or a version of it with still longer range. I have heard the Zelzal mentioned in news reports too. Lots of this is speculative, but from what I've seen, nothing so big has been used yet. Michael Z. 2006-07-19 19:32 Z

Langemak designed the rockets, not the launcher[edit]

Langemak was arrested and executed in 1937, but Katyusha launcher development was authorized in 1938 and completed in August 1939. I presume that Langemak designed the RS-132 rockets, so I will move this information to that article. Michael Z. 2006-08-04 02:09 Z

I'm removing the following text again:

The Katyusha was designed by Georgy Langemak, directing a development team including Vladimir Artemiev, Boris Petropavlovsky, Yuriy Pobedonostsev, and others. During the Great Purge in 1937, Langemak was imprisoned, tortured, tried on what are commonly viewed as trumped-up charges and then executed.

They did not design the Katyusha: as the article states, it was designed after Langemak was dead. I assume they designed the RS-132 aircraft rocket, so I already moved this text to that article. The Katyusha is a series self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, which fire the M-13 and other rockets, which are a modified design based on Langemak's aircraft rockets. Michael Z. 2006-08-05 13:41 Z

Response to Nebelwerfer?[edit]

The development of the Katyusha rocket launcher was a response to Nazi Germany's development of the six-barreled Nebelwerfer rocket mortar in 1936.

This statement needs a reference. Michael Z. 2006-08-04 02:22 Z

Particularly since the Nebelwerfer was fielded for the first time well after the katyushas. DMorpheus 15:50, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
"Particularly since the Nebelwerfer was fielded for the first time well after the katyushas." That's irrelevant as the Nebelwerfer was developed years before Katyusha. --Kurt Leyman 17:41, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I find this statement highly doubtful. Since reference does not seem forthcoming, I propose deletion. Asgrrr 01:04, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, doubtful. Chertok talks about the development as more of a skunk works project. THey were almost afraid to demonstrate it to visiting generals, because it was not really an authorized project. I believe if the Soviets had copied the Nebelwerfer, it would have had a more similar appearance. DonPMitchell (talk) 23:08, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Descriptive name[edit]

Should this be moved to a name which makes the subject of the article self-evident? Suggestions:

  1. Katyusha rocket launcher
  2. Katyusha multiple rocket launcher
  3. Katyusha rocket artillery

I like no. 1. Michael Z. 2006-08-04 05:59 Z

Current conflicts[edit]

Do we need some mention of the weapons current role in the Israel Lebanon conflict? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

It is mentioned at the end of Katyusha#Katyushas since World War II—feel free to expand, but please try to include references to support specific facts. Michael Z. 2006-08-09 18:31 Z

Nyquist quotation[edit]

The following was added by an anonymous contributor:

"The fact that Katyusha Rockets are a Russian weapon has been lost in a maze of Islamist and Arab enemies, each assisting the other behind the scenes. Russia’s role is usually omitted, or chalked up to the economics of arms sales instead of strategic malice." - Is there a Secret Syrian-Iranian-Russian Alliance?, by J. R. Nyquist

All this says is "Russia's role is omitted", and doesn't describe that role, or even unambiguously say there is one. I haven't seen any information that the Katyusha weapons being used by Hezbollah (if indeed those are the ones this quote is alluding to) or their ammunition is manufactured in Russia. Perhaps the source has more information, but as it is inserted into this article, this quotation seems to constitute innuendo and nothing more. I'm removing it, barring some justification or the replacement with a quotation which actually says something. Michael Z. 2006-09-01 18:04 Z

Having read the linked article, I see it is an editorial which mentions some evidence that Russia is somehow politically involved with Iran and Syria's role in arming Hezbollah, but the mention of Katyushas being "Russian" is completely unsupported (or rather a fallacious argument: that historically the class of weapons called Katyushas originates in the Soviet Union is in no way evidence that the Russian Federation has something to do with Iran and Syria arming Hezbollah). Poor rhetoric, in my opinion. Michael Z. 2006-09-01 18:18 Z

Photo of damaged building[edit]

I don't really see how the photo of a partially wrecked apartment building in Haifa contributes to this article. It's a current event documentary photo, and doesn't say anything about Katyusha rocket launchers. Is there a good reason not to remove it? Michael Z. 2006-09-15 00:40 Z

These are weapons and weapons are intended to cause death and destruction. Showing some of the destructive power of a weapon is part of explaining it and explanation is what an encyclopedia is about. The article has two launch photos and no target photos — seems biased to me. I'm not partial to this particular one (which seems to be unsourced The annotation does not explicitly say that the destruction was caused by a Katyusha.) — some from WWII would do fine. --Jtir 00:41, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Crescendo requires a citation[edit]

, due to the similarity of the pitch of the rocket firing sound and the pitch of the crecendo of the beginning of the third line of each stanza of the song.

This is so specific that it really needs to be confirmed by a reference. Michael Z. 2006-10-11 17:21 Z

Move to "Katyusha rocket launcher"[edit]

Any objection to moving this article to Katyusha rocket launcher? This would make the title self-explanatory and disambiguating when it appears in lists and search results. Optimized for general-audience readers, as recommended by Wikipedia:Naming conventionsMichael Z. 2006-12-14 06:36 Z

Hezbollah Katyushas[edit]

There's a general problem with the article because the name suggests that Hezbollah and at other conflict areas in the world milicias are using the WW-II-rocket-launchers. Why and who made the errorousely merging from Kayusha (rocket) into this article? Try a Google search for Katyusha and 99+ percent of the hits link to the Hezbollah used rocket, not to the launcher called Stalinorgel by German soldiers in WW2. In strongly recommend to revert this measure. -- 11:49, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

The news media use the term "Katyusha rocket" almost exclusively for Hezbollah's rockets, but this is just an informal, and technically meaningless usage. These rocket launchers were nicknamed Katyusha by the Soviets during WWII, and the first page-full of Google hits don't contradict that. It shows up in Google because Hezbollah has been in the news a lot more than the WWII Red Army. But Google search results aren't the English language.
What do you mean by erroneously merging into this article? What you see is what was written. I don't understand what "revert this measure" means. Michael Z. 2006-12-15 17:04 Z


According to the article RS-82 rocket RS doesn't mean Raketny Snaryad but Reaktivny Snaryad. – Ilse@ 00:35, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Copying by other countries[edit]

I'd expect Katyusha's would be copied by other countries, including Germany in WWII and Western Allies. This should be described.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:12, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The German Nebelwerfer is already mentioned here, and the allied Land Mattress is linked from See also. I haven't seen any documentation as to who copied whom, but it appears that the Nebelwerfer appeared first, and the Katyusha may have been developed independently. Michael Z. 2007-07-30 17:35 Z
That's true, I am just suprised that such 'easy to produce' and effective design wasn't mass copied during WWII itself.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  12:41, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
It was kept extremely secret for the first while.
But even after that, I suspect that German, British and American strategists simply would choose not to perceive anything of value in the east. The same surprise might be expressed over the Nazis' decision to build and send a complicated 45-tonne Panther supertank into battle without adequate testing, rather than produce a 30-tonne copy of the simple but well-designed T-34Michael Z. 2007-07-31 15:20 Z
BM-13 rockets was extremely secret. Katyushas was equiped with self destruction mechanism and crew must been destroy vehicle (even with themselves) before it would be captured by Germans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:34, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Germany had a different phylosophy in rocket engineering. German rockets like the Wasserfall (Stinger's Grandfather) developed in the direction of liquid fuel, which is efficient in larger rockets and finally led to the V2 and later to spacecrafts like Wostock or Apollo. Solid fuel Rockets like Katjuscha are tendetially used for smaller rockets, like Quasam and of course fireworks. The Space Shuttle's Booster however shoes, that solid fuel Rockets can also be use in a large scale. Resources may be a reason too, Solid fuel rockets require nitre, which means making Hydrogen from coal, making amonia from hydrogen (Haber-Bosch) and Nitric acid from amonia (Oswald). Nitric acid however may be better invested in warheads and bombs. Liquid fuel Rockets require liquid Oxigen - made from air under high pressure - and Alkohol - made from potatoes. In general, Russia has better recources (what you need for solid fuel rockets) and Germany has better Engineering (what you need for liquid fuel rockets). Recources were also important for the V2. Building a V2 costed the same as building a bomber, but you don't need oil (and don't risk the life of your people). -- (talk) 20:03, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Katyushas since World War II[edit]

Section "Katyushas since World War II" contain information about stereotypes.--Berserkerus 14:15, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

  • its article must be about BM-13 with right specification--Berserkerus 14:27, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Which statements are stereotyped? I don't understand what you mean about the BM-13. Michael Z. 2007-08-03 19:41 Z

A mention could be made of the Katyushas use at Dien Bien Phu during the First Indochina War: "From about 4pm on 6 May [1954]. . . saw the unleashing of a wholly new weapon in Heavy Division 351's armoury: the 'Stalin organs'. These six tube banks of Chinese rocket projectors announced their presence with a monstrous screeching" - Windrow, Martin, The Last Valley pg 600-601 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

Reaktivnyy snaryad[edit]

"Jet shell" is not a perfect translation for reaktivnyy snaryad, because jet propulsion usually refers to something which is not a rocket. Perhaps it could be translated directly as "reactive shell", or perhaps "impulse shell", in reference to the propulsion method. Michael Z. 2007-08-03 19:46 Z

see "Jet pack" for example. Of course for average man, word "Jet" mean "passenger plane" or "air liner":(--Berserkerus 11:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I just meant that yes, a rocket engine produces a jet of reactive material, but it doesn't operate under the same principal of propulsion as a jet engine. So a different word choice would be clearer. Another translation might be "reaction shell". Michael Z. 2007-08-04 17:32 Z
See jet engine. quotation - "This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets and pump-jets". Word "Reactivnyy" in russian is not from "reactive material", but from from 3-th Newton's law- "Opposite direction force" is called "force of reaction".
Yes, I realize that. But jet is ambiguous, because it can imply a jet engine which is not a rocket engine, and come to think of it, so is reactive, because it can imply a chemical or physical reaction. Perhaps a better translation is "inertial shell" or "impulse shell". Michael Z. 2007-08-29 19:30 Z


The section Katyusha#Operators makes no sense in this article. This is about a series of obsolete models. The references are flaky, too:

  • According to, Belarus has one 130mm BM-13 in service (it's actually 132mm, but whatever). A single museum piece? I'd like to find out more about it, but it doesn't sound like Belarus is actively operating the BM-13 in its armed forces.
  • Also per Russia has 50 140mm "BM-13/-14/-16" in service—BM-13 is not 140mm, BM-14 is covered by another article, and what is a BM-16?
  • Hezbollah's "Katyushas" are 122mm BM-21 ammunition, and newer rockets, used on various launchers. Wrong article.

Maybe the operators section can be written as a historical survey (although the article already is that), but the current state is useless. I'm removing it. Michael Z. 2007-10-25 02:42 Z

This section was removed last year, because it didn't make much sense, and the data supporting it looked wrong. archived versionMichael Z. 2008-08-25 17:45 z


Good job-it has passed its GA. The images are very nice, and most of the references are good. However, you may want to take a look at the comments raised above about the I was willing to overlook it because it was a relatively minor issue, but it would be nice to see it fixed. Cheers, ṜέđṃάяķvюĨїήīṣŢ Drop me a lineReview Me! 15:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks very much for the very prompt review, Red. I think the question is long resolved—I'll post a note in that section. Regards. Michael Z. 2008-08-25 17:39 z

Hasty GA Review[edit]

Hello! I have been looking through recent GA reviews and came upon the one that was completed on this article on August 25th. The reviewer, who appears to be rather inexperienced, may have been slightly hasty in passing this article as a GA. The article itself is good; my main concern is with formatting and referencing issues. I am not going to take the article to GAR right now, but below is a list of issues that the lead editor may want to address:

  • Lack of references. GA articles should be well-referenced, with at least one citation per paragraph.
  • Identical refs can be combined using the named ref feature: basically, you put "ref name=xyz" instead of just "ref" at the beginning of the first reference. Then, for all of the succeeding refs that are the exact same, you can just put "ref name=xyz/", with no need for an "/ref" tag or a repeat of the information. This is not necessary, but it makes reading the reference section easier.
  • You have a broken link in the External links section. It is noted, but it really shouldn't be there at all.
  • All references that include a link to a website should have an access date.
  • There are a lot of short paragraphs. Any paragraphs that are one or two sentences should be either expanded or combined with other paragraphs.
  • There are a lot of images for an article of this length, especially towards the top of the article. Are all of these images really necessary to give the reader a good understanding of the topic? This isn't a requirement, but it would be nice and make the article easier to read.
  • The lead should not have any new information in it. Instead, it should be a summary of the entire article; for an article of this length, two solid paragraphs is appropriate. New information should be moved to the body of the article, and all refs should be in the body, rather than the lead.

As I said before, I am not delisting this article as a GA, nor am I taking it to GAR. However, I would strongly suggest that the editors address the points above, so that these steps are not taken against the article in the future by another editor. Drop a note on my talk page if you have any questions about these comments, as I am not watchlisting this page. Dana boomer (talk) 19:43, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


The english article doesn't cover a lot of important history (check the Russian wikipedia article, with babelfish if necessary). After the war, Kostikov the head of RNII was given a lot of credit for Katyusha. By the mid 1950s, Korolev and Glushko both worked to correct the history and give credit to Langemak. Kostikov had denounced Langemak, Kleimentov, Korolev and Glushko, contributing to their arrests and in the case of Langemak and Kleimentov, their executions. Korolev later called Kostikov a "scoundrel" and clearly believed he had acted ruthelssly to advance his own career. Kostikov assumed leaderhip of RNII after the purge. In 1991, Langemak and Kleimentov (and some others) were posthumously awarded Hero of Socialist Labor, for their role in inventing and developing Katyusha.

I read somewhere (ugh, where?) that Korolev and Glushko wrote a scathing article in the BSE about Kostikov in the mid 1950s. I own a 1980s edition of the encyclopedia, and there is no article about Kostikov at all! I suppose he was just considered an embarassment.

There is also some intersting history with regard to Gvai and Tikhomerov, both of whom patented smokeless-powder rockets about the same time in the 1920s. Gvai ended up in prison for a while, which allowed Tikhomerov to develop the idea exclusively. I recall reading there was some controversy there that would be worth looking into. DonPMitchell (talk) 19:39, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Is this related to the development of the rockets (cf. RS-82 rocket), or to the design of the Katyusha launchers, or both? If only the former, then it would be useful but not critical information for this article. Michael Z. 2008-09-30 23:21 z

BM-14 Redirection[edit]

Someone redirected BM-14 to here, so now there's nothing about it. Should this article cover any post-WWII launchers, or should the other be restored? --ZBrisk (talk) 23:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I think it should be restored. This article should be an overview article about "Katyusha" rockets/rocket launchers. As the term is applied to a variety of weapons/weapons systems, the individual notable systems should be in separate articles. (talk) 05:16, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I also think it should be restored, currently there is no information about the BM-14 in this article. Phoib (talk) 19:48, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

File:Katyusha rockets firing 1943.ogg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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a notice[edit]

also the experimental Klementi Vorochilov KV-6 Behemoth of 1941 had a rocket launcher to one of its turrets — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:580:F197:9600:451B:B887:DDFD:8550 (talk) 21:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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What happened to the Katyusha audio?[edit]

There used to be an audio file of the katyushas launching. What happened to it? I tried the links from the bot-posted section, but they all led to a deleted file with no explanation. Why was it deleted? DrZygote214 (talk) 12:56, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Rocket design?[edit]

There doesn't appear to be any discussion in this article or the linked "variants" articles regarding the design of the rockets themselves. (talk) 02:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Italicizing the name[edit]

“Katyusha” is a name, indicated by its capitalization, not a foreign term that should be italicized (see MOS:FOREIGNITALIC). This also aligns with prevailing usage: the OED’s citations only have the term capitalized in the first 1955 example; in the first page of Google Books results for the term, only one source has it italicized at all, and not consistently.

I’ll remove italics from the article. Michael Z. 2016-12-07 19:45 z

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