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21cm Mörser 18

Discussion in 'German Heavy Weapons' started by Jim, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    A German gun-aimer protects his ears as a Morser 18 21cm gun fires towards the British lines. This heavy artillery piece could fire a 113kg shell a maximum distance of 18,700 metres. The difficulty in transporting a gun of this size made it vulnerable to Allied spotter aircraft and counter battery fire.

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  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    21cm Morter 18 firing in the lower elevation group in Russia, September 1943. HE and concrete-piercing shells can be seen in the foreground, ready for the next salvos. The 100kg shells smash into their target with an initial velocity of between 225-565 meters per second.

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  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Side view of a 21cm Morter 18 during night firing, winter of 1943/44 in Russia.

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    The 6.51 meter long barrel seen at its highest elevation of 70 degrees, used to penetrate fortified sites and reach rear positions in mountainous areas.

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  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Mortars are considered to be one of the earliest forms of artillery weapons. They began life as siege weapons, breaking down the walls and ramparts of fortified positions, and later also became used in the opposite role as fortress guns. Since the 13th/14th century, the mortar's primary characteristics have been a steep angle of fire coupled with increased penetrating power, a large calibre (up to 80cm) using heavier projectiles, and a relatively short range. For all this, however, mortars are usually stationary weapons or, when mobile, extremely cumbersome.

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    The name "mortar" basically means a "sturdy container made of metal with a semi-spherical bottom chamber", or later, a chamber which "directs the explosive force in a predetermined direction and propels projectiles."

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