Discussion in 'German Heavy Weapons' started by Kelly War44, Nov 16, 2006.
Great Picture Kelly, and a weapon that the Allies dreaded.
Cheers Jim, and yes, a truly devastating weapon while being easy to conceal.
This as stated was a weapon that terrorised the Allies, by the end of 44 early 45 the weapon was hardly used (if ever) as the ammo used was barely existent as the last 2 factories that made and supplied these type of weapons were blown away, and when the Germans ever tried to open up some factory for heavy armour the Allied were very quick to end it. I think the Allies were very much pleased about this.
Most Allied casualties In Normandy were as a result of mortar fire. Here the crew of a 15cm German Nebelwerfer 41 are loading the weapon with six 34kg rockets. The Nebelwerfer could discharge six rocket propelled mortar bombs in ten seconds, and fire three salvos in five minutes. It had a maximum range of almost 7,000 metres.
Preparing to launch a 30cm Nebelwerfer in support of Model's attack on 6th July. With these weapons the Germans, like the Russians with their "Katyusha" launchers, could deliver a heavy and concentrated barrage. Not the least frightful aspect of the German weapon was the noise it made as it "rocketed" through the air. Its relative light weight and mobility compared to conventional artillery made it a very effective weapon.
Rear view of a captured 32cm Nebelwerfer .. The weapon is loaded, but electrical leads are not connected to the bases of the rocket motors.
The Nebelwerfer was the most widely used of the rocket launchers developed by the Germans. Each of the six barrels had a calibre of 150mm. The weight of shot that could be laid down was heavy in comparison with conventional artillery, but even so, it was far less accurate. However, the object was to saturate an area and demoralize the enemy. The range of a Nebelwerfer was 7000m (7330yd).
A German Nebelwerfer firing.
A captured Nebelwerfer
A captured Nebelwerfer, August 1944, in overall dunkel gelb with bold over-painting in oIivgrun, Note the lightening of tyres by dirt, and the dried mud on rest of the weapon. Foliage and netting used to further camouflage the weapon have mostly been removed.
A few Nebelwerfer's can be seen in this Youtube clip, the Allied soldiers must have been terrified when they heard these coming at them ...
In German, 'Nebelwerfer' means 'smoke launcher', a name chosen to confuse the enemy but has probably caused more confusion after the war. When development started in the early 1930s, the programme to give Germany rocket-based artillery was top secret, and to conceal its true purpose it got the designation 'Nebelwerfer', although the system did have a marginal smoke-laying capability. The first attempt, the 000Gerat 38, was unsuccessful, being inaccurate and dangerous to its crew.
The next one, the NbW 451, by contrast, was very effective and became synonymous with 'Nebelwerfer'. The 15cm (5.9in) NbW 451 six-barrelled rocket launcher weighed 540kg (1188Ib) in action, with elevation from -5.5° to +45° and traversed through 24°. It had a range of 6700m (4.16 miles) and a 2.5kg (5.51Ib) warhead that produced a massive blast effect. The NbW 451 was mounted on a modified version of the split-trail 37mm (1.4in) Pak 35/36 carriage. The tubes had to be fired individually, a complete firing cycle taking 10 seconds, to prevent the weapon from overturning. Though inaccurate, it could be reloaded in 90 seconds and was highly manoeuvrable.
The rockets were of an unusual design, with the solid fuel motor mounted at the front and venting through a ring of 26 angled venturis positioned about two-thirds from the nose of the projectile. By the end of World War II the Germans had 150 Werferregimenter, in part because the rounds were much more cost-effective than 10.5cm (4.1in) leFH 18 shells - rockets came in at RM 3350 and shells at RM 16,400.
A German Soldier loading up a Nebelwerfer 41
Nebelwerfer rocket launchers were the Germans answer to the Soviet Katyushas. II SS Panzer Corps was one of the first German formations to receive its own integral Nebelwerfer regiment.
A Nebelwerfer crew rushes to load their weapon. The German rocket launchers proved invaluable in defensive operations, firing both high explosive and smoke rounds.
15cm NEBELWERFER 41 Known to the Allied troops in Normandy as the 'Moaning Minnie', the Nebelwerfer 41 was the German Army's standard ground rocket launcher from late 1941 onwards. Essentially six firing tubes mounted on the wheeled carriage of the Pak antitank gun, the weapon was used primarily to fire barrages of the 15cm Wurfgranate 41 unguided high-explosive rocket.
TYPE: Ground based, mobile rocket launcher
DIMENSIONS: No of barrels 6 Barrel length 4 ft 3½ in (1.3 m)
WEIGHTS: Travelling 1,300 lb (590 kg) Empty 1,125 lb (510 kg) Loaded for action 1,698 lb (770 kg)
PERFORMANCE: Traverse 24° Elevation -5° to +45° maximum range 22,633 ft (6,900 m) Rate of fire 6 rockets in 10 sec; 3 salvoes of 6 rockets in 5 min
A German Nebelwerfer six-barrelled rocket projector. Known to the Allied troops as "Moaning Minnie" because of the sound of its projectiles. This looks like the German soldier was loading the weapon ready for the next attack before being shot?
An artist impression of a Salvo from a battery of Nebelwerfer rockets been fired at the same time.
Mortars were ideal infantry weapons in the bocage country as they could throw a bomb in a high trajectory, clearing the hedgerows that prevented the effective use of artillery. They caused 75 per cent of British casualties at times.
The six-barrelled Nebelwerfer rocket projector was similar in operation to a mortar but was used by specialist regiments. Built in 150 mm and 300 mm calibres, the rockets were fired at two second intervals in a barrage that sapped the morale of the men on the receiving end. Of all the excellent weapons equipping the German Army, Allied soldiers hated the Nebelwerfer the most.
Here can be seen a camouflaged 210 mm Nebelwerfer. The crew are setting it up for a 'stonk', as the British called a mortar barrage.
German Nebelwerfer firing off its ammo.