World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Minenwerfer

Article Id: WHEBN0005792654
Reproduction Date:

Title: Minenwerfer  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 7.58 cm Minenwerfer, World War I mortars of Germany, Minnie (disambiguation), The Wipers Times, Stokes mortar
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Minenwerfer

German 7.5 cm Minenwerfer, World War I
German soldiers loading a 25 cm Minenwerfer, World War I

Minenwerfer ("mine launcher") is the German name for a class of short range mortars used extensively during the First World War by the German Army. The weapons were intended to be used by engineers to clear obstacles including bunkers and barbed wire, that longer range artillery would not be able to accurately target.

Development

The Germans studied the Siege of Port Arthur, where heavy artillery had been unable to destroy defensive structures like barbed wire and bunkers. The German Military Ingenieurkomitee ("Engineer committee") began working with Rheinmetall to study the problem in 1907. The solution they developed was a short-barrelled rifled muzzle-loading mortar, built in three sizes. In 1910, the largest of these was introduced as the 25 cm schwerer Minenwerfer (abbreviated "sMW"; English: "25 cm heavy mine launcher"). Despite weighing only 955 kg (2,193 pounds), it had the same effect on targets as the 28 cm and 30.5 cm mortars, which weighed ten times as much. At the outbreak of the First World War, 44 had been delivered. They were used successfully in Belgium at Liege and Namur, and against the French fortress of Maubeuge.

The medium version, the 17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer (mMW; "17cm mid-sized mine launcher"), was introduced in 1913. At the outbreak of war, 116 were fielded.

The light version of the weapon, the 7.58 cm leichter Minenwerfer (LMW; "light mine launcher"), was still at the prototype stage when the war started, but rapidly entered production. The weapon was far more efficient than its artillery counterpart: in comparison, the 7.7 cm FK 96 n/A needed to be towed by a team of six horses, compared with a single horse for the LMW; additionally, the LMW could be moved around the battlefield by four men. The minenwerfer was cheaper, costing only one seventh as much as the artillery gun, as was its ammunition.

Since the muzzle velocity, and thus firing shock, of minenwerfers was low, a variety of explosives that would usually be unsuitable for use in artillery was used to fill the shells. In any case, TNT explosive was reserved for use in artillery shells. Typically, the explosives used in minenwerfer shells were ammonium nitrate-carbon explosives. However, the sensitivity of the explosives occasionally made them detonate in the tube. There were a large number of these incidents, one of which claimed the life

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.