The GrW 34 was the standard German mortar system for the Wehrmacht. It had an eighty-one millimeter diameter launch tube, and a rate of fire of about fourteen rounds per minute, and had a maximum range of about 2,200 meters. The weight of the GrW 34 was about sixty-two kilograms and the length was 114 centimeters. The GrW 34 had to have a crew of three to operate and it could be set up in about five minutes. The muzzle velocity was 174 meters per second and there were only three main parts to the mortar launcher itself, the bipod, the tube, and the base.
The ammunition for the GrW 34 were fairly pear-shaped and they, like all mortars were dropped into the barrel, hitting the firing pin and being launched out of the barrel. The GrW 34 could fire either HE rounds (High Explosive), smoke rounds, or flare-like rounds that light up a dark environment. There was also a special fragmentation round called the Wurfgranate 39, but it was not commonly used.
There were only two variants of the GrW 34, and they were the Granatwerfer 34/1, which was specially modified for usage on the SdKfz 250/7 and other special half-tracks, plus the Kurzer Granatwerfer 42, which was a lighter version of the GrW 34. It weighed twenty-six kilograms and it was 74.7 centimeters long, and was designed to be used by paratroopers. It was also nicknamed the Stummelwerfer, and it began service in 1942.
The GrW 34 was first designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in 1934. It, along with its variants were produced throughout World War II in many different places. The GrW 34 earned a very good reputation and the fact that it could be carried in three parts was very good in terms of mobility. The GrW 34 and the crew have gotten large amounts of respect, especially the crew. The only other main user of the GrW 34 was Bulgaria, an ally of Germany throughout the majority of the war.
- ↑ http://historywarsweapons.com/granatwerfer-34-german-81mm-mortar/
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=301
- ↑ http://www.efour4ever.com/mortars_german.htm