[Lone Sentry: Additional Information on the German Schwere Wurfgerät 40, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"Additional Information on the German Schwere Wurfgerät 40" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military report on the German schwere Wurfgerät 40 was printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 12, November 19, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 8, p. 28, contained preliminary information on this new type of German bomb-thrower. Additional material from Russia includes the following details:

The HE projectile, which weighs 181 pounds, has a diameter of 11 inches and a maximum range of 2,088 yards, while the incendiary projectile has a diameter of 12 inches and a maximum range of 2,200 yards. The burst of the incendiary projectile is effective over an area of approximately 75 feet by 45 feet, and the burning petroleum in this area is reported to ignite any inflammable material to a height of 8 or 10 feet above the ground.

The Model 40 Wurfgerät is fired from a stationary mount, with 4 projectors to a mount. These mounts are normally arranged either in line or in checkerboard formation. The minimum distance between mounts is 6 feet, and between rows of mounts, 15 feet. Behind each row of mounts a strip about a yard wide is cleared of vegetation to prevent a possible fire caused by the rocket propulsion system.

The ignition of the projectiles is so arranged as to secure a 2-second interval between rounds. When the mounts are arranged in a series of rows, the last row is fired first.

Since fire is relatively inaccurate, there is a large zone of dispersion, making the weapon useful only for area firing.

Comment: This rectangular pattern of burst may be due to the fact that the projectile, with its blunt nose, does not penetrate, but bounces forward for several yards after impact, giving a pattern of burst which is longer than it is wide.


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