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"Ammunition for German 100-mm Chemical Mortar" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on ammunition for the German 100-mm mortar was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 18, Feb. 11, 1943.

[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.]


A recent report describes this as a single-barreled chemical or smoke mortar (Nebelwerfer), which in essential details is similar to the 81-mm mortar, though larger. The actual caliber of the weapon is 105 mm. An HE shell and two types of smoke shells are known to exist.

a. HE Bomb 10-cm Wurfgranate 37

This shell is conventional in appearance and design. Fitted with a nose percussion fuze, its internal arrangements are similar to those of the usual HE shell. Immediately below the fuze is a booster, which is contained in a steel holder screwed into the nose of the shell. A small smoke box is situated below the booster. The shell is gray-green in color.

The following are the main dimensions:
Weight of shell       16 lbs
Weight of bursting charge3.75 lbs (TNT)
Length of shell17 in (approx)
Diameter, across body4 in (approx)
Diameter, across tail fins4 in (approx)

b. Smoke Bombs 10-cm Wurfgranate 35

The existence of two types has been established from the examination of German documents. The internal arrangements appear to be similar to those for the standard types of German smoke shell.

Both types of shells are fitted with a nose fuze and both have a central tube containing a bursting charge of picric acid. It can be assumed that there will be a booster fitted underneath the fuze. One of the shells is reddish-brown in color and has "Nb" stencilled on the body, while the other is gray-green in color and has "Nb St" stencilled on the body.

c. Propelling Charges

The propelling charges consist of a primary charge and four auxiliary charges. The primary charge, which consists of 17 grams of ungraphited black powder, is contained in a blue-colored cartridge with a black primer color. Each auxiliary charge weighs 21 grams and is contained in a silk bag. These charges consist of a double-base propellant containing nitro-glycerine and having the following dimensions:

External diameter - 3.5 in (approx)
Internal diameter - 1.75 in (approx)
Thickness - 0.4 mm

The following system is used by the Germans to denote charges:

Charge 1 (Erste Ladung)  - primary charge;
Charge 2 (Zweite Ladung) - primary charge plus 1 auxiliary;
Charge 3 (Dritte Ladung) - primary charge plus 2 auxiliaries;
Charge 4 (Vierte Ladung) - primary charge plus 3 auxiliaries;
Charge 5 (Fünfte Ladung) - primary charge plus 4 auxiliaries.

The shells are issued one to a container, and the total weight of shell and container is 20.75 pounds.


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