[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — 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.]
CHAPTER VII. WEAPONS
Section VII. ROCKET WEAPONS
a. DEVELOPMENT. German rocket weapons have undergone considerable development since their first appearance in combat in 1941, after experiments over a period of several years. There are now about a dozen standard projectors, in addition to a number of non-standard weapons which either are of a specialized design or have not yet reached a stage of development warranting large-scale production. The Germans introduced rocket projectors for laying heavy concentrations of smoke and for massed fire on area targets. Because the projectors are comparatively light, they are far more mobile than field artillery weapons firing projectiles of similar weights. However, the rocket projectors do not have the accuracy of artillery.
b. TYPES OF ROCKET WEAPONS. The more common types of German rocket weapons are
2. Field Projectors
a. 150-MM ROCKET LAUNCHER (15 cm Nebelwerfer 41). (1) General description. This is the original tube-type equipment and consists of six tubes mounted on a simple two-wheeled carriage with a split trail. It is provided with elevating and traversing gears and has an electrical firing contact at the breech end of each barrel. These contacts lead to a junction box on the upper right-hand side of the barrel assembly. To prevent the weapon from being over-turned by blast, the barrels are fired separately in fixed order (1, 4, 6, 2, 3, 5), all six rounds being discharged in 10 seconds. To escape the blast, the firer lies in a slit trench about 15 yards to the flank and operates the weapon by means of an electrical switch connected to the junction box. Since the crew must seek shelter during firing, it requires about 90 seconds to load and fire a series of six rounds. A single tube projector known as the Do-Gerät which fires the same ammunition is used by airborne troops.
(3) Ammunition. This projector fires HE and smoke projectiles, and there is some evidence that chemical rockets also exist for this weapon.
b. 210-MM ROCKET LAUNCHER (21 cm Nebelwerfer 42). (1) General
description. This is a five-barreled projector on the lines of
the 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41, with similar carriage and electrical firing
system. Removable internal rails are now supplied for this weapon to permit
(3) Ammunition. The projector fires an HE projectile with
c. 150-MM SELF-PROPELLED PROJECTOR (15 cm Panzerwerfer 42). (1) General
description. The Germans have mounted this ten-barreled rocket projector
on the rear of a lightly armored half-tracked vehicle with a Maultier
suspension. Two horizontal rows of five barrels are mounted on a turntable
(3) Ammunition. The ammunition is the same as that fired by the 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41.
d. WOODEN RACK LAUNCHER (28/32 cm Schweres Wurfgerät 40). (1) General description. This is the original frame-type rocket projector and consists of a simple wooden frame upon which the projectiles are rested to be fired from the crates. The rockets are stabilized in flight by rotation imparted by the 26 jets which are inclined at an angle.
(2) Ammunition. Both high explosive
High explosive 280-mm rocket.
Incendiary 320-mm rocket.
e. STEEL RACK LAUNCHER (28/32 cm Schweres Wurfgerät 41). Metal instead of wood construction of the launching frame and crate distinguish this rocket launcher from the 28/32 cm Schweres Wurfgerät 40. The same HE and incendiary projectiles are fired.
f. MOTORIZED LAUNCHER (28/32 cm Schwerer Wurfrahmen 40). (1) General description. Modified versions of the Schweres Wurfgerät are used on half-tracked armored vehicles. Six projectors are mounted on the vehicle, three on each side. Each projector consists of two parts: a carrier plate bolted on the side of the vehicle and a bracket to hold the crate from which the rocket is fired. This bracket is provided with an elevating scale and clamp.
(2) Ammunition. The same projectiles are fired as from the Schweres Wurfgerät.
g. MOBILE LAUNCHER (28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41). (1) General description. This mobile version of the Schweres Wurfgerät consists of a framework designed to hold six projectiles mounted upon a two-wheeled carriage. The trail is detached after the carriage has been towed into position, and the launcher is laid like an artillery piece. The standard electrical firing mechanism is used.
(2) Ammunition. The projectiles fired are the
h. 300-MM MOBILE LAUNCHER (30 cm Nebelwerfer 42). (1) General description. Similar to the 28/32 cm. Nebelwerfer 41, this six-frame projector launches the largest of the German high-explosive rockets.
(2) Ammunition. The
High explosive 300-mm rocket.
3. Antiaircraft Rocket Weapons
a. GENERAL. Despite persistent reports of some kind of high-altitude antiaircraft
rocket in use by the Germans, only two such projectiles have been identified, and
neither has a high vertical range. The two antiaircraft rockets known are
b. 86-MM ANTIAIRCRAFT PROJECTOR. (1) General description. The
(2) Ammunition. The rocket, which is percussion fired, weighs 11 pounds and contains 310 feet of thin wire cable with a parachute at one end and a circular counterweight at the other. This parachute is ejected by a small charge actuated by a delay train initiated by the propellant.
c. 152-MM ANTIAIRCRAFT ROCKET. (1) General description. The details of the launching device for this rocket are not known. The projectile contains an HE charge in the nose and a parachute and length of cable in the body. When the projectile is discharged it unwinds the cable which is anchored to the ground. The cable is fully unwound at an altitude of about 3,000 feet and pulls out the parachute. The projectile continues its upward flight until destroyed by the nose charge which is fitted with a delay action fuze. The cable, suspended by the parachute, will sink slowly to the ground.
4. Other Rocket Weapons
a. 75-MM MULTIPLE ROCKET PROJECTOR. The latest German frame-type projector
consists of 28 frames mounted in four horizontal rows of seven each at the
forward end of a long carriage. Each frame is built of a metal hoop and a
b. 73-MM PROPAGANDA ROCKET LAUNCHER (7.3 cm Propagandawerfer). (1) General description. This is a very simple launcher consisting of a single cage hinged to a framework base of tubular steel and supported at the front by an adjustable arm. The weapon is intended for close range delivery of paper propaganda.
(2) Ammunition. The rocket weighs 7.1 pounds and instead of bursting charge or chemical filling contains 8 ounces of propaganda leaflets.
c. 80-MM ROCKET (8 cm Raketen Sprenggranate). This high explosive rocket is provided with studs on the side for projection, which indicate that it possibly is used both as a ground and aircraft rocket. It is unrotated and is stabilized in flight by tail fins. The rocket weighs 15.2 pounds, and the maximum ground range is estimated at 6,300 yards.
d. 240-MM ROCKET PROJECTOR. The existence of this projector has been inferred
from the use of a
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