8-cm mortar range increases?

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Gary Kennedy
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8-cm mortar range increases?

Post by Gary Kennedy » 23 Aug 2018 17:13

I was just looking back at some of the published material on the 8-cm mortar (Granatwerfer 34) and realised the quoted ranges are a little varied.

US TM-E 30-451 (Sep43);

Min 437 yds to max 1312 yds or approx. 400m to approx. 1200m

US TM-E 30-451 (Mar45)

Main charge only - max 591 yds or approx. 530m
with Charge 1 - max 1094 yds or approx. 985m
with Charge 2 - max 1597 yds or approx. 1437m
with Charge 3 - max 2078 yds or approx. 1870m
with Charge 4 - max 2625 yards or approx. 2362m

The latter max range of 2625 yds also appears in the British 'Regimental Officer's handbook on the German Army 1943'.

Also from 1943 is a range table reproduced over on Lone Sentry, which quotes max range as 1900m;

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/germa ... ortar.html

What I was trying to establish is whether this variance in figures reflects either refined Allied intelligence, or did the GrW34 undergo a series of improvements in terms of range during the war? Most sources go with 2400m, which is effectively the figure for using Charge 4, which was being quoted by the British in August 1943, while others quote 1900m. Did ammunition improvements increase the range of the 8-cm (as with the British 3-inch) and if so, what was the range in 1939-40?

When I came to look I realised I couldn't actually find a contemporary German source or manual, only Allied estimations, which may be subject to misinterpretation.

Thanks,

Gary

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: 8-cm mortar range increases?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Aug 2018 18:55

The US did something I can't find any comparison where the Germans did likewise. That is, instead of increasing the maximum range, they increased the "bang" the mortar was capable of making at shorter ranges. The standard round was the M43A1 at 6.87 lbs. and a bit over 3,000 yards max range. The heavy M45 round was 10.62 lbs. and could be fired to about 2500 yards. The super heavy M56 round at 15 lbs. was good for 1300 yards and gave considerably more bang per round.

I think most armies were happy with the 3,000 yard / meter range 81mm mortars gave and the US was correct in issuing heavier rounds for shorter range work.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: 8-cm mortar range increases?

Post by Gary Kennedy » 25 Aug 2018 02:12

Well I have to confess I've not heard of a light and heavy bomb approach for the 8-cm but I've now found this, which says pretty much the same thing;

http://www.lonesentry.com/ordnance/8cm- ... ortar.html

This is sourced as an excerpt from the US Catalog of Enemy Ordnance, 1945. There's an abridged version available for download but excludes the 8-cm proper; it looks to incorporate late additions and amendments and I've not found a clickable example of the full text.

The 2625 yds quoted for the light bomb does seem to correspond with the 2400m range, while the 2100 yds for the heavy bomb is almost certainly the 1900m range stated. I've never seen anything re the 8-cm having light and heavy bombs. I've seen some mention of different casings and there was also the 'bouncing' round, not sure if these could account for a range difference of 500m though. I think the range quoted in the Sep43 TM-E 30-451 must be either an error or is somehow mixed up with the shortened version of the 8-cm, which is generally quoted at 1200m/1300 yds

I had heard of the light and heavy rounds for the US 81-mm but it took a while for me to find out what the differences were. The USMC quotes the light as comparable to the 75-mm pack howitzer shell and the heavy to the 105-mm howitzer.

Gary

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: 8-cm mortar range increases?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 25 Aug 2018 07:01

You can see the difference.

Image

This is the M45 or the follow on M56 heavy round in use in Korea

Image

Modern equivalents:

Image

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Xavier
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Re: 8-cm mortar range increases?

Post by Xavier » 01 Sep 2018 22:09

the german mortar crew was issued either a paper(clothlike) range table or one made from etched metal attached to the tube..
the table reflected the diff rabges according to shell and extra charges.
specifially what are you looking for../?

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