Granatwerfer ('Priest Mortar') Granate
At the border between grenade launcher and minenwerfers, the Priest Morser is a little trench weapon designed in 1915 by Austria (presimingly by a priest, hence the name). Called Granatwerfer (grenade launcher) by the Germans that massively used it, this light (45 kg) and easily transportable weapon was simply composed with a base plate supporting a orientable mandrel equipped with a spring percussion mechanism.
The Granatwerfer explosive grenade was made with an externally prefragmented ovoid, then cylindrical steel body, mounted at its base on a hollow mantle wearing 3 to 4 winglets, and at its head with a simple percussion fuse. The propelling charge was just a blank mauser cartridge included in a shaft penetrating inside the grenade body at the top of the mantle.
At firing time, the detonator was added on the fuse and mounted on the grenade, the projectile tail was slipped on the launcher mandrel that had been orientated before, the safety pin was removed, and the launching triggered by pulling on a rope connected to the trigger. This action projected a pin to the base of the blank cartidge located at the bottom of the grenade tail, and provoked the projectile take off, on a trajectory stabilized by the winglets, to a maximum range of 250 m.
At impact, the explosion was ordered by the head percussion fuse connected to a detonater dipped in the explosive charge. This weapon was feared by the allied soldiers because of its stealth, the departure sound being very low, and the flight silent with the exception of a flying pigeon, hence the nickname !
The granatwerfer received different projectiles, amongst wich one can cite :
the explosive winged ovoid grenades
the explosive winged cylindrical grenades
the message-bearing winged grenades
the lighting winged grenades
the rebounding explosive winged grenades
This latter surprising model had a similar shape to the one of the explosive cylindrical wiged grenades, sometimes innerly prefragmentated, and having a specific propelling charge in a brass bucket equipped with a starter, at the bottom of the tail. The grenade head was included inside a steel hat containing a small black powder charge that could be ignited at impact by the percussion fuse. This charge gave a 'rebound' move to the grenade over the ground just before explosion, considerably more dangerous for the ennemy infantrymen.
Weight 2.450 kg including 200 g high explosive (explosive winged cylindrical grenades)..
They assemble the mortars on the battlefield and use them to fire aerial fragmentation grenades at snipers or massed personnel.
If the mortar squads know the range, they can drop a grenade right on someone’s head. This model is called the the “priest’s thrower,” because it was designed by an Austrian Catholic cleric.
The Germans and Bulgarians in the first wave bring small spigot mortars with them.
Schnellwerfer (Austrian) grenade
There are little details known upon this grenade launcher, that has been made by Austria, and probably used by Germans only in the Argonne forest where its projectiles can be observed. The Schnellwerfer was designed to quickly fire 6 grenades at a maximum fire rate of 50 to 120 shots per minute and at a range of 200 to 500 meters, probably giving very efficient defensive properties.
The launcher was composed on a base plate, a two axis pointing device, a percussion device, and an inclinable grenade container for 6 projectiles transversally sliding as a drawer on a guide. When used, the drawer container was sliding transversally, positionning the casings in shooting position, and sequentially firing all the 6 projectiles a bit like a lateral ammunition belt machinegun.
The Schnellwerfer explosive grenade was made with a tubular cast iron body containing the explosive, drilled with a threaded hole on the top extremity for screwing the fuze, and a bottom external thread to screw a propulsive charge cup (gun powder).
The fuze included a inertia arming system actionned by the departure energy, and igniting a wick that triggered the detonator after 11 seconds.
Total weight and explosive load unknown..
This is the Russian M1915 Rosenberg trench gun.
It’s easily brought forward, has a low profile and bulletproof shield, and is accurate up to 1200 yards (1097 meters). An RPG is accurate against stationary targets up to 546 yards (500 meters).
One rifle grenadier.
Karabingranate M 1913
1913 rifle rod grenade
The rifle grenade M 1913 is the first of a series of grenades developed by German intended to be lauched using the simple Mauser infantry rifled armed with a blank ammunition, after inserting the long steel rod into the gun.
The 4 mm thick cast steel body with external prefragmentation grooves network, was filled with explosive and traversed by an axial tube that connected the 'fuse' head (in fact a simple plug) that held the detonator with the base plate. This one was holding the inertia block mechanism that was armed by the launching energy. This action ignited a small compressed powder rod whose combustion released the movements of a inertia block system that would project a starter against a percussion pin at the impact time. It was clearly a percussion system with pyrotechnical safety, comparable to the one present in many German percussion fuses used in the Kaiser Artillery at the same period.
The range could be adapted by the rifle angle, but when a close range was needed a 9 cm removable disk was screwed at the top of the body that served as a aerodynamic brake during the trajectory.
The main problem with the model 1913 was its very good aerodynamic properties making it too effective a projectile, sinking too deep into the ground before explosion with lesser effects.
Weight 900 g, including 80 g ammonium nitrate.
Ну классическая "дгямуче-арабская модфа" !!!
The third wave is for mopping up. Austrians equipped with flamethrowers neutralize the last pockets of resistance.
Also pistols, brass knuckles, and blades of various kinds.
Wurfgranate от Granatenwerfer M1916 и Granatenwerfer M1915
German First World War Granatenwerfer 16 spigot mortar
Granatwerfer 16 and Minenwerfer
Looking through old pics I found theese, from Latvia and the War museum in Riga !