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25cm schwerer MinenWerfer neuer Art

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Bernard Counen     
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Location :
Cease fire memorial
Coordinates : Lat : 50.14170 / Long : 4.27500
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

Nice mortar with its elongated tube. Recently restored with a lot of care

Unreadable markings (before reconditioning)

This gun marks the place where the front line was when the cease fire was trumpeted in November 1918

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     25cm sMW n/A Origin :       ( RheinMetall)          

Historic context :

The experience of the positions war and the multilipcation of the parallel lines of the trench network made the fighting units ask for a range increase of the 250 mm trench mortar, whose power and relative mobility had transformed into a feared weapon in this kind of conflict.

From 1916, RheinMetall delivered a new model named '25 cm sWM n/A' ('sMW' = 'schwerer MinenWerfer' = heavy mine launcher; 'n/A' = 'neue Art' = New version). The considerable increase of the barrel length, growing from 3 to 5 calibres (762 mm to 1090 mm), and a reinforcement of the recoil recuperation system allowed to increase the range (now close to 1 km) with limited weight increase of the gun, gaining +120 kg and whose setting into battery required up to 28 men according to the manual !

A part of the old a/A materials were modernised by screwing onto the old short tubes an extension. These weapons were sometimes named '25cm sMW n/A 16a'.

The manufacturing of the heavy mine launcher never stopped during the war. Compared to the 44 mortars available at the war outbreak, 1196 'a/A' and 'n/A' 25cm mortars were in service in June 1917.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 25cm heavy trench mortar new mark
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 250.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 780 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 1077 kg (with the 232 kg platform and the wheels)
  • Tube length in calibres : 5.00
  • Grooves : 6 34.44 mm wide; 7 degrees angle
  • Projectile weight : 97 kg (mine raccourcie 70 kg)
  • Initial speed : 51 m/s (105 m/s for the short mine)
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 563 m (750 m for the short mine)
  • Elevation range : 45 to 75 degrees
  • Direction range : 20 degrees total range

  • German Artillery of World War One           Herbert Jager                   Crowood   2001  
  • Die deutschen Minen- und Granatwerfer im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914-1918       Dr Tillmann Reibert                   epubli GmbH   2014  
  • Das Ehrenbuch der Deutschen Pioniere       Major Paul Heinrici                   Verlag Tradition, Berlin   1931  
  • German Trench Mortars and Infantry Mortars 1914-1945       Wolfgang Fleischer                   Schiffer Military / Aviation History   1996