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18cm glatter mittlerer LadungsWerfer Ehrardt

Trench artillery

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Location :
Dreieckland Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 47.87250 / Long : 7.64440
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This rare weapon was in France some years ago

Platform markings : 'Rheinische Metallwaaren & Maschinenfabrik - Düsseldorf 19?? - System Ehrhardt - M? - Nr 62'

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     18cm mLW Ehrardt Origin :       ( Ehrardt)          

Historic context :

The success of the reglementary minenwerfers in the trench war from the beginning of the front stabilization induced such a demand in the frontline units that the lack of it gave birth to several improvised or substitution weapons. This is how RheinMetall received an order from the German Army for a medium mortar as an alternative to the very good reglementary 17 cm m.M.W. medium mortar, and began to deliver it in 1915.

This '18 cm glatter mittlerer LadungsWerfer Ehrardt' did not have a modern look nor design, with its bronze smooth bore barrel, and the lack of recoil recupearting or brake system, only compensated by the weight of the massive cast steel platform. The tube was linked to the latter via a carriage made of a pivot at the tube lower extremity, and a graduated thread and wheel system at the tube front for the vertical aiming. Another graduated thread and wheel system allowed the direction aiming on arc shaped sliding rails. Wheels could be mounted on the platform to allow this weapon transport, with its weight reaching half a ton.

This minenwerfer shoot high explosive shells with an ogival shape and a welded base, without copper belt, and equipped with a simple effect time fuze, at a distance a little bit shorter than the one obtained with the 17cm mMW, but much lighter (about half the mass).

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 18cm Ehrardt smoothbore middle trench mortar
  • Design year : 1915
  • Calibre : 180.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 450 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 540 kg (with wheels)
  • Tube length in calibres : 4.85 (870 mm)
  • Grooves : 0 smooth bore
  • Projectile weight : 27.3 kg
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 700 m
  • Elevation range : 45 to 76 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