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25cm schwerer MinenWerfer neuer Art

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Pozières (80)
Tommy's Bar
Coordinates : Lat : 50.03920 / Long : 2.72820
General comments on this surviving gun :
This impressive mortar is exposed in the garden of this museum / bar well known by British tourists visiting the Somme Battlefields. It used to be shown along the road before.

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

The preservation of this mortar presented into an interesting reenacted trench, is poor

The tune orientation on the base is wrong, the mortar seem to be ready to shoot backwards...

View on the 6 tube grooves

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