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9cm MinenWerfer M14

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra
Coordinates : Lat : 45.88840 / Long : 11.04640
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Side view of this very early Austrian minenwerfer appeared in November 1914

We can see the elevation mechanism on the opposite side of the carriage

The steel cork has disappeared

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     9cm MW M14 Origin :       ( T.M.K.)             ( Industrie privée Austro-Hongroise )          

Historic context :

At the start of the 20th century, numerous nations started to work on the development of mine launchers able to throw projectiles comparable to very heavy hand grenades at middel ranges in enemy positions. Krupp and Ehrardt, in Germany, were real leaders in this race, but it is interesting to note that Skoda also proposed in 1908 a 32cm 'Lavartine' gun answering to this specification, but whose impressive 480kg weight made him naturally sent to the fortress defensive weapons.

The advance taken by Germany, with its reglementary heavy and middle minenwerfers 25cm sMW anb 17cm induced Austro-Hungaria to test these equipments in summer 1914, together with a new 24 cm Skoda launcher, but the war outbreak in August interrupted these tests, both RheinMetall and Skoda, suddenly submerged with artillery orders, being unable to allocate any resource to these kind of weapons.

It is only after the fisrt fights of 1914 that the need of such launchers was confirmed by the Austro-Hungarian fighting units, some of them improvising similar inefficient and dangerous weapons. The Army Technical Commission ('TMK' = Technisches und Administratives Militar Kommittee) thus designed in emergency a simple launcher, manufactured as soon as November 1914 in its own works as well as by contractors.

This '1-kg Minenwerfer, later renamed '9cm Minenwerfer M14', was a simple 91.2 mm caliber smoothbore steel tube equipped with a rustic closing system made of a steel cork held in position by a travesing dowel (on two different designs : 'I' and 'II' patterns), mounted on a rudimentary carriage made of riveted steel bars allowing a wide vertical angle pointing. It shoot 1kg and 2kg charges ignited by a wick and propulsed by a black powder charge placed into the tube and ignited by a wick inserted at the base of the barrel through a small opening.

Other projectiles were later designed, such as high capacity 3.3 and 7.5 kg explosive charges, incendiary shells and gaz shells. This weapon was modernised in 1916 as the '9cm MW M14/16'.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 9cm trench mortar M 1914
  • Design year : 1914
  • Calibre : 91.20 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 73 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 11.30
  • Grooves : 0 smooth bore
  • Projectile weight : 1 kg et 2 kg
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 61 to 199 m
  • Elevation range : +45 to +80 degrees
  • Direction range : none