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25cm schwerer MinenWerfer neuer Art

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Rik Schepenberg     
Geert Daenen      http://www.meensel-kiezegem.be/
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Location :
Meensel Kiezegem
Statie plein
Coordinates : Lat : 50.89666 / Long : 4.92582
General comments on this surviving gun :
Some interesting data about that survivor :
Initially located in the village cemetary, the mortar has been renovated and is now visible on the Statie plein

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

Markings unknown.

New location on the Statie Plein

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