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24cm schwerer FlügelMinenWerfer IKO

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Rik Schepenberg     
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Location :
Monument aux Morts
Coordinates : Lat : 50.69650 / Long : 4.47130
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 2
Items covered by this file : 2

Two identical tubes in this war memorial perimeter

Unknown markings

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     24cm sFlMW IKO Origin :       ( IKO)          

Historic context :

The French army was the first to introduce, in the middle of 1915, the concept of a smoothbore trench mortar firing fin tail stabilized heavy 85 kg bomb, with its 'Mortier de 240 CT', replaced in 1916 by the elongated 'Mortier de 240 LT' allowing considerable ranges over 2 km.

Massively confronted during the Somme battle (July 1916) to these terrifying weapons (also used by the British troops as '9.45 in trench mortar', or 'Flying Pig') able to destroy deep dug-outs, Germany decided to develop an equivalent design for its own troops.

The answer came quick at the end of 1916, with a design of the army Ingenieur-Komitee ('IKO'). Obviously inspired from the French 240 LT with the same 24 cm calibre, the '24cm schwerer FlügelMinenwerfer IKO' ('s.Fl.M.W. IKO') was a weapon whose manufacturing was simple and made by private companies such as Maschinenfabrik Germania in Chemnitz, Oberschlesische Eidenbahn-Bedarfs-AG in Zawaszski, or Wolf Netter & Jacobi in Strasburg

The steel tube was fixed on a carriage composed with an horizontally orientable pivot and a screw mechanism for the vertical aiming, able to slide on a graduated circle arc for the horizontal aiming. The tube and carriage were mounted on a heavy wooden platform made with two crossed beddings (totally 18 thick planks), needed to absorb the shot energy created by the propulsive charge lodged into the powder chamber at the base of the tube.

The FlügelMinenwerfer IKO launched very dangerous 100 kg bombs with 4 fins at their base, at a range of more than 1.5 km. In 1918, new developments were started to improve this weapon, with an inctreased range of 3500 m, but there is no witness of this new weapon in operations on the front before the armistice came. A total of 700 heavy FlügelMinenWerfers (IKO and Albrecht) were available in the armies in January 1918.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 24cm heavy trench smoothbore mortar IKO
  • Design year : 1917
  • Calibre : 240.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : inconnu
  • Weight for transportation : Unknown
  • Tube length in calibres : 5.25 (1260 mm)
  • Grooves : 0 smooth bore
  • Projectile weight : 100 kg
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 1550 m
  • Elevation range : 50 to +75 degrees
  • Direction range : 60 degrees total range

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