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May 06, 2004

Since the news has been, well, depressing...

I think it's time for pictures of Arsenal Artifacts. Besides, I've been playing with the new camera - proving only one thing. That quality pictures are a function of the photographer, more than they are the camera. This is a good camera, Canon EOS Digital.

Anyway, I have this item up for your consideration. The german WWI spigot mortar, the Granatenwerfer 16 (literally, Grenade Thrower).

Spigot mortars get their name from the fact that instead of a barrel, they have a rod, more technically, a mandrel, onto which slips the round. The tail of the round acts as the barrel. These things are not light, and this one does not have it's full baseplate that contained the traversing table. The round slips all the way down the rod, unlike the picture. This is a battlefield recovery round and I haven't finished the cleaning/preserving action in the tail, so it's blocked by corrosion. Doesn't take much, the tolerances here are pretty tight. The advantage of these weapons is that you can fire many different sizes of warhead, since you aren't constrained by the barrel dimensions. Your constraint is range, due to differing weights, which can be accomodated by different charge sizes, just as in a tube weapon. The other advantage is simplicity of manufacture - you don't have as many precision measures, especially in the munitions, as you do in tube weapons. It also means you can have people who don't normally make weapons build 'em. This one was built by the (in Europe at least) famous toy manufacturers, the Gebrudern Bing. (Bing Brothers) in Nueremburg.

m16granatenwerferweb.jpg

For a close up, click here.

Max Range : 350 meters
Min Range : 50 meters
Total weight : 38 kg
Distribution : 1916 , 12 per infantry regiment , 24 in 1918
Crew: 2 men.

Simple to use. Using a compass, orient along a known azimuth. Then when you compute data, it goes to the gunner as a left or right deflection from the 0 line. Based on range, and round, select a quadrant elevation, and set that on the scale on the side of the mortar. Load the round, pull the lanyard, ready to go for the next one.