30cm Nebelwerfer 42 (30cm NbW 42)
Towed Rocket Projector
The 30cm Nebelwerfer 42 was one of several rocket projectors fielded by the German Army during World War 2.
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The 30cm Nebelwerfer 42 (NbW 42) was another German-designed and developed rocket projector of World War 2 (1939-1945), largely following the same form and function of the preceding 21cm NbW 42 of 1942 though through us of a larger caliber rocket. The NbW 42 appeared during 1943 and included several improvements to the rocket's design - the propellant proved more efficient and increased engagement ranges from the original offerings while the resulting launch smoke was reduced to help protect the launch zone (and operating crew) from a precise counter-attack by the enemy. The 30cm (300mm) caliber was adopted as a direct successor to the existing 280mm and 320mm lines already in use and design work on the 30cm NbW 42 spanned from 1940 to 1943 to which the system entered service in 1943. It continued in its given role until the end of war in 1945 to which only 700 to 950 units (sources vary) were eventually manufactured before the end.
The 30cm NbW 42 rocket was paired with a two-wheeled, rubber-tired carriage for towing and included a rail system fielding six High-Explosive (HE) battlefield rockets. Like other Nebelwerfer rockets, the 30cm NbW 42 rocket was stabilized along its flight path by a spinning action as opposed to stabilizing fins. The launch process was actuated from a safe distance to help protect the launch crew from the exhaust of the launching rockets. While providing a much-needed psychological and physical effect on its enemies, such weapon systems could only target whole areas for saturation and, in the case of the 30cm NbW 42, the weapon could only launch all six rockets in succession, one rocket after the other, for the weapon held no capability to simply launch just one rocket. Resupply was a time-consuming process and reliant upon a team of personnel as well as ammunition resupply vehicles.
As completed, the 30cm NbW 42 weighed some 2,400lbs and required a crew of six personnel to operate effectively. Rockets weighed 280lbs and sported an official caliber of 301mm with their explosive warhead consisting of about 100lbs of HE filling. The carriage hardware allowed the rocket launch rails an elevation of up to 45-degrees with traverse up to 30-degrees though the entire unit could be turned upon its road wheels for what could be 360-degree traversal. The rockets were launched at a muzzle velocity of 750 feet per second and held a maximum engagement range out to 5,000 yards. As with other German rocket projectors of the war, the 30cm Nebelwerfer 42 was operated by members of the specialist "Nebeltruppen" group under the banner of the German Army.