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Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Kurzer 8cm Granatwerfer 42 (kz 8cm GrW 42)

Medium Infantry Mortar [ 1942 ]

The Rheinmetall Kz 8cm GrW 42 series mortar was developed as a lightweight alternative to the limited 5cm leGrW 36 type.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/12/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

During World War 2 (1939-1945), the German Army primarily relied on two mortar weapons at the infantry level - the compact 5cm (50mm) leGrW 36 and the larger 8cm (80mm) GrW 34 medium mortar (both detailed elsewhere on this site). Both were well-made weapons designed in the pre-war years (which lent themselves poorly to mass production in war time) but the 50mm form that soon showcased its inherent shortcomings after practical actions had been had - it was too complex for its own good, offered limited engagement range and its projectile was largely ineffective for the given role. Its lackluster field results led to production being halted as soon as 1941 and the weapon entered second-line duties soon after - though it managed an existence throughout the remainder of the war as ammunition supplies were readily available and portability was a strong quality for infantrymen.

Because of the increased reliance on the 8cm GrW 34 form, Rheinmetall engineers began work on a new version of this weapon in 1940. After the requisite prototyping, test and evaluation phases, the new product was adopted into service as the "kurzer 8cm Granatwerfer 42" series - in essence a lightweight version of the existing GrW 34 mortar while given a shortened barrel for compactness, weight-savings measures to reduce loads by half, and support for firing a heavier projectile of better anti-infantry performance. It held roughly the same engagement range as the 5cm lwGrW 36 before it. For transporting, the system could be broken down into three major components for reassembling at a new position by its multiple crew.

Production of the kz 8cm GrW 42 weapons began in 1941 and lasted until the end of the war in 1945. It garnered the nickname of "Stummelwerfer" ("Stump-Thrower") for its time in the field.

As completed, the Kz 8cm GrW 42 had a weight of 58.5 lb and its barrel measured 747mm long - making it an ideal weapon for issuance to German paratrooper elements in place of the leGrW 36 series. The weapon fired a 3.5 kilogram shell of 81.4mm caliber out to ranges of 1,100 meters. A trained and experienced crew could manage between 15 and 25 rounds per minute. Integrated into the weapon was an elevation function which allowed the barrel to be tilted at 40- to 90-degrees. Similarly, a traversing function allowed for 14- to 34-degrees turning along centerline to be achieved.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany


Medium Infantry Mortar

National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
747 mm
29.41 in
Barrel Length
747 mm
29.41 in
Empty Wgt
58.42 lb
26.50 kg

Integrated Optics


Manually-Operated; Pin Actuated; Repeat-Fire

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of an infantry mortar projectile / shell
Rounds / Feed

Single-Shot, Reusable Launch Tube
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
3,600 ft
(1,097 m | 1,200 yd)

Kz 8cm GrW 42 - Base Series Designation

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