Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

8cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 (GrW 34)

80mm Medium Field Mortar [ 1934 ]

The 8-cm Granatwerfer 34 became the standard German medium mortar beginning in 1934 and saw production and use into 1945.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/22/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The 8-cm Granatwerfer 34 (GrW 34) - Heavy Grenade-Launcher Model 1934 - was a German Army favorite throughout the whole course of World War 2. Despite the official designation classification, she was often classified as a medium mortar and was produced from 1934 into 1945. The system performed highly-effectively (particularly in the hands of a trained mortar team) and was respected by Allied troops for her excellent rate-of-fire and high accuracy at distance. The weapon proved so critical to German Army operations that it was fielded wherever her troops were fighting. Her production in number and her general battlefield usefulness ensured her place in World War 2 lore.

Rheinmetall-Borsig AG was charged with the design and development of this mortar system. The protracted design period lasted from 1922 to 1933, a period which saw German rearmament in spite of the restrictive powers of the Treaty of Versailles following World War 1. The mortar system was nothing more than a revision of the influential French Brandt mle 27/31 81.4mm system of 1927, this time with a German branding. Crews were trained in her basic functions but soon - moreso through operational experience - developed speedy response times in her deployment, aiming and firing - making themselves one of the more feared adversaries of the war. German mortar crews represented some of the finest masters of their craft in the entire conflict. To keep up with demand, several manufacturing firms were enlisted to lend a hand in wartime production of the GrW 34 while still more were used for production of the all-important projectiles needed to make the GrW 34 a successful weapon system.

Despite her dedicated pages in World War history, the GrW 34 was anything but a unique and wholly special design, passing on much of the kudos to her excellently trained crews. Her design was highly conventional for its time - her arrangement consisted of nothing more than the standard base plate, a bipod (with aiming optics and handwheels) connected to the firing tube and the firing tube itself. The system could break down into these three major components for ease of travel. The firing tube itself was of a smoothbore internal design. Two barrel types existed in a steel and alloy form, differentiated by the systems overall weight gains as 136.6lbs and 125.6lbs respectively. Barrel length measured in at 45 inches (1,143MM). The base projectiles were 7.71lbs in weight and activated via percussion fuses. Range could be slightly extended through use of additional powder charges. The base plate was rectangular in shape and fitted to the bottom of the firing tube. There was a rounded handle for carrying the individual component from location to location. The bipod fitted most of the critical aiming functions of the GrW 34. There was a traversing handwheel as well as a cross-leveling handwheel for general aiming while a panoramic sight afforded for finer adjustments against a target area. Elevation fell within a range of 45- to 90-degrees while traversing was limited from 10- to 23-degrees. Muzzle velocity was listed at 571 feet per second and the weapon was ranged out to 2,624 yards (2,400 meters).©MilitaryFactory.com
The GrW 34 was cleared to fire the conventional High-Explosive (HE) and smoke projectiles but her true arsenal was more expansive. She could fire illuminating rounds for night-time work as well as any captured enemy ammunition fitting her caliber (at the loss of some performance however). There was an interesting bouncing projectile known by the designation of "8-cm Wurfgranate 39" that utilized a tiny rocket motor to "bounce" itself off of the ground of a target area, exploding in mid-air and spewing her dangerous fragmentation payload about the surrounding area. These, however, proved too costly to produce in any number and were therefore something of a rarity.

The basic pear-shaped projectiles (stabilized by multiple small fins at the rear of each shell) were dropped from the muzzle-end of the firing tube straight down the awaiting barrel. They then struck the awaiting firing pin at the base of the firing tube, subsequently igniting the propellant charge and sending the projectile on its flight trajectory based on the predetermined path through careful aiming. A trained crew of three could let off between 15- to 25-rounds per minute. One crewmember managed the ammunition supply while another fine-tuned the aiming adjustments. The third crewmember served as an assistant and could also stabilize the bipod by hand when the system was fired for even more steadiness. All three helped to transport the three components of the GrW 34 system.

The base Granatwerfer 34 was spawned into a few published variants. These included the Granatwerfer 34/1, a modified Granatwerfer 34 for use on self-propelled vehicles such as the SdKfz 250/7 series halftrack, and the kurzer 8-cm Granatwerfer 42 (or "Stummelwerfer"), essentially a lightened form of the base model (with half the range) sporting a shortened barrel system for use by airborne personnel. The Stummelwerfer saw service beginning in 1942 but was rarely in use with her intended airborne forces. Instead, the system went on to replace the complex and expensive 5-cm lwGrW 36 light mortar series keeping all of her GrW 34 benefits minus the excellent range.

Other than the German Army, the other key operator of the Granatwerfer 34 system was ally Bulgaria.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany


80mm Medium Field Mortar

State Factories - Nazi Germany
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Bulgaria National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany Bulgaria; 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
1,143 mm
45.00 in
Barrel Length
1,143 mm
45.00 in
Empty Wgt
136.69 lb
62.00 kg

Integrated Optics


Muzzle Loading; Primer Impact

(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

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
7,874 ft
(2,400 m | 2,625 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
571 ft/sec
(174 m/sec)

8-cm Granatwerfer 34 - Base Series Designation
8-cm Granatwerfer 34/1 - Modified GrW 34 for use on Sd/Kfz 250/7 series halftracks.
kurzer 8-cm Granatwerfer 42 (Stummelwerfer) - Modified GrW 34 for use by German airborne forces; beginning service in 1942; lightened overall load with shortened barrel and half the range.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 2
Image of the 8cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 (GrW 34)
Right side view of the 8-cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 heavy mortar; color
2 / 2
Image of the 8cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 (GrW 34)
Image from the Public Domain.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons.

View day-by-day actions of the American Civil War with CivilWarTimeline.net. View day-by-day actions of World War II with SecondWorldWarHistory.com.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)