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8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43
The 8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43 Puppchen was an 88 mm calibre reusable anti-tank rocket launcher developed by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Raketenwerfer 43 was given to infantry to bolster their anti-tank capability. The weapon was fired from a small two-wheeled gun carriage which fired a percussion-primed, rocket-propelled, fin-stabilized grenade RPzB. Gr. 4312 with a shaped charge warhead. The grenade had a shorter tailboom of 490 mm (19 in) compared to the 650 mm (26 in) tailboom for the electrically-primed grenade RPzB. Gr. 4322 for the Panzerschreck. Both grenades used identical warhead and fuzing.
Approximately 3,000 units were completed from 1943 to 1945. It was made in much smaller numbers than either the Panzerschreck, which was based on the American Bazooka rocket launcher, or the Panzerfaust, which was a disposable anti tank recoilless rifle. This is partly because it was realized that a simple hollow tube with an ignition device was all that was needed to launch the 88 mm rocket, rather than an elaborate miniature artillery piece with carriage and breech. Due to the carriage and better sights, the accuracy was better, and the range more than double that of the Panzerschreck. However, Raketenwerfer 43 was more expensive, heavier and had longer production time than Panzerschreck or Panzerfaust.
The Panzerbüchse 39, abbreviated PzB 39, (German: “tank hunting rifle model 39”) was a German anti-tank rifle used in World War II. It was an improvement of the Panzerbüchse 38 (PzB 38) rifle.
The Panzerfaust (lit. “armor fist” or “tank fist”, plural: Panzerfäuste) was a cheap, single shot, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a high explosive anti-tank warhead, and was operated by a single soldier. The Panzerfaust was in service from 1943 until the end of the war.
Panzerschreck (lit. “tank fright”, “tank’s fright” or “tank’s bane”) was the popular name for the Raketenpanzerbüchse (abbreviated to RPzB), an 88 mm calibre reusable anti-tank rocket launcher developed by Nazi Germany in World War II. Another popular nickname was Ofenrohr (“stove pipe”).
The Panzerschreck was designed as a lightweight infantry anti-tank weapon. The weapon was shoulder-launched and fired a fin-stabilized rocket with a shaped-charge warhead. It was made in smaller numbers than the Panzerfaust, which was a disposable recoilless rifle firing an anti-tank warhead. It was an enlarged copy of the American bazooka.
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate (German, “stalk hand grenade”) was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a “stick grenade”, or a “potato masher” in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily recognized infantry weapons of the 20th century.
Heavy Machine Guns
The Maschinengewehr 08, or MG 08, was the German Army’s standard machine gun in World War I and is an adaptation of Hiram S. Maxim’s original 1884 Maxim gun. It was produced in a number of variants during the war. The MG 08 served during World War II as a heavy machine gun in many German infantry divisions, although by the end of the war it had mostly been relegated to second-rate fortress units.
The Maschinengewehr 08 (or MG 08)—so-named after 1908, its year of adoption—was a development of the license made Maschinengewehr 01. The firing rate depends on the lock assembly used and averages 500 rounds per minute for the Schloss 08 and 600 rounds per minute for the Schloss 16. The gun used 250-round fabric belts of 7.92×57mm ammunition, although sustained firing would lead to overheating; it was water-cooled, using a jacket around the barrel that held approximately one gallon of water. Using a separate attachment sight with range calculator for indirect fire, the MG 08 could be operated from cover. Additional telescopic sights were also developed and used in quantity during the war.
The MG 08, like the Maxim gun, operated on the basis of short barrel recoil and a toggle lock; once cocked and fired the MG 08 would continue firing rounds until the trigger was released (or until all available ammunition was expended). Its practical range was estimated at some 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) up to an extreme range of 3,600 metres (3,900 yd). The MG 08 was mounted on a sled mount (German: Schlittenlafette) that was ferried between locations either on carts or else carried above men’s shoulders in the manner of a stretcher.
Pre-war production was by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) in Berlin and the government arsenal at Spandau (so that the gun was often referred to as a Spandau MG 08). When the war began in August 1914, approximately 12,000 MG 08s were available to battlefield units; production, at numerous factories, was however markedly ramped up during wartime. In 1914, some 200 MG 08s were produced each month; by 1916—once the weapon had established itself as the pre-eminent defensive battlefield weapon—the number had increased to 3,000; and a year later to 14,400 per month.
The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German recoil-operated air-cooled machine gun that was first tested in 1929 and was introduced in 1934, and first issued to units in 1936. It accepts the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.
The versatile MG 34 was arguably the most advanced machine gun in the world at the time of its adoption and deployment with the German Army. It entered service in great numbers following Hitler’s repudiation of the Versailles Treaty in 1936, and was first tested by German troops aiding Franco’s Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. The MG 34 combined two then-rarely combined characteristics into a substantial advantages over other machine guns:
- Mobility, being light enough to be carried by a single soldier;
- A high rate of fire of up to 800 to 900 rounds per minute.
As such, it can generally be considered to be the world’s first general-purpose machine gun.
MG 42 – Hitler’s Buzzsaw
The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or “machine gun 42”) was a 7.92×57mm Mauser general purpose machine gun that was developed in Nazi Germany and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1942. It supplemented, and, in some instances, replaced the MG 34 general-purpose machine gun in all branches of the German Armed Forces, though both weapons were manufactured and used until the end of the war.
The MG 42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for its ability to produce a high volume of suppressive fire. The MG 42 had one of the highest average rates of fire of any single-barreled man-portable machine gun: between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm, which results in a distinctive muzzle report. There were other automatic weapon designs with similar firepower, such as the French Darne, the Hungarian-Gebauer single-barreled tank MGs, the Russian 7.62mm ShKAS aircraft gun and the British Vickers K machine gun. However, the MG 42’s belt-feed and quick-change barrel system allowed for more prolonged firing in comparison to these weapons.
The MG 42’s lineage continued past Nazi Germany’s defeat, forming the basis for the nearly identical MG1 (MG 42/59), and subsequently evolving into the MG1A3, which was in turn followed by the MG 3. It also spawned the Swiss MG 51, SIG MG 710-3, Austrian MG 74, and the Spanish 5.56mm Ameli light machine gun, and lent many design elements to the American M60 and Belgian MAG. The MG 42 was adopted by a number of armed organizations after the war, and was both copied and built under licence.
5 cm Granatwerfer 36 – Light Mortar
The 5 cm leichter Granatwerfer 36 (5 cm leGrW 36) was a light mortar used by Nazi Germany during World War II.
8 cm Granatwerfer 34
The 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 (8 cm GrW 34) was the standard German heavy mortar throughout World War II. It gained a reputation for extreme accuracy and rapid rate of fire, although much of the credit should go to the training of the crews.
The design of the weapon was conventional and it broke down into three loads (barrel, bipod, baseplate) for transport. The barrel was smooth bore. Attached to its bipod were a traversing handwheel, and a cross-leveling handwheel below the elevating mechanism. A panoramic sight was mounted on the traversing mechanism yoke for fine adjustments. A line on the tube could be used for rough laying.
The 8 cm GrW 34/1 was an adaptation for use in self-propelled mountings. A lightened version with a shorter barrel was put into production as the kurzer 8 cm Granatwerfer 42.
The mortar employed conventional 8 cm 3.5 kg high explosive or smoke shells with percussion fuzes. The range could be extended by fitting up to three additional powder charges between the shell tailfins.
The Karabiner 98 kurz (carbine 98 short, often abbreviated as Kar98k, K98, or K98k) is a bolt-action rifle chambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge that was adopted on 21 June 1935 as the standard service rifle by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles. Although supplemented by semi- and fully automatic rifles during World War II, it remained the primary German service rifle until the end of the war in 1945. Millions were captured by the Soviets at the conclusion of World War II and were widely distributed as military aid. The Karabiner 98k therefore continues to appear in conflicts across the world as they are taken out of storage during times of strife.
Kz 8 cm Granatwerfer 42
The kurzer 8 cm Granatwerfer 42 (kz 8 cm GrW 42) was a mortar used by Germany during World War II. It was developed as a lightened version of the standard German 8 cm GrW 34 medium mortar with a shorter barrel for use by paratroopers, but replaced the ineffective 5 cm leGrW 36 as that weapon’s shortcomings became apparent. The kz 8 cm GrW 42 fired a bomb over 3 and a half times heavier twice as far as the smaller mortar, but was less than twice as heavy. It broke down into the standard three loads for transport.
Some weapons were provided with a lanyard-operated loading/firing mechanism for remote-controlled use. It was generally known as the “Stummelwerfer” or “Stump-Thrower”.
Sub Machine Guns
The MP 38 and MP 40 (MP designates Maschinenpistole) were submachine guns developed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers), platoon and squad leaders, and other troops during World War II. Both weapons were often erroneously called the Schmeisser, despite Hugo Schmeisser’s non-involvement in their design and production.
The Enigma machines were a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed and used in the early- to mid-twentieth century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II. Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models, having a plugboard, were the most complex. However, Japanese and Italian models were also in use.
Feldfernsprecher – German Field Telephone
The feldfernsprecher 33 (FF33) is the standard field telephone of the German military forces of WWII. It is a general purpose field telephone designed for wired communications. It was introduced in 1933 as a modern replacement for the previous WWI legacy field telephones the last of the series being the feldfernsprecher
26 (1926). The FF33 can also be connected to the Torn. Fu. D2 and
Torn. Fu. Bl, and F series radio sets to act as a remote handset.
The Flammenwerfer 35, or FmW 35 (literally, “flame thrower”) was a one-man German flamethrower used during World War II to clear out trenches and buildings. It could project fuel up to 25m from the user.
It weighed 35.8 kilograms (79 lb), and held 11.8 litres (2.6 imp gal; 3.1 US gal) of flaming oil, (Flammöl 19), petrol mixed with tar to make it heavier and to give it better range, which was ignited by a hydrogen torch providing about 10 seconds of continuous use. The firing device is activated at the same time with the Selbstschlussventil and is inside the protective pipe. The Flammenwerfer 35 was produced until 1941, when the lighter, slightly redesigned Flammenwerfer 41 began replacing it.
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A telescope (also Relief telescope ) is a special type of Telestereoskops , a binocular telescope , in which the two lenses as far away from each other by the of scissors or V-shaped structure and a few decimetres above the head of the observer. The image is thus more plastic, which allows a better distance distinction. With nearly parallel tubes provided the telescope serves as periscopes . To avoid camera shake, it is usually on a tripod mounted.
Scissors telescopes were often in the military used to not go out of cover for observation must, and for optical distance measurement on the angle of parallax . Some, especially geodetic usable devices can be horizontal fold out so far that the two lenses a meter long optical baseline make for more accurate distance measurement.
The ZG 1229 Vampir 1229 (ZG 1229), also known in its code name Vampir, was an active infrared device developed for the Wehrmacht for the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle, intended primarily for night use.
The ZG 1229 Vampir weighed in at 2.25 kilograms (about 5 lbs.) and was fitted with lugs on the StG 44 at C.G. Haenel at Suhl, the weapons production facility. The grenadier carrying this was known as a Nachtjäger (night-hunter). As well as the sight and infrared spotlight, there was a 13.5 kilogram (about 30 lbs.) wooden cased battery for the light, and a second battery fitted inside a gas mask container to power the image converter. This was all strapped to a Tragegestell 39 (pack frame 1939). The searchlight consisted of a conventional tungsten light source shining through a filter permitting only infrared light. It operated in the upper infrared (light) spectrum rather than in the lower infrared (heat) spectrum and was, therefore, not sensitive to body heat.
Vampir gear was first used in combat in February 1945. However, small arms infrared device introduction took place in early 1944. 310 units were delivered to the Wehrmacht at the final stages of the war. Eastern Front veteran reports consist of snipers shooting at night with the aid of ‘peculiar non-shining torches coupled with enormous optical sights’ mounted on their rifles. Similar infrared gear was fitted both to MG34 and MG42 machine guns.
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