Lat : 52.18390 / Long : 21.06690
General comments on this surviving gun :
Identical items in the same location :
Items covered by this file :
Historic context :
In 1914, the German trench artillery mortars were almost all designed and made by RheinMetall with its remarkable family of light, medium and heavy minens (l.m.W., m.M.W. et s.M.W.), not forgetting the Erhardt models coming from the same company
Other weapons manufacturers wanted to come on this new market, and collected some successes since the demand for such kind of weapons became sky high as soon as the war turned into trench warfare, encouraging the Geramn army to accept weapons from anywhere, in addition to the reglementary ones in insufficient numbres.
This is how the Mauser company, from Ehrenfeld in Köln, linked with the famous infantry rifles and pistols brand, delivered to the front units as soon as November a small minenwerfer with a 91.3 mm smooth bore, remarkably light (and dismantles into a 46 kg load and a 27 kg for transport), handsome and robust.
This '9cm glatter leichter Minenwerfer Mauser' tube was made of a steel plate rolled into a cylinder shape, with a thick ring (with the trunnions) ats the first quarter of its length. It was closed at its base by a cylindric removable breech block simply inserted into it and blocked in position during the firing by a thick safety pin. This breech was pierced by a small vent through which a firing wick was passed, linked to the black poweder propulsive charge bag. This rustic system will be improved during the war with the apparition of a breech with a percussion lighter hitting the base of a rifle blank cartridge.
The barrel was assembled on a small and light 4-legs trestle made of steel bars, fixed on a wooden platform made with 7 planks, and the vertical aiming (sometimes helped by a wheel) was measured by a simple prototractor arc.
The Mauser mortar used to shoot explosive projectiles as rustic as iiself. Quickly nick named 'stove pipe' by the French fighters, these thin plate cylinders closed by wood plugs measured 37 cm high (or 19 cm for the short version) were armed before the fire by inserting in their base a detonator linked to a wick that was fired by the propulsive charge. One can easily imagine this system was not ensuring high safety levels for the crew...
It seems this mortar was able to use the more sophisticated Lanz mortar (that came a little later with improvements) projectiles, but only using small propulsive loads made of black powder. The Mauser mortar also used other high explosive projectiles (fragmented) and numerous kinds of chemical projectiles
Technical data :
- Complete description : 9cm Mauser smoothbore light trench mortar
- Design year : 1914
- Calibre : 91.30 mm
- Weight in firing position : 73 kg
- Weight for transportation : idem, separable in two loads : 46 kg for the tube and breech, 27 kg for the mounting and the wooden base
- Tube length in calibres : 6.30 (60 cm)
- Grooves : 0 smooth bore
- Projectile weight : 3.35 kg dont 2 kg d'explosif pour les 'tuyaux de poële' longs
- Initial speed :
- Fire rate :
- Range : 270 m
- Elevation range : 0 to +50 degrees
- Direction range : none