Germany’s Not-So-Light 5cm Le GrW 36 Light Mortar

RIA’s catalog page for this mortar

The 5cm 5CM Leichte Granatwerfer 36 was the standard German light infantry mortar going into World War Two. It was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in the mid 1930s and adopted in 1936. It fired a 0.9kg / 2 pound mortar bomb with a range of up to 550 meters. In theory, it occupied the same role as the French Mle 1937 50mm light mortar – except it was far heavier than was practical, and substantially more complex to use. The LeGrW 36 weighed in at a hefty 31 pounds (14kg) – nearly four times as much as its French counterpart. 

It was a striker fired design, with a trigger lever and thus did not fire immediately upon a round being loaded. It used adjustments in angle to determine range, with a constant projectile velocity (as opposed to venting a varying amount of propellent gas to adjust range). By the middle of the war, it was being pulled out of front-line use, as its weight and relative complexity made it impractical for its intended role.