I’m on the road today, and don’t have a proper post ready – sorry! I’ve been hanging out with some folks into artillery, so I will distract you from the lack of content with a couple photos of a WWI German minenwerfer. This is a 7.58 cm Minenwerfer n.A. (new model), of which more than 12,000 had been made by the end of WWI. The first model was developed prior to WWI, and used a mount with a limits (7 degree) traverse and a short (9″) barrel – the new model pictured here (introduced in 1916) had an increased barrel length (16″) and a rotating mount that could swivel a full 360 degrees for much greater flexibility.

These light mortars would throw a 4.5kg (~10 lb) shell up to 1300m, and despite being one of the lightest types of artillery in the German arsenal proved to be very effective and useful. It was loaded from the muzzle like a typical mortar, but did have a rifled barrel and a hydraulic recoil dampening system (the cylinders for this are prominent on both sides of the barrel).

7.58cm leichte Minenwerfer n.A.
Note prominent rifling in the barrel (click to enlarge)
7.58cm leichte Minenwerfer n.A.
Note hydraulic recoil assembly – two pistons and a fluid reservoir around the barrel (click to enlarge)