30cm Raketenwerfer 56 German

Introduced in 1944, the 30cm raketenwerfer (rocket launcher) model 56 (RW 56) was one of several German Army rocket launchers used during World War II.

Germany was forbidden to possess heavy artillery after World War I.  Rocket launchers, given the cover name of smoke projectors (nebelwerfers), were developed to get around this restriction.  By 1944, the cover name was no longer considered necessary.

The RW 56 could fire 30cm rockets, or using the adaptor rails as fitted to this example, 15cm rockets.  When not in use, the adaptor rails were stored on top of the launcher.  Allied troops referred to the missiles as “moaning minnies” due to their distinctive sound in flight.

Projectile: 30cm 127 kilograms (280 pounds); 15cm 31.8 kilograms (70 pounds)

Range: 30cm 4,550 metres (4,980 yards); 15cm 6,900 metres (7,545 yards)

Detachment: gun, towing vehicle and eight gunners