R/C Tank Combat

Rocket Launcher #RL002

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Type: 15cm Nebelwerfer 41 Armament: (6) 15cm Wurfgranate 41
Built: Sept 2013 Armor: None
Builder: Mike Lyons Rating: 6/1
Status: Operational Battles: 1
Owner: Mike Lyons Points Earned: 0
Call Sign: Screaming Mimi Points Given: 0
Notes:
 
  • Wired remote control
  • Remote gas feed
  • Spyder Imagine electronic marker


  • Click Photo For Enlargement (20 KB)
     
    Nebelwerfer (German: literally "fog thrower", colloquially "smoke launcher") refers to a class of heavy mortars and multiple rocket launchers developed by the Wehrmacht in the 1930s and '40s. The name derives from the original intent which was to create Nebelwander (smokescreens) to cover other actions, but (as with similar U.S. units) Giftgas (poison gas) and Spreng (high-explosive [HE]) rounds were developed for these platforms. (It seems the poison gas rounds were not used in combat.) The HE rounds were attractive prior to WWII because heavy artillery was restricted by the Treaty of Versailles and the alleged purpose of the NbW fooled treaty observers; during the war the HE rounds were effective because salvoes could be delivered faster than with typical artillery.

    (Image from http://www.ww2incolor.com/colorizations/15-cm-Nebelwerfer 41.html )

    In 1940 the 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41 was developed to replace the 10 cm Nebelwerfer 40 (a wheeled, single-tube, heavy mortar). The model 41 mounted six 1.3 m barrels radially on a two-wheeled carriage derived from the 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun. I chose it over the later 21 cm NbW 42 (which mounted 5 barrels radially) because the 15 cm barrels scaled closer to a reasonable liner size.

    (Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/German_Nebelwerfer_41_breach.jpg )
     

    Click Photo For Enlargement (107 KB)


    Click Photo For Enlargement (58 KB)
     
    The NbW 41 was manually loaded with 31.8 kg rockets that were kept in place by spring latches. Each rocket had a set of 28 exhaust vents at the base of a thick ring about 2/3 the length of the projectile from the front. When a rocket was loaded into a tube it was pushed forward a little, an electrical ignitor was rotated into place behind it, and the rocket was pulled back so the ignitor was in one of the vents. The crew retreated a safe distance to the side and a hand crank was used to fire the tubes in a fixed sequence. The rockets made a loud wailing sound (hence the GI nicknames "Screaming Mimi" and "Moaning Minnie") and left a thick trail of smoke (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtSTMYGEyaM ), so the Nebeltruppen would hurry to relocate the launcher before enemy counterfire arrived.

    (Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-220-0634-12,_Russland,_Laden_eines_Nebelwerfers.jpg )

    Six independent launch systems seemed impractical so my Nebelwerfer is modeled on a Gatling-style rotary cannon but with the barrels fixed to the frame and the firing mechanism rotating.

    Each barrel consists of an 8" length of 1" size Type M copper tube lined with a 7" length of " size CPVC pipe. -118 O-rings keep the liners centered in the barrels. A blob of epoxy at the rear end of each liner acts as a stop for paintballs which are loaded from the front and pushed into place with a " diameter rod.

    The barrels are epoxied into two hexagonal plates made from 3/16" hardboard.
     

    Click Photo For Enlargement (287 KB)

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