- 17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer
name=17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer
caption=A mMW a/A at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum,
Ft. Sill, Oklahoma
type=medium trench mortar
World War I
variants=17 cm mMW n/A
weight=483 kg (1,065 lbs)
part_length=convert|646|mm|in (L/3.8) for a/A
convert|765|mm|in (L/4.5) for n/A
caliber=170 mm (6.69 in)
velocity=200 m/s? (656 fps)
range=300 m (325 yards)
max_range=1600 m (1,116 yards)
elevation=+45° to 90°
speed=The 17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer (17 cm mMW) was a mortar used by
Germanyin World War I. It was developed for use by engineer troops after the Siege of Port Arthurduring the Russo-Japanese Warof 1905illustrated the usefulness of this class of weapon in destroying bunkers and field fortifications otherwise immune to normal artillery. It was a muzzle-loading, rifled mortar that had a standard hydro-spring recoil system. It fired convert|50|kg|lb HE shells, which contained far more explosive filler than ordinary artillery shells of the same caliber because the low muzzle velocity allowed for thinner shell walls and hence more space for filler. Furthermore the low velocity allowed for use of explosives like Ammonium Nitrate- Carbonthat were less shock-resistant than TNT, which was in short supply. This caused a large number of premature detonations that make crewing the minenwerfer riskier than than normal artillery pieces.
Apparently a new version with a longer barrel was put into production at some point during the war. It was called the 17 cm mMW n/A (neu Alt) or new pattern while the older model was termed the a/A (alte Art) or old pattern. It's unclear what benefit this change had over the older version due to confusion in the sources.
In action the mMW was emplaced in a pit, after its wheels were removed, not less than 1.5 meters deep to protect it and its crew. It could be towed short distances by 4 men or carried by 17. Despite the extremely short range the mMW proved to be very effective at destroying bunkers and other field fortifications. Consequently its numbers went from 116 in service when the war broke out to some 2,361 in
Note: The data for this weapon differs between sources and cannot be considered definitive. Data provided has generally been for an a/A mortar as given at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum,
Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
* Jäger, Herbert. "German Artillery of World War One". Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 2001 ISBN 1-86126-403-8
* [http://www.landships.freeservers.com/adh_germart2_mandh-mortars.htm mMW on Landships]
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