Country of Origin: Germany
Overall: 2 1/2in. x 3ft 4 1/4in. (6.4 x 102.2cm)
The 15 cm (5.9 in.) Nebelwerfer ("smoke launcher") was the standard German World War II solid-propellant artillery rocket. Spin-stabilized by 26 canted nozzles on the mid-section, it had its warhead in the rear to increase the effectiveness of its charge. Chemical warfare was the original objective of the solid-fuel rocket program, but as neither side used poison gas in Europe in World War II, Nebelwerfer units fired smoke or high-explosive projectiles. The standard launcher was a six-tube wheeled vehicle towed behind a truck or half-track. After 1940, the rocket propellant was a diglycol "smokeless powder." These rockets were first deployed in the attack on the USSR in 1941.
This artifact is an empty cutaway showing the internal spaces for the propellant and explosive charges; the Smithsonian acquired it from the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum in 1989.
Transferred from the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum