Country of Origin: Germany
Overall: 5 7/8 in. tall x 3 ft. 2 in. deep (14.9 x 96.5cm)
Other (tail warhead): 4 3/4 in. diameter (12.1cm)
Steel; wooden nose
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." The "41" in the designation indicates that the design was finalized in 1941, the "Spr." that it was a high-explosive version. These rockets were first deployed in the attack on the USSR that same year.
This artifact was probably manufactured in 1942. The U.S. Army Ordnance Museum transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1989.
Transferred from the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum