12cm sGW43 Mortar Platoon (Mid & Late War)
12cm schwere Granatwerfer 43 (oder 42)
During Operation Barbarossa in 1941 the Germans encountered the large Soviet 120-PM-38 12cm mortars. The qualities of this weapon were immediately recognised and any captured weapons immediately put into service under the designation 12cm Granatwerfer 378(r) (Literally, "grenade thrower"). The Germans were so impressed by this weapon that they immediately set about making their own version. This German duplicate design was called 12cm Granatwerfer 42 (though sometimes it is referred to as the 12cm Granatwerfer 43 for the year it was introduced to service). The tube length was 186.5cm and the complete weapon weighed 285kg. It fired the Wurfgranate 42 that weighed 15.8kg, which included 3.1kg of high explosives. The warhead was usually fitted with the Abstandszünder 41 ("distance detonator") extender fuse. The maximum range was slightly over 6km. It could use both Soviet and German ammunition. Because of the weight of the weapon a two wheeled axle was utilised, enabling the mortar to be towed into action. The axle could then be quickly removed before firing.
It proved a very successful and popular weapon. Total production (1943-1945) was 8,461 and this didn’t include the many captured Soviet weapons pressed into service. Initially it was issued to mortar battalions with infantry units receiving the weapon later. A (motorized) heavy mortar battalion was issued thirty-six Granatwerfer 42's, divided between three companies. The 12cm Mortar was effectively a light artillery piece. A Platoon served four tubes.
In Flames Of War
The 12cm sGW43 mortar is available as an upgrade to the 8cm GW34 mortar in the Mortar Platoons of the Panzergrenadierkompanie, Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie, and Grenadierkompanie. The 12cm sGW43 mortar is a major step up from the 8cm mortar, offering substantially more range and hitting power. It has a range of 56”/140cm, a Anti-tank of 3 and a Firepower of 3+. It is a Light gun so is easy to conceal and reasonably manoeuvrable.