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10.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 42
German 105mm LG-42.jpg
Rear view of the LG 42
Type Recoilless gun
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1942–45
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Produced 1942–44
Variants LG 42-1, LG 42-2
Weight 540 kg (1,190 lbs)
LG 42-1
552 kg (1,217 lbs)
LG 42-2
Length 1.836 m (6 ft)
Barrel length 1.374 m (4 ft 6 in)

Shell 105×155 mm. R
Caliber 105 mm (4.13 in)
Breech horizontal sliding block
Elevation -15° to +42° 30'
Traverse 360° below 20° elevation
71° 15' above 20° elevation
Muzzle velocity 195 m/s (640 ft/s)
or 335 m/s (1,099 ft/s)
Effective range 3,400 m (3,718 yds)
with Kleine Ladung
Maximum range 7,950 m (8,695 yds)
with Grosse Ladung

The 10.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 42, commonly the LG 42, was a German recoilless gun manufactured by Rheinmetall and used during World War II.


The development history of the LG 42 isn't clear, but it seems obvious that the success of the company's 7.5 cm LG 40 during the Battle of Crete in 1941 spurred the Germans to continue development of recoilless guns in larger calibers. Krupp seems to have gotten its 10.5 cm LG 40 into service first, but the Rheinmetall LG 42 was apparently manufactured in larger quantities.

Design issues

The LG 42 was basically an enlarged and improved version of the 7.5 cm LG 40. It incorporated torque vanes in the jet nozzle to counteract the torque forces imparted by the round engaging the rifling and any clogged or eroded nozzles. It also used the improved priming mechanism developed after the problems with the smaller weapon became apparent. Like all the German 10.5 cm recoilless rifles it shared shells with the 10.5 cm leFH 18 (light Field Howitzer). The LG 42-1 version was built using light alloys in parts of the carriage, but the LG 42-2 replaced these with ordinary steel as light alloys became too valuable later in the war. Both versions could be broken down into 4 loads for parachute operations.

Operational use

Both 105 mm recoilless guns, unlike the 75 mm LG 40, equipped independent artillery batteries and battalions. These include Batteries 423–426, 429, 433, and 443, most of which were later incorporated into Leichtgeschütze-Abt. (Light Gun Battalion) 423 and 424. These units served in both the Arctic under 20th Mountain Army and in central Russia under Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Center).[1]


Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke, 1974

Hogg, Ian V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X

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