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21 cm Mörser 16
Langer 21 cm morser hameenlinna 4.jpg
21 cm Mörser 16 in Hämeenlinna Finnish Artillery Museum.
Type Howitzer
Place of origin German Empire
Service history
In service 1916–50
Used by German Empire
Nazi Germany
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Manufacturer Krupp
Weight 6,680 kg (14,730 lb)
Barrel length 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in) L/14.5

Shell separate-loading, cased charge
Caliber 211 mm (8.3 in)
Breech horizontal sliding wedge
Recoil hydro-pneumatic
Carriage box trail
Elevation -6° to +70°
Rate of fire 1–2 rpm
Muzzle velocity 393 m/s (1,290 ft/s)
Maximum range 11,100 m (12,100 yd)
Filling TNT

The 21 cm Mörser 16 (21 cm Mrs 16), or langer 21 cm Mörser, was a heavy howitzer used by Germany in World War I and World War II.


It was based on the earlier 21 cm Mörser 10, but had a longer barrel, a gun shield and other refinements. Originally, it broke down into two loads for transport, but the Germans rebuilt surviving guns during the 1930s with rubber-rimmed steel wheels to allow for motor traction in one piece with a limber under the trail and generally removed the gunshield.

Combat service

Moving into action, Ham, March 1918

In German service, it used two shells, the 21 cm Gr 18 (HE) that weighed 113 kilograms (249 lb) and the 21 cm Gr 18 Be concrete-piercing shell of 121.4 kilograms (268 lb) with a filler of 11.61 kilograms (25.6 lb) of TNT.

They remained in first-line use with the Germans until replaced by the 21 cm Mörser 18 by about 1940. Afterwards, they were used for training, although some equipped units in secondary theaters.

The Swedes bought a dozen weapons in 1918 from the Germans and they remained in service until 1950. The Swedes had their own concrete-piercing shells, the 210 tkrv 51/65-ps R-/33 weighing 120.75 kilograms (266.2 lb), which had dispersion problems as the Finns found out.

The Finns bought four of these from the Swedes during the Winter War, although they did not participate in the war because the Finns lacked vehicles strong enough to tow their great weight to the front. This had been rectified before the Continuation War and the Finns equipped the 10th Separate Super-Heavy Artillery Battery with them for the duration of the war. They were put into reserve after the war and remained there until the late 1960s before being discarded.

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era


  • 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
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  • Hogg, Ian. 20th-century Artillery. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000 ISBN 0-7607-1994-2
  • Jäger, Herbert. German Artillery of World War One. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 2001 ISBN 1-86126-403-8

External links

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