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The 5cm 5CM Leichter Granatwerfer 36 was the standard German light infantry mortar going into World War Two. It was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in the mid 1930s and adopted in 1936. It fired a 0.9kg / 2 pound mortar bomb with a range of up to 550 meters. In theory, it occupied the same role as the French Mle 1937 50mm light mortar – except it was far heavier than was practical, and substantially more complex to use. The LeGrW 36 weighed in at a hefty 31 pounds (14kg) – nearly four times as much as its French counterpart.
It was a striker fired design, with a trigger lever and thus did not fire immediately upon a round being loaded. It used adjustments in angle to determine range, with a constant projectile velocity (as opposed to venting a varying amount of propellent gas to adjust range). By the middle of the war, it was being pulled out of front-line use, as its weight and relative complexity made it impractical for its intended role.
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!