21cm Versuchs Morser L/15 (Rheinmetall)

The 21cm Versuchs Morser L/15 was Rheinmetall's attempt to produce a 21mm with barrel recoil and a range of over 9,000m, but was rejected favour of its Krupp rival.

Rheinmetall's first 21cm mortar, the 21cm Versuchs Morser L/12 of 1908, had been an acceptable weapon, but by the time it was completed its range of only 7,000m was considered to be to low. Instead the German army wanted a weapon with a range of at least 9,000m.

Rheinmetall responded by increasing the barrel length by over 600mm. The new howitzer was otherwise quite similar, with its recoil mechanism above the barrel, and a standard box trail. The resulting weapon was impressively large, with the barrel looming at more than twice a man’s height when at maximum elevation.

Rheinmetall was given a contract to produce a prototype in 1908 and delivered it in 1909. In trials it was found to be inferior to the Krupp mortar, with a tendency to dig into soft ground when fired at high elevations. As a result the production contract went to Krupp's 21cm Morser L/12.


21-cm Experimental Mortar L/15 (Rheinmetall)



Barrel Length

3,165mm (L/15)

Weight for transport


Weight in action



0 to 65 degrees


4 degrees

Shell Weight


Muzzle Velocity

340 m/sec

Maximum Range


Rate of Fire


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Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 April 2018), 21cm Versuchs Morser L/15 (Rheinmetall) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_21cm_versuchs_morser_L15_rheinmetall.html

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