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H003558 8CM M34 HEAVY MORTAR AMMO CASE. (Patronenkasten für Granatewerfer M34)

BACKGROUND: The German army developed a wide variety of assorted sized ordnance ranging from the 7.65mm caliber pistol rounds to the 88mm caliber anti-aircraft/anti-tank rounds to the enormous 80cm caliber railway artillery rounds with specific tactical goals depending on the caliber, range and mobility of the particular weapon. The development and production of German army ordnance was under the supervision of the HwaA, Heereswaffenamt, (Army Ordnance Office), which was a subsection of the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), and was responsible for testing, evaluation and eventual issue of all ordnance. The HwaA would issue all ordnance to a units Quartiermeister, (Supply HQ unit/Quartermaster), which contained the units Administration, Medical, Veterinarian, and Transport officer’s and its main responsibility was the control of all supplies to the forward troops including all vehicle fuel, and lubricant requirements as well as animal feed and rations and ammunition and accessories. Of Note: Although most of the ammunition cases were produced for specific ammunition after original issue they could be utilized with a wide variety of assorted ammunition as required. The first mortar developed during the Third Reich was the 8cm heavy mortar that was produced by the Rheinmetall munitions firm in 1932 and adopted by the OKH in 1934. Further developments through-out the war brought about the 5cm light mortar, the 8cm short mortar, the 12cm heavy mortar, the 20cm light spigot mortar and the 38cm heavy spigot mortar among others. The 8cm heavy mortar was based on the design of the successful WWI Stokes mortar and was the main battalion level infantry support weapon and was utilized for the duration of the war. The 8cm heavy mortar had a three man crew and an effective range of roughly 2400 meters with a firing rate of fifteen to twenty-five rounds per minute depending on the crew. This case was designed to contain three shells for the 8cm M34 Heavy Mortar.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 4" tall, 11" wide, 14 1/2" long, ordnance tan painted, soft wood, construction ammunition case with plywood top and bottom panels and mortised corner joints. The fold back top lid has an integral wooden dowel hinge to the reverse and an inset, screwed on, steel pressure closure clip situated on the obverse. One end of the wooden dowel hinge has broken off and been replaced with a nail. The obverse body of the case has a dual, small, vertical, nailed on wooden slats and a horizontal groove which secures a rope carrying handle. The obverse body also has remnants of a glued on paper label with black printed script. The fold back top lid has black painted, stenciled, script that includes, "Mun. 8cm Gr. W 34", (Ammunition 8cm Mortar 34), "Heeres-Munition", (Army-Ammunition), and additional script that includes, "Gew. Kl. III", and, "8cm Wgr. 34 Wgr. Z.". The natural wood interior of the case has remnants of three, glued on, paper labels with black printed script. The case has no visible manufacturer’s markings. The case is in overall good condition with light age and usage toning some separation of the top plywood panel and light surface spotting to the steel pressure closure clip.

GRADE ***1/4                             PRICE $109.00

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