The portable massive rocket launcher was implemented during World War II by the Allies, Germany and the Soviet Union who all used some form of this weapon. Perhaps the Soviets emphasized this weapon and used bazooka and conventional artillery extensively to destroy the German ranks on the Eastern Front. The Germans used a system called "Nebelwefer", while the Allies used "Landmatress". Regardless, the unguided tube-launched rocket had a devastating effect on enemy forces and became one of the most feared weapons of war. As the United States found itself embroiled in yet another war, this time on the Korean peninsula, most of its WWII weapons became obsolete, leading to the development of more modern systems, including the M21 4.5-inch (114.3 mm) multiple rocket launcher (T123).
This system debuted in 1953, and about 1,200 examples were produced. Production of the M25 was taken over by Rock Island Arsenal.
The M21 is an electric, reusable, tube-based portable portable rocket launcher. The purpose of this weapon is to fill the target area with enemy troops or lightly armored vehicles with high-explosive artillery in the form of missiles. The launch tubes are arranged in five rows of five tubes, forming the "wall" of the launch tubes. The tubular muzzle is actually square, each with four offset diamond-shaped points that allow each missile to be centered in its respective launch tube as it enters the tube.
Each launch tube is mounted on a two-wheeled rubber tire carrier with an extended "A-frame" drawbar - useful not only when the launcher is towed by a moving vehicle, but also serves as a basic recoil damping system when firing the gun is fired, basically allowing a 360 degree traversal. To achieve the crossing, the crew simply moved the towing arm to reorient the M25's launch direction.
By using the small handwheel, the height can be adjusted between 5 and 45 degrees. The missile itself follows a simple trajectory, and while the accuracy of such a weapon is always somewhat problematic, the psychological aspect of the weapon's shooting nature against an enemy unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end is undeniable.
A minimum of 2 crew members are required to operate the M21, who stand out during system setup and reinstallation. When the M21 is launched, it is beneficial for the crew to find nearby cover to protect themselves from the launch explosion caused by the escaping missile. U.S. Army utility vehicles such as jeeps and light trucks are used to locate the M25, although the latter is more versatile because it can carry the required rocket ammunition and launchers.
The launcher itself weighs 544 kg (1,200 lb) empty and 1,007 kg (2,220 lb) fully loaded and ready to launch.
25 rockets are loaded from the muzzle of each tube, a process that takes approximately 80 seconds by trained and experienced crews. Along the upper rear of the launch tube is a small compartment that houses the batteries needed to launch the missile. Also on this compartment is a circular dial with numbers from 1 to 25 and a knob that allows the launcher to choose how many missiles to fire in a given salvo - firing a full salvo of 25 missiles takes only 2.5 seconds - This feature allows the crew to perform a partial salvo or full charge as needed or instructed. Each missile is covered with a high-explosive warhead, 30 inches long and 4.5 inches in diameter.
The missiles themselves weigh about 38 pounds and have a range of up to 5,000 yards, allowing them to hit targets far behind enemy lines.
The M21 was shipped to the Korean theater during the Korean War (1950-1953) and was used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army Special Regular Forces against attacks by North Korean and Chinese forces to assist in the establishment of soldiers in the breakthrough and large formations of vehicles.
These guns no doubt work as advertised.
Years of Service
Rock Island Arsenal - USA
Support allied forces with direct/indirect fire, attacking forward positions and/or breaking through fortified areas of the battlefield.
A special design created to play an equally special role on the battlefield.
12. 0 feet
3. 0 feet
1. 1 ton
No. This is a towed gun.
25 x 4.5 in (114.3 mm) tube
Depends on the ammo vehicle. The warhead weighs 38 pounds with a high-explosive warhead.
M21 4.5" (114mm) - Name of Base Series