German Nahverteidigungswaffe Close Defence Weapon
German Nahverteidigungswaffe close defence weapon, a bolt-action smoke grenade discharger for tanks of the German Wehrmacht, introduced in March of 1944, and designed to fire smoke and high-explosive grenades, orange smoke 350 flares, as well as illumination R rounds, using the C 43 St. propellant charge.
The weapon consists of a 92 mm smoke mortar tube mounted between a bearing ring and spacer ring in the turret or superstructure roof, and a locking cap with bayonet catch at the bottom of the tube. The locking cap is hinged to the smoke mortar tube and it locks into the bayonet catch by an adjustable ring fitted with a handle. The bolt-action firing mechanism is attached to the locking cap.
The opening in the turret roof is covered by armour plate. The firing aperture is closed by an armoured plug, sealed to prevent rain water from entering the turret. The gap between the smoke mortar tube and the spacer ring is sealed by a radial shaft seal.
Premature firing of the smoke mortar is prevented by a stop cam fitted to the locking cap, which releases the trigger only when the bayonet catch is closed. In addition, the trigger is fitted with a safety. The smoke mortar tube rotates 360° and is held in position by a clamp screw. The elevation is fixed at 50°.
Pictured above is the armoured aperture of the Nahverteidigungswaffe close defence weapon on the superstructure roof of a Jagdpanzer V «Jagdpanther» by Matchbox.
Preparing the Schnellnebelkerze 39 rapid smoke grenade
Remove the protective cap from the Zündladung N4 detonator charge and insert the detonator charge into the Schnellnebelkerze 39 rapid smoke grenade with the green painted section first. Now the Wurfladung 1 propellant charge is carefully screwed into the fuze thread of the Schnellnebelkerze 39. Excessive over-tightening has to be avoided, because the threaded nipple is made of plastic and will break off when tightened firmly. The Schnellnebelkerze smoke grenade with N4 detonator charge is inserted into the smoke mortar tube with the propellant charge first. The sealing cap is put in place, and the trigger may be pulled now.