15 cm Pz.W.42

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15 cm Pz.W.42
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15 cm Pz.W.42
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The Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 4/1) was a half-tracked rocket launcher employed by Germany against the Soviet Army during World War II. It began production in April 1943 and ran until March 1945. In January 1942, Hitler ordered the vehicle's development, and it first saw battle on the Eastern Front in the fall of 1943. The vast majority of the components were produced by Opel, the primary manufacturer. It was used for larger-scale rocket attacks against Soviet positions where a broad bombardment would be more effective than more pinpoint artillery fire. The rocket barrages covered a far broader area and brought more psychological elements to the fight: the quantity of noise, smoke, splinters, and flying debris produced by the rockets when they exploded was significant. The weapon's considerable deployment on the Eastern Front demonstrated that it could also be used effectively on the Western Front. On May 14, 1944, the weapon was eventually made available to the entire German army in France.

Introduced in Update 1.53 "Firestorm", the Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier is a light armoured vehicle that may be used as either a long-range tank destroyer or an ambusher. As a long-range tank destroyer, it may target adversaries hidden behind cover by making use of the rocket fire arcs. However, as the rockets lack sufficient explosive strength against certain enemies, players may struggle to destroy heavily armoured vehicles. Close range is far more difficult, and players must adopt an ambush approach for maximum effect; yet, since it is weakly armoured and the turret traverse is insufficient for responding to sudden threats, players might find it hard to use in close-quarters engagement during battle.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull8 / 8 / 8
Turret10 / 10 / 10
Crew3 people
Visibility88 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, rocket launcher mount)
  • Structural steel (rocket launcher tubes, undercarriage)
  • Wheel (front tires)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 8 mm (6°) Engine compartment
8 mm (32°) Driver cabin
8 mm (31-35°) Top
8 mm (37°) Bottom
8 mm (52°) Engine vents
8 mm + 8 mm (37°) Storage bins
8 mm (35°) 8 mm (7°) Engine compartment
8 mm
Rocket launcher N/A 10 mm Launcher mount
8 mm Tubes
10 mm Launcher mount 8 mm Tubes


  • Suspension wheels are 6 mm thick while tracks are 8 mm thick and torsion bars are 5 mm thick.
  • Wheels are 10 mm thick and mudguards are 4 mm thick.
  • The belly armour is 8 mm thick.

Armour used on this vehicle is fairly typical of other armoured half-tracks, enough to block rifle-calibre machine guns from most angles, but practically non-existent against any anti-tank weapon. While the large radiator and engine can soak up shrapnel from small HE shells, large shells with a high explosive content can destroy your vehicle quickly with the overpressure damage mechanic.


Speedforward / back
AB51 / 9 km/h
RB and SB47 / 9 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
1 back
Weight7.1 t
Engine power
AB130 hp
RB and SB68 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB18.3 hp/t
RB and SB9.6 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 51 9 7.1 97 130 13.66 18.31
Realistic 47 9 60 68 8.45 9.58

The 15 cm Pz.W.42 has decent mobility for a half-track: it is quick enough to get where you want to or behind cover when in trouble. The top reverse speed is -8 km/h (RB).

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB851 Sl icon.png
RB1 286 Sl icon.png
SB1 177 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts165 000 Sl icon.png
Aces470 Ge icon.png
Research Aces710 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 90 / 150 / 170 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 148 / 148 / 148 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support


Main armament

150 mm Wgr.41 Spr rocket
Ammunition20 rounds
Belt capacity10 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
23.4 → 18.0 s
Fire rate120 shots/min
Vertical guidance-7° / 40°
Main article: Wgr.41 Spr
150 mm Wgr.41 Spr rocket Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 20 -7°/+40° ±180° N/A 13.2 18.3 22.2 24.6 26.1 23.40 20.70 19.08 18.00
Realistic 8.9 10.5 12.8 14.1 15.0

This rocket launcher is mounted to the rear of the vehicle in a 2x5 array, allowing for ten rockets ready to fire.


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Wgr.41 Spr Rocket 27 27 27 27 27 27
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
0% 50% 100%
Wgr.41 Spr Rocket 340 34.15 0 0.1 2.15 79° 80° 81°

There is currently only one ammunition choice for the Pz.W.42. These rockets are heavy and have very high drop, leading to high firing arcs.

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the 15 cm Pz.W.42
20 No


  • Rockets deplete from left to right, top row first and then bottom row.
  • It is not possible to select how many rockets to bring into battle.

Machine guns

Ammunition2 550 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate1 200 shots/min
Main article: MG42 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG42
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 2,500 (150) 1,200 -5°/+25° ±45°

A single MG42 is mounted over the driver compartment. It has a limited traverse but a very fast rate of fire. Its low calibre means that the gun is only really effective against very lightly-armoured enemy ground vehicles or aircraft. The MG can also be used to mark enemies during reloading periods or range targets for the rocket launchers. Because of the mount position, the machine gun can fire over cover, while the Pz.W.42 stays completely hidden. This can be used to destroy enemies like the GAZ-MM (72-K) without any worry of dangerous return fire.

The MG42 has a loud and distinct sound, alongside bright tracer rounds. Use this gun only for emergency self-defence or against specific targets of opportunity. The MG42 can attract unnecessary attention toward the lightly-armoured vehicle, exposing its position to enemy snipers and attack aircraft.

Usage in battles

The 15 cm Pz.W.42 is a lightly armoured vehicle and can be played as a long-distance tank destroyer or an ambusher.

Long Range

The first strategy takes advantage of your devastating firepower to disable opponents while staying at a distance, guaranteeing your survivability. The heavy 15 cm Wurfgranate 41 Spr. rockets are similar to large-calibre HE shells in damage performance, due to the amount of high-explosive filler. Like HE rounds, these rockets don't lose penetration power over distance. With this advantage, a Pz.W.42 can be used as a mobile artillery piece. The gun sight allows the Panzerwerfer to set an elevation distance to fire at.

One disadvantage of the rockets is that they are extremely heavy, and the rocket drop arc may be tricky for new players to learn. Players may attempt to aim directly at an enemy situated at a reasonable distance away, launch a rocket, and then watch that rocket harmlessly impact the ground far in front of the target. Gain a lot of practice to get used to the rocket arcs. Experienced players can consistently hit targets at range, and can even be able to launch rockets over hills at unsuspecting enemies. Targeting enemies beyond 1,500 m may require the use of the sight distance control feature, or the player may not be able to keep their eyes on the target to make necessary aim corrections.

Another disadvantage of the rockets is that they are naturally inaccurate. Players may need two or three rockets to ensure the destruction of an enemy vehicle. Launch delay is short, but the Pz.W.42 only has ten ready at a time. Keep in mind that terrain irregularities will slow you down and hinder your movement. Position your vehicle carefully when sitting at a shooting spot to be able to hide as soon as you are forced to reload. If your position is compromised, enemy snipers, artillery, and aircraft may be coming your way.

Close Range

The Pz.W.42's armour isn't strong enough to resist heavy machine gun fire within 500 m, but its rear weapon layout allows you to expose only a small part of your vehicle toward the enemy. In urban combat, the Panzerwerfer can set up excellent ambush positions.

One strategy is to place yourself behind hard cover between buildings close to a perpendicular street. When an enemy vehicle passes by, you can fire a rocket or two into the side of it. You can drag destroyed vehicles to create cover if none exists.

Another strategy is to place yourself at the end of a narrow street behind hard cover. When an enemy vehicle advances up the street, you can fire a few rockets to destroy it. Rangefind the end of the street to know how much to elevate the launcher. Keep in mind that items like street signs, street lights and small trees in the way may detonate the rocket before it impacts the intended target. You can clear these obstacles by driving over them or shooting them with the MG42.

Notable enemies

With its thin armour, any enemy can knock out the 15 cm Pz.W.42, but some stand out for being particularly dangerous:

  • The Ho-I, StuH 42 G, Sav m/43 (1946), Chi-Ha LG and any other vehicle that can use HEAT or high-calibre HE rounds. These shells can easily overpressure your crew and/or detonate your ammo racks.
  • M4A3 (105) - Foremost, this American medium tank carries a 105 mm M4 howitzer that can fire both HE and HEAT rounds. These can demolish the Pz.W.42 in one shot. Second of all, the tank carries a powerful .50 cal M2HB (12.7 mm) heavy machine gun on the roof. This gun can easily penetrate the Pz.W.42, even at range, knocking out essential crew members quickly. Last, the M4A3 (105)'s armour is thick for the tier, which may allow it to absorb a few shots before destruction.
    • When facing this vehicle, attempt to flank it to fire at the weaker side armour on the hull. If aimed carefully, a few rockets can be fired to destroy the barrel, the roof machine gun, and the tracks to stop the vehicle from both moving and firing back. In some cases, hitting the roof above the driver and coaxial machine gunner can cause ammunition detonations if the enemy brought a full load of ammunition. France also uses the M4A3 (105), so be prepared to face it when France is on the enemy team, double, if the Allies are together.
  • SPAA. These can shower you continuously with bullets and even detonate your rockets in flight. While they can be easily destroyed with mg fire or a single rocket, SPAAs can demolish the Pz.W.42 in mere seconds. Take specific note of the M15 CGMC, M16 MGMC, ZiS-12 (94-KM), BTR-152A, AEC AA, So-Ki, CCKW 353 AA, LVT-4/40, and Lvtdgb m/40. A few have armour thick enough to stop 7.62 mm rounds.

How to defeat a 15 cm Pz.W.42

  • It is ill-advised to attack the 15 cm Pz.W.42 frontally when it has rockets loaded. Only engage it once all rockets have been launched and before the Panzerwerfer 42 gets back behind cover.
  • If the Panzerwerfer is lurking at a good distance, you can progress under cover towards it. Be aware that rockets have a curved trajectory, so pick your cover accordingly.
  • If the Pz.W.42's position is known on the map, artillery strikes and/or airstrikes can get rid of it easily.

Pros and cons


  • Fast reload for ten large-calibre rockets
  • Easy to aim from long range with the gun sight
  • Will deal huge amounts of damage to SPAA and light tanks due to the large blast radius
  • High explosive mass for rockets will cripple armoured targets due to overpressure
  • Weapon positions allow it to fire from behind cover
  • Can fire over hills due to the rocket launch arcs
  • Rocket arcs can be used to hit normally inaccessible weak points
  • Rockets are capable of destroying heavily-armoured targets through their roofs, such as the Churchill I and M4A3 (105)


  • Poor penetration (27 mm)
  • Thin armour leads to the vehicle being vulnerable to heavy machine gun fire
  • Rocket launch arcs can be hard to learn
  • Turret rotation is relatively slow
  • Low crew count can lead to the vehicle and essential positions (driver, gunner) being knocked out easily



Production of the 15 cm Pz.W.42 (15 cm Nb.W.41) auf Sf. started in 1942 by the Opel company, based on the Maultier half-track. It was built in series from April 1943 to March 1944, together with the accompanying ammunition vehicle, the Sd.Kfz. 4 Munitionskraftwagen.

Similar to the Soviet BM-13N "Katyusha" launcher, the Pz.W.42 was used in mass barrage attacks on enemy positions. Also like the Katyusha, the loud, distinct sound of the rockets firing had additional psychological effects. The Panzerwerfer 42 and the related Nebelwerfer launcher gained the nickname "Moaning Minnie" by Allied troops for this reason. Large amounts of these launchers were used throughout 1944 and 1945 on both the Eastern and Western fronts in actions like the Battle of the Bulge and defence of Berlin.

In total, Opel produced 296 Panzerwerfer 42 launchers and 251 Sd.Kfz. 4 ammunition vehicles.

Archive of the in-game description

A modified Nb.Wf.41 ten-barreled rocket-propelled mine-thrower was installed on the adapted chassis of an Opel Maultier tractor trailer enclosed in armour. It was developed in 1942. During its production from 1943 to 1944 about 300 mounts were released. They were widely used by the Wehrmacht. Due to the use of a mine-stabilization system based on rotation, a higher degree of accuracy and lower spread was achieved than that of rocket-propelled projectiles with tailfin stabilization systems.



See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links

Germany tank destroyers
Pz. I Derivatives  Panzerjäger I
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Pz. VI Derivatives  Sturer Emil · Elefant · Ferdinand · 38 cm Sturmmörser · Jagdtiger
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