15 cm Pz.W.42
The 15 cm Pz.W.42 (15 cm Nb.W.41) auf Sf. (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 4/1) is a premium rank II German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.53 "Firestorm". A marked gun sight for the rocket launcher was added shortly after Update "Ixwa Strike".
Survivability and armour
- 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 |
|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.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
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
|150 mm Wgr.41 Spr rocket||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
This rocket launcher is mounted to the rear of the vehicle in a 2x5 array, allowing for ten rockets ready to fire.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
There is currently only one ammunition choice for the Pz.W.42. These rockets are heavy and have very high drop, leading to curved firing arcs.
- 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.
|7.92 mm MG42|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
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 is able to 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-defense 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.
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 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 in order 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.
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.
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) - First of all, 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 of all, 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 weakpoints.
- Rockets are capable of destroying heavily armored targets through their roofs, such as the Churchill I and M4A3 (105).
- Poor penetration (~40 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 defense of Berlin.
In total, Opel produced 296 Panzerwerfer 42 launchers and 251 Sd.Kfz. 4 ammunition vehicles.
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.
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
- [Devblog] T25 Medium Tank and Panzerwerfer 42 Auf.Sf
- [Wikipedia] Panzerwerfer
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] Sd.Kfz.4 Panzerwerfer
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