Nimród Sorozatvető “Sirály” (Seagull)
First the Development / History of the Buzogányvető (Macethrower):
In 1942, based on the war experiences of the Eastern Front, the staff officers made many new proposals regarding military equipment, which could have been used to offset the increasingly overwhelming Soviet tank and artillery supremacy. Major General Árpád Doroszlai Denk, artillery observer supported the Zrínyi II. assault howitzer and two rapid development of different armor-piercing missiles. These are the 60 mm hand-held armor-piercing launcher and the Buzogányvető, the first is a German Panzerschreck rocket that the Hungarians made but it was smaller in diameter, the latter was a completely domestically designed construction.
In 1943, the Hungarian kingdoms Defense Institute of Military Technology (HTI) set up the secret rocket research department, and the work has started in a large plant. At a German demo the Hungarians got to know the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck rockets, but these had not yet been delivered to anyone. However, the HM purchased the 152 mm Nebelwerfer rocket launchers license and wtih great efforts were made to start its domestic production. The Füzfõi Nitrokémia Rt. quickly solved the problem of the lack of gunpowder, which was used in the 43M. rocket launcher and the 44M. Buzogányvető. They used Hmtk Misnai Józsefs invention the cumulative warhead, Misnay József belongs to the HTI staff of the Honvédség, his invention, the cumulative warhead, which he discovered it empirically.
This phenomenon was discovered in Germany by the physicist Schärdin, he discovered it sometime around 1940, but about his results no one knew. The German armor-piercing rockets and cumulative ammunition were made on this basis. The phenomenon was called Misany-Schardin effect (the name derived from the inventors), the design of these types of warheads were used for the 60 mm hand-held anti-tank launcher, for the 40 mm armor-piercing grenade, the 43M. at the tank mine and the 44M. Buzogányvető. At least the according to the current state of research. But it is possible that yet there were other weapons that used this types of warheads that Hungary developed. According to Dr. Garamvölgyi Professor Miklós in 1976 he talked about his reminiscence that the plans of the Buzogányvető were made in 1943 in the HTI, due to the lack of a big industry Weiss Manfred Rt. Csepeli Csõgyár received the order to form the engine housing and the rocket body. Here The chief engineer from Magasház developed the production technology of the body, which was a quite labor-intensive manufacturing method, and there was no other material available, only steel pipes. According to another reminiscence, the chief designer was Imre Kállay, he was an engineer from Weiss Manfred. At the beginning of 1944, they got to the first test, and according to the surviving photographs, this was in the Esztergom camp. Since the first launchers were mounted on three-legged tripods, moving them was out of the question. The 2 rockets were put in the guide tubes of the launcher. Nobody knew how the heavy approx. 27 kg rockets will work after ignition. Based on another reminiscence, Major General Denk asked for mercy for a soldier that was sentenced to death for a crime, the soldier was to carry out the test launches.
The soldier was lucky, he survived the test launch with burn marks from backblast. Later on tests were also carried out at the Hajmaskér shooting range, this is indicated by the remaining head pieces in that location.The rocket was designed in the summer of 1944, from based on experience, a new structure for moving them had to be used because the tripod can only be used at a shooting range and was not really movable. Due to a lack of raw materials and production capacity, the choice fell on the captured Soviet Gorjunov 7.62 mm two-wheeled machine gun pods, which they collected in 1941-1942, a set of several hundred pieces was available. On the tow-wheeled carts 2 700 mm long rocket tubes and the connecting tube frame were installed, which also controled the height and lateral direction. The shield protecting the operator remained on the left side. This weapon would also be deployed on the platform of a truck or with unfolded sides they shot from the plato, or they were rolled down from the truck and took up a firing position on the ground. After October 16, 1944, to increase moral the Buzogányvető had a codename called Szálasi-röppentyű. The anti tank version was called Buzogányvető “Macethrower”, and the anti infantry version was called Zápor “Downpour/Volley”. The live projectiles were light green colored, in the head area 50 mm wide red stripe was painted. The head part of the rocket had two explosive charges, one had 1.75 kg of TNT, and the other had 2.32 kg that consisted of a TNT/nitropenta mixture. The hollow charge could penetrate at least 300 mm of armor, the other materials that made the rocket increased the shrapnel effect during the explosion. The detonator was fitted with 0.142 kg of explosives.
A 1931M. 8 mm rifle cartridge had the job of actuating the rocket , which was jammed into the rocket nozzles at the rockets tail.
The resulting propellants gas flowed out through 10 nozzles and removed the rocket from the launcher, simultaneously forcing it to rotate to the right. The nozzle is approx. 2 seconds later caught fire, this accelerated the rocket body. Its range is 500-1200m was, however, with favorable ground conditions - with large dispersion - flew up to 2000 m. To handle the weapon 3 people were needed, the sight was located to the left of the pipes away, two men charged the rockets. Serial production by Weiss Manfréd Rt. took place in its 10th military factory, at an forced pace from the summer of 1944. Production did not stop until December 20, 1944, when Soviet troops were already attacking the factory. The number of copies produced approx. were 600-700 rockets, factory numbers 441 and 448 are known. The low number of corps that employed the weapon, practically all of the Buzogányvetős were deployed in Budapest. That is why demolition experts found several examples in Halásztelek, Tököl, Szigethalom, Alsónémedi, also on Boráros tér, Mechwart tér, Bakáts tér and Móricz Zsigmond körtér. For a long time, only the 1st Honvéd Tűzszerész from Újpest and the Aknakutató Zászlóalj had 2 copies of the Buzogányvető that was widely known. in 1999 Based on a recording, it was identified that at the Táborfalvai Warehouse, the metal pipes that have been in storage since 1945, were the Buzogányvetős engine housing. These would go to collections, and to the museum of the Institute of Military Technology.
The rocket had a really deep booming sound when fired and when fired it did not leave a smoke trace so it was hard to know where it was fired from. The Buzogányvető was the first heavy anti-tank rocket in the world, it could destroy any tank in the second world war.
A replica of the Buzogányvető. You can see the red stripe on the rockethead.
Cut view of the Buzogányvető.(more precisely its length is 970mm and the diameter of the rockethead is 215mm)
Testing of the prototypes on a tripod mount.
189-190 picture: Training of the gunner with a steel helmet on, the rockets are not loaded.
Second: the Nimród sorozatvető:
The Misnay-Schardin “lövő tányérakna”(shooting platemine) weapon far outlived the era in which it was born, while the other weapon the Szálasi-Vető/röppentyű(Buzogányvető) disappeared without a trace. The birthplace of one of these almost forgotten weapons (Nimród sorozatvető) is Párkányána, where in 1944 the 1/1 hk. the battalion’s central workshop school operated. Here, engineer Béla Toronyi with the leadership of an armored lieutenant, mounted actuating frames for the rockets on the damaged Nimród AAs that came back from the fronts. On Nimród’s chassis, they left the place where the autocannon was fixated and behind the fixation for the aiming of the rockets they put the tubes.
The essence of the structure: two tubes were put on a frame that was on the chassis of the Nimród that could move laterally, approx. 100 mm diameter tube from which the rockets were launched. The rocket consisted of a tube and a big head like you can see in the above pictures. The projectile followed a ballistic trajectory after being fired, the rocket could not be controlled, its range it was approximately 6-8 km. From a description it also turned out that from the projectiles head-nozzles, where the propellants gas came out not only launched forward the rocket but also spun it so it would be stabilised. They made around no more than 2-3 pieces of the Nimród sorozatvető. The Nimród sorozatvető carried around 15-20 of Buzogányvető/Zápor rockets. To peoples memory that saw the vehicle, they said that on the second deployment they never returned.
Based on the people memory of the vehicle, as well as the simple sketches people made of the vehicle over a period of more than 40 years, it can be determined that it is connected two launch tubes, the launch tubes could slide to the left or to the right, standing approximately in the center line of the tower opening the tube that was slided to the center was to be reloaded and the tube that was above the fender, on the side of the frame was to be fired from. The loaded tubes were slid all the way from the center so that the flame of the propellant charge would avoid harming the operator that was kneeling in an open turret hatch. If one tube was fired, they slid it to the center where the operator would reload it and then slid it back to its firing position. The rockets caliber was 215 mm.
Sketches of the vehicle:
1. picture: Launching frame on the Nimród, while loading.
2. picture: Frontal view of the carrier vehicle.
Specifications of the vehicle/carrier:
Place of origin: Hungary
Mass: There is not a data on it, could be around 8-9 tonnes.
Length: 5.32 m (17 ft 5 in)
Width: 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in) (maybe wider a little bit because of the frame where the tubes are located.)
Height: (Smaller than the Nimród with the turret, but for how much we dont know for sure, maybe the same size as the Lehel)
Crew: 2-3 (loader, driver and if three than a comander)
Armor: 6-10-13 mm
Main armament: 44.m Buzogányvető rocket launcher
Munitions: Buzogányvető with 1,75 kg TNT, and 2,32 kg TNT/nitropenta for anti-tank use, and Zápor with ~4-5 kg (9 pounds) of explosives for anti-infantry use. IT COULD CARRY 15-20 ROCKETS.
Engine: VIII EST 107, 8-cylinder, gasoline, water-cooled 150 hp (110 kW), (15,2 horsepower/tonne)
Operational range: 300 km (180 mi)
Maximum speed: 50 km/h (31 mph)
Specifications of the Buzogányvető (Macethrower):
Diameter: 215 mm
Weight of the rocket head: 29,2-30 kg
Weight of the explosive head: 4,212 kg
Weight of the engine housing: 20,5 kg
Gunpowder rods: 3,2-4,6kg
Penetration: at least 300mm of armour or concrete.
Speed of the rocket: 56 m/s 202 km/h
Penetration testing with the Buzogányvető:
The test was conducted in 2. april. 2006 on a T-55 tank
- and 2. Picture: 1. Test explosion of the 44m Buzogányvető on a target T-55. - 2. Explosive test, perpendicularly put against the target. (It does not have the upper part of the head.)
- Picture: A photo of the burning tank Immidietly after the explosion. 4. Picture: Outside view of the penetration, a pressed ring form 6. Picture: impact craters formed from the rocket on the opposite inner wall of the tank
(there are cm deep craters)
- Picture: Penetrations outer side. This is from the inside of the tank, notice the weird forms after the penetration. 6. Picture: Extinguishing the burning tank. (hay was put in the drivers compartment)
“On April 2, 2006, a We examined a T-55 target tank. The due to the short time on the experiment we had, only on the side armor we carried the experiment out. We put the cumulative charge perpendicular to the armor. The sloped frontal armor would have required a stand to hold the rocket but we did not have time for that or the opportunity. The rocket was placed on the mudguard of the tank, the rocket and the armor of the tank was 142mm apart. An ignition chain was armed. The operator of the rocket was approx. 300 m away, behind another target tank. With several of my companions from a high place, I observed the explosion from a distance of approximately 800-1000 m. The result is clearly visible in the photos. The charge penetrated the 78 mm side armor with ease. The inlet opening is 53-55 mm, the outlet approx. It was 65 mm in diameter. Fragments of the cumulative beam carved centimeter-long imprints in the opposite wall of the tank hull. The hay left in the driver’s compartment of the tank caught fire, and it was necessary to use a fire extinguisher to put it out. The mudguards significant section was torn off by the explosion. The soil beneath the rocket after the explosion was shovel deep. From the rocket nothing was left, not even the empty engine housing tube. After a long search, we finally found the main nozzle against the direction of the explosion, backwards approx. 150 m. An interesting phenomenon is the ring-shaped indentation around the punch hole. It may be the non-plate, flat edge of the liner metal of the charge brought about. Apparently, it would also pierce a significantly greater thickness of armor.”
It is said that the rockets explosion was the same as a 150mm artillery shells.
Interesting memory of a soldier: “The new Hungarian rocket launcher stood his ground. German and Hungarian teams really liked it, used it with excellent success. T-34 tanks were hit from 500, even 600 m. Also it happened that approx. the explosion of a projectile falling 25 m from the tank, overturned the tank.”
Look at how big of a hole did that rocket make. Size of the rockets without the upper part of the head.
I searched in the Haditechnika magazines and pieced the informations/specificiation of the rocket, because there are souces that are completely wrong. There are different sources that say that the diameter is 150mm or they mix up the Lidérc with the Buzogányvető which is both wrong, thats why I read the Haditechnika magazines because there you have good info about them, now for the earlier Haditechnika magazines (like the 1987 where I get the Nimród sorozatvető from) this is not true, because at that time the Buzogányvető was hardly known. Thats why I searched in later versions of the Haditechnika magazines, and compared them and tried to find the most reliable specifications about the rocket and for the Nimród sorozatvető as well.