Northover Projector file photo [23259]

Northover Projector Launcher

Country of OriginUnited Kingdom
Caliber64.000 mm
Barrel Length1,168.000 mm
Weight27.200 kg
Range130 m


ww2dbase"The Projector, 2.5 inch", commonly known as Northover Projectors, were simple grenade launchers meant for use by the British Army and the Home Guard as anti-tank weapons should the Germans make a landing on Britain, at a time when the British were desperately short of anti-tank weapons after losing a great amount of equipment in France. The design was drawn up by Major Robert Harry Northover of the Home Guard. Each of these weapons was consisted of a metal tube with a breech on the rear end; the cost to manufacture each weapon was less than £10 (although this cost did not include the the cost of the hollow cast iron tripod mounts, which were required for operation but they were not part of the manufacturing). They had a maximum range of 275 meters, although the effective range was between 100 to 130 meters. Northover Projectors could launch many types of grenades including the No. 36 and No. 68 grenades, but special emphasis was made on the No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenades, "A. W. Bombs", which were equally ad hoc in that they were effectively mass produced Molotov cocktails. Major Northover personally presented it to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who gave the recommendation for mass production, and the production began in Oct 1940. By Aug 1941, over 8,000 of them were in service in the Army and the Home Guard. In 1941, the Mk 2 variant was completed, generally focusing on weight reduction; Mk 2 production did not supersede that of the original variant, and comparatively only a small number of Mk 2 were made. By early 1943, the number of deployed Northover Projectors had increased to 18,919. Each weapon was operated by a crew of three men. Crews often reported that the weapons were difficult to move, black powder was inadequate in launching ammunition to acceptable distances, glass walls of the No. 76 grenades sometimes broke inside of the barrels. The weapons deployed to the Home Guard never saw combat, as the German plans to invade Britain were never executed. Nor did those deployed to the Army, which viewed Northover Projectors as a temporary measure until enough Ordnance QF 2-pounder anti-guns and Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank guns could be produced. The last of the Northover Projectors were taken out of service in 1945.

Source: Wikipedia


Last Major Revision: Mar 2015


Diagram of a Northover Projector, seen in 1940 British War Office publication Military Training Pamphlet No 42 Tank Hunting and DestructionBritish Home Guard personnel posing with a Northover Projector with tripod mounted on a hand cart, circa early 1940sNorthover Projector and crew of E Company, 20th (Sevenoaks) Home Guard at Chelsfield, Kent, England, United Kingdom, Jul 1941Northover Projector with its British Home Guard crew, mid-1941
See all 5 photographs of Northover Projector Launcher

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Northover Projector Launcher Photo Gallery
Diagram of a Northover Projector, seen in 1940 British War Office publication Military Training Pamphlet No 42 Tank Hunting and Destruction
See all 5 photographs of Northover Projector Launcher

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