Type 89 grenade launcher file photo [13088]

Type 89 Launcher

Country of OriginJapan
Caliber50.000 mm
Length610.000 mm
Barrel Length254.000 mm
Weight4.700 kg
Ammunition Weight0.53 kg
Rate of Fire25 rounds/min
Range120 m


ww2dbaseType 89 grenade launchers entered service with the Japanese Army in 1929 to extend the range of grenades. Initially, they fired Type 89 impact-detonated high explosive or incendiary shells; starting in 1932 the Type 91 fuse-delayed (about 7 to 8 seconds) grenades were also made available. The rifled barrels of the Type 89 grenade launchers had an effective range of 120 meters and a maximum range of 670 meters. Ideally, each launcher was manned by a crew of three, but they were designed so that they each could be operated by an individual. Their firing angle was fixed at 45 degrees. They first saw combat in China in 1937, and eventually were used throughout the entire China-Burma-India and Pacific theaters.

Type 89 grenade launchers had curved base plates. When Allied servicemen studied captured examples, they misunderstood the design, thinking they were to be used against the thighs of kneeling infantrymen, thus arriving at the inaccurate nickname of "knee mortars" for these launchers. This inaccurate nickname led to a number of Allied servicemen attempting to fire them against their thighs, and severely bruising thighs or breaking bones from the recoil.

Source: Wikipedia


Last Major Revision: Jul 2011


Japanese Type 89 grenade launcher crew, China, circa late 1937 to early 1938Japanese soldier posing with a Type 89 grenade launcher, date unknownChinese soldier with Japanese equipment captured during the Third Battle of Changsha, Jan 1942Troops of Japanese 13th Army operating a Type 89 grenade launcher, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China, 30 May 1942

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Japanese Type 89 grenade launcher crew, China, circa late 1937 to early 1938
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