21cm Maikäfer Flakrakete 42


ACCESS: Confidential
Senior Member
9 July 2007
Reaction score
The 21cm Maikäfer Flakrakete 42 program stemmed from a Hitler directive in August 1943 to develop an anti-bomber Flak weapon based on the existing 21cm Nebelwerfer artillery rocket according to Gen.der Flak a.D. von Renz’s “Development of German Anti-aircraft Weapons and Equipment of All Types up to 1945” (pp. 349 et passim). The program was a failure, though various Allied intelligence reports do mention the associated rocket. The lingering mystery is the launcher. The old Polish book “Rakety Bojowe” has a photo that appears to show the launch cell, but not the entire launcher. Has anyone seen any photos or drawings of the actual launcher?


  • 21cm A.jpg
    21cm A.jpg
    799.1 KB · Views: 284
  • 21cm C.jpg
    21cm C.jpg
    404.5 KB · Views: 99
  • 21cm E.jpg
    21cm E.jpg
    297.7 KB · Views: 100
The rocket illustrated in "Rakiety bojowe" is not the Flakrakete 42.
Development of AA rockets with 7000 m ceiling was first started and funded already in 1932 IIRC, and was revived in 1943 as the first of three stages of an AA missile development program.
The drawing below shows 21 cm Wgr 42 Spr on the left, Flakrakete 42 on the right.


  • 20220721_230958.jpg
    64.5 KB · Views: 84
It is much bigger, more similar to the 3,7 cm Flak carriages, but still different.
Generally the weapon perfectly fits of the original concept of the Stoelzel AA launcher, except it fires two rockets instead of four.

Maikaefer is generally a very obscured rocket - according to Hahn it was an artillery rocket, 31 cm in calibre, 158 kg heavy, had a 24 kg heavy Triebwerk, velocity of 170 m/s and 2940 m range. I wonder, what this "Triebwerk" actually was - some 14-15 kg of solid propellant is needed to accelerate a 158 kg rocket to 170 m/s and in this case 24 kg is too little for a complete engine, but maybe it is the weight of an empty engine.

However, according to Emde and Dornberger, Stoelzel used 28 cm Wk. Spr. rockets with time fuzes for his trials - but maybe a more powerful rocket, possibly a Maikaefer? - was used at a later date.


  • Screenshot_20230625_062908_tv.danmaku.bili_AD.jpg
    577.1 KB · Views: 15
Last edited:

Similar threads

Please donate to support the forum.

Top Bottom