The 21 cm Mörser 18 was a World War II 211mm (8.3in) howitzer designed and built by Krupp and used by the Wehrmacht. Fielded in 1939, it was used in the major German military campaigns of the war, like the Battle of France, Operation Barbarossa and North Africa. With a barrel length of 21ft 4in (6.51m), the 21 cm Mrs 18 fired 113 kg high explosive and bunker-piercing shells to the maximum distance of 16.7 km (10.1 miles). It was fitted with a double recoil system by which the normal recoil forces were first absorbed by the gun barrel cradle and then by the carriage that slid inside rails fixed on the bulk of the traveling carriage. This German howitzer weighed almost 17 tons. Although it was called “mörser” (mortar) , it was really a howitzer, since the Germans usually referred to big caliber guns as “Mörser”.