The 8-cm Granatwerfer 34 (GrW 34) was a German Army favorite mortar throughout the whole course of World War 2. Despite the official designation classification, she was often classified as a medium mortar and was produced from 1934 into 1945. The system performed highly-effectively and was respected by Allied troops for her excellent rate-of-fire and high accuracy at distance. The weapon proved so critical to German Army operations that it was fielded wherever her troops were fighting. Her production in number and her general battlefield usefulness ensured her place in World War 2 lore.
Despite her dedicated pages in World War history, the GrW 34 was anything but a unique and wholly special design, passing on much of the kudos to her excellently trained crews. Her design was highly conventional for its time - her arrangement consisted of nothing more than the standard base plate, a bipod (with aiming optics and handwheels) connected to the firing tube and the firing tube itself. The system could break down into these three major components for ease of travel. The firing tube itself was of a smoothbore internal design.
The base Granatwerfer 34 was spawned into a few published variants. These included the Granatwerfer 34/1, a modified Granatwerfer 34 for use on self-propelled vehicles such as the SdKfz 250/7 series halftrack, and the kurzer 8-cm Granatwerfer 42 (or "Stummelwerfer"), essentially a lightened form of the base model (with half the range) sporting a shortened barrel system for use by airborne personnel. The Stummelwerfer saw service beginning in 1942 but was rarely in use with her intended airborne forces. Instead, the system went on to replace the complex and expensive 5-cm lwGrW 36 light mortar series keeping all of her GrW 34 benefits minus the excellent range.
Other than the German Army, the other key operator of the Granatwerfer 34 system was ally Bulgaria.