On this day: The ‘Katyusha’ rocket launcher was first used in battle

'Katyusha' remained on the front lines until the Red Army’s final assault on Berlin.

'Katyusha' remained on the front lines until the Red Army’s final assault on Berlin.

Timothy Miller/RIA Novosti
The weapon was known for its devastating power

The “Katyusha” is a famous type of rocket launcher first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. The Katyusha is not the weapon’s official name, it is a loving nickname given by the soldiers who used the launcher. The Red Army troops adopted the nickname from a popular wartime song "Katyusha" about a girl longing for her absent beloved, who has gone away on military service.

Katyusha’s official name was “BM-13.”

The famous rocket system rolled into battle for the first time on July 14, 1941 and remained on the front lines until the Red Army’s final assault on Berlin. In fact, between 1941 and 1945, Soviet factories produced 10,000 of the legendary launchers. It is considered one of the greatest World War II weapons.

Read more: The Grad system: A hot hail of cluster-fired rockets

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