To an infantry squad leader, having the powerful tool of “mortars-on-station” gains allied forces a massive battlefield advantage. Setting up the weapon system can be fast and flawless with a well-trained crew.
A mortar tube is comprised of an elongated, closed metal tube mounted on a base plate.
On the bottom of the mortar tube is a fixed firing pin. Once a mortar shell is loaded and dropped into the tube, it slides down and strikes the firing pin which causes the mortar’s propellant to ignite creating gas pressure — launching that sucker at the bad guys.Simple, right? (Images via Giphy)
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The mortar round itself is made up of several vital but straightforward parts.
Its main components are made up of the impact fuse at the top – which triggers the exploder – followed by the high-explosive filler in the central portion of the body.The anatomy of a mortar round. (Images via Giphy)The propellant charges are made up of two components: The primary charge and augmented charges — both located in the tail section.
The augmented charges can be added or removed based on the speed or range the mortarman wishes it to travel.
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Modern mortars are designed to provide short-range indirect fire at high angles, typically between 45 and 80 degrees. They are relatively light-weight in nature making them more accessible to carry while on a foot patrol. It’s much better than hauling a 155mm Howitzer artillery shell.
That sh*t is heavy.
In the event the bad guys do get “froggy,” the mortarmen on the ground can quickly and efficiently set up the mortar system while the infantrymen accurately get a fix on the enemy’s position and make it rain 81mm mortar — it’s a beautiful spectacle.
Check out Military History Visualized’s video below to get the complete visual mortar breakdown for yourself.(Military History Visualized, YouTube)