Mortars: low-level tactics / procedural question

#1
Having given 5RFFE on a tgt during a deliberate attack, the need for a repeat may arise if the advance is not going quite as quick as expected, or the bad guys are not rolling over and taking their shots.

I've noticed that there has been a pregnant pause when this has been given on exercise; the reason given by the CPO being that eg. no. 3 det was not ready and the ML want to give maximum rounds on the target in a very short space of time.

My view is that the Alpha decides tactics, waiting for all three barrels is an unneccesary and un-asked for delay meaning FF are moving without covering fire and the enemy are not getting the good news 81mm style.

Whats the view, mortarmen?

( ps -I've flagged this up to the Mods in case of OPSEC issues )
 
#2
Long time since I had the best job in the Army, but the barrels should still be on the tgt unless a new order (or the fireplan calls for a lift onto another tgt).

Either way the CPO should have the sense to realise that the tgt needs dealing with and if necessary increase the rate of fire from the weapons 'on'.
 
#3
Agreed: if the 'supported' call for support, you don't dick around making the support neater and in line with your procedures - get the rounds down the range now, sort it out later.
 
#4
The decision has to lie with the tactical commander based on the advice of the Alpha MFC. This should be formulated from his knowledge of the situation at the ML. The CPO should not be in the tactical decision making loop. His job is to provide the fire when and where it is asked for and if he can't provide exactly what is demanded then use his resources to best effect.
 
#5
If for instance there is a misfire on no3. (damn that number 3, and thank god for all the crates), any CPO worth his salt would achieve the effect required with the two remaining barrels. This may mean moving greenies across to the other barrels dependant on ammo allocation, but at the end of the day its 15 bombs on target that is required.
 
#6
Pretty much agreeing with my PoV then, guys: as its a rpt the idea is ti get rounds on the ground to support FF by killing the en, neutralising his fire and denying him use of ground to coin a phrase.

As the element of surprise has gone and the en would have taken cover, the initial shock/killing effect has passed and they need to be suppressed - so rounds NOW rather than when all three dets ready.
 
#7
Many a round has been fired since I graced a Mortar Line. However I seem to remember that even once a fire mission was rounds complete the ML was still tasked to that battle hense the lads remained 'laid on' but ready to adjust depending on how the battle unfolded. It was only if the MFC had pre-registered targets for say cut-offs that you might switch but only if the MFC directed. He was after all the only one there with eyes on the unfolding battle. In addition I would be surprised if a certain amount of further ammo was not already on the line and preped for firing with only charges and fuse settings to be done.

In this case there is really no reason why the whole ML could not repeat in quick time.

I also agree with the others about getting rounds away regardless of which barrell.

Thanks for the memories.
 
#8
I think we would only wait for no3 if we were on a range (to avoid confusion).

If on a fire plan, I'd probably have begun switching tgts if the plan dictated.

On exercise, if not being used, I used to move my ML onto the same tgts the other sections were targeting.
 
#9
It has been a long time since I was in a Mor Pl, but what is all this about 3 barrels? In my day it was two tubes per section. Has the orbat of the Mor Pl changes from 3 sections of 2 tubes?
 
#10
Bravo_Bravo said:
Having given 5RFFE on a tgt during a deliberate attack, the need for a repeat may arise if the advance is not going quite as quick as expected, or the bad guys are not rolling over and taking their shots.

I've noticed that there has been a pregnant pause when this has been given on exercise; the reason given by the CPO being that eg. no. 3 det was not ready and the ML want to give maximum rounds on the target in a very short space of time.

My view is that the Alpha decides tactics, waiting for all three barrels is an unneccesary and un-asked for delay meaning FF are moving without covering fire and the enemy are not getting the good news 81mm style.

Whats the view, mortarmen?

( ps -I've flagged this up to the Mods in case of OPSEC issues )
Simple - up the rate of fire on the other barrels and cross-deck ammo from the slow/not ready/out of action remaining barrel to those firing. If it's a FFE it doesn't matter which barrels the rounds come from as long as they're fired. The CPO should tell the MFC that that's what he's done but he shouldn't make the decision himself.
 
#11
Inf/MP said:
It has been a long time since I was in a Mor Pl, but what is all this about 3 barrels? In my day it was two tubes per section. Has the orbat of the Mor Pl changes from 3 sections of 2 tubes?
Good lord, I can hear the sharp intakes of breath from here. Surely, as I have been reminded on many occasions, only 'smarties' come in tubes???
 
#13
polar said:
I think we would only wait for no3 if we were on a range (to avoid confusion).

If on a fire plan, I'd probably have begun switching tgts if the plan dictated.

On exercise, if not being used, I used to move my ML onto the same tgts the other sections were targeting.
Standard point now. Super imposition or something like that (mind is drawing a blank, must be the heat). Essentially employ all three lines on same target or at least two on while another moves.
 
#14
this is superimposition, but not the subject of my query.

MLs not firing follow the fireplan just in case...
 
#15
Bravo_Bravo said:
this is superimposition, but not the subject of my query.

MLs not firing follow the fireplan just in case...
I can't decided what is a more stupid question - this or the goretex one.
 
#16
You've had a week and thats the best you can come up with??

"Shot, late".
 
#17
Ah, Mortars…

The MFC knows what is happening on the ground and so he decides the fire. If he calls for a FFE, then he gets it ASAP. It doesn't matter if it's a bit ragged. If he has time and requires maximum initial effect (more than rounds on the ground ASAP) he gives it as an "at my command" and fires once the ML reports ready. Simple. And don't be afraid of the mighty 10RFFE. Granted, you have to scrub out during it, but it does the trick every time.

And it is NEVER a tube. I remember on my course the way to wind up the DS was to refer to the "Dish, tube and legs". The DS didn't like it. Then I became DS…

And I actually wrote the most recent tac handling pamphlet...So there.
 
#19
Answer based on late 70's doctrine:

The original question did not infer that the shoot was part of a Fire Plan, therefore the tubes remain on the target until "End of Mission" is given, after which they revert to the FPF target (or bug out to an alternate ML where they are then laid onto the FPF target).

The Mor Pln is versative and can be deployed as single tubes (though C&C becomes a problem), in pairs (more or less equally spreading the Mor firepower throughout the battalion), as half-platoons (hence the three-tube grouping if there are six tubes in the battalion - at one time, we had 10, yippee) or as a full platoon (where maximum effect is required). The latter two instances would tend only to be used as part of a formal Fire Plan.

In the event of a tube going down (misfire, damage etc), the CPO should adjust the rate of the remaining tubes under his command to provide the required number of rounds on the ground in the required time frame, and inform the MFC of this action as it will have an effect on the beaten zone. There should not be any delay in the firing to confirm alternative arrangements as the executive order for fire has already been given, and response should be immediate.

The MFC may need to consider alternative support from other Mor sections, Arty batteries or Air support, though where a target of opportunity is being engaged, delays in working through a third party may be prohibitive. Farming out would be appropriate to maintain adherence to a Fire Plan, though.

Personally, had I ordered 5 Rds FFE from 3 tubes and been informed that the No.3 tube was out of action, I would have started the shoot again with No.1 firing 5 Rds FFE and No.2 firing at Rate 12, No.2 to check firing when No.1 is Rounds Complete (Ammo State and time permitting, of course). The higher rate of fire of the No.2 tube would have resulted in a wider beaten zone than you'd get with FFE, partly compensating for the loss of the end mortar.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#20
Christ Putties, I bet you were a dab hand with the boiling oil too!

Very little if any of that applies to current mortar organisation or deployment.

I would also question how rate 12 would compare to FFE for the average No 2 or 3? Most good crews would fire at a faster rate on FFE that rate 12, so I fail to see the logic of rate 12 giving a wider spread.

Anyway, those seige engines, bugger to parallel were they?
 

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