What is a mortar?

#1
So a bit of a pub discussion? What makes a mortar, a mortar?

They can be breech loading (2S1 for example), rifled, direct fire, etc, etc...

So any expert opinions?


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#2
It's a weapon that uses a high trajectory to deliver a comparatively heavy payload.
 
#3
Although there has been trials in using an 81 mm mortar in a horizontal configuration, a mortar is a:

Short barrelled indirect fire weapon that lobs a bomb in a high angle onto its target.
 
#6
Good question.
I've discussed this before, and there never seems to be one simple answer.

It seems to need to be a weapon that only fires whatever it fires at a high trajectory.
As the PIAT has been mentioned that kills the only high trajectory theory :)

Even calling it an indirect fire weapon falls foul if the mortar was only being used for illumination rounds.

Just stick to saying it's something used with a pestle, that keeps it simple :)
 
#11
Something that makes bricks a wall rather than a pile I am lead to believe.
I fear you have been misinformed, piles are usually concrete or metal :)

Of course, I now expect someone to reference hemeroids ;)
 
#12
A 2” mortar is what gives you tinnitus when you fire it without ear defenders.







What did you say? I can’t hear you!
 
#13
PIAT was an A/Tk weapon not a spigot mortar.
165mm AVRE was a gun.
The Vasilek was a gun developed to fire mortar bombs.
My left stump is itching, I suspect a certain someone seeing this and googlefucking you.
 
#15
PIAT was an A/Tk weapon not a spigot mortar.
165mm AVRE was a gun.
The Vasilek was a gun developed to fire mortar bombs.
Some would disagree.

'Spigot mortars are generally out of favor in modern usage, replaced by small conventional mortars. Military applications of spigot mortars include:

  • The 290 mm petard mortar used on the Churchill AVRE by Britain in World War II.[16]
  • The 320 mm Type 98 mortar used by Japan in World War II to some psychological effect in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa
  • Anti-tank launchers
    • The Blacker Bombard and PIAT anti-tank launcher used by Britain in World War II utilised a spigot mortar type of launcher.
  • Anti-submarine launchers
    • The Hedgehog launcher, used from the deck of a ship, used 24 spigot mortars which fired a diamond pattern of anti-submarine projectiles into the sea ahead of the ship. A sinking projectile detonated if it struck a submarine, and the pattern was such that any submarine partly in the landing zone of the projectiles would be struck one or more times.'
Mortar (weapon) - Wikipedia
 
#16
Some would disagree.

'Spigot mortars are generally out of favor in modern usage, replaced by small conventional mortars. Military applications of spigot mortars include:

  • The 290 mm petard mortar used on the Churchill AVRE by Britain in World War II.[16]
  • The 320 mm Type 98 mortar used by Japan in World War II to some psychological effect in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa
  • Anti-tank launchers
    • The Blacker Bombard and PIAT anti-tank launcher used by Britain in World War II utilised a spigot mortar type of launcher.
  • Anti-submarine launchers
    • The Hedgehog launcher, used from the deck of a ship, used 24 spigot mortars which fired a diamond pattern of anti-submarine projectiles into the sea ahead of the ship. A sinking projectile detonated if it struck a submarine, and the pattern was such that any submarine partly in the landing zone of the projectiles would be struck one or more times.'
Mortar (weapon) - Wikipedia
I'll give you the Churchill AVRE was fitted with a mortar, it was more often used as a gun to destroy fixed defensive obstacles, The 165 AVRE was a gun: (L9 Demolition gun).
Although the PIAT uses a firing system similar to a spigot mortar, it doesn't make it a mortar.
 
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#17
Some would disagree.

'Spigot mortars are generally out of favor in modern usage, replaced by small conventional mortars. Military applications of spigot mortars include:

  • The 290 mm petard mortar used on the Churchill AVRE by Britain in World War II.[16]
  • The 320 mm Type 98 mortar used by Japan in World War II to some psychological effect in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa
  • Anti-tank launchers
    • The Blacker Bombard and PIAT anti-tank launcher used by Britain in World War II utilised a spigot mortar type of launcher.
  • Anti-submarine launchers
    • The Hedgehog launcher, used from the deck of a ship, used 24 spigot mortars which fired a diamond pattern of anti-submarine projectiles into the sea ahead of the ship. A sinking projectile detonated if it struck a submarine, and the pattern was such that any submarine partly in the landing zone of the projectiles would be struck one or more times.'
Mortar (weapon) - Wikipedia
Shít! Quick FF, call the school and let them know they have lied to us and everyone else for the last 40+ years.
 
#18
There are probably three weapons in this family.. the Mortar, the Howitzer and the Petard. The terms have been used intermittently over the ages to describe specific weapons, and the usage has changed over the period. Most of the derivations are from medieval French or German..

They are all terms used to describe a short barrelled, large calibre gun used to fire explosive shell at high angle rather than direct fire shot. The simplest form of these guns was a plain metal pot, usually with thick sides, hence the commonality of name with the implement used for crushing. This is where I suspect the use of the word to describe a form of cement comes from. Lime mortar is made by burning limestone or sea shells and then crushing to a fine powder before adding water. The fineness of the powder is a key aspect of its final strength..

The term "Petard" was used to describe a mortar fitted to a board and equipped with hooks as a breaching charge. The Petard had to be carried forward and attached to the target, so was a risky task for the Petardee, hence the expression "hoist with one's own Petard". The term was also recycled during WW2 to describe the spigot fired demolition gun on the then AVRE. I think the term was used wrongly, but we are talking about Officers of the Wedge here...! I suspect the name was an in joke to describe a weapon which was basically a thin walled dustbin full of HE attached to the OUTSIDE of the AVRE.. not a solution that would have appealed to H & S (and probably not putative AVRE crews..)

The term Howizer is from the German Haubitze and again, is another term for a short barreled gun used for throwing explosive charges.

You need to appreciate that before the 19th Centuary, the metallurgy was simply not good enough to make a shell strong enough to be fired at high velocity with a decent explosive filling. Both shot and shell were made from cast iron, which, even when spherical, was not that easy to make accurately. Spherical shell was made by casting iron round a sand core which was difficult to get symmetric. You then poked out the sand core through the fuze hole leaving a cavity which was then filled with gunpowder. This was then fired with a burning fuze using a very small charge (a few ounces) lobbing the shell, hopefully to burst over the enemy heads...

As gun and ammunition design improved over the 19th and 20th Centuary, the distinction became less as guns were able to fire small calibre shell at low angle and the range of high angle fire guns increased. By WW2 the distinctions had almost gone in a practical sense. The 25lbr was designated a Gun/Howitzer and the post war 105 Pack Howitzer was perfectly capable of being used at low angle, and indeed had a HESH round for this purpose..

The term "Spigot Mortar" came from the work done by Blacker to use a principle, first used by the Germans in WW1 for a gun that used a metal bar over which the projectile fitted rather than a barrel into which the projectile fitted internally. Initially this was used for implementing high angle bomb throwing tasks, such as the Anti Submarine Hedgehog, but was also used for direct fire weapons such as the PIAT and the Blacker Bombard. The SOE/OSS also had a spigot mounted weapon that could be screwed to trees to form an off route mine..
 
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#19
The standard SWW definition of 'Mortar' used to include the key phrases of 'smooth bored' and ' . . . utilises the ground, either with or without a baseplate, to absorb recoil.'

Caveat: this was when they were still at Netheravon and things have moved on . . .
 
#20
Just stick with launcher. You can’t go wrong.
 

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