2″Parachute Illuminating Mortar Round

The 2” mortar was to remain in British Army service from 1937 until it was replaced by the 51mm mortar in 1981, it was a very simple but effective weapon and as time went on a large range of specialist rounds were developed for the mortar including drill, smoke, high explosive and the subject of tonight’s post, the parachute illuminating mortar round. As might be expected from the title, these rounds were fired into the air where an illuminating flare was deployed attached to a miniature parachute that let it gently drift down over the battlefield providing bright illumination at night. The round itself is similar to other 2” mortar bombs, with a thin metal tube attached to a tail unit:imageThe tail has a ballistite cartridge in it that when fired provides the force needed to launch the bomb out of the tube, a small screw on cap was provided to prevent accidental detonation:imageMetal fins on the tail of the bomb help stabilise it in flight allowing the bomb to be dropped accurately on the target:imageThe walls of the bomb are made of thin steel, in this case pained white with a red band and black markings:imageThese indicate that it is a 2 inch Mortar Illuminating Round. A filling date stencilled on the body shows this example dates from 1963:imageThis bomb has been fired and the contents are therefore missing from the bomb case, however originally the parachute illuminating round had the following internal components:2in-13_zpsa5c59d0dDuring the Second World War these bombs were delivered in cardboard tubes, by the 1960s these were replaced with metal tins which offered better resistance to moisture:imageAs can be seen the contents are stencilled onto the outside of the storage tube, inside a plastic liner helps prevent the bomb from rattling around:imageThe date ‘1965’ is stamped into the base of the storage tube:imageThis is my first mortar round and I think I have started off with a particularly nice example.

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One thought on “2″Parachute Illuminating Mortar Round

  1. Pingback: Wartime Parachute Illuminating Flare | Tales from the Supply Depot

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