2″ Mortar

As promised last week, tonight we are going to look in a bit more detail at the 2” mortar itself. The mortar is a steel tube, with a barrel length of 21”:It could fire a 2lb 4oz bomb up to 500 yards and with such a short barrel it had a trigger mechanism in the base. The trigger is activated by a metal paddle at the base of the tube:The 1959 pamphlet helpfully labels all the parts of the mortar:The mortar was originally designed with a complex sight (which we will look at in detail later), but this was dropped as being unnecessary, a simple white painted line being perfectly adequate:The user lined up the mark with the target and pivoted the mortar around the spade base to alter the range. The base is a small steel ribbed plate that is rested firmly against the ground:As it was so small the operator held onto the barrel instead of using a bipod. To help protect the user’s hands during sustained firing, a canvas barrel shroud could be issued (this example is a modern reproduction as originals are virtually unobtainable):The base of the tube is marked up with the mortar’s size, model number – a Mk VII- and a serial number:To help protect the barrel from rain and other contaminants a webbing muzzle cover was issued, again this is a reproduction as originals are very scarce:This mortar is deactivated so the barrel has been welded to the trigger mechanism, however originally the barrel unscrewed to allow maintenance and cleaning to be performed:There was a definite art to firing a 2” mortar accurately and the pamphlet gives a detailed explanation of how this is done correctly; which we will look at in greater detail at a future date. Here we see the mortar in use during the Second World War:

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