Military Review

Daily rival Kalashnikov assault rifle


That's right, since it’s about how a person destroys his own kind. Yes, the record holder here is our AK-47, but it is not a matter of records at all. The point is efficiency and price / quality ratio.

Yes, again about mortars.

Considering modern mortars, with all their diversity, you do not stop feeling a sense of deja vu. Mortars with a difference of half a century look like brothers. Only experts understand the nuances of the differences. Perhaps this is why the exhibitions of such weapons are not particularly popular.

Indeed, one- or two-legged carriage, pipe, plate and sight. What is there to look at? The stove is bigger, the stove is smaller. Carriage with or without wheels. Trumpet? From very small, funny, 3-5 cm diameter, to 12 cm and more. Why, unlike civil onlookers, army veterans, and those serving in the service today view these weapons with undisguised interest?

In the first part of a series of articles on mortars, we wrote about the invention of this weapons. Today we will talk about those samples that really surprised designers and military. Successful and not very. Parents of many descendants and disappeared without a special trace.

The father of most modern mortars can be called the Stokes mortar. It is the descendants of that "old man from the First World War" that visitors of various exhibitions and military exercises see today.

Daily rival Kalashnikov assault rifle

However, the mortar is much more known in the world, which became a direct continuation of Stokes' idea. Mortar, which in the postwar years developed the French firm "Brandt". This model was adopted in 1927 year. Upgraded to more powerful ammunition in the 1931 year.

81-mm Brandt mortar model 27 / 31.

The Brandt specialists have changed the rather inconvenient feast of Stokes. The bipod of the French was almost perfect and provided a quick leveling tool. And the transfer of sight closer to the barrel provided a quick lead gun to battle.

In addition, "Brandt" paid much attention to ammunition. Now used mines, instead of grenades at Stokes, with mines of the widest range. From ordinary to smoke and high power. And those solutions that French specialists have found can still be seen in most mortars.

81-mm Brandt mortar, model 27-31, characteristics:

Caliber, mm: 81,4
Barrel length, m: 1,27 m
Wec, kg: combat 59,7; 20,7 stem; 18,5 two-legged mast; 20,5 base plate
Elevation angles, degrees: + 45 / + 80
Angle of rotation, degrees: 8-12, depending on the angle of elevation
Maximum firing range, m: standard mine - 1900; heavy mine - 1000
Weight of mine, kg: standard 3,25; heavy xnumx.

Of course, the Russian reader is particularly interested in Soviet mortar samples, which were used by our army during World War II. The interest is understandable only because today these samples are either forgotten or, it is not clear why, they are considered German.

In 30-s, Soviet designers developed quite successful samples of mortars. Even then, Soviet weapons were distinguished by unpretentiousness and durability. The reasons, I think, are clear. Weapons should be clear and easy to use. True, Soviet designs were somewhat heavier than Western ones.

Most of all questions and interest cause Soviet light mortars. Many can not believe that this is a real weapon, and not a partisan "homemade". Imagine an army shovel with a caliber cutting 37-mm. You install this shovel at an angle. Stalk on a special leg-support and everything. You have a 37-mm mortar!

The German army in the initial period of the war captured quite a lot of such mortars. Therefore, this mortar is known more as a mortar-shovel "3,7-sm Spatengranatwerfer 161 (r)".

However, the 37 caliber mm didn’t satisfy the infantry enough. Therefore, for the level of a platoon-company, a larger, 50-mm caliber was chosen. However, the first two samples of such mortars (50-PM 38 and 50-mm PM 39), although they were put into service, proved to be difficult to manufacture and did not meet the requirements of the army.

Much better known is the 50-mm PM-40.

It is this mortar that is often used in the movies by German soldiers. Honestly, a completely obscure attitude towards Soviet weapons from modern directors.

No, it was so, but basically the picture using a mortar was as follows:

Of course, this mortar looks very advanced, and more characteristic of the German, "correct" army. But bad luck, he is absolutely ours!

This mortar was first tested in January 1940 on the Finnish front. Several samples of this weapon were delivered to the 85 th Infantry Regiment of the 100 th Infantry Division.

In principle, the mortar proved to be quite good. But he had significant drawbacks. When the swivel mechanism was in operation, the sight level was quickly lost. Yes, and mount the sight was not reliable.

Caliber, mm: 50
Weight wearable, kg: 13
Angle GN, degrees: 8
Angle HV, degrees: 45 and 75
Initial mine speed, m / s: 95
Rate of fire, rds / min: 32
Max range, m: 800
Weight of mine, kg: 0,85

The 82-mm battalion mortar of the model 1937, designed by Shavyrin, is much more famous. If you look at this mortar, then you will actually see where it all began: a Brandt mortar. It was he who became a model for Soviet designers. And these mortars appeared in our country after the conflict on the CER in 1929.

Often the question of caliber arises. Why are our calibers a little more western? The answer was given by Shavyrin himself. "In this case, we will be able to use the enemy’s mines, but our enemy is not." Although there are other opinions.

The 82-mm mortar so successfully entered the line of weapons, so perfectly matched the needs of the infantry that they use it even today. On the territory of Russia, recent cases have been observed in Chechnya.

Caliber, mm: 82
Weight, kg: 56
Angle of rotation: -3 / + 3
Elevation angle: + 45 / + 85
Sighting range, m: 85 - 3000
Rate of fire, rds / min: up to 30

Another mortar to which you should pay attention - 107-mm mountain-pack regimental mortar sample 1938 year. The designer of this mortar was also Boris I. Shavyrin. That is why this mortar is an enlarged copy of an 82-mm mortar. A total of such mortars was released 2341 thing.

Despite the fact that the release of these mortars stopped already in 1941, the weapon was successfully used throughout the war and for a long time after. in mountain-rifle units and compounds, the possibilities of this design were evaluated. Especially the possibility of disassembling into several parts for transportation on horseback.

Caliber, mm: 107
Barrel length, mm: 157
Weight, kg: 170,7
Elevation angles, degrees: + 45 / + 80
Angle of rotation, degrees: 6
Maximum shooting range, m: 6315
Weight of mine, kg: 8

Well, a perfectly perfect Soviet model, the 120-mm regimental mortar model 1938 of the year. Designed by the same CB Shavyrina. Today, in many armies of the world, this particular mortar is the main one. But we will talk about it in more detail in the sequel.

What is the genius of this weapon? Alas, technically this mortar contains nothing revolutionary. But there is a nuance that is simply impossible to miss. Mortar has a wide base plate of a round shape. It seems to be nothing special about it. However, the wide and round base plate made it possible for the mortar to be calculated to quickly correct the instrument horizontally.

In the very name of the "regimental mortar" laid down the tasks that this weapon should perform. The mortar has become an analogue of conventional cannon artillery. Only much more efficient. He began to carry out fire support infantry.

In addition, the mortar was placed on the wheelbase and a special earring for transportation was fixed on the trunk. Moreover, the mortar could be transported by almost any equipment or even horses. Thus, the mortar is very "quick" to use. He is not only quickly brought into a combat position, but also (and this is more important) is quickly translated into a marching one. And this ensures the "disappearance" of the battery immediately after the end of the shooting.

In general, mortars can be written endlessly. But today we are considering only the most interesting samples. Agree to write about the German copy of our 120-mm mortar silly and not interesting. Just stating the fact that she was. And not the other way around.

But light mortars were quite interesting.

Consider the Italian mortar 45 / 5 model 35 "Brixia". An interesting weapon. The most complicated and, most importantly, it is not clear what was created for. Mortar caliber speaks for itself. It is difficult to create an effective ammunition of this caliber. And the length of the barrel (5 calibers, as can be seen from the notation) did not even provide the minimum range.

What cannot be taken away from the Italians is the love of comfort. The mortar has a special pillow that protects the back of the soldier when carrying the mortar, and in battle serves as a mortar ... a soft seat!

Charged "Briksia" from the breech. The shutter opened and closed with a special lever. Mina weighed 460 grams. There were mines in a special shop for 10 pieces. All mechanisms of turns and lifting were somewhat complicated.

In short, in this weapon united design "bziki" to the fullest. However, weapons were used in the Italian army and even by the Germans of Rommel's corps in North Africa.

45 / 5 model 35 "Brixia"

Caliber, mm: 45
Barrel length, m: 0,26
Combat weight, kg: 15,5
Elevation angles, degrees: + 10 / + 90
Angle of rotation, degrees: 20
Maximum shooting range, m: 536
Weight of mine, kg: 0,46

But not only Italians excelled in the production of light mortars. No less interesting are the Japanese. Japanese 50-mm mortars, probably, are still remembered in the United States by an unkind word. And not from the effectiveness of shooting, but for a completely different reason.

The Japanese developed the first light mortars back in the 1921 year. Without really going into the topic, he actually created what is used today in many armies of the world — a hand-held grenade launcher. It was called a "miracle" "type 10". A simple rifle with a gas regulator to increase or decrease the range. Mines were rather grenades with plumage.

In 1941, the Japanese army entered the new mortar "type 89". Now Japanese mortars have acquired a more decent look. A rifled barrel and a new type of ammunition gave a decent range of fire (650 m). And the possibility of quick assembly and disassembly and the presence of a leather carrying bag helped the soldiers to quickly change positions during the battle.

An interesting solution was found by the Japanese to adjust the range of the shot. Nobody has such a solution, at least from the known samples. The range of the mines was regulated ... by changing the length of the striker! The movable head has differently ignited the charge. The more the firing pin was advanced, the less was the distance of the mines' flight.

In general, the mortar "type 89" completely fulfilled the tasks. A simple weapon with a primitive sight in the form of scratches on the barrel. Of course, small-caliber mines could not cause significant harm to the enemy, but they acted quite soberingly. And the low weight and the ability of the soldier to carry a large number of mines increased the firepower of the squad.

No one could explain the strange name that was established in the American army for the captured "type 89" - "knee" mortar. But it was this name that caused many injuries sustained by American soldiers. They really put their weapons in the knee. A mortar, even a small caliber, always remains a mortar.

And it was necessary like this:

Caliber, mm: 50
Length, m: total 0,61
Weight, kg: 4,65
Maximum shooting range, m: 650
Weight of mine, kg: 0,79

We specifically focused on small-gauge mortars. Just because, as life has shown, the time of these small, but evil defenders of the infantry is gone. Their place was firmly occupied by grenade launchers of various types and purposes.

In a world where missiles are the most terrible weapon for most ordinary people, there was no room for small caliber. But I will repeat my idea expressed in the first article: mortars were and remain a real weapon of mass destruction. Those pipes with a tripod and a large stove. They kill the most people. And in the Donbas, and in Syria, and in other hot spots.
Articles from this series:
His Majesty weapons of mass destruction
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  1. RaptorF22
    RaptorF22 April 25 2018 06: 39
    An interesting mortar in the Japanese wink
  2. Cat
    Cat April 25 2018 06: 48
    Well ......, not so impossible, where is the continuation:
    - high-quality analysis of our mortars of the Great Patriotic War.
    - Models and modifications of mortars of the 40s.
    - The story of the development of recharge protection.
    - a story about our 160mm mortars, the first models of which appeared in 43 and 44 years.
    For the first time I realized the saying of A.S. Pushkin "and I was there, I drank honey beer, flowed down my mustache, didn’t get in my mouth".
    1. RaptorF22
      RaptorF22 April 25 2018 06: 54
      This is probably an article for the article itself lol
      1. Tarikxnumx
        Tarikxnumx April 25 2018 13: 02
        I feel it is necessary to write a petition so that the minuses are returned to VO. This is not even an article for the sake of the article, it is a rewrite of the lowest damage for sites of the level of and other poppies.
        Even Kaptsov, with all the idiocy and demagogic nature of his articles, is more interesting to read ...
  3. ICT
    ICT April 25 2018 06: 57
    mortars were and remain the real weapons of mass destruction. Those pipes with a tripod and a large stove. They kill the most people.

    train right at your side
  4. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich April 25 2018 06: 57
    By the way, a pretty decent type of weapon. A kind of "pocket" infantry artillery that allows you to quickly solve problems here and now against the infantry enemy.
    In childhood, I had a kind of love for this type of weapon. smile
    Article chic plus good
    1. Proxima
      Proxima April 25 2018 09: 51
      Quote: Rurikovich
      Article chic plus good

  5. Lopatov
    Lopatov April 25 2018 07: 12
    Something the authors are too clever ... Praising their own is fine, but it’s better not to go over it ... Especially in the field of small-caliber mortars. 8))) Our 50-mm was even very complicated against the background of the Italian easel grenade launcher.
  6. Bormanxnumx
    Bormanxnumx April 25 2018 08: 07
    Consider an Italian mortar 45/5 model 35 "Brixia." Mina weighed 460 grams. There were mines in a special store of 10 pieces

    On the "quit" from the pillow of the mind was enough.
    To find out that in the “10pcs shop” there were blank cartridges for firing mines, but not the mines themselves, it turned out to be fate ...
  7. doktorkurgan
    doktorkurgan April 25 2018 08: 14
    Much better known is the 50-mm PM-40.
    It is this mortar that is often used in the movies by German soldiers. Honestly, a completely obscure attitude towards Soviet weapons from modern directors.

    Of course, I apologize, but in the above photo the German infantrymen use the German 50 mm. mortar 5 cm leGrW 36.
    ny / artillery-germaniya / minomety-germ / 5-cm-l-gr-w-
    1. Curious
      Curious April 25 2018 15: 27

      It’s just that the authors ’competencies are not enough to distinguish between the German 5 cm leGrW 36 (left) and the Soviet 50-mm mortar RM-41 Shamarin 1941 (right).
      Here it is not necessary for the readers to apologize, but the authors for what they write on the theme of weapons.
  8. Proxima
    Proxima April 25 2018 09: 55
    Quote: Rurikovich
    By the way, a pretty decent type of weapon. A kind of "pocket" infantry artillery, smile

    Often this "pocket artillery" simply did not have an alternative. The enemy has settled in a ravine, behind a hill or behind a building, but not to call aviation request
    1. Captain Pushkin
      Captain Pushkin April 25 2018 10: 31
      Quote: Proxima
      Quote: Rurikovich
      By the way, a pretty decent type of weapon. A kind of "pocket" infantry artillery, smile

      Often this "pocket artillery" simply did not have an alternative. The enemy has settled in a ravine, behind a hill or behind a building, but not to call aviation request

      If aviation arrives for such purposes, it is not yet known who will get worse.
      1. Proxima
        Proxima April 25 2018 10: 49
        Quote: Captain Pushkin
        ... If aviation arrives for such purposes, it is not yet known who will get worse.

        It is enough to recall the battles in Stalingrad, when our fighters approached the enemy right up to a few meters before the German air raid. Then either everyone got "nuts", belay either the Germans stopped the bombing.
  9. Arkady Gaidar
    Arkady Gaidar April 25 2018 13: 28
    And again, a primitive enumeration of what was once. In magazines forty years ago, all this can be found with interest. Moreover, many of these magazines have long been digitized and posted on the Internet. Tell me, and not fate to talk with the gunners and infantrymen using these things? Is it really so difficult to find specialists who can tell some features of this type of weapon? Or do we collect and analyze the practice of combat use ourselves? Or maybe the editors save and do not pay for business trips, collecting material? Well, then it’s clear why there is a fresh and lifeless enumeration of the departed from the arsenals. hi negative
  10. Blind111
    Blind111 April 25 2018 14: 03
    This is definitely a portal about weapons ???
    well, the record holder here is our AK-47
    - such an automaton does not exist in nature. in Hollywood action movies yes ..
    Two to you, Alexander Staver, Roman Skomorokhov
    1. Curious
      Curious April 25 2018 15: 30
      AK-47 is a Russian rap group from the city of Berezovsky, Sverdlovsk Region, founded in 2004.
  11. The comment was deleted.
    1. The comment was deleted.
  12. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 25 2018 18: 13
    "many injuries sustained by American soldiers.
    They really rested their weapons on the knee "////

    What nonsense? Immediately there will be no leg. Such a mortar
    can bounce back when fired if bad
    press the stove to the ground, and get on the knee that is on the ground.
    And we had such injuries. We used similar mortars
    only for launching lighting or signal missiles.
    They are convenient if you do not need to carry them and mines on yourself. Lying behind
    on the floor in a jeep, and a box of min. He took off, fired, threw back.
    1. Cat
      Cat April 25 2018 19: 48
      As far as I know, even in a jeep, the support of a mortar was rested in a wooden box or a lid from it. So, as there were cases when, due to recoil, dents remained on the bottom!
      1. Curious
        Curious April 25 2018 20: 58
        In literature, I met information that at first "type 89" received the nickname "knee-high", and then inexperienced soldiers, taking it literally, tried to shoot from the knee.
        Stupidity, of course, but after talking with "fellow soldiers" during the Soviet Army, I am not surprised at all. There were things more abruptly.
        1. Cat
          Cat April 25 2018 21: 29
          Viktor Nikolayevich, the mistake went because of the transfer of the American "Spitzmen"! However, mostly US soldiers suffered.
          1. Curious
            Curious April 25 2018 21: 39
            Well, the "Spitzists" have not gone away. Moreover, thanks to the Internet, their "Spitsialist" views are replicated and for many become the basis of knowledge.
            There are lots of examples on our site. This article, then an article about the five most “deadly to the user” dangerous samples, where our teapot presents an article of an American teapot, it turns out the teapot is squared. And then some kind of "specialist" with a smart look will tell that the Blaser R93 shutter "in the face" pops up. And someone will believe.
            1. domokl
              domokl April 26 2018 02: 40
              A photo can not see? There, just the "difficulties of translation" are shown. The American and Japanese ....
          2. Rusfaner
            Rusfaner April 28 2018 13: 12
            "In the war, signalmen and translators are to blame!" (c) - an old army parable.
            This is me, as a signalman I say ... soldier
  13. Bormanxnumx
    Bormanxnumx April 26 2018 19: 34
    Quote: Blind111
    This is definitely a portal about weapons ???
    well, the record holder here is our AK-47
    - such an automaton does not exist in nature. in Hollywood action movies yes ..
    Two to you, Alexander Staver, Roman Skomorokhov

    7,62 mm Kalashnikov-designed assault rifle (AK-47). Quick Guide Service. Military Publishing House of the Ministry of Armed Forces of the USSR. 1949
    This manual was reprinted in 1960 and there AK lost 47))) Scans of both editions are easily online.
    1. Curious
      Curious April 26 2018 23: 24
      AK 47 - a prototype that has undergone military trials since June 1948 in the Moscow, Leningrad, Central Asian military districts, following which
      machine gun was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1949 under the designation "7,62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK).
      Those. the AK-47 was not mass-produced and was not in service. But in nature existed.
  14. poplar in Kiev
    poplar in Kiev April 26 2018 19: 58
    At one time he considered mortars an obsolete weapon .... until it happened to see firsthand their work. A terrible sight. And with modern aiming systems, this is generally a killer thing. Terrible for those who come under mortar fire
  15. Tomato
    Tomato April 27 2018 18: 18
    The article is interesting, but very superficial. Galloping on geyropov ....
  16. Dzafdet
    Dzafdet 2 May 2018 15: 19
    Khrushchev in 1942 left the Germans full documentation and samples of a 120 mm mortar, and did not bear any responsibility for this, but it is a pity ...