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The M1 was a mortar that was used by the United States during World War II.

Description

It had a rate of fire of eighteen rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 213 metres per second. The M1 mortar could launch 81mm rounds at a range of up to 3,000 metres.

The M1 usually sported a crew of seven men and it could be broken down into three main components.[1] There was one man to carry each main part while the rest of the crew carried ammunition.

The whole system weighed sixty-one kilograms and could be carried in a hand-cart if required. The total length of the M1 was 1.1 metres long and the barrel could be elevated from forty to eighty degrees.[2] For aiming, the M4 Collimator sight was used. The M1 could fire both light and heavy HE rounds, white smoke rounds, and phosphorous rounds (used as incendiaries). One of the major drawbacks of the M1 was that it was quite heavy and it was difficult to carry. This was made up for however by its effectiveness in combat.[3]

Variants

The M1 Mortar only had one variant ever developed which was designated the T27. The T27's main difference was that it was fundamentally a shorter version of the M1. However, the T27 did not catch on and never hit mass production.

History

The M1 Mortar was first developed from the French Brandt Mortar in the late 1930s. The M1 Mortar was from then on given in large numbers to every single US Infantry battalion. It saw combat in both the Pacific Theater and the Western Theater with American forces. Some M1s were mounted on M3 Half-Tracks for mobile artillery positions. The M1 Mortar continued to be used with US forces up until it was finally replaced in the 1950s.

References

  1. http://olive-drab.com/od_infweapons_mortars_81mm.php
  2. http://www.ww2gyrene.org/weapons_81mm_mortar.htm
  3. http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=296

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