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Mortar question

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by Ebar, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I've heard of some large German artillery pieces that are described as mortars. Whats the difference between theses weapons and a howitzer?
     
  2. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    As far as I know the mortar is distinguished from the artillery piece in that it fires at higher elevatiosn, to make the projectile land on the target almost vertically. Often the round of a mortar is self-propelled, but I know that's not the case for guns like the huge Karl Mortar.

    Any experts out there?
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice New Member

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    Hello.
    The main difference like says Roel between a gun,a howitzer and a mortar comes from the firing angle.
    From 0° to 40° it is a gun,from 40° to 75° it is a Howitzer and from 75° in up it is a mortar.(all this at 1 or 2°near)
    Patrice.
     
  4. Dupe

    Dupe New Member

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    yes and like gustav it was also deemed a motar even tho its caliber was 810mm
     
  5. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    The Gustav gun (or Dora gun, or 'fat Bertha'...) had a caliber of 800mm. It was a railroad gun, but it required two parallel railroads to be moved, so wide was its carriage.
     
  6. liang

    liang New Member

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    Yep,
    Mortar has the highest gun elevation, so it can lob projectiles over any obstacles and drop it on top of enemy's heads. It is very portable and mobile and can fire a relatively large projectile , although at a short range, thus it is considered a close support short-range weapon.

    Field guns mostly have a flat trajectory, so their range are limited also, but they are probably the most effective against armor since they normally have high muzzle velocities. Obviously it is rendered less effective if enemies are hiding behind obstacles.

    the Howitzer is a cross between field gun and mortar, it can be elevated enough to lob shells over obstacles (eg. mountains) but yet can fire it over longer range, so it is probably the ideal weapon for long-range bombardment.
     
  7. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    but fat bertha was a mortar, is in it?
     
  8. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    according to ian hogg in his book of german artillery gustas was one, dora another and the germans had another in production, total 3 big, useless guns
     
  9. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    They were very useful in the early stages of the war.
    Ever heard of Sevastapol?
     
  10. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    yeap, paul carel gives a perfec description on the assault to the fortreses of sebastapol in his book hitler moves east, unfortunately i lost this book 3 years ago, :cry: :cry: :cry: but in another book called 2194 days of war, gives almost the same description on the assault
     
  11. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    True enough, but after that? No, I'd have to say that those versized guns were not very effective weapons overall.
     
  12. David Lehmann

    David Lehmann New Member

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    In fact these heavy pieces are called "Mörser", a word which is often translated by "mortar" but in the German army the mortars to which many people are generally thinking (like the 81mm medium mortars) are designated "Minenwerfer".
    The guns are "Kanone" and the howitzers are "Haubitze". If a German member feels I made some mistakes please feel free to correct me.

    Regards,

    David
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Were the big mortars used in the flattening of Warsaw?

    Yes, I agree that these things have little place in fluid warfare.
     
  14. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I believe that the flattening of Warsaw was mostly the work of the Luftwaffe.
     
  15. liang

    liang New Member

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    One of the 2 "Gustav" guns (either Gustav or Dora) did shelled the Warshaw ghetto during the uprising. None of those monstrous mortars took part in it, I have to go back to one of those threats from a year ago where I posed some interesting info regarding those giant mortars and the gustav guns.
     
  16. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    The traditional definition of a mortar isn't just that it's intended for high-angle fire: it's also muzzle loaded. Furthermore it is also usually smoothbored and fires fin-stabilised shells which don't have a separate cartridge but use charge elements fitted around the fin shaft. Finally, it usually fires from a base-plate rather than a wheeled carriage - it doesn't have a recoil absorbing mechanism.

    So the WW2 short-barrelled guns which were breech-loaded and on a recoiling, wheeled mounting were howitzers not mortars.

    Having said that, some mortars have been breech-loading, some have been rifled, and some have been capable of low-angle fire - so there are exceptions to every rule!

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
    forum
     
  17. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    To add some more confusion. In finnish, mortar is called "kranaatinheitin", grenadethrower. Unfortunatelly same name is used for grenade launchers like M203. And then those purpose-build full automatic grenade launchers like AGS-17 are called "kranaattikonekivääri", grenademachinegun.
    And some really shortbarreled, breechloaded artillerypieces were called "mörssäri", mörsär.
    Sometimes its quite hard to be sure what kind of weapons is called what in english and finnish.

    btw, one other confusing name is "hävittäjä", it means both fighter and destroyer.
     
  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Don't forget the Japanese "knee mortar" which was also actually a grenade launcher. It got the name from its butt plate, which was curved and looked like you rested it on the thigh when firing it. A GI tired this with a captured weapon once, and the recoil broke his leg.
     
  19. Oli

    Oli New Member

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    "Grenade thrower might be a more apposite name. AFAIK, in general, for a given calibre mortar shell has a higher HE content than the same calibre gun or howitzer, due lower firing velocities meaning less stress on the casing. Makes for a lighter casing, therefore more room inside.
    Oli
     

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