280 mm mortar M1939 (Br-5)

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280 mm mortar M1939 (Br-5)
280mm mortar M1938-01.jpg
Br-5 in Saint Petersburg Artillery Museum.
Place of origin USSR
Service history
In service 1939-1970s
Used by  Soviet Union
Wars Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)
Production history
Designer Barrikady
Manufacturer Barrikady
Produced 1939-1940
Specifications
Weight combat: 18,400 kg
travel: 19,700 kg
Barrel length bore: 3,975 mm / 14.2 calibers
overall: 4,750 mm / 17 calibers
Crew 15

Caliber 279.4 mm
Elevation 0 to 60 degrees
Traverse 8 degrees
Rate of fire 1 round every 4 minutes

The 280 mm mortar M1939 (Br-5) (Russian: 280-мм мортира образца 1939 года (Бр-5)) was a Soviet heavy artillery piece used during World War II. This mortar was the Red Army´s heaviest field piece. Distinguished by the siege of Berlin, these weapons quickened up the Red Army´s assault on the German capital. Due to the heavy weight of shell (168 kg) the blast created a 10 metre wide crater that was 6 meters deep. The weapon had low rate of fire due to muzzle overheating.

Despite the advantage of the tracked carriage over wheels, it was not used to a great extent as the great weight made off-road towing very slow, and it was not particularly effective during the late war offensives of the Red Army. However, during city sieges, notably Berlin, the massive 168 kg shells were used to obliterate bunkers and fortified buildings from very close range more effectively than any other weapon system.

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