280 mm mortar M1939 (Br-5)
|280 mm mortar M1939 (Br-5)|
Br-5 in Saint Petersburg Artillery Museum.
|Place of origin||USSR|
|Used by||Soviet Union|
|Wars||Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)|
|Weight||combat: 18,400 kg
travel: 19,700 kg
|Barrel length||bore: 3,975 mm / 14.2 calibers
overall: 4,750 mm / 17 calibers
|Elevation||0 to 60 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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