Ordnance ML 3 inch mortar

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Ordnance ML 3-inch mortar
Canadianmortarteam.jpg
Canadian 3-inch mortar team, training post war
TypeMortar
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
Used bySee Users
WarsSecond World War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948[1]
1948 Arab–Israeli War
Korean War
Suez Crisis[2]
Sino-Indian War[3]
Nigerian Civil War
Production history
Designed1930s
Specifications
Weight
  • Base plate/sight: 37 lb (17 kg)
  • Barrel/spares: 34 lb (15 kg)
  • Bipod: 44.5 lb (20.2 kg)
  • Total: 115.5 lb (52.4 kg)
Length4 ft 3 in (1.3 m)
Barrel length3 ft 11 in (1.19 m)[4]

ShellBomb 10 lb (4.5 kg)
Calibre3.2 in (81 mm)
Elevation+45° to +80°
Traverse11°[4]
Muzzle velocity650 ft/s (200 m/s)
Maximum firing rangeMk.II: 1,600 yd (1,500 m)
Mk.II LR: 2,800 yd (2,600 m)

The Ordnance ML 3-inch mortar was the United Kingdom's standard mortar used by the British Army from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, superseding the Stokes mortar. Initially handicapped by its short range compared to similar World War II mortars, improvements of the propellant charges enable it to be used with great satisfaction by various armies of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth.

Design[edit]

The ML 3-inch mortar is a conventional Stokes-type mortar that is muzzle-loaded and drop-fired. It also reuses many of the Brandt mortar features.[5]

Tail unit of Ordnance ML 3 inch mortar bomb fired by the Royal Jordanian Army on 5 June 1967. The ICI made white phosphorus bomb landed in Jerusalem's Israeli part causing a minor damage.

History[edit]

In action in Burma, 1944

Based on their experience in World War I, the British infantry sought some sort of artillery for close support. The initial plan was for special batteries of artillery, but the cost was prohibitive and the mortar was accepted instead.

The Mark II mortar (Mark I was the Stokes) was adopted by the British Army in the early 1930s; and this was the standard British mortar when World War II broke out in September 1939. Experience in the early part of the war showed that, although the Mark II was reliable and sturdy, it did not have sufficient range compared to the German 81 mm s.GW.34 mortar. A series of experiments and trials using new propellants improved the range from 1600 yards to 2800 yards by about 1942; and, by 1943, the barrel, baseplate and sights had also been improved.[5][6] Although called the '3-inch mortar' by the British Army, its calibre was actually 3.209 in (81.5 mm).[5]

The ML 3 inch mortar was carried on three packs by infantry or on Universal Carriers.[6]

The Mark II remained in service with the British Army until replaced by the L16 81mm mortar in 1965.

Modifications[edit]

Canadian army modified some of its 3-inch mortars, lengthening them to increase their range. Too heavy, this modification was abandoned. Australian army, for its part, shortened the barrel for use in jungle.[6]

Users[edit]

Returned & Services League building, Roma, Queensland

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gates, Scott; Roy, Kaushik (2014). Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency (1st ed.). Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 9781138252981.
  2. ^ Varble, Derek (25 Mar 2003). The Suez Crisis 1956. Essential Histories 49. Osprey Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 9781841764184.
  3. ^ a b Subramanian, L.N. (November–December 2000). "The Battle of Chushul". Bharat Rakshak Monitor. 3 (3). Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  4. ^ a b Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Mortars and rockets. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 18. ISBN 978-0668038171. OCLC 2067459.
  5. ^ a b c Bishop 1998, p. 194.
  6. ^ a b c Norris 2002, p. 13.
  7. ^ a b c d Norris 2002, p. 43.
  8. ^ Jowett, Philip (2016). Modern African Wars (5): The Nigerian-Biafran War 1967-70. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1472816092.
  9. ^ Ilan, Amitzur (1996). The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race: Arms, Embargo, Military Power and Decision in the 1948 Palestine War. St Antony's Series. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 40, 133. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-13696-4. ISBN 978-1-349-13696-4.
  10. ^ Young, Peter (1972). The Arab Legion. Men-at-Arms. Osprey Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-85045-084-2.
  11. ^ Jowett 2016, p. 20.
  12. ^ Zaloga, Steven J. (1982). The Polish Army 1939–45. Men-at-Arms 117. Osprey Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 9780850454178.
  13. ^ "WWII weapons in Yemen's civil war". wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com. September 9, 2018.[self-published source]
  14. ^ Vukšić, Velimir (July 2003). Tito's partisans 1941–45. Warrior 73. Osprey Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-84176-675-1.

Bibliography[edit]