How to transport an M2 60mm mortar?

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How to transport an M2 60mm mortar?

Joined: April 18th, 2005, 6:54 pm

January 24th, 2012, 2:22 pm #1

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
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Joined: September 30th, 2005, 9:02 pm

January 24th, 2012, 2:33 pm #2

Weren't they carried by the crew or in units on trucks to deployment? I believe when I was a grunt in the Marines in our mortar team had to lug theres with them on maneuvers though we would be moved as a unit to deploy from a start point in trucks. This was in the seventies and my memory is a bit fuzzy so I could be wrong. This is just an observation.
Karl.
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 5:18 pm

January 24th, 2012, 3:04 pm #3

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
Hey Jeff!

Further tyo what Karl wrote, I believe 60 mm mortar squads, like light MG squads, were integrated into the infantry company along with the "straight leg" rifle squads they supported. As such, they had no dedicated transport and generally moved on foot except for longer hauls, in which case they rode on the same transports as the other grunts.

Cheers!

Hervé "Charby" Charbonneau
Chicoutimi QC
Canada

You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity. (Bullet Tooth Tony)
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Joined: July 30th, 2005, 4:16 pm

January 24th, 2012, 4:22 pm #4

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
were carried by men. (Eugene Sledge, as seen in "The Pacific", was a USMC 60mm mortarman, as was one of my uncles; you might check that out, since the gear was the same.) They were both infantry support weapons, and except for Army mechanized infantry, the heavier 81mm was also man carried. The infantry/rifle company had minimal organic vehicle support, and casualties, comm, resupply, et cetera took priority. Riding was a luxury.

As I recall, the smaller 60mm had its own over-the-shoulder carry-bag. The bigger 81mm broke down into sight, baseplate, tube, and bipod (the heaviest part). I best recall the 81mm, as a friend - the smallest man in our ITR - went on to become a mortarman. No one could figure out the logic.
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Joined: May 24th, 2003, 3:07 pm

January 24th, 2012, 5:02 pm #5

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
>>5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep

Given, as everyone above has said, that mortar teams travelled on foot and that availability of any transport was a luxury, your diorama might focus on a team who has, indeed, "found" a jeep and are using it (until taken back by higher authority) to make a move. Under duress a jeep can handle considerable overload so 5 guys, their kit, a mortar and a few boxes of ammo, all overflowing the poor, perloined, sagging jeep would make for a fun look at every grunt's attempts to get a ride rather than walk.

Having the team trying to cram all their kit and themselves onto the jeep while an officer or MP looks on might be funnier yet.

Just some thoughts,

Paul

Paul Roberts

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Joined: August 23rd, 2003, 3:18 am

January 24th, 2012, 5:50 pm #6

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
Rifle company weapons platoons were authorized jeeps to carry the mortars and machine guns. The crews walked.

From FM 7-10 Rifle Company, Rifle Regiment June 2, 1941:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref ... -10-7.html

"The light machine-gun section consists of a section headquarters and two light machine-gun squads. The 60-mm mortar section consists of a section headquarters and three mortar squads. Each section headquarters consists of a section leader (a sergeant) and several privates who are employed as needed, including employment as messengers. Each squad consists of a squad leader, gunner, assistant gunner, and ammunition bearers. In addition to individual weapons, each light machine-gun squad is equipped with one light machine gun and each mortar squad is equipped with one 60-mm mortar. Prior to combat, the light machine guns, the mortars, ammunition, and accessories are transported by motorized weapon carriers; during combat, they usually must be carried by hand."


There is a diagram here:



(Edited to add full name to post)
Last edited by mmetzger on January 24th, 2012, 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 6:54 pm

January 24th, 2012, 6:38 pm #7

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 12:00 am

January 24th, 2012, 7:41 pm #8

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
No, not the horse kind, although they had 60mm mortars, too. Each mechanized cavalry platoon had a mixture of armored cars, MG-armed jeeps and mortar squads in jeeps. The mortar was stowed in the jeep along with ammunition and was set up on the ground for firing. Somebody presented a photo once showing the mortar stowed in a jeep with a tray of ammo available. This would have been a three-man mortar squad.

Gary B.
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Joined: May 12th, 2007, 3:03 pm

January 24th, 2012, 9:05 pm #9

While training in Australia, the 1st Cav outfitted jeeps to carry the 60mm and also 81mm mortars and ammo. A photo of each was in George Bradford's AFV News in the 70s. Someone might have those photos around.

Best wishes,
Grant
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Joined: January 16th, 2007, 2:45 am

January 24th, 2012, 11:13 pm #10

I've been thinking about a little diorama with an M2 60mm mortar team firing a round with a Jeep parked nearby. But now I am not so sure the two go together. I found an online article from May 1941 Popular Science [http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id ... ry=pursuit ] that had this picture:



But in the Osprey NV on infantry mortars, it says a three man crew could do it. What kind of vehicle would have been used for transport? 5 men plus the mortar would never fit in one Jeep, even three would be a tight fit. Would it be reasonable to have a Jeep in the area anyways with counterfire?

Thanks for any information or opinions,
Jeff
The M2's in an armored division are on line 53. So, you could make your crew from a CRS(M).





Bill Roe

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men."
- General George S. Patton

replace "at" with "@" in the e-mail address.
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