Recent reports indicate that the German Army is preparing to
adopt a 120-mm mortar either identical with or based on the
Finnish 120-mm mortars made by Tampella.
This mortar is muzzle-loaded and fired by means of a trigger. Its most
effective angle of fire is 45 degrees. Its range, however, is controlled
more by a variation of charges, of which there are 5, than by a
variation of the angle of fire.
An optical sight is used with the mortar.
Smoke bombs, which are the same weight as the high explosive, may be
fired. The light bomb contains 2 3/4 pints, and the heavy, 1 gallon, of
the smoke producing compound. Tested in an atmospheric temperature of
minus 15 degrees Centigrade, the heavy bomb produced a smoke cloud
about 40 yards in diameter.
Particulars of the Finnish 120-mm mortar, which the Germans are
copying, are shown below:
|Muzzle velocity|| ||1,083 f/s|
|Maximum range - light||7,546 yds|
|Maximum range - heavy||4,921 yds|
|Weight of bomb - light||27.5 lbs|
|Weight of bomb - heavy||47.3 lbs|
|Total weight in action||562 lbs|
|Weight of barrel||187 lbs|
|Weight of bipod||154 lbs|
|Weight of base plate||220 lbs|
|Effective radius of burst - HE||131 ft|
|Practical rate of fire||6 rpm|
The Finnish Army transported this weapon on a two-wheeled carriage
with or without a limber, drawn by one horse. The equipment included pneumatic
tires, and on the Finnish model there is no indication of a spring suspension. For
use in the German Army, the suspension may have been modified to permit
transport by motor vehicles in the same way as the light antitank guns. It could
be very easily transported in a light truck.
Further reports indicate that the Germans intend to equip their airborne
troops, including parachutists, with this mortar. As the weights of the three
main parts are each not above that of a fully equipped soldier, it appears
suitable for this purpose.