12-Inch Mortar M1912

Description and characteristics of the 12-inch Mortar M1912 from TM 9-458: 12-inch Mortar M1912 Mounted on 12-inch Mortar Carriage M1896MIII, U.S. War Department Technical Manual, Washington, D.C., August 1942.

12-inch Mortar M1912 Mounted on 12-inch Mortar Carriage M1896MIII


These 12-inch mortars are comparatively short-barreled weapons able to fire in all directions (360° traverse) but only at high angles of elevation. The maximum elevation attainable is approximately 65°. The minimum elevation (just clearing the emplacement walls) is 45°. The weapon must be depressed to 0° between rounds for loading. These mortars are no longer manufactured.

FIGURE 1.--12-inch mortar M1912 on mortar carriage M1896MIII.

FIGURE 1.–12-inch mortar M1912 on mortar carriage M1896MIII.

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60-mm Mortar Emplacement

60-mm Mortar Emplacements from the Corps of Engineers’ field manual FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, U.S. War Department, February 1944.


a. Open type. This consists of a rectangular pit large enough to accommodate the mortar, the gunner, and the assistant gunner. The emplacement is kept to the minimum size to afford protection against airplane fire and bombing and against artillery shells, but it allows room for firing the mortar and storing necessary ammunition. The front edge is sloped so that the aiming stake, about 10 yards to the front, is visible through the sight and so the weapon’s fire will be clear. The spoil from the excavation is piled all around the pit to form a low parapet. Foxholes for members of the mortar squad not required at the gun are prepared not far from the emplacement. Additional ammunition is placed in nearby shelters.

60-mm Mortar Emplacement WW2

Figure 30. Open emplacement for 60-mm mortar. (Camouflage omitted.)

b. Two-foxhole type. This shows the 60-mm. mortar in action with only the base plate dug in, the crew operating from one-man foxholes. This two-foxhole type of emplacement is preferred when the mortar is in defilade.

60mm Mortar Emplacement and Crew, Foxhole and Slit Trench

Figure 31. Two-foxhole emplacement for 60-mm mortar. (Camouflage omitted.)


81-mm Mortar Emplacement

Diagram of a typical 81-mm Mortar Emplacement from the field manual FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, Corps of Engineers, U.S. War Department, February 1944.

81 mm Mortar Emplacement

60mm Mortar Practice Shell

Illustration of 60-mm mortar practice shell from the U.S. WW2 technical manual: TM 9-1901: Artillery Ammunition, War Department Technical Manual, June 1944:

60mm Mortar Blue Practice Shell WW2 U.S.

81. SHELL, PRACTICE, M50A2, W /FUZE, P.D., M52, 60-MM MORTARS, M1 and M2, COMPLETE ROUND (fig. 59), is a practice round provided for the 60-mm mortars by adapting service items for this purpose. Components of the M50A2 Practice Round are the same as are used in the M49A2 Service Round except for the high-explosive shell filler. The M50A2 Projectile has a filler of inert material (plaster of paris and stearic acid) and a black powder pellet (0.05 lb) loaded adjacent to the booster of the M52 Fuze. The M52 Fuze is a superquick fuze and shell is functioned before penetration occurs. The black powder pellet and booster charge provide a spotting charge for observation purposes. The shell is loaded to the same weight as the service round, thereby providing for the same ballistic values.


   With M52
or M52B2 Fuze
  With M52B1
(Plastic) Fuze
Weight of complete round       2.96 lb    2.80 lb
Length of complete round     9.54 in.  9.54 in.
Muzzle velocity     518 ft per sec*  535 ft per sec*
Maximum range (at 45 deg)     1.984 yd*  2,017 yd*
*–For charge 4 (cartridge plus 4 increments).

120mm Granatwerfer 42 Mortar

U.S. troops demonstrate a captured Granatwerfer 42 (12cm GrW 42) German heavy mortar on the First Army Front in Echtz, near Duren, Germany.