×
Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About
     

World War II Database

M2 mortar file photo [28659]

M2 Mortar Launcher

Country of OriginUnited States
TypeLauncher
Caliber60.000 mm
Barrel Length726.000 mm
Weight19.050 kg
Ammunition Weight1.40 kg
Rate of Fire18 rounds/min
Range1,815 m
Muzzle Velocity158 m/s

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe 60-millimeter M2 mortar was of French origin, having been designed by French engineer Edgar Brandt. The US Army purchased a license for production in the late 1930s to bridge the gap between the heavier 81-millimeter M1 mortar and the hand grenade in contemporary use by the US Army. The first order for 1,500 examples was placed in Jan 1940. Each of these weapons was made of a smoothbore metal tube attached to a rectangular baseplate, supported by a bipod. To fire these weapons, each shell was dropped into the barrel, allowing the 20-gauge M5A1 ignition cartridge in the tail to make contact with the firing pin at the bottom of the barrel, detonating the cartridge and launching the shell. Unassisted, each shell could travel between about 200 and 300 yards (about 180 to 275 meters), but with up to bags of booster charges attached to the tail fins of a shell, an absolute maximum range of 2,000 yards (about 1,800 meters) could be achieved, depending on the type and weight of shell. Typical shells used were the M49A2/M49A3 high explosive, M302 white phosphorus, and M83 illumination types. Each weapon was typically operated by a crew of three (squad leader, gunner, and loader), support by a number of ammunition carriers. During WW2, they were in widespread use by ground forces of the US Army and the US Marine Corps. After WW2, they continued to see action with US forces in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. They were replaced by the M224 mortars, also of 60-millimeter caliber, in 1978.

A number of US-friendly forces received M2 mortars, including China (later relocated to Taiwan), France (saw action in its colonies in Indochina and Algeria), Portugal (saw action in its colonies in Africa), South Vietnam (saw action in Vietnam War), and many others.

Communist China produced these weapons without license under the designation of Type 31, Type 63, and Type 63-1. A number of these weapons saw action in the Korean War and the Vietnam War under the banners of communist forces. The Type 63-1 design was later licensed for production by the Pakistan Machine Tool Factory Limited of Pakistan and the Helwan Machine Tools Company of Egypt.

Source: Wikipedia

ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Aug 2019

Photographs

US soldiers instructing Chinese soldiers on the use of a 60-mm mortar at the Kunming Infantry School, Yunnan Province, China, 23 Sep 1944




Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook
 Reddit
 Twitter

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds


Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
M2 Mortar Launcher Photo Gallery
US soldiers instructing Chinese soldiers on the use of a 60-mm mortar at the Kunming Infantry School, Yunnan Province, China, 23 Sep 1944


Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944