Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mortars II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

In my previous blog entry, I mentioned how the trend is for developing precision-guided-munition [PGM] mortar rounds. Being developed, manufactured, and deployed by militaries the world over.

Even by the Russians.

This is contrary to what the prior Soviet [Russian] approach to the mortar has been.

According to Suvorov, mortars were a particular "favorite weapon" of Soviet [Russian] military commanders.

[Inside the book by Suvorov "Inside the Soviet Army" is a chapter titled "The Favourite Weapon" [British spelling]].

The Soviet [Russian] approach was to employ masses of mortars, cast iron and smooth bore, crudely made by western standards. And firing a cast iron mortar bomb, probably also crudely made by western standards.

[again, in the U.S., the projectile fired from a mortar is called a round. In the rest of the world that same projectile is called a BOMB!]

Prodigious numbers of mortars were manufactured in the Soviet Union during World War Two [WW2].

"In three and a half years of war, the Soviet Union produced 348,000 mortars. In the same period, Germany produced 68,000. All the remaining countries put together considerably less than Germany."

Quantity, not quality, was the approach adopted by the Soviet, accuracy was not even a consideration??

Using a cast iron mortar, smooth bore, firing a cast iron mortar bomb, has some singular advantages:

* Simplicity and cheapness.

* A cast iron mortar bomb is more deadly than one made of steel.

"when a cast iron bomb [mortar] bursts it shatters into very small splinters, which form a dense fragment pattern."

And, as for the accuracy issue, the Soviet did decide that quantity rather than quality was the way to go. This is somewhat intuitive. More mortars in abundance firing larger mortar bombs that create more splinters negates the lack of accuracy. More noise and dust and explosions also have a marked psychological effect on the target.

Accuracy - - "It is of no significance."

"Quantity is the better way to exert pressure."

"The more noise you produce, the higher the morale of your troops and the lower that of the enemy."

Of course, this was all before the time when technology allowed for PGM to even be contemplated. "Things" can now be done that sixty years ago were not even dreamt of.

Now, the Russian does develop PGM rounds for mortars. Russian military technology has not slackened. Doctrine as how to employ the mortars changes as does technological advancement.


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