To all Mortarmen


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Puncha
April 20, 2010, 10:15 AM
Hi all,

I was watching episode 5 of "the pacific" and there was a scene when the marines had landed on some island to take it from the japanese. They fought their way in from the beach and encountered a building defended by a japanese force. From what i could see, there was a sandbag emplacement on the top of the building and the japanese were firing a machine gun from it. Also, the building was defended by a light tank supported by infantry.

The marines including PFC Sledge then set up the 60mm mortar and managed to kill some of the infantry while the tank and sandbag emplacement was eventually taken out by a U.S. sherman.

The question I want to ask of all ex or currently serving U.S. army or Marine mortarmen is.......

With the 60mm mortar firing HE rounds, if a direct hit was scored on a light tank, APC or IFV, could the armoured vehicle be knocked out? Let's assume that the enemy vehicle has about 2cm of rolled homogeneous steel armour on its top where the motar round inpacts?

Would the result be any different if a 81mm mortar was used?

Would the 60mm mortar be useful against sandbag emplacements on small buildings(about 3 stories high)?

Have there been any anti-armor rounds developed for the 81mm mortar?

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PTK
April 20, 2010, 10:22 AM
The top of a tank or armored vehicle, especially the turret on a "light tank", is absurdly thin. Certain mortar rounds would, indeed, punch right through in the case of a direct hit.

Gordon
April 20, 2010, 10:38 AM
60mm mortar, the chicoms used slighty larger bores. Yes the 81mm is US(and 82mm Commie):)

armoredman
April 20, 2010, 10:40 AM
Another thing to remember, Japanese tanks of WWII were terrible. Yes, I think a mortar hit on the turret top, or especially the back deck where the engine grate is, would disable or destroy a Japanese tank of WWII, IMHO.

Mandolin
April 20, 2010, 10:40 AM
Not to mention the fact that Japanese tanks had very little armour. It's a 60mm mortar, not 61mm, by the way. It would be effective against the top of a tank, since even if it didn't penatrate, the concussion could know the crew silly. And against buildings, it coudl probably kill everyone in whatever room it landed in.

Tim the student
April 20, 2010, 11:24 AM
Never been on the receiving end of a 60, but I would certainly think that it would be able to punch through the top. I think chances would be better if it was on "delay" but I don't know about the fuzes used in WW2.

If absolutely nothing else, they will button up tight, and probably not enjoy the experience.

SharpsDressedMan
April 20, 2010, 12:55 PM
Oh, I wouldn't want to be in ANY WWII tank if ANY mortar made a direct hit to the top. I'd either be knocked out, dead, or deaf for a very long time............

RS14
April 23, 2010, 04:13 AM
Never been on the receiving end of a 60, but I would certainly think that it would be able to punch through the top. I think chances would be better if it was on "delay" but I don't know about the fuzes used in WW2.

If absolutely nothing else, they will button up tight, and probably not enjoy the experience.

I imagine they'd be able to penetrate too, just from the blast. The shell is marginally heavier than the soviet RPG-40, a non-hollow-charge AT hand grenade that could penetrate 20mm of armor. The charge of a 60mm shell is probably smaller (on account of the metal).

But consider the relatively widely produced Type 97 medium tank (http://www.onwar.com/tanks/japan/ft97chiha.htm): it has 8mm armor on the hull upper surface and 19 on the turret upper surface. A hit to the hull would presumably penetrate.

RedLion
April 23, 2010, 11:34 AM
I think this needs to go to mythbusters....even though their methods are a little weird, it'd be cool to watch....again... and again.

HorseSoldier
April 23, 2010, 01:18 PM
Have there been any anti-armor rounds developed for the 81mm mortar?

I think the Soviets developed some HEAT rounds for their 82mm mortars, since their 82mm automortar deal was on a gun carriage and could be used in a direct fire role as well as indirect.

The British were working on a round called the Merlin that was a smart top attack 81mm round that would acquire, home in on, and punch to roof armor on modern tanks. I think the lethality was pretty good with hits, though nowhere near as impressive as the homing 120mm rounds out there.

WardenWolf
April 23, 2010, 01:55 PM
The Japanese light tanks were barely able to repel small arms fire, and sometimes not even that. Our .50 machine guns would positively destroy one. A mortar round would have ruined its day.

Sunray
April 23, 2010, 11:34 PM
"...Japanese tanks of WWII were terrible..." Yep. Akin to W.W. I tanks. Same kind of quality difference as that of Ronsons compared to Mk IV, V and VI Pansers. An M3 Stuart's 37mm gun could flatten a Japanese tank with no fuss.

WardenWolf
April 24, 2010, 01:34 AM
There's a nice Youtube video showing performance tests of a captured Japanese light tank. It's quite pathetic. At the end, they have it race a Stuart. The Stuart is not only bigger but also much faster.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLKwq8JKIaw&feature=related

zebcoboy
May 6, 2010, 12:34 PM
For those that have not seen this video log on to youtube and type in Javelin Missle hits tank.

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