M19 60mm Mortar
The M19 60mm Mortar was a light
mortar developed in the United States in 1942 as a replacement for the M2
Mortar then in use. The M19 was a simplified version of the M2. While it
was not widely used in US service, the Canadian Army adopted it as a
replacement for the 2-inch Mortar and used it into the 21st Century.
The 60mm Mortar was a smooth
bore, muzzle loading, high trajectory weapon consisting of a barrel, base
cap and firing mechanism assembled into a single unit.
The breech end of the barrel
was threaded to receive the base cap thereby closing the breech. The
firing mechanism housing was attached to the base cap by means of a
threaded adapter. A spherical projection fit into, and locked, the socket
of the base plate and was an extension of the firing mechanism housing.
The mortar could be used for
direct fire missions using the M1 Base Plate, which consisted of a curved
metal base and a ball socket shaped to receive the spherical extension of
the firing mechanism housing. Part of the ball socket consisted of a split
nut that fit around the spherical extension and then screwed into the
socket of the base plate.
From the DND website:
60mm-mortar is an indirect fire support weapon used primarily by the
infantry. The weapon is fielded in two configurations, the handheld
version using the M1 base plate and the more accurate version with the
M5 mount consisting of a base plate, bipod and C2A1 sight. A two person
mortar crew can carry the weapon and several rounds of ammunition over
long distances. Additional ammunition is normally carried in a vehicle
or by the remainder of the infantry platoon. A tactical advantage of the
mortar is its high trajectory, which allows the mortar to be fired from
behind high cover, the suppression of targets behind high cover and the
firing of the mortar over the heads of friendly troops without
can fire 30 rounds per minute for short periods and 8 rounds per minute
for sustained periods. In the handheld configuration it can be used
against targets between 100 and 1500 metres away, the M5 mount extends
this range to 2800 metres. The mortar can fire a variety of ammunition
including high explosive (HE) rounds that produce a large number of
lethal fragments, white and red phosphorus smoke rounds for making smoke
screens and illumination rounds to light up the battlefield at night.
handheld configuration the mortar consists of a barrel, a base cap and a
firing mechanism. These three parts are normally assembled into single
unit. The mortar is loaded by dropping a round into the muzzle. The
firing mechanism can be set to fire the round as soon as it reaches the
bottom of the barrel or set to fire when operated by the soldier similar
to a rifle trigger.
Bore diameter: 60mm (2.36in)
Barrel Length: 819mm (32.2in)
Elevation: +40° to +85° (1504.5 mils) on M5 Mount, or free on M1 Mount
Traverse: 14° on M5 mount or free on M1 mount
Weight of bomb: 1.36kg (3.0lb)
Muzzle Velocity: 168m/s (550ft/sec)
Ammunition: High Explosive (HE), White or Red Phosphorus (WP/RP),
Rate of Fire: Normal – 8 per minute, Maximum – 30 rounds per minute
Weight: Handheld configuration 7.7kg, M5 base plate configuration 23.4kg
Barrel and M1 Base Plate 9.03kg
Barrel only 7.02kg
Base Plate M1 only 2.04kg
Length: 726mm in handheld configuration
Range: Handheld configuration 100 to 1500m, M5 base plate configuration
100 to 2800m
M19 mortars on the range at Wainwright.
Calgary Highlanders photo.