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Armored Infantry Mortar Squad WW2

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by JMD62, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. JMD62

    JMD62 recruit

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    Hello Gentlemen,

    I was recently going through the breakdown of an Armored Infantry's Rifle Company in the ETO.

    There were two Riflemen (745's) included in the 60mm Mortar Squad. I'm trying to understand the role those Riflemen played during a typical offensive operation. I'm assuming they provided security for the Mortar Team (607's) as they set-up and fired, but I was just trying to get a clearer picture of what that might entail. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    James
     
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello JMD, I think you might be spot on with the assumption that they were used as guards, I don't know if that role would change if they were on the offensive or defensive though, I might be totally wrong, but that's my thought.
     
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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The squad consisted of a squad leader, half-track driver, 2 mortar gunners (gunner and assistant), 2 ammunition bearers, and 2 riflemen. The riflemen acted as additional ammunition bearers, messengers, and were "employed as needed", i.e., as replacements for the others. They also were available to man the squad 2.36" rocket launcher for anti-mechanized defense if necessary.
     
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  5. JMD62

    JMD62 recruit

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    Great information guys, much appreciated!
     
  6. JMD62

    JMD62 recruit

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    If I could add another question, this got me thinking about an AIB's Mortar Squad's tactical placement, once again in a offensive situation. A Rifle Company's platoon would've had (3) Rifle squads, (1) 60mm Mortar squad and (1) LMG squad. Would I be correct in assuming that the Rifle Squads would be in a more forward position while the Mortar squad provided support behind them? A heard an old WW2 Mortar guy say he was normally "behind the action." Thanks!
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Well, when I went through the Ft. Benning infantry school the mortars were always expected to be behind the infantry platoons. If the mortars ended up in the most forward position, something has gone seriously wrong! The mortars would be way too vulnerable.
     
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  9. JMD62

    JMD62 recruit

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    That
     
  10. JMD62

    JMD62 recruit

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    Thanks to Lou's link regarding the evolution of the Mortar Squad, I found this in the WW2 portion which mirrors what has been said in this thread:
    "In the weapons squads, the problem was somewhat simplified by the fact that weapons, both machineguns and mortars, were " crew-served. " As such, they operated basically from fixed firing positions and did not usually assume in the offensive the almost constant mobility of the rifle squad with its automatic rifle team and riflemen. The basic mission of mortars is to fire in support of the maneuver units of the infantry. When mortars are firing they do not move. When they displace they must go out of action. In the mortar section, squads could displace while covered by the mortar fire of adjacent mortar squads and riflemen."
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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