Mortar is a type
of cannon used for high angle fire. It looks like a round tube with a bipod and baseplate.
Soldiers drop shells into it for indirect fire. It is best used against the infantry, or
sometimes buildings mortars were generally not useful against armor unless you get
a direct hit (which is extremely rare).
Light mortar (60 mm) can be carried with a squad; heavy mortar (81 mm) are less
portable (but have longer range) and are used like artillery (see Artillery). Mortars
figure prominently in the episode "What Are the Bugles Blowin' For?"
In WWII, three light mortars were used in one weapons platoon assigned to each company,
mostly used against infantry. Six heavy mortars were used in one heavy weapons platoon
assigned to each Battalion, useful against infantry and some light-skinned armor.
Light mortars use high-explosion missiles that resemble an airplane bomb. The shell
weighs about 3.5 pounds and is often stabilitzed in flight by tail fins. The maximum
effective range is about 1800 yards.
Heavy mortars use both a light and heavy high explosive shell and a smoke shell. The
light shell has a maximum effective range of 3,280 yards; the heavy has a range of 1,280