Thursday, 14 May 2009

(1940-1941) Brixia 45mm mortar

Greek troops with a Brixia mortar (1940-41)As far as I am aware, the Greek army did not have light mortars at the beginning of World War 2. They did, however, capture many Brixia mortars during the Greco-Italian war. In true Italian style, it was an elaborate design that was expensive to mass-produce and easy to malfunction. On the other hand, it provided a relatively high rate of fire, it was steady and it could even fold, which made it convenient for carrying. The mounting was a folding tripod with a padded seat or frame hinged to its rear leg. When the mortar was in firing position, this padded frame acted as a cushion for the man's chest, and when folded in transport it eased the load on his back. The shell was hand-loaded and the range could be adjusted by the ports located under the barrel. Elevation should also be taken into consideration. The primer mixture was the corrosive type, containing mercury fulminate, antimony trisulfide, potassium chlorate and ground glass. The mixture was covered with a thin film of lacquer.

Operational History
Greek troops with Brixia mortars (1940-41)Nov. 1940 - During the first battles, the Greeks capture a lot of Italian equipment, including Brixia mortars.
Apr. 1941 - Capitulation to the Germans. It is not known whether the Greeks fighting in the Middle East acquired more Brixia mortars from their allies.

Brixia Model 35 light mortar

Action Weight: 15.5 kg
Shell Weight: 256 g
Length of barrel: 260 mm Brixia mortar from the National War Museum, Athens, Greece
Caliber: 45 mm
Range: 530 m
Rate of fire: 8 to 15 rounds/min. In ideal conditions, well-trained troops could achieve 18 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity: 83 m/s
Traverse: 20°
Elevation: +10° to +90°

For gamers and game designers
In practice, the Brixia 45mm mortar was considered unsuitable for most types of battle fought in World War 2, due to its short range and poor fragmentation of the shell.

For modellers
Brixia Mortar Schematic

1 comment:

  1. Most helpful information for the modeller and wargamer