Like other leading military powers of the interwar period, France took into inventory several classes of infantry-level mortars. One of the group, developed in 1935 and introduced in 1937, became the Brandt Modele 1935, a 60mm system of largely conventional design (by today's standards). The weapon went on to influence several mortar designs of the period including the famous American M2 of 60mm. Both went on to see service in World War 2 (1939-1945).
Design of the French weapon was attributed to Edward Brandt and his name adorns several classic French mortar designs.
The French Modele 1935 fired a lightweight 1.3kg projectile from a smoothbore launch tube. The launch tub was supported by an adjustable bipod and reinforced by a solid baseplate. Integral optics allowed the operator to precisely adjust the instrument as needed. A typical crew was five personnel, each with a role to play in the flawless operation of the system. A heavier 2.2kg projectile was also devised.
The mortar operated in usual fashion - the loader dropped a live projectile into the launch tube at the muzzle. The projectile fell to the bottom of the tube and impacted its primer with the firing pin. The projectile's propellant was ignited and the projectile made its way out of the tube and along its trajectory - influenced by the elevation adjustment levers on the bipod as well as environmental factors such as wind. A standard High-Explosive (HE) shell was used to provide maximum impact against soft targets such as dug-in enemy infantry.
A trained crew could fire off between 20 and 25 rounds per minute out to ranges of 1,700 meters (dependent upon shell in use). The complete weapon system weighed 19.7 kilograms and could be broken down into its key components for travel. Some nine Mle 1935 systems were afforded to each French infantry regiment and, with these, around 200 projectiles.
Romania was an export customer of the Brandt Mle 1935 prior to World War 2 so they were in inventory when the first shots were fired (and Romania committed to the Axis cause) - some were also produced locally under license. The Germans thought enough of the French design to incorporate captured specimens into its inventory. These were redesignated as 6-cm Granatwerfer 225(f) - the small "f" indicating their French origins. The Chinese also took up the Mle 1935 and developed it as a local indirect-fire solution all their own (in the "Type 31").
Mle 1935 mortars were in active service up until the 1960s.