×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
INFANTRY
MODERN ARMIES
SPECIAL FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
WORLD WAR 2

Ordnance ML 4.2-inch Mortar


Heavy Field Mortar (1942)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

1 / 1
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Jump-to: Specifications

The Ordnance ML 4.2-inch Heavy Mortar was introduced in 1942 and served the United Kingdom and its allies throughout World War 2 and beyond.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/03/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Advertisements
In attempting to keep step with the German Army and its successes during the early stages of World War 2, British authorities saw the need to replicate a heavy-class smoke-generating mortar for its Royal Engineering corps. The requirement then evolved to produce a complete heavy-class field mortar that could also make us of lobbed explosive munitions against enemy positions producing the "Ordnance, ML 4.2-inch Mortar". The 4.2" model was added to the existing British Army stock of 2" and 3" infantry mortars already in service.

The 4.2" mortar weapon was of 106.7mm caliber and its design largely following the form an dfunction laid down by the original British Stokes mortar of 1915. Its development stemmed from the Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) with manufacture from the Royal Ordnance Factories (RAF) beginning in late-1941. The 4.2" was formally adopted into frontline service during 1942 and around 3,800 units were eventually produced.

Early forms of the mortar were fielded with a tripod support assembly and baseplate. On the whole the weapon looked the part of a traditional battlefield mortar with the complete system utilizing a smoothbore launch tube, supporting legs, ground recoil plate, and sighting/ranging controls. A crew of six was the typical fielding with the weapon due to its size and weight and the weapon hauled into action behind a small tracked carrier or JEEP-style vehicle.

The weapon held an elevation span of +45 to +80 degrees for suitable indirect fire upon enemy positions - primarily utilizing a standard High-Explosive (HE) shell (there also existed a smoke-generating projectile and practice rounds). Traversal was +10 degrees to either side form center until the whole system had to be turned into the direction of intended firing. A well-trained and experienced crew could reach up to 20 rounds of sustained fire for up to a minute while typical firing was in the 10 rounds per minute range. Maximum engagement ranges reached between 3,300 yards and 4,400 yards giving the 4.2" mortar a good command of the battlefield. The standard HE projectile weighed some 20lb. However, British defense industry - stretched to its limits by 1941-1942 - made due with limited-capability "cast" bomb bodies over the intended forged types - this was reflected in the broad engagement ranges listed above.

The weapon saw its baptism of fire in the North Africa campaign during El Alamein where the mortars were issued within British "chemical warfare companies" until dedicated heavy mortar companies were arranged during 1943. The weapon went on to see widespread service in the European and Pacific campaigns (including service with Australian and Canadian forces) in time with good results. By the end of the war, the weapon discarded its tripod support assembly and baseplate in favor of the Mk 1 Mobile Baseplate Trailer - a wheeled platform that aided quick transport and firing for crews, requiring just two dedicated personnel to operate minimally.

The competent 4.2" mortar design endured into the post-war years where it was still in play during the Korean War (1950-1953) where its indirect fire capabilities played well in the rugged, mountainous terrain of Korea. The weapon line also found foreign service with the militaries of Ethiopia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, and Turkey before its history had been fully written.

Specifications



Service Year
1942

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Classification


Heavy Field Mortar


Royal Ordnance Factories - UK
National flag of Australia National flag of Canada National flag of Ethiopia National flag of Malaysia National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Kingdom Australia; Canada; Ethiopia; Laos; Malaysia; Nepal; Turkey; United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Overall Length
1,625 mm
63.98 in
Barrel Length
1,625 mm
63.98 in
Empty Wgt
114.64 lb
52.00 kg
Sights


Included Optics.


Action


Muzzle-Loading; Repeat Fire

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


106.7mm launch tube

Sample Visuals**


Graphical image of an infantry mortar projectile / shell
Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot; Reusable Tube
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
9,500 ft
(2,896 m | 3,167 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
20
rds/min


Ordnance ML 4.2-inch Mortar - Base Series Designation.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-