50-mm Company Mortar, Model 1941,The Ussr

  • Years of issue – 1941 – 1943
  • In total, more than 130,000 units were produced.
  • Caliber – 50 mm
  • Weight in firing position – 10 kg
  • Calculation – 2 people
  • Rate of fire – 30 rds / min
  • The greatest firing range – 800 m
  • Direct shot range – 60 m
  • Shooting angles:
  • Horizontal – 16 °
  • Vertical + 50 ° + 75 °

Despite the good operational characteristics and high manufacturability of a 50-mm company mortar of the 1940 model, it was characterized by a number of disadvantages, including: insufficient fastening of the sight and even more than the company mortar of the 1938 model, knocking down the levels of the sight when the rotary mechanism. Therefore, in 1941, work on the creation of a new model of a 50-mm company mortar began in the Special Design Bureau for the Design of Mortar Armament (settlement of Lyubertsy, Moscow Region), created a year earlier , and V.N.Shamarin was appointed its chief and chief designer.

The design of the new company mortar is based on the so-called “blind scheme” (first successfully implemented in the German 50-mm light mortar leGrWr 36), in which all mechanisms and elements were mounted on a base plate. The mortar designed by V. N. Shamarin was adopted by the Red Army in the same 1941 under the designation “50-mm company mortar, model 1941”. He, like the German 50-mm mortar model 36, consisted of three main parts: a barrel with a lifting mechanism, a base plate with a swivel and mechanisms: swivel and horizontal, as well as a sighting device. The mortar barrel was a smooth-bore pipe with a breech screwed on it, in which a firing device was mounted.

Firing from the mortar was carried out by a samonakol, while providing a maximum rate of fire of up to 30 rounds per minute. The mortar had a stamped-welded membrane-type base plate with three openers. Compared to the base plates of the company mortars of the previous samples, it was more technologically advanced, had a lower mass and distributed the recoil force over a large area, so that the mortar did not go deep into the ground when fired. The mortar carriage consisted of two parts: the lower one, connected to the thrust bearing of the base plate and rotating around the thrust bearing, and the upper one, swinging around the hinge joint with the lower part of the gun carriage. From below, a balancing spring was attached to the carriage, with its front ends resting on the plate and supporting the carriage.

The firing range of the mortar was regulated both with the help of a vertical guidance mechanism, and through the use of a remote crane, which diverts a part of the powder gases formed during the shot from the barrel bore upwards. The barrel could only be given two fixed elevation angles: + 50 ° and + 75 °. The angle of horizontal guidance, without rearranging the slab, could change up to 16 °. Shooting from a 50-mm mortar of the 1941 model was carried out with the same mortar fragmentation mines as those of its predecessors: a cast-iron four-pen and a steel six-pen (weighing 0.85 kg) at a distance of up to 800 meters. In addition to domestically produced mines, captured German 50-mm fragmentation and smoke mines weighing 0.9 kg could also be used.

The 1941 model mortar was compact, its mass in the firing position was only 10 kg, so that one crew number could easily carry it on the battlefield. In the campaign and in battle, a 50-mm mortar of the 1941 model was carried in a human pack or on the hands, by the handle of the plate or the leash of the swivel mechanism. On mortars of the 1941 model, released from the end of 1942, there was a leather clip on the barrel for carrying the mortar in hand.

According to the states on June 22, 1941, in the Red Army, each rifle company had 3 company mortars in a mortar platoon (27 – in a rifle regiment; 81 – in a rifle division). In December 1941, the command of the Red Army for the new state of the rifle division united all company and battalion mortars into separate mortar battalions directly subordinate to the commanders of rifle regiments (3 companies of 8 50-mm and 8 82-mm mortars in each). In March 1942, the staff of the rifle division was revised again, and the number of 50-mm company mortars was increased from 76 to 85, and company artillery was restored – mortar platoons in each rifle company.

Despite the fact that 50-mm company mortars were the most massive example of mortar weapons (as of June 22, 1941, the Red Army had about 24,000 such mortars), their importance during the Great Patriotic War was rapidly declining. The insufficient range of actual fire of 50-mm mortars, which was only a few hundred meters, forced their crews to approach the enemy at extremely small distances, which led not only to unmasking the mortar crews, but also to defeat them by the enemy even from small arms.

The light 50-mm fragmentation mines used in them also had low power. In addition, this weapon, which was constantly at the forefront, suffered the greatest losses. So, only in the course of strategic offensive operations from November 1942 to March 1943, the Red Army lost 27,000 mortars, of which more than 13,300 were 50-mm company mortars.For these reasons, as well as taking into account the ever-increasing supply of highly effective 82-mm battalion mortars to the army in the field, in 1943, 50-mm company mortars were removed from production and from the armament of the front-line units of the Red Army. However, 50-mm company mortars, both the 1938 model, the 1940 model, and the 1941 model, continued to be actively used in various partisan formations until the end of the war, which was greatly facilitated by the possibility of firing captured ammunition.The mass production of a 50-mm company mortar of the 1941 model was mastered at many factories, including: No. 7 (Leningrad), No. 221 “Barrikady” (Stalingrad); “Krasny Profintern” (Krasnoyarsk) and others. In total, in 1941-1943, more than 130,000 50-mm company mortars of the 1941 model were manufactured.

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