The mortar was essentially artillery at the platoon level. For the US it consisted of the 60mm and at higher eschelons the 81mm and 4.2 inch mortar. For airsoft I suspect you will be replicating the 60 mm mortar which was almost entirely a line of site weapon. The firing crew often had eyes on the target. For the larger mortars more often than not they were adjusted or called for via field phone or radio. This is not to say that the 60mm would have been exposed to fire from the enemy. Ideally it would not. Whenever possible it would be located in a depression, a prepared mortar pit, behind a clump of brush or a wall. The spotter would shout out adjustments vs. The use of more elaborate means such ad radio or field phone.
If your mortar has range well beyond line of site, as with real mortars you,ll want to place firing stakes around the mortar that you can align with, relative to spots on the map. You,ll want to pre register your shots ith essentially practice shots on likely target locations. In some cases you might align your stakes on those designated targets.
Targets can and should be given code names rather than descripters since at airsoft ranges the enemy can typically hear your requests. When firing, a single shot should be sent and adjusted since wind conditions often effect the flight of your rounds. Continue individual rounds until the ammo is hitting where you'd like and then "fire for effect". If possible smoke rounds are a cool effect as are flares for night operations. A simple effect for night use is to dip your rounds (or tennis balls) in the fluid used for snap illumilite sticks. This creates a cool visual and allows the enemy to more readily know where the rounds are hitting.
For authenticity practice crew drills moving the weapon into position and setting up.
Calls for fire have key elements: The announcement. " FIRE MISSION" Description of Target. Troops in the open, Bunker, MG Position, etc. Means to Target Shift from a known point, Polar Coordinates, Heading and Distance ( For a shift from a known point key terrain or pre designated locations have been established and hopefully registered on) ( For Polar coordinates maps with uniform grids are made and in the military are read right and up.) (for heading and distance a compass heading may be used but for airsoft probably Northeast, 75 yards will probably work)
"One round marking, will adjust"
"Ready". "Ready". "Hang". "Hang". " FIRE" "FIRE". Note the echo of commands so both the spotter and crew acknowledge each other and their status. Once a round is fired, the spotter may shout "splash over" to indicate that a round is headed enroute and announce " Splash Out" to indicate that it has hit For WW2 and airsoft purposes "Enroute" and "Impact" may make more sense.
Mortars are interesting in that the ranges (even with real mortars are abbreviated enough that both the firing tubes and targets hear both the weapon firing and the impacts with pretty clear indications for the locations of both where with artillery in most cases they are distant "booms". since our rounds dont boom when hit the spotter has to be clearer about identifying the strikes. And indicate when they have struck. The spotter announces the success of the fire mission, calls for adjustments (often while the round is in the air) and ends the mission "CEASE FIRE". An interesting phase used by artillery is REPEAT which means keep firing. For this reason the term is singularly designated for indirect fire use. Hence when you arent sure what someone said, trained soldiers use the phrase " Say again". This is parlance for radio use and has been since WW2. The command FIRE FOR EFFECT means your probing shots are on target and the tube should lay on a heavy volume until ordered to cease fire or adjust.
Since the firer often can't see the effects of their work it is military courtesy to let them know how the mission went.
Have fun. Indirect fire adds so much to these events. Big Ed does the best job of indirect fire I've seen and conducted missions with grid coordinates. Used aiming stakes, pre registered his tubes and came with awesome weapons and lots of ammo.
I am a huge fan of the NERF Howler rockets as they make a loud noise as they fly through the air but they are expensive and hard to source. Good luck " ELEVEN CHARLIES". the military occupation specialty for mortarmen.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
wow haha thanks, thats a ton of useful info I just have a few more questions if you don't mind, I was curious about how you would prepare a mortar position on the line, how the mortar crew would travel with a platoon on patrol, and was there any trick to launching flares to make sure no body infiltrates through the line? Thanks again for all the info ;D
When moving in column or file on a movement to contact obviously the mortars and crew would be well back. Typically a mortar crew would have a man responsible for the tube itself while another would carry the bipod and still others would carry ammunition. In fact mortar ammunition (especially for the 60mm) was typically scattered about throughout the unit with each man often carrying a couple spare rounds.
When crossing dangerous areas or areas where one might expect a high likelihood of enemy contact the unit commander might pass back the word to have the crew(s) set up and be prepared to provide covering fire. If the unit is conducting a pre planned assault on a hill, bridge, bunker complex etc. The attack plan would designate the route of advance, the order of movement and the location where the commander wants the nortar crews to set up.
The rest of the unit would unload their munitions near this location so ready rounds would be on hand at an ammo point. Typically a planned assault would include a barrage of organic and if available higher eschelon artillery and mortars would usually be part of this barrage.
Mortars high trajectory makes them especially effective against trench lines and fox holes and unlike artillery one seldom hears mortars that are inbound aside from the unmistakable "thump" or "baloop" when they fire. Mortars make a very distinctive sound when fired.
Illumination rounds from artillery and mortars use parachutes in order to stay aloft long enough to be effective. I'm not sure effectively one can replicate this for airsoft. The materials used for aerial flares are extremely bright and hence extremely hot creating potential fire hazards. I doubt any of the chemical flares would be bright enough but perhaps if the event sponsors wanted to create the effect they could suspend a bunch of the ultra bright illuma lights from cables using wires that could be hoisted?
We used actual military flares at each of our jump to destiny events and at RECONDO School but it is entirely dependant on dry conditions and how agreeable the property owner and neighbors are. Smoke is also fairly easy to fire from home made mortars and can be tactically sound.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
Thanks again for the additional info. I had put some thought into the flare idea and the best substitute I could think of would be to use a roman candle. Mostly because it has the right "thump" sound and they typically burn themselves out well before they hit the ground.
stuka: well the forum is and should still be useful for updates on guns, creating groups/events and building kits
Jun 18, 2018 1:33:29 GMT -5
Cpl. Hicks: I haven't been here in years, but I'm glad to see this forum is still kicking! So much great info on here.
Jun 22, 2018 14:00:12 GMT -5
savoy6: anyone know if anyone still carries the enfield?
Jul 15, 2018 18:47:08 GMT -5
Dracul: I think Redwolf has a Enfield. If not or not longer, then not until G&G releases theirs. The old gas Iron Airsoft brand SMLE isn't carried by anyone anymore and was such piece of crap. Not worth trying to track one down.
Jul 19, 2018 5:55:35 GMT -5
setho: Looking for games in or near Vermont
Jun 10, 2020 16:34:26 GMT -5
ajman: I don't think there's gonna be anything in northern New England anytime soon, and as far as I know there hasn't been in a while, but if you're willing to drive to Connecticut there's usually some decent sized battles a couple times a year.
Jun 11, 2020 20:21:22 GMT -5
tootall2: Looking for any fellow ww2aa guys around the Evansville area.
Jul 3, 2020 11:46:06 GMT -5
boz: Happy 4th all, despite pandemic! I'm looking for a boneyard S&T Springfield M1903A3 for a beta test on retro conversion to A1 or Mark 1 (WW1) configuration. Pop me a message if you've a broken S&T (or G&G, or Apple Soft) M1903 you wish to unload.
Jul 5, 2020 14:33:36 GMT -5