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When Mortar Battalion Changes From 45&81 To Only 81

#1 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:04 PM

At War start the Infantry and Mountain Division Mortar Battalion had 45mm Brixias and 81mm mortar but later it would get only 81mm mortars. When that change started?
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#2 User is offline   voloire 

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:00 AM

Good morning
take a look

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false
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#3 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 06:36 PM

It says 1942 born units didn't had brixias but a lot of information there in that Osprey is false.

What is the Alpini regiment with 17 brixias? i have 9 Brixias per Alpini Battalion... so must be a typo for 27.
The 27xMortar 81 battalion i have in autotrasportabile Divisions not in Infantry.
In Infantry i have:Il battaglione mortai divisionale si articolava su: compagnia comando,2 compagnie mortai da 81 mm, ciascuna su 3 plotoni di 2 armi, compagnia mortai da 45 mm su 3 plotoni di 9 armi ciascuno,salmerie a autocarreggio ( 24 autocarri). Means 12x81, 27x45mm. Later there was like it is said 18x81mm.


Do you know how many Brixias and 81mm mortars were build in War?
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#4 User is offline   david 

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

Slightly off topic I know, but does anyone know if the C.c.N.n used 81mm mortars in North Africa at all?
Cheers; Dave.

#5 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:55 PM

View Postdavid, on 30 July 2011 - 11:07 AM, said:

Slightly off topic I know, but does anyone know if the C.c.N.n used 81mm mortars in North Africa at all?


If you are including Giovanni Fascisti in CCNN yes. Others i don't think so.
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#6 User is offline   david 

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:51 PM

Thanks.
Cheers; Dave.

#7 User is offline   david 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:10 AM

What about the Libyan Divisions, did they use them at all?
Cheers; Dave.

#8 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:14 PM

View PostDili, on 30 July 2011 - 10:55 PM, said:

If you are including Giovanni Fascisti in CCNN yes. Others i don't think so.


Dili, the Giovani Fascisti were not CCNN, they were regular Royal Army.

Each Blackshirts Division in North Africa did have a divisional 81mm Mortars coy
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#9 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:18 PM

View Postdavid, on 23 August 2011 - 10:10 AM, said:

What about the Libyan Divisions, did they use them at all?


AFAIK, not, they didn't
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#10 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:30 PM

View PostDili, on 17 February 2011 - 11:04 PM, said:

At War start the Infantry and Mountain Division Mortar Battalion had 45mm Brixias and 81mm mortar but later it would get only 81mm mortars. When that change started?


Hard to answer. IIRC it was a pre-war decision, but very slowly and unevenly implemented as the availability of 81mm mortars was always quite limited. The 1940 regulations were still for mixed 45mm and 81mm allocations, the 1942 regulations were for all-81mm. In practical terms I would expect to find all-81mm units in front-line divisions by early 1941, and mixed 45mm/81mm units still around in second line divisions by late 1942 (and possibly even later)
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#11 User is offline   madmike 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:23 PM

also, the 45 mm mortar was divided into units, not more at regiment or division level.

Still in 1943, the Battaglioni Guastatori and the new type of Infantry Battalion (very few, if any, adopted this organization) have the 45 mm Brixia at company level for fire support, and 81 mm at battalion leve (with 47\32 guns too) at battalion level.

As we can see, the 45 mm mortar war a weak and short range weapon, useful at company or even platoon level, but surely not for fire support for a battalion.

But, as Arturo says, there were few 81 mortars available at the start of the war, and the REI use what it had.
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#12 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:25 PM

Thanks. How many 81mm at War start?

I have this citation unfortunately i don't know it where from neither if it was in June 1940: disponibilitÓ di armi di questo tipo era, nel 1940, enorme: ben 7.511 Brixia da 45 mm, e 2.177 da 81 mm, con 9.621.000 e 1.105.000 colpi rispettivamente.

2177 seems a nice number even if some would be needed for training/repair/depot and so would be out of units.
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#13 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:44 PM

View PostDili, on 23 August 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

How many 81mm at War start?


I do have approx 2200, so your 2177 looks OK.

View PostDili, on 23 August 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

2177 seems a nice number even if some would be needed for training/repair/depot and so would be out of units.


I'm not at home and everything is by memory only, so all numbers are approximate, just for a quick-and-dirty calculation.

At the start of the war Italy had about 60 infantry divisions (CCNN included). At 24 x 81mm mortars each that gives about 1400 tubes. Then there were the 2 AOI Divisions and the 5 Alpini one. Here I do not recall their 81mm mortars allocations, let's say on average the same for another 150. So we have just 650 81mm mortars left, including training, depots, spares, chemical mortars units, frontier guards etc. Even if *all* this 650 mortars would have been used to replace the 45mm mortars (and obviously it couldn't have been done), they would have been enough to upgrade just 4 (four!) divisions to an all-81mm TO&E, as there were 150+ 45mm mortars in each infantry division! (153, IIRC?).

So, quite simply, at the start of the war there weren't enough 81mm mortars available for a quick and generalized TO&E upgrade, and the following wartime production allowed this upgrade only slowly and unevenly.

Q.E.D.

All IIRC and IMHO <_<
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#14 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:22 PM

View Postarturolorioli, on 23 August 2011 - 06:44 PM, said:

I do have approx 2200, so your 2177 looks OK.



I'm not at home and everything is by memory only, so all numbers are approximate, just for a quick-and-dirty calculation.

At the start of the war Italy had about 60 infantry divisions (CCNN included). At 24 x 81mm mortars each that gives about 1400 tubes. Then there were the 2 AOI Divisions and the 5 Alpini one. Here I do not recall their 81mm mortars allocations, let's say on average the same for another 150. So we have just 650 81mm mortars left, including training, depots, spares, chemical mortars units, frontier guards etc. Even if *all* this 650 mortars would have been used to replace the 45mm mortars (and obviously it couldn't have been done), they would have been enough to upgrade just 4 (four!) divisions to an all-81mm TO&E, as there were 150+ 45mm mortars in each infantry division! (153, IIRC?).

So, quite simply, at the start of the war there weren't enough 81mm mortars available for a quick and generalized TO&E upgrade, and the following wartime production allowed this upgrade only slowly and unevenly.

Q.E.D.

All IIRC and IMHO <_<


No, the upgrade is the Mortar battalion going from 12x81mm+27x45mmm to 18x81mm like i have written above.
Note that the "upgrade" is just more 6 81mm mortars per division. It goes from 24 to 30. Using your initial calculation that seems reasonable means more 60x6=360 -650 = 290 in depots, GAF, chemical, training, spares. Maybe not enough for all but certainly more than half 60 Divisions could have the new full TOE.
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#15 User is offline   madmike 

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 05:12 AM

all true, but:

- the Alpini has at the start of the war 6 division. There were 6 or more battaglioni in each division, all with 4x81 mortars .

- the supply of ammo for 81 was very low. Al the start of the war there were 500 rounds for tube (2,5 unfoc) so they will bo operated in low intensity. Stthistics of Stato Maggiore says 7511 mort.45, 2177 mort.81 , 9621000 rounds 45mm. 1105000 rounds 81.

- in 1940 you have organic for the alpini above, the Compagnia Mortai of infantry division on 3 platoons (later with 18 ubes), the compagnia mortai of the infantry regiments with 6 weapons, the GAF groups with the 81 mortar in fixed posizions...

so, the 81 were few, counting the number of divisions. The importance of the weapon was well known, even in the late war. In 1943 were build some 'battaglioni mortai autoportati di corpo d'armata' with 1 car, 6 light trucks, 22 medium or heavy trucks, 6 moto and 18 mortars.
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#16 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 06:32 AM

View PostDili, on 23 August 2011 - 07:22 PM, said:

No, the upgrade is the Mortar battalion going from 12x81mm+27x45mmm to 18x81mm like i have written above.


Right, I misunderstood the question, I was thinking about a generalized replacement of all 45mm with 81mm mortars, that was clearly impossible in simple numerical terms. Forget it.

But even if we are talking about a simple upgrade in the divisional Mortar bns we are still *very* thight with the numbers. The key point in this case, beside the need to keep a number of them back for replacements/spares/training and to equip other non-divisional units, was the need to keep a reserve to fit new units.

As we know Italy did rise relatively few new units during WW2 (talking about Infantry only, we started the war with about 120 regiments, and added just 10 or so in 1941 and 20 or so in 1942). But in WW1 the mobilization had been on a fully different scale (about 100 regiments at the start of the war, plus 50 in 1915, 40 in 1916 and another 50 in 1917).

So if Italy had mobilized even just a bit more than half of what it did in WW1 (and by June 1940 there wasn't any reason to think otherwise) then the need of 81mm mortars (old TO&E) for just the infantry divisions would have been of over 700 tubes for the first 7 months of war only. And that's just for the "standard" infantry, not considering the Alpini bns, etc.

So I'm afraid that not, there was no surplus of 81mm mortars for an immediately and generalized upgrade of the Divisional Mortars bns, or - to be more accurate - ther was not such surplus if considering the training, replacements, operational reserves, mobilization needs etc. In this more complete context, the upgrade could only be selective (front-line units first) and gradual, and it was a process that had already started before the war and that continued for all the war: by mid 1940 te allocation of 2xM81 coys per Mortars bns had almost been completed, later followed by the 3xM81 coys, later by the allocation of 2 x Mortars bns to key divisions, later by the allocation of M81 to bn level, etc. Missing massive production capabilities (in terms of hardware, ammunitions, support and training) in real-life terms this sort of developements require quite a long time.

Al always, IMHO. ;)
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#17 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:46 PM

View Postmadmike, on 24 August 2011 - 05:12 AM, said:

the Alpini has at the start of the war 6 division


IIRC the 6th "Alpi Graje" was formed in late 1941 only (november?).Beside the "old 5" divisions, at the star of the war there were several independent Gruppi Alpini "Valle", but they had not been formed into a division yet.
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#18 User is offline   madmike 

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 05:04 PM

View Postarturolorioli, on 25 August 2011 - 02:46 PM, said:

IIRC the 6th "Alpi Graje" was formed in late 1941 only (november?).Beside the "old 5" divisions, at the star of the war there were several independent Gruppi Alpini "Valle", but they had not been formed into a division yet.


correct :rolleyes:
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#19 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:03 PM

Thanks. Another question, anyone knows how many 81mm mortars and how many Brixias were produced during War?
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#20 User is offline   madmike 

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 03:02 PM

the 'storia dell'artiglieria italiana' sayn' that in the 1939-43 period were produced about 16800 mortars, both calibers.

Unfortunatly, no details.
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