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Subject: Dammage a mortar can do
scholar    8/27/2004 10:24:43 AM
I was reading a thing on the BBC site where people wrote in to discuss what they felt about the peace deal with Sadr. One of the posters referred to the mortar atttack on a mosque near Najaf that killed 27 people. The poster argued that the insurgeants couldn't have done that because their mortarts can't kill that many people. I suppose he was implying that it must have been the Americans...don't know. At any rate, I was wondering: could a mortar have done that?
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   8/27/2004 10:52:04 AM
Okay, the question is what caliber mortar? FROM FM 23-90, US mortar gunnery manual If an 81/82 MM mortar is used, the mortar round weighs aorund 10 lbs/4.4 kg, with about 2.5 lb/1 kg of explosive. This gives it an effective blast radius of 35 - 40 meters. The 60mm mortar has a blast radius of about 20 - 25 meters. 120mm/122mm has a blast radius of about 60 meters. The US uses 60, 81 & 120 mm; I have seen news film of the al Sadr bubbas firing 60mm & 82 mm mortars. So looking at the above numbers, either could have have done. Now, lets look at some things, though. US M-36 mortar radars, both 11 MEU and 1 Cav DIV, showed dozens of mortar rounds a day coming out of the mosque. The US forces, on the oher hand, are not using mortars...they are using direct fire from tanks, Artillery fire and support from AC-130s. All precision fire weapons. Now you tell me, who fired the round? I don't know. Could an 82mm mortar HE round do that? Absolutely.
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scholar    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   8/27/2004 12:35:11 PM
Thanks. Is that the sort of round the insurgeants are firing? (My assumption is that it was them and not us who fired that shell, and I resent the phenomenon by which someone who knows nothing thinks, "how can this be? It must not be us, for we're not that lethal, so it must be them." Like when Arabs assumed they weren't smart enough to do 9/11. But the question made me wonder about mortars in general.)
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   RE:Dammage a mortar can do   8/27/2004 12:36:25 PM
Hey scholar, It also depends on how many rounds were fired. Sincerely, Keith P.S. I was a combat ENGR. We had to be 300m from the explosive we were going to detonate(safty thing)
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   8/30/2004 3:27:24 PM
Not being there, I can surmise that a couple of 60mm or 82mm rounds can do that much damage easily
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Texastillidie    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   4/4/2005 12:48:10 AM
A single 4.2 inch mortar round has a kill radius of about 50 yards. Yes, these weapons are quite deadly.
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Yimmy    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   4/6/2005 1:47:04 PM
Albany, out of interest, I don't suppose you also have the blast radius of the Russian 160mm, and 240mm mortars?
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mustavaris    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   5/12/2005 5:41:57 AM
In late 1990´s a single 120mm round that exploded under thick snow managed to kill few dozen reindeers scattered in small woody area... So a 82mm round fired at open space with not too dense crowd can surely score such number of kills, especially when you count the lack of armour, decent medical care etc. On 5th February 1994 Serbs scored 68 kills and about 200 wounded with single 120mm chinese/albanian mortar round fired at a crowded market in Sarajevo.. The conclusion is clear..
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shek    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   5/12/2005 7:48:12 AM
Of course a mortar can do that. A 82mm mortar has a burst radius of 25 meters. I can't remember how many rounds impacted, but shrapnel blasting 25 meters in every direction is going to have an effect in a crowded mosque. The people who claim that it couldn't have been insurgents are idiots.
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shek    RE:Dammage a mortar can do   5/12/2005 7:50:36 AM
FYI, an American 81mm mortar (800 series, which came out about a decade ago) has an improved burst radius - 35 meters. I saw Albany Rifle's post about the burst radius of a 81mm mortar and wanted to back it up. I was a mortar PL for 15 months.
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ret13f    RE:   5/12/2005 11:22:44 AM
Actually the source is unknown. "Canadian Colonel Michel Gauthier, who headed the UN's five-member commission of inquiry on the market shelling, reported that the mortar bomb which hit the Sarajevo market on 5 February could have been fired by either besieging Bosnian Serbs or defending BiH forces. The five-member investigative team, backed by two technical experts, found that the market blast was caused by a single high-explosive bomb from a conventional, factory made 120 millimetre mortar. The precise location of the weapon that fired the round could not be established. Gauthier said that the mortar round detonated on contact with a thin layer of asphalt laid over soft ground in the market, and not on the market table as initially thought. The tail fin of the mortar bomb had been retrieved from the crater, indicating that it was 120 millimetre in calibre but provided no precise details of manufacturer or origin. *4522 «The distance of origin of fire overlapped each side of the confrontation line by 2,000 metres», Gauthier said. «Both parties are known to have 120mm mortars, and the bombs go along with them. The team has no reason to believe that either party does not have access to this type of ammunition»." . more recent information points to Croations.
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