Mk VIIA 2" Mortar

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Laochra Beag, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. Laochra Beag

    Laochra Beag Active Member


    So wondering if anyone has any pictures/diagrams from training manual or similar of this Indian Army variant and/or it's British counterpoint the MkVII*** please?

    I'm trying to establish what a Mk VIIA looked like and differences to Mk VII*** and if that's only "it was manufactured in India", that's fine but I'd still really like to see some good, whole weapon, illustrations if possible.

    Roughly I believe the whole Mk VII series was a change in baseplate pattern, keeping the same barrels length for the different deployment (Inf, Para, Carrier).

    Tried a search in forum but the only 2" mortar item was a manual is dated 1939, which isn't any use for this question.


    PS I have seen a number of 'distance' and 'in combat' photos but none which give whole weapon view or dimensions.
  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Oddly enough I've been trying to disentangle the details of the various marks of 2-inch mortar myself recently, with mixed results. I got a copy of the Handbook for the Ordnance ML 2-inch mortar (Jan44) from the Australian War Memorial site a while ago. It is unfortunately missing pages 10 & 11 and is of variable help in terms of information. Below is a cropped image that shows some particulars of the various 2-inch mortars, including the VIIA -

    2 inch mortar pg5.jpg

    It sorts out the barrel lengths and which versions had the long, thin rectangular base, and which the spade. It only gives weights for the barrel, with and without the breech piece, and I can't find anything much on the weight complete of each mark. There are just two lines on the Mk VIIA;

    "The Mark VIIA mortar differs from the Mark VII in the base plate, which has two rows of pointed webs on the underside. This mortar is specially designed for use in India".

    These are the only two illustrations of a full mortar in the booklet;

    2 inch mortar pg6.jpg

    Figure 1 is the Mk VII, with the baseplate as for use in the carrier.

    2 inch mortar pg8.jpg

    Figure 7 is the Mark VIII (Airborne).

    The text states that the 'Mark VII* is a conversion of the Mark VII to approximate the Mark VIII'. Below is the general blurb on the VIIA, VII and VIII versions.

    2 inch mortar pg7.jpg

    The AWM have a post-war manual on the 2-inch which I will try and get a copy of when they are open for orders again.

    Laochra Beag likes this.
  3. Laochra Beag

    Laochra Beag Active Member

    Thanks Gary.

    Really useful stuff. Couldn't be much better without a photo of the VII A baseplate.

    Cheers John
  4. Laochra Beag

    Laochra Beag Active Member

    So re-reading your post above, a couple of questions

    1. The Mk. VII for carrier; did the baseplate fit into a 'socket/frame' on the carrier. It would be a negative of the webs on baseplate?

    2. Would it be correct to say the Mk VII carrier and VIIA share a 'size/style' of baseplate just with different pattern of 'webs' - the pointy bits underneath and they (Indian units) never/rarely used a spade pattern base.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  5. Laochra Beag

    Laochra Beag Active Member

    Sorry disregard Q1 I have no idea what I was thinking. I have the information - in front compartment!
  6. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Sadly I've never found the kind of info on Indian Army orgs and equipment that I've been gradually able to do for the British Army Europe/North Africa, so I don't know that the Indian Army 'never/rarely' used the spade type 2-in mortars. It would seem reasonable, given they requested their own style of base plate. The figures given in the 'Particulars' Table do indicate the Indian base was much bigger than the standard version

    20-in long x 3.75-in wide is given in the 1939 Handbook on the 2-inch mortar (so near as darn it as in the Table), with the Indian plate being over 22-in long and 6-in wide. I would assume then that the 'two rows of pointed webs' are what lead to the wider plate, if they were positioned side by side, or staggered?


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