Wireless Ridge

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Kingfish
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Wireless Ridge

Post by Kingfish » 03 Nov 2019 18:10

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wireless_Ridge
2 PARA had suffered three dead and 11 wounded. 2 PARA's mortar platoon also reported four mortarmen with broken ankles after having fired 'supercharge' rounds for extra range in order to repel the Argentine counterattack force that had attacked from Moody Brook.[2
WTH???
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Gary Kennedy
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Re: Wireless Ridge

Post by Gary Kennedy » 03 Nov 2019 18:52

I'm going to risk going on memory for this one. As I recall, problems were encountered with the 81-mm mortar when firing from positions where the 'ground' was mostly exposed rock. The baseplate would slide on firing, which of course impacted accuracy. The incident saw multiple Paras address the issue by bracing the baseplate with their foot/feet when the mortar was fired. This was what lead to the rash of ankle injuries.

I won't pretend to have read anything on it for a long while, and I didn't relate it to the use of supercharge rounds, but perhaps the extra 'oomph' these produced was contributory to the problems in getting the baseplate to seat properly.

Gary

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Sheldrake
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Re: Wireless Ridge

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Nov 2019 11:36

The first few rounds from a Mortar are to "bed in" the base-plate - sink it into the ground enough for the barrel to stay put between each round. Most of the Falklands is peat bog which does not offer firm resistance. As a result mortars and field guns end up deep in the peat. There are outcrops of rock which as explained does not provide a bed for the baseplate. One bright idea for keeping the baseplate steady might be to by put a foot on it. Maybe this works for lower charges only, but the shock of charge super is enough to break an ankle. I'll have to ask a Para.

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