81mm Mortar Ammunition Carrier

Mortars are fantastic weapons at saturating an area with explosives. Unfortunately to do this they require large quantities of ammunition, which has to be brought up to the mortar pit, usually by hand. The British Army has used the 81mm Mortar for many decades and specialist plastic carriers were developed in the 1960s to carry rounds of ammunition. The carriers are made of dark green plastic and have two tubes, connected together, to carry the bombs in:imageEach tube has a separate screw lid with serrations at the mouth to aid grip:imageThese each also have four protrusions to give soldiers grip to help remove the lids when their hands are cold, wet or wearing gloves:imageThe threads on the carrier have a rubber gasket to help keep the contents waterproof:imageInterestingly these lids each have a different manufacture date inscribed into them, one is 1969:imageAnd the other is 1975:imageA carry handle is fitted to one side of the carrier:imageA very faded explosives label is attached to one of the tubes:imageThis has details of the contents and their packing dates:imageThe book ‘Soldier I, The story of an SAS Hero’ has the following account:

I could just make out the wiry figure of Fuzz hunched over the illuminated sight of the 81mm BATT mortar. At his elbow knelt Tak, almost invisible in the gloom, cradling a high explosive mortar-bomb in his hands as if it were a rugby ball. To the rear of the mortar-position, Tommy worked frantically preparing mortar bombs for firing, unscrewing the plastic tops of the containers, withdrawing the bombs and checking the charge cartridges were securely in position, withdrawing the safety-pins, replacing the prepared bombs in their containers- fins protruding from the openings to facilitate easy withdrawal- and stacking the containers in a tier system so there would be as many as four dozen bombs ready to hand at any one time.81mm02

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