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Object of the Month

Mortar Bomb Shell

A mortar is an artillery weapon which fires explosive shells. The shells are known as mortar bombs. They are fired at targets which are close as mortar bombs do not have long range. It has a short barrel which fires the mortar bomb at a low speed high into the air to reach its target. Mortar bombs are called indirect weapon because the bomb drops into the target from above.

A mortar bomb can be used by placing it into tube loaders. The tube is usually set between 45 and 90 degree angle to the ground. The higher the angle the shorter the range. When the bomb reaches the bottom of the tube it hits a firing pin. When firing pin is ignited it fires the mortar bomb. The mortar shells are cylindrical in shape and blunt or pointed in front. The shells are filled up with explosives. The end portion of the mortar shell contains tail fins which manage to strike the bomb at the target.

The above is mortar bomb shell which belongs to the Collection of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Museum. The Shell may belong to the period of World War II. The mortar bomb shell is unexploded and it has a cylindrical middle portion. The front portion is missing. The shell is hollow from inside followed by a pipe at back portion having a hole in it. The end portion has 6 fins and a screw at the end having a trigger point in center. The object weighs 350 gms and its dimensions are 24X4.5 cms