2-inch mortar file photo [27561]

Ordnance SBML 2-inch Mortar Launcher

Country of OriginUnited Kingdom
Caliber50.800 mm
Length530.000 mm
Weight4.800 kg
Ammunition Weight0.96 kg
Rate of Fire8 rounds/min
Range460 m



The Ordnance SBML 2-inch light mortars were developed in the mid-1930s, with the design's foundation based on a license of a 50-millimeter mortar design by the firm Esperanza y Cia of Spain. Ten examples were built for trials in Nov 1937, along with 1,600 rounds of high explosive shells and 1,600 rounds of smoke shells. In Feb 1938, the trials were deemed successful, and an order for mass production was given. Typically, they were each operated by a crew of two, with one man holding and aiming the barrel, while the other dropping the shells into the barrel. By 1939 when the European War of WW2 began, about 500 of them were in service with the British Army. These weapons of the initial variant were designated as Mk II despite being the first variant of the design; the designation Mk I was used by a unrelated WW1-era launcher of similar caiber. These weapons' greatest advantages were their operational simplicity (painted white lines to indicate firing direction, rather than the use of sights) and their light weight (no bipods; curved base plates). Several different variants were produced, including short-barreled variants for airborne use and variants designed specifically for mounting on vehicles. They typically fired 1.02-kilogram high explosive shells, but they could also employ a wide range of alternate ammunition, including smoke shells, illuminating shells, and the atypical shells that could cast net filled with explosives meant to detonate mines in suspected enemy minefields. They were used widely by British and Commonwealth units during WW2, and many saw action in the subsequent Korean War. After the Korean War, they remained in British service as launchers for smoke and illuminating shells until the 1980s. Indian Army's 51-millimeter E1 mortars, still in production and still in operation at the time of this writing, were developed from the Ordnance SBML 2-inch mortar design.

Source: Wikipedia



2-inch mortar team of UK Royal Scots Fusiliers, Scotland, United Kingdom, 27 Aug 1942Men of 161 Infantry Officer Cadet Training Unit of Royal Military College with 2-inch mortar, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, 19402-inch mortar team of UK 2nd Warwickshire Regiment at Rumegies, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, 22 Jan 1940Men of D Company, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, UK 1st Division in a forward trench near Roches, France, 1 Apr 1940; Lance Corporal L. J. Harris seen shaving
See all 21 photographs of Ordnance SBML 2-inch Mortar Launcher

Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code


Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
Ordnance SBML 2-inch Mortar Launcher Photo Gallery
2-inch mortar team of UK Royal Scots Fusiliers, Scotland, United Kingdom, 27 Aug 1942
See all 21 photographs of Ordnance SBML 2-inch Mortar Launcher

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945