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Blacker Bombard (Anti-tank mortar)

Louis

FGM Lieutenant General
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Castelar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.
After what happened in Dunkirk had left only enough war material in Great Britain to equip no more than two infantry divisions, a dire necessity for weaponry led the British authorities to search for cheap, easy to produce, last ditch weapons to face the expected german invasion of the UK.

Most prototypes were either mildly insane or simply impractical, but a few were deemed worthy of being built and tested.

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Among those who found their way to active duty was the ‘Blacker Bombard’, a 29mm Spigot Mortar that could fire a 20lb bomb some 900yds, designed by a Lieutenant Colonel named V. V. S. Blacker.

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When demonstrated at Bisley in april of 1941, according to General Headquarters Home Forces, “it fully justified its adoption as an anti-tank weapon both by regular formations and the Home Guard”.
As a result of this favourable evaluation, by November 1941 the Spigot Mortar was being issued in quantity to both regular formations and the Home Guard. That same month, however, doubts were already being cast on the value of the Spigot Mortar to regular troops because of its lack of mobility, but the top brass still considered it to be “very effective at short ranges. Moving targets being engaged with considerable success at/from 75 -100 yards’ (68 -91 m)”.

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This sounds great if you are 50 miles behind the front-lines. The problem was that the mortar didn’t have a reload mechanism, which meant that one of the lucky crew members had to get in front of the weapon and reload it under fire from an enemy only 100 yards away. Obviously, it was not a popular weapon amongst the troops.
Others were fired from specially designed emplacements.

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By July 1942, when it stopped being issued to Southern Command, 22,000 had been allocated nationwide.

from:
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