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Distribution of 81mm Mortars
Armored Forces Newsletter
“Should the Medium Mortar Squad of Rifle Companies be Combined to Form a Medium Mortar Platoon in the Heavy Company of each Panzer Grenadier Battalion? “ from Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen, Number 16, October 1944
A number of “lessons learned” reports from the Eastern Front have proposed that the medium (81mm) mortar squads of rifle companies be combined once more to form a medium mortar platoon in the heavy company.
The opinion of the Inspector General of Armored Troops on this subject is as follows:
Simplification of command, resupply, and training.
The leader of the heavy company can rapidly concentrate mortar fire in support of the main effort (Schwerpunkt) of an attack or in response to a critical situation (Brennpunkt) in the defense.
Young company commanders, who are often inexperienced in the use of heavy weapons, would find it easier to lead rifle companies.
The medium mortar is the only high angle of fire weapon in the rifle company. It would be especially missed when the company defends broad fronts and and conducts special missions such as raids and combat in villages and woods.
There would be an increased need for personnel and equipment (platoon commander,
communications personnel and equipment, and ammunition vehicles.)
The proposed combination [of mortar squads into a mortar platoon] in the heavy company would differ little from the current practice of occasionally bringing together the medium mortar squads of the battalion to support a main effort (Schwerpunkt) or deal with a critical situation (Brennpunkt.)
The advantages and disadvantages balance out.
There is therefore no need to change the tables of organization and equipment.
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