The italians main mortor type weapon was the this quirky little weapon called the 'brixia', its designation under italy being 45/5 modello 35, and for german the Granatwerfer 175(i). It was pretty common, one site said they even made a german training manual it for north africa. person on this forum dredged up a good overview. http://forums.firearmsmod.com/showthread.php?t=17840&page=3&pp=20
From The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Barnes and Noble Books, general editor Chris Bishop ---------------------------------------- 45/5 modello 35 'Brixia' To the little 45/5 modello 35 'Brixia'' must go the prize for being the most overdesigned and overengineered morter of World War II. Quite why the designers of the modello 35 went to such lengths to introduce needless complexities to a light support mortar with a very limited performance and a relatively ineffective projectile is now difficult to fathom, but the result was issued to the Italian armed forces in large numbers.
In this weapon's designation the term 45/5 indicates the caliber of 45mm (1.77in) and the length of the barrel in calibers, i.e. 5x45mm (actually it was marginally longer). Such a small caliber could encompass only a small bomb that weighed a mer .465kg (1.025 lb) with a correspondingly small explosive payload. The barrel was breech-loaded: operating a lever opened the breech and closing it fed a propelling cartridge from a magazine holding 10 cartridges. A trigger was used to fire the bomb, and to vary the range a gas port was opened or closed to vent off some of the propellant gases. If this was not enough there were also complex elevation and traverse controls.
The barrel of the modello 35 was located in a folding frame arrangement that rested against a carrier's back using a cushion pad to ease the load against the body. In use this frame was onfolded in such a way that the firer could then sit astride the weapon if required. In action the modello 35 could manage a fire rate of up to about 10 round per minute, and in trained hands the weapon was quite accurate. But even when they landed right on target the small bombs were relatively ineffective, mainly as a result of the small payload that often resulted in erratic and ineffective fragmentation.
The modello 35 was widely used by the Italian armed forces, mainly at platoon level. All Italian soldiers were trained in its use, some of them while still in one or other of the Italian youth movements, which were issued with an equally complex but even less effective version of the modello 35, this time in 35mm (1.38in) caliber. These weapons were meant only for training, usually firing inert bombs.
The Italians were not the only users of the modello 35. There were times during the North African campaigns when the Afrika Korps found itself using the things, usually for logistical reasons when serving alongside Italian formations. There was even an instruction manual written in German for this very purpose, the German designation being 4.5cm Granatwerfer 175(i).
It seems almost certain that the Italian soldiers found to their cost the limitations of the modello 35 and retained the weapon in service for the simple reason that there was little chance of Italian industry being able to produce anything better in the then forseeable future. Having expended so much development time and production effor into getting the modello 35 into the hands of the troops, the limited ability of the Italian defence industries would have required too much time to design, develop and produce yet another weapon. So the Italian soldiers simply had to make do with what they were given; no doubt many of them thought it was not much.
Specification 45/5 modello 35 Caliber: 45mm (1.77in) Lengths: barrel .26m (10.2in); bore .241m (9.49in) Weight: in action 15.5kg (34.17lb) Elevation: +10 to +90 degrees Traverse: 20 degrees Maximum Range: 536m (586 yards) Bomb Weight: .465kg (1.025lb) ----------------------------------------
bunch of pic's of a restored one http://www.historicreproductions.com/restore7.htm its not that big- here some soldier with it. Here is one of the rounds it fires (he) This is only the shell though, the charge were seperate and had to be loaded seperately. . http://www.adrax.com/watsons/g036.htm another pic of a round, kinda corroded though.
comon people! surely somebody's got a comment about the crummy brixia!!!!!
2nd September 2004
This thing is so cute :rolleyes:. Too bad its not that great a thing for a weapon (except the TKS, wich pwns everything). If the Italians need a mortar, i suppose this should be the one.
The Mute Voice of Reason
25th July 2004
Is it me or do all the people in those little tank models look like knomes? What is up with that. Oh, people use the functional mortars we have already very little, let alone a crappy Italian pipe that shoots firecrackers.
17th January 2005
The American WayOh, people use the functional mortars we have already very little, let alone a crappy Italian pipe that shoots firecrackers.
lol Yes, I don't think that the italians needs such a small mortar....
The real small one in the image was a training one I think, the regular one was big bigger. The streanth of the weapon was not fire power though, but accuarcy, as it could be aimed with both a complex elevation mentioed and also gas bleed system. It neat weapon in that its not exactly a traditional mortor- its weaker then larger mortors, but is more accurate then them especualyl the smaller mortors, because it did not have to fire at such a high trajectory. Also, its sustained fire rate was higher too, even if its peak fire rate was not that great. It was also easier to carry more smaller rounds then fewer big ones. It was very widerspread on the front though, and even saw some german use. Its not that it was a 'bad' weapon it was just rather heavy for the amount of firepower it brought. In many situations it would be superior to a maching gun though, because it can hit people hiding behind cover.