EVOLUTION OF THE US ARMY INFANTRY MORTAR SQUAD: THE ARGONNE TO PLEIKU
TECHNICAL OPERATIONS INC FORT BELVOIR VA COMBAT OPERATIONS RESEARCH GROUP
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The infantry mortar squad evolved over a period of several centuries. Its basis rests in antiquity. Its present organization and function may be dated from the trench warfare of World War I. From the most ancient times, mortars have been identified with artillery. This traditional association continued generally until the advent of World War I. The modern infantry mortar is essentially a product of the trench warfare of 1914-1918. In the postwar years, the mortar became a standard weapon of the infantry arm of all armies. The addition of the mortar to the infantry arsenal brought artillery characteristics and duties to the infantry. Mortars became highly portable artillery possessing great fire power to be used against targets often inaccessible to the infantry and patently unprofitable for engagement by heavier artillery.