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United States' M4, M4A1, M21 81 mm Mortar Carrier

Photos

M4 81 mm Mortar Carrier:
United States' M4 81 mm Mortar Carrier
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Production

  • M4: 572
    • Production: 19411, 1942 - ?
    • Manufacturer: White Motor Co.1
  • M4A1: 600
    • Production: 1943
    • Manufacturer: White
  • M21: 110

Variants

  • M4 Mortar Carrier: Standardized in October 1940. Classified as Limited Standard in December 1942. Based on M3 chassis. Carried gun and ammo. Mortar had to be removed for firing. Was sometimes fired from inside of vehicle in emergencies. It faced the rear of the vehicle.1
  • M4A1 Mortar Carrier: Standardized in December 1942, and classified as Limited Standard in July 1943. Improved with reinforced floor and mounts for firing mortar from within half track. Had extra storage boxes at rear. Mortar fired to rear.1 Velocity of 700 ft/sec, range of 3,288 yards. Had a .30 cal Browning MG installed on the gun rail which went around the top. Also included a bazooka, M1 rifle, and a .45 cal submachine gun.
  • M21 Mortar Carrier: Prototypes were manufactured by White Motor Co. Had traversing mount and mortar fired forward.1 Traverse of 30° each way and elevation 40° to 80°. Pedestal mount in rear for .50 cal MG. Mortar could be removed for firing. A 2-way radio was also installed.

Specifications

  M4 Mortar Carrier, M4A1 Mortar Carrier, M21 Mortar Carrier
Crew 61
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 17,325 lb1, 18,500 lb
Length 19' 6.75"1, 20' 9 5/8"
Height 7' 5"1
Width 6' 5.25"1, 7' 3.5"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16"1
Ground contact length 46.75", 60"1
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 81 mm Mortar M11
Secondary  
MG M2 .50 cal MG
.30 cal M1919A4 Browning MG1
Side arms M3 .50 cal MG Tripod mount
.45 Submachine Gun
M1 Rocket Launcher
Grenades
Mines
Quantity  
Main 97, 1121
Secondary  
MG 400, 12,0001
Side arms
600
6
12
12
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 0.5"@0°1, 12.72
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°1
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°1
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 6.35
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160AX1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water1
Cylinders 61
Capacity  
Net HP 1471
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Double range transfer case1
4 forward, 1 reverse1
Steering Front wheels, Ross steering gear1
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline1
Octane  
Quantity 60 gallons1
Road consumption 3.3 mpg1
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 60° to front
Speed - Road 45 mph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 180-215 miles, 200 miles1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 30'1
Elevation limits +40° to +85°
Fording depth 2' 8"1
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'1
Climbing ability 30° slope1
Suspension (Type) Front wheels: Semi elliptic springs1
Rear tracks: Vertical volute springing1
Wheels each side Dual wheeled, 4-wheel bogie1
Return rollers each side 11
Tracks (Type) Endless band1
Length  
Width 12"1
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4"1
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 63 13/16"1
Tire size 8.25 x 201
Wheel base 135.5"1
Wheel centers 64.5"1

Sources:

  1. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site