Ordnance ML 3 inch Mortar

Ordnance ML 3-inch mortar
IND 004723.jpg
In action in Burma, 1944
Type Mortar
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
Used by see users
Wars Second World War
Production history
Designed 1920s
Weight 50.8 kg (112 lb)
Barrel length 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in)

Calibre 81.2 mm (3.20 in)
Muzzle velocity 198 m/s (650 ft/s)
Maximum range Mk.1: 1,463 m (1,600 yd)
Mk.2: 2,560 m (2,800 yd)

The Ordnance ML 3-inch mortar was the United Kingdom's standard mortar used by the British Army from the late 1920s to the late 1960s, superseding the Stokes Mortar.


Based on their experience in World War I, the British infantry sought some sort of artillery for close support. The initial plan was for special batteries of artillery, but the cost was prohibitive and the mortar was accepted instead.

The ML mortar is a conventional Stokes-type mortar which is muzzle-loaded and drop-fired. Experience in World War II showed that it did not have sufficient range compared to the German 81 mm s.Gw.34 mortar and so a new barrel was designed. This became the Mark 2 mortar, which remained in service until replaced by the L16A1 81mm mortar.


See also

Media related to Ordnance ML 3 inch Mortar at Wikimedia Commons