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Mortier de 58 T N°1 bis

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Musée Royal de l'Armée
Coordinates : Lat : 50.84160 / Long : 4.39380
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

A rare piece, equipped with its light rectangular base

Top view with the smooth bore tube

Markings on a lateral copper plate : " Société de Constructions ... - 58 de tranchée modèle I bis - n° 1133 - ..."

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     58 T N°1 bis Origin :       ( Etablissements et Arsenaux de Bourges)             ( Leflaive )             ( Batignolles )

Historic context :

As early as in January 1915, the rustic mortier de 58 n°1 made by the Commandant Duchênearrived on the front with its 16 kg finned-tail projectiles. First French weapon of its type to provide simultaneously light weight, precision and power, it finally gave to the French army a curved trajectory solution in first line, particularly adapted to destruction of trenches and barbed wire obstacles. But it was designed in emergency, so that it also presented some issues of robustness and precision, mainly caused by its light weight and the lack of stability.

While this mortar designer was working on and launched the fabrication in February 1915 of the future mortier de 58 n°2 able to launch more precisely the more powerful projectiles needed to destroy shelters, at the cost of a much higher gun weight detrimental to the ease of transportation in the trenches, teams worked in parallel on a light base for the new tube of the same new weapon.

The 'mortier de 58 n°1 bis' resulting from these studies was launched in manufacturing in the private industry in the second half of March 1915, and shipped to the units just afterwards. Compact, more stable and more robust than its predecessor but still light enough to be transportable in the first lines, and inheriting the ballistic improvement of the new tube as well as the new aiming systems of the mortier de 58 nr 2, it was only able to shoot the 16 kg finned tail projectiles.

The 58 n°1 bis was only built in around 1700 items, the production being more and more prioritized to the mortier de 58 n°2 from the end of 1915. The French armies had 50 such mortars in June 1915, 553 in October 1915, 1030 in May 1917 and only 12 in November 1918. It was gradually replaced as a first line mortar by the Belgian mortarVan Deuren, then by other light mortars.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 58 Nr 1 bis trench mortar
  • Design year : 1915
  • Calibre : 58.00 mm (tail of the projectile)
  • Weight in firing position : 181 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 222 kg on wheeled car
  • Tube length in calibres : 8.00 (550 mm)
  • Grooves : 0 (smooth bore)
  • Projectile weight : 16 kg (bombe A et L)
  • Initial speed : 67 m/s (bomb A) - 75 m/s (bomb L)
  • Fire rate : 1 round per minute
  • Range : 450 m (bomb A) - 530 m (bomb L)
  • Elevation range : 45 to 80 degrees
  • Direction range : 60 degrees range

  • Les Crapouillots 1914-1918           Pierre Waline                   Charles Lavauzelle   1965  
  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome III - L' Artillerie de Côte et l'Artillerie de Tranchée       Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2010  
  • Les Crapouillots 1914-1918       Général Rouquerol                   Payot   1935  
  • Cours d'Artillerie de Tranchée       Capitaine Bouchon                   Bourges   1918  
  • Le mortier de 58T, Partie I, les mortiers Nr1 et Nr1 bis - Guerre, Blindés et Matériel Nr 110       Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2014