Fucilieri Mortar Platoon (Early & Mid War)
81/14 modello 35
The 81/14 mortar was used extensively by the Fucilieri and was issued to the Mortar Battalion of a division. The mortar battalion contained twenty-seven 81/14 mortars (in three companies of 9 mortars each, divided into three platoons). The Platoons were then parcelled out as needed to support Fucilieri Companies.
They were used in both attack and defence. Italian tactical doctrine in attack called for the attack to be recklessly pressed, never to halt, and to overcome resistance with continuous effort. Initiative, violence and audacity were urged. In this role the mortars provided close support, dropping barrages on enemy positions before the assaults were pressed home.
On the defence the Italian doctrine was for defence in depth taking advantage of local features, but always ready to re-initiate movement. Mortars, as light portable weapons, were ideally suited for the support role in such situations.