70mm Mortirka





Bulgarian designation :


Calibre :


Weight in action :


Barrel length :

0.75 m

Shell weight :

700 g (bursting charge : 80 g of Balkanit of Bombit)

Muzzle velocity :


Max. range :

150 m /460 m

Elevation :

+ 45° / - 45°

Remarks :

On 23 October 1906, during the tests of the recently produced hand grenades, Bulgarian technical officers of the Artillery and Engineer corps tested also a grenade thrower formed by a sheet tube, where a charge was placed. To cause the ignition of the fuze the head of the Sofia Artillery Arsenal, col. Stefan Belov, used the breechblock of the Krnka rifle. In 1908-1913 the grenade thrower was improved, using the breechblock of the Berdan rifle. This weapons fired spherical bombs, that I think were the “Makedonia” or “Odrin” hand grenades.

In an ordinary rifle, cut at 30 cm from the block, a cylinder of sheet lodged on the top. A spherical hand grenade, arranged to work for percussion, was accommodated in the tube, through a slight pressure. In the rifle, placed in a carriage – composed of a small wooden platform with a support of two arms, among which a hinge revolved, permitting it to throw with an angle of elevation or depression up to 45° – an ordinary cartridge, without the bullet, was introduced. When the rifle fired and the charge burned, the expansion of the gases enabled the grenade to leave its lodging and to go towards the target with sufficient velocity to reach it, if the distance did not exceed 300 meters at most.

The information about this weapon was very scarce. The list of Bulgarian weapons at the beginning of the war against Turkey shows also 30 бомбохвъргачки, that might be these minethrowers. Moreover, according with col. Piarron de Mondesir, during the siege of Odrin in March 1913 “many men from Bulgarian infantry units had hand grenades that they threw, with their hands, at a distance of 25 metres or, with a little mine thrower built with component of Berdan rifle, at a distance of 300 metres”. During the war 1st mobile artillery workshop manufactured and delivered to the 2nd Army 15 minethrowers. During World War I these minethrowers were assigned to every army in the field.