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The M4 MMC (Mortar Motor Carriage) carries an 81mm Mortar in a specially modified halftrack, with a reinforced floor that allows theweapon to fire from inside the vehicle. This means they’re always on hand to give indirect fire support the instant it is needed.
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To provide close artillery support for the US Armored Infantry there was a requirement for a halftrack to be developed to provide the mobility desired, as well as capable of carrying the M1 81mm Mortar and sufficient ammunition to support an attack or harass an enemy in defence. The first M4 Mortar Carrier rolled off the production line in August 1941 and there were a total of 572 manufactured. They first saw action with the 1st Armored Division in North Africa in 1942.
The 81mm mortar was placed in the rear compartment of the half-track and pointed rearwards. Additional 81mm mortar bomb stowage compartments were placed behind the standard stowage boxes. A rear door was installed on the M4, but the machine gun skate mount was retained, forcing crewmen to crawl under the skate rail if they wanted to use the rear door. The mortar was intended to be fired from the ground, except for emergency situations, so the vehicles mortar mount was very limited in traverse.