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Mortars are a category of indirect fire artillery. The term is used to refer to a number of weapons going back to the 15th century. Their defining characteristic is that they fire a projectile up at a steep angle, where it travels in a ballistic arc and then falls on enemy positions.

While early mortars were as large as cannons, a modern mortar is typically a man-portable weapon that launches small shells. These weapons were first developed during the Great War.

Mortars in Science Fiction