Soldier manning a Crapouillot mortar

The mortier de 58mm type N°2 was a medium trench mortar designed around the last weeks of 1914 by commandant Duchêne. One of the first pieces of standard-issue trench artillery of the French army, it consisted of a heavy baseplate and 58mm mortar firing finned bombs ranging in caliber from 60mm to 200mm, which were fitted in the muzzle of the gun on metal poles containing the propellant.


  French soldiers carrying another model of the Crapouillot’s projectile, with more accurate proportions than the above illustration.

Although a successful design issued to various Entente power, the Crapouillot mortar alone could not fill the army’s requirement for trench artillery and was complemented by a slew of improvised grenade launching weapons. By the end of the war and with a production run of three full years, the mortiers de 58mm made up 70% of all French trench mortars.