The mortar was a rather "stealthy" weapon in that it could be dug in
underground, making it invisible to enemy troops. Also, the mortar bomb made
noise while in flight, giving very little warning to enemy troops, as was
often the case with
3-inch mortar bomb (measuring 76mm by the metric scale) would not penetrate heavy enemy
fortifications, nor was the mortar platoon a real substitute for having gun and howitzer
support both on the attack and the defence. The Canadian infantry battalion also
equipped each rifle platoon with a 2-in (51 mm) mortar which was effective against
infantry and for laying smoke. Each infantry division also had 4.2 inch mortars
included in the arsenal of the divisional machine gun battalion.
In February 1944, when the mortar platoons of
all nine infantry battalions in the Second Division were reviewed, only the Calgary
Highlanders mortar platoon was rated "well trained in every respect." An
official report was critical of the other platoons in the division, with the Black Watch
only being graded "fair" and other platoons faring even worse.