Location: /World War II Fortifications
Ringstande mortar

Ringstande mortar


Product Code: TOB/MOR
 

Price: 8.75


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Product Information

This particular type of emplacement would be situated to support a defensive fortification. The mortar would be zeroed-in on a designated area of the defensive perimeter and, in the event of attack, would be ready to drop high explosive shells into an attacking formation on short notice.
Like the machine gun ringstand, this bunker could be hidden by earth with only the top portion exposed and interlinked with trenchworks. Trenches and other defensive fortification wargames terrain are also available from this website. The reinforced curb above the door was cast to protect adjoining trenchworks from direct fire. This is reflected in the wargames terrain model.

An example of this type of 'tobruk' can be found in the strong point on the bluff just west of Vierville draw, looking inland. Quite often the gunner had oil-painted panoramic sketches of ground features near the position, with ranges and deflections for siting pre-determined target areas. Refer to the wargames terrain photographs of this model for a painted example of this.

 

Dimensions

This wargames terrain bunker model is approximately mm wide by 86mm high (average) by 127mm front to back. The internal dimensions of the emplacement are 110mm long and 52mm wide. This gun emplacement is complete with a demountable roof and the clear dimension (in which a figure must fit) is 35mm, which should suit most 25mm and 28mm wargames figures. This wargames terrain model comes complete with a separate cast metal miniature of the 50mm granatwerfer mortar. It is representative of the Vf61-a 50mm mortar ringstande or 'tobruk', which had a small concrete platform in the centre to support the mortar.

This terrain model is also suitable for 1/48 scale model dioramas.


Background

This wargames terrain model is representative of a 'Tobruk’ position, which was a small reinforced concrete position,  employed by the Germans on the Normandy Coast, throughout the Atlantic Wall, Fortress Europe and indeed elsewhere in the Third Reich. It was one of the most numerous defensive structures and was born out of a need of an expedient device to provide defence quickly and using a minimum of resources; manpower, reinforcement steel and concrete. It comprised an octagonal fronted bunker with up to 1.5m concrete roof construction and a circular opening. More than often, additional protection was afforded by burying the structure, leaving only the roof opening clear. It offered 360o of unobstructed observation for the defender and were extremely difficult to spot, particularly by troops on the ground. There are many of examples where the roof and some of the sides are exposed. Access was via a trench or steps at the side. To represent a partially buried ringstande you can also purchase the wargames terrain 'tobruk' landscape, code TOB/L.


The term ‘Tobruk’ is not entirely accurate as the German Engineers termed these positions as “Ringstande”, belonging to a category of reinforced field works. These were to be found as early as 1940 on the West Wall as the VF51. In 1943 the designs developed into regular construction types not just as observation positions. These are represented in this series of wargames terrain models. In 1942 when Hitler ordered the construction of The Atlantic Wall to form Fortress Europe, the “Ringstande” was at the forefront of designs as it was comparatively inexpensive and allowed for more rapid construction of combat positions.

It is likely that the name Tobruk came from allied forces that had previously encountered similar open positions deployed by the Italians in the defensive perimeter around Tobruk. These comprised positions that were often formed of concrete drainage pipe inserted into the ground vertically, with the opening level with the ground and without any protection over-head. In some cases tobruks were mounted along the seawall immediately along the beach. An example o which was shown in the Longest Day.


A network of trenches and ringstands could form a complex and effective defensive line. Trenches and anti-tank walls are also available as wargames terrain models.


These positions were not just used for  tank turrets but also for machine guns and mortars. These wargames terrain models are also available.

Whilst Tobruk positions were sometimes located above ground, as part of a defensive sea wall or anti-tank wall (available seperately), they were also commonly partially-buried. In terms of wargames terrain scenery this could be achieved by cutting the relevent shape out from a polystyrene terrain board or from purchasing the Tobruk 'Landscape' model, also available separately, code TOB/L.

 
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