The Ordnance ML 2-inch Mortar MII was an Infantry Platoon level support weapon issued as standard throughout the British Army by 1938.
Although lighter than other mortars and man portable by just one soldier, the original issue of the mortar was still too large for use by airborne troops or parachutists.
The original had to be adapted for use by Airborne Forces and became designated the Mk 7** Mortar. The changes entailed the removal of the baseplate, traversing bracket, elevation clamp, carrying handle and firing grip, and fitting a spade base, firing lever, and lanyard.
In this ‘new’ configuration the 2 inch Mortar Mk 7** was used by British Airborne Forces from 1942 to 1945. It then became the standard ‘light’ mortar issued to the whole British Army until the 1980’s, when it was replaced by the 51mm Mortar.
They were normally allocated as one per Rifle Platoon, and grouped in the Platoon Headquarters element, in both the Parachute and Airlanding Battalion’s.