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It'll button them, which is very good if you're trying to ambush them with something else. Especially earlier war T-34 w/ 2-man turrets & no cupolas are pretty blind once they're buttoned.

Also, even though it's not very dangerous, tanks don't like to sit under any kind of artillery fire, 81mm mortars included, and the TacAI will often move them out of the fire of it's own accord. This can also be useful if you're looking to ambush a tank -- sometimes, when they're bugging out to get out from under mortar fire, they'll move in such a way as to expose a flank. Note the likelihood of "bugging out" is directly related to the intensity of the fire -- a single on-map 81mm usually won't cause a tank to move, but a battery off-map mortars often will.

But only very rarely will 81mm fire actually damage a well-armored target like a T-34 by iteself. The first shell to fall might kill the unbuttoned TC. Every once in a while, a very close falling shell will immobilize or damage the main gun. Even more rarely you'll score a direct top hit and actually KO the tank, but this is not something to plan on.



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On the other hand, I'd like to point out that the Soviet 'ampulomet' is sometimes annoyingly effective at slaying tank commanders, so aim 'em at all unbuttoned tanks.

Using mortars is usually a waste of ammo, although they can spook halftracks and open topped light vehicles to redeploy, possibly prodding them out to the open for your bigger guns to aim at.

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