I have finished my Leach Trench Mortar from Great War Miniatures. I have to say these are the first I have had from them and they are very nice and well sculpted miniatures and I think I will be getting more of this range in the future. The only thing is that there are on the rather large size of 28mm but in a unit with few GWM in it that would not make that much different. So here are the photos.
The trench catapult.
Improvised catapults were up-graded versions of the schoolboy 'Y' format catapult made in the trenches and intended to give further range to the standard, or improvised, hand grenade. They were thought to be particularly hazardous to the user and were not officially approved.
A more sophisticated 6 foot high version of the 'Y' catapult was designed by C.P. Leach. The machine was made and despatched to the Western Front by the sports department of the London department store Gamages from mid -1917. It was supplied at the rate of 20 per BEF Division. The frame was made out of 2-inch thick (ash) wood. Each arm was tapered outward at the end to provide strong anchor-points for the twelve bands of natural rubber and was cross braced for added strength. A double cranking device was incorporated to tension the multiple rubber bands. The machine propelled a two pound hand grenade for up to160 yards when the elastic bands were new; far in excess of the best 'overarm bowled' hand grenade which only had a range of around 30 yards.
The fast rate of deterioration of the elasticity of the rubber bands meant that the catapult was usually reserved for more important operations rather than put to daily use.