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T38 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage
The T38 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was produced as an alternative to the T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage in case the heavy 105mm howitzer couldn't be carried on the M3 half-track chassis.
Late in 1941 the Ordnance Department ordered work to begin on interim designs for self-propelled howitzers, using the chassis of the M3 half-track to carry the 75mm and 105mm howitzers. Three projects emerged from this order. The T30 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage carried the lighter gun and eventually 500 were built.
The T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage carried the standard M2A1 105mm howitzer, but this was a heavy weapon and there was some concern that the M3 chassis wouldn't be able to support the weight of the howitzer or would be damaged during firing. As a result work began on a parallel design, the T38. This was to be armed with the lighter short tube T7 105mm pack howitzer, which would have placed less stress on the chassis. When it became clear that the half-track could just about cope with the full sized howitzer work the T38 project was cancelled and the T19 was accepted for service on 24 March 1942.
T38 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage - History
The T88 was a howitzer motor carriage based on a chassis of M18 (Hellcat). The develop of a mobile howitzer began on 31 August 1944. The tank was to be armed with the 105mm M4, a howitzer developed for use in medium tanks. The vehicle armed with this gun was designated as 105mm howitzer motor carriage t88. Genearl Motors Corporation built the first pilot vehicles, two m18 turrets and chassis were modified and armed with M4 howitzer. The main changes of M18 turret were the ring mount for machine gun and the relocation of the gunner’s station to the right side of gun. An emergency peep sight was installed, replacing the sight telescope, and a panoramic telescope for the commander was located on right rear turret. An elevation gyrostabilizer was used to mount the 105mm howitzer. T88 was provided with a bilge pump and connectors for use with T7 flotation device. T88 passed the tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground and only minor problems were corrected. However the project was cancelled at the end of war.
A variant of T88 was the T88E1, that mounted a lightweight T51 howtizer with concentric recoil mechanism in T21 mount. Also a M18 turret was modified and combination of concentric recoil system and lightweight gun provided more room in turret and reduced the weight of tank.
Il T88 era un obice semovente basato sul telaio dell’M18 (Hellcat). Lo sviluppo di un obice semovente cominciò il 31 agosto 1944. Il carro doveva essere armato con un 105 millimetri M4, un obice sviluppato per l’uso sui carri medi. Il veicolo munito con questo pezzo di artiglieria venne designato come 105mm howitzer motor carriage t88. La General Motors Corporation costruì i primi veicoli pilota, due torrette M18 e il telaio vennero modificati e armati con l’obice M4. Le principali modifiche alla torretta dell’M18 erano relative all’anello della mitragliatrice e allo spostamento della postazione del cannoniere sul lato destro del cannone. Venne anche installato un mirino d’emergenza, che sostituì il mirino telescopico, e un telescopio panoramico per il comandante si trovava sulla torretta nella parte posteriore destra. Un elevatore giro-stabilizzatovenne utilizzato per montare il 105 millimetri. T88 è stato fornito con una pompa di sentina e connettori per l’uso con il dispositivo T7 flottazione. T88 superato le prove di Aberdeen Proving Ground e solo problemi minori sono stati corretti. Tuttavia, il progetto è stato annullato alla fine della guerra.
Una variante del T88 è stata la T88E1, che montato un T51 leggero howtizer con meccanismo di rinculo concentrici in T21 monte. Anche una torretta M18 è stato modificato e combinazione di autoavvolgente concentrica e pistola leggera disponibile più spazio nella torretta e ridotto il peso dei serbatoi.
Development and designation Edit
After World War I, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department studied various captured German 105 mm-caliber howitzers and developed the 105 mm Howitzer M1920 on Carriage M1920. A box trail carriage design (the M1925E carriage) and two other split trail designs (the T1 and T2) were also developed, but the original split trail design was found superior after testing. After being selected, the piece was standardized in December 1927 as the 105 mm howitzer M1 on carriage M1. The Army had an intention to replace all 75 mm gun-howitzers in its divisional and non-divisional field artillery regiments with 105 mm pieces, but a lack of appropriations stalled the idea and eventually forced it to be completely abandoned by 1929 a limited plan developed in 1925 envisioned re-equipping three regiments, but by 1933, only 14 M1 howitzers had been manufactured,
A modified version of the M1 was trialed in 1932 which used semi-fixed ammunition instead of separate-loading ammunition. Since this development required a different breech block, the new piece was designated the 105 mm howitzer M2 on carriage M1. 48 pieces were manufactured in 1939. The original M1 carriage had been designed for towing using horses rather than trucks, and a new carriage, the T5 (M2), was developed in 1939 and standardized in February 1940. The breech ring of the howitzer M2 was modified in March 1940 before large-scale production began, creating the 105 mm howitzer M2A1 on carriage M2. 
The weapon was heavy for its calibre but this was because the gun was designed to be durable. Thus the barrel and carriage could see great use and remain functional without wearing out. 
The U.S. military artillery designation system was changed in 1962, redesignating the M2A1 howitzer the M101A1. The gun continued to see service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Though a similar model, the M102 howitzer, shared the same roles in battle, it never fully replaced the M101A1. Today, the M101A1 has been retired by the U.S. military, though it continues to see service with many other countries. By the end of the Second World War, 8,536 105 mm towed howitzers had been built and post-war production continued at Rock Island Arsenal until 1953, by which time 10,202 had been built.
Use by non-US militaries Edit
The Canadian Forces used the M2A1 as the C2 howitzer until 1997, when a modification was made to extend its service life it is now designated the C3. The changes include a longer barrel, a muzzle brake, reinforced trails and the removal of shield flaps. It remains the standard light howitzer of Canadian Forces Reserve units. The C3 is used by Reserve units in Glacier National Park in British Columbia as a means of avalanche control.
France and the State of Vietnam used M2A1 howitzers during the First Indochina War, as did the Viet Minh guerilla forces they fought against, who were supplied with at least 24 by the People's Republic of China, along with other captured American artillery pieces and mortars formerly operated by both Nationalist Chinese forces (the Kuomintang military) and US troops fighting in Korea. [ citation needed ] Today upgraded M2A1 howitzers (some of which have been mounted on trucks and employed as self-propelled artillery) are still being used by the People's Army of Vietnam (the PAVN). 
The French Army used the M2 howitzer, designated HM2, in the Algerian War  and during the Opération Tacaud in Chad.  France later supplied a battery of HM2 to the Rwandan Armed Forces during the Rwandan Civil War that led into the Rwandan genocide. 
Present use Edit
In addition, the M101 has found a second use in the U.S. as an avalanche control gun, supervised by the US Forest Service and the US Army TACOM's cooperative effort in the Avalanche Artillery Users of North America Committee (AAUNAC). The M101 is used by a number of ski areas and state departments of transportation for long-range control work. Under the designation of M2A2, the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, 428th Field Artillery Brigade performs salutes with 7 guns with World War Two Medal of Honor recipient names on their barrels. 
A number of M2/M101 howitzers were used by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and approximately 50 were inherited by Croatia, of which four are still in use for training with the Croatian Army. [ citation needed ]
M2 Howitzers are still in limited service in the Australian Army Reserve, but are being replaced with 81-millimetre (3.2 in) mortars with an emphasis on the retention of indirect fire support skills.  In regular service they were replaced by the 105 mm L119 Hamel gun and the 155-millimetre (6.1 in) M198 howitzers.
Two M2 howitzers (1942) are still employed in providing the gun salute at Kristiansten Fortress, in Trondheim, Norway. M101/M2 is one of three approved salute guns in the Norwegian armed forces, and have been reduced to a caliber of 75 millimetres (3.0 in) for this purpose. They are used for gun salute also at Rena and Setermoen. [ citation needed ]
Five M101A1 howitzers are owned by the Virginia Military Institute and are used for parades, evening retreat and other ceremonies. [ citation needed ]
Two M101A1 howitzers are utilized by Palmetto Battery of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel for firing during parades. Officially, these guns are still property of the U.S. Army. [ citation needed ]
- M1920 – prototype. 
- M1925E – prototype. 
- T2 prototype, standardized as M1. 
- M2 (1934) – minor changes to the chamber to allow the use of fixed ammunition. 
- M2A1 (1940) – modified breech ring.  – lightweight howitzer, with barrel shortened by 27 inches.
- T8 prototype (standardized as 105 mm M4 Howitzer in September, 1943) – vehicle-mounted variant with modified breech and with cylindrical recoil surface. 
- M101 – post-war designation of M2A1 on carriage M2A1
- M101A1 – post-war designation of M2A1 on carriage M2A2
- M2A1 modernized variant by Yugoimport SDPR with max range of 18.1kmm and 8rds per minute 
- C3 – Canadian C1 (M2A1) with lengthened, 33-caliber barrel
- M1920E – prototype, split trail. 
- M1921E – prototype, box trail. 
- M1925E – prototype, box trail. 
- T2, standardized as M1 – split trail, wooden wheels. 
- M1A1 – M1 carriages rebuilt with new wheels, brakes and other parts. 
- T3 – prototype. 
- T4 – prototype. 
- T5, standardized as M2 (1940) – split trail, steel wheels with pneumatic tires. 
- M2A1 – electric brakes removed. 
- M2A2 – modified shield. 
- XM124 & XM124E1 Light Auxiliary Propelled Howitzer – prototype (1962–1965) – produced by Sundstrand Aviation Corporation, who added an auxiliary drive system for local maneuverability (See also similar XM123 Medium Auxiliary Propelled 155 mm Howitzer with similar configuration). The base XM124 provided two 20 horsepower, air-cooled engines, while the XM124E1 provided a single 20 horsepower engine and electric steering.
- M2A2 Terra Star Auxiliary Propelled Howitzer – prototype (1969–1977) – Lockheed Aircraft Service Company added an auxiliary drive system and a tri-star wheel system to the carriage of an M2A2 105 mm Light Howitzer to provide local maneuverability. The last surviving example is at the Rock Island Arsenal Museum.
Canadian soldiers fire a high explosive round with a C3 howitzer in 2009.
The process of building airborne forces in 1941 led to a requirement for an air -portable 105 mm howitzer. The weapon, initially designated T7, featured a barrel from the 105mm Howitzer M2, shortened by 27 inches (690 mm) and combined with the recoil system and carriage from the 75 mm pack howitzer. A prototype reached trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground in March 1942. 
The howitzer was designed to fire the same ammunition as the M2 howitzer, however, it was found that shorter barrel resulted in incomplete burning of the propelling charge. The problem could be solved by use of faster-burning powder, and otherwise, the design was considered acceptable and was standardized as 105 mm Howitzer M3 on Carriage M3. The carriage was soon succeeded by the M3A1, which had trails made from thicker steel plate. Even stronger tubular trails were designed, but never reached production. 
Production started in February 1943 and continued until May 1944 an additional batch was produced from April to June 1945. 
|Production of М3, pcs. |
The initial production of the M3 was adequate to equip the cannon companies of the three hundred infantry regiments that had been forecast in the initial war plans. The M3 was the primary weapon of these companies, and appeared in the table of organization and equipment (T/O&E) from early 1944.  Even though the M3 was not mentioned in the February 1944 T/O&E, shortly before the Normandy airdrops some airborne divisions received a 105 mm glider field artillery battalion equipped with them as a supplement to their existing three 75 mm howitzer battalions (designated the M1A1 during World War II). 1/4 ton jeeps were used as prime movers. Later increased to four battalions, one, between 1943 and 1945, was converted to 105mm M3. The weapon was finally authorized as an option by the December 1944 TO&E, and by 1945 was employed by all airborne divisions in the European Theater.  
The M3 was also issued to the cannon companies of infantry regiments (six, in three platoons of two).  Often the cannon companies were integrated into the division artillery. The infantry used 1½ ton cargo trucks as the prime mover.  In an assessment written after the war "The cannon company of 1943-45 failed to live up to the expectations of the force designers of 1942. The main problem was the substitution of towed low-velocity howitzers for the self-propelled versions as originally intended. This howitzer, the M3 , had a shorter barrel than the regular 105-mm howitzer M2, possessed no ballistic shield, and had an effective range of only 7,250 yards (6.63 km) as compared to 12,500 yards (11.4 km) for the M2." 
A small number of M3s were supplied via lend lease channels to France (94), United Kingdom (2) and countries of Latin America (18).  They were used early in the Korean War as ROK divisional artillery.
History [ edit | edit source ]
Witnessing the events of the war, U.S. Army observers realized that they would need a self-propelled artillery vehicle with sufficient firepower to support armored operations. Lessons learned with half-tracks (such as the T19 HMC - 105mm Howitzer on M3 Half-track chassis) also showed that this vehicle would have to be armored and fully tracked. It was decided to use the M3 Lee chassis as the basis for this new vehicle design, which was designated T32. Γ]
M7 Priest in Carentan, France
The pilot vehicles used the M3 chassis with an open-topped superstructure, mounting an M1A2 105 mm howitzer and, following trials, adding a machine gun, the T32 was accepted for service as the M7 in February 1942 and production began that April. Before production had begun, the British Tank Mission had requested 2,500 to be delivered by the end of 1942 and a further 3,000 by the end of 1943, an order which was never fully completed. Δ] Ε]
As the M4 Sherman tank replaced the M3, it was decided to continue production using the M4 chassis (the M4 chassis was a development of the M3). The M7 was subsequently supplanted by the M37 HMC (on the "Light Combat Team" chassis that also gave the M24 Chaffee light tank). Ε] While the first M7s were produced for the U.S. Army, some were diverted to support the British in North Africa. Ninety M7s were sent to the British Eighth Army in North Africa, who were also the first to use it in battle during the Second Battle of El Alamein as well as their own Bishop, a self-propelled gun based on the 87.6 mm calibre Ordnance QF 25-pounder gun-howitzer. Ζ]
The British did find problems with the M7 though, as the primary armament was of U.S., not British, standard. This meant that the M7s had to be supplied separately, causing logistical complications. Ζ] It was a problem that was only truly resolved in 1943 on arrival of the 25-pounder-armed Sexton developed by the Canadians on a M3 chassis. Γ] Until that time though, the British continued to use the M7 throughout the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign. The three assault infantry divisions (3rd and 50th British, 3rd Canadian) that landed on Sword, Juno and Gold beaches on D-Day during the Normandy Invasion had their artillery regiments equipped with the M7 these were replaced by the standard towed 25-pounder guns of the infantry in early August. Η] ⎖] It was also used in Burma and played a significant part in the Battle of Meiktila and the advance on Rangoon in 1945. After the Sexton appeared, most British M7s were converted into "Kangaroo" armored personnel carriers.
Battle for Cebu City—American soldiers in M7 Priest enter Cebu City, Philippines
Ammunition [ edit | edit source ]
The gun fired semi-fixed ammunition, with 105mm Cartridge Case M14. The propelling charge consisted of a base charge and six increments, forming seven charges from 1 (the smallest) to 7 (the largest). Use of M1 HE rounds prepared for the 105mm howitzer M3 (same projectile and cartridge, but different propelling charge) was authorized. Η]
HEAT M67 Shell was originally designed as fixed round, with Cartridge Case M14 type II. It was later changed to semi-fixed type with the standard cartridge, but with non-adjustable propelling charge. For blank ammunition, a shorter Cartridge Case M15 with black powder charge was used. Η]
Surviving & Original Picture M37 105mm HMC
|Model||Registration Number||Serial No.||Location||Unit Markings||Misc Info|
|M37||USA 40197968||Stateside Training||. - .|
|M37||USA 40197993||Aberdeen P.G.||. - .||Has been moved|
|M37||USA 40198011||83||Florida - Museum||. - .||Institute of Military Technology|
|M37||USA 40198017||Stateside Training||. - .||"ALT"|
|M37||USA 40198022||508F - B-8|
|M37||USA 40198029||Stateside Training||. - .||Fort Bliss.|
|M37||USA 40198037||Virginia - Museum||. - .||American Armor Foundation|
|M37||USA 40198069||.||276 AFA - C-49||Ex Littlefield|
|M37||USA 40198083||LA California||Tank Land Museum|
T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC)
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/28/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The "105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T19" (105mm HMC T19) was yet another offshoot of the ubiquitous and wide-reaching American M3 Half-Track family. This particular variant, developed to fulfill the self-propelled artillery role, mounted the 105mm M2A1 field howitzer in a mounting over the midsection of the M3 Half-Track hull. The driving cabin was retained from the original as was the running gear, configuration and general profile of the classic vehicle. Due to the large nature of the gun being carried, only eight 105mm projectiles were stowed aboard, giving the T19 something of a limited tactical reach on the battlefield. However, it fulfill a vital role in providing a self-propelled artillery piece to the very fluid fronts across the campaigns of World War 2.
The M2A1 howitzer was a design stemming from the storied Rock Island Arsenal bordering Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. It entered production in 1941 and manufacture spanned into 1953, ensuring that the artillery piece would end with a good healthy service career. The weapon system weighed nearly 5,000lbs and measured a length out to 19 feet, 6 inches. The breech utilized a horizontal block arrangement with recoil handled by a hydropneumatic system. Elevation measured -5 to +66 degrees with traverse reaching 46-degrees to either side. Maximum firing range was seven miles. The weapon proved hugely popular with American allies during and after World War 2.
Generally such vehicles as the T19 gave way to properly dedicated platforms such as the M7 Priest SPAs making their mark from 1942 onwards. These were built atop the chassis of the M3 Lee Medium Tank.
T92 240mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC)
Despite the tide of war turning in favor of the Allies throughout early 1945, weapons development persisted at a feverish rate. The war in Europe wound down during May-June though this still left a formidable foe in Japan half-a-world away in the Pacific Theater. It was assumed that a costly, and bloody, land campaign would have to be brought to bear on the island nation to finally - and conclusively - bring the war to a complete end. As such, various tracked vehicles of considerable capabilities were in the works into the last weeks of the war in August - prior to the Japanese surrender in early September following the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Once such project for the American Army became the "240mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T92" ("240mm HMC T92") which incorporated the massive 240mm M1 field howitzer onto a modified chassis and hull of the T-26 Pershing Heavy Tank (the "T26E3"). The M1 was a powerful indirect fire weapon introduced during 1943 with production numbers reaching 315 by 1945. It fired a 240mm shell through a muzzle velocity of 2,300 feet-per-second out to ranges of 14 miles. The weapon was chambered through a standard interrupted screw breech arrangement and the firing action supported through a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism. Rate-of-fire reached just one round-per-minute.
The T26E3 chassis was a developmental form and it varied from its Pershing tank origins by the addition of an extra road wheel along each hull side, bringing the road wheel count to seven per track unit. The drive sprocket was retained at front with the track idler at rear and six total track return rollers were used. Suspension was of the torsion bar variety allowing for some cross-country travel capability. A barrel clamp/support was fitted at the front edge of the glacis plate to hold the mass of the great gun tube. Armor protection ranged up to 25mm thick. Power was through a Ford GAF 8-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine of 470 horsepower. This allowed a road speed of 15 miles per hour. The total crew numbered eight to include a driver, assistant driver, commander, gunners, and ammunition handlers. Overall weight was 58 tons.
The T92 was developed particularly with the invasion of Japan in mind - this was to be conducted through "Operation Downfall" intended for October 1945. The T92's construction was ordered in March of 1945 and the initial pilot vehicle was ready for July. However, with the Japanese surrender on August 14th, 1945, the invasion campaign was cancelled and only five T92 vehicles were ever completed, none seeing combat and none being shipped to the theater for action.
The T93 Gun Motor Carriage was a related end-war product though this fitted the 8" M1 howitzer.