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  #61  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:44 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Originally Posted by Adm.Lee View Post
It's my understanding that a few battalions of 4.2" mortars were used in the early waves of most amphibious landings in the ETO and MTO. They were portable enough to be gotten to the beach on LCVP, and had the firepower and range to be effective while firing from just off the beach.

Having said that, I can come up with zero sources for this assertion at this moment....
The best source for the Normandy landings is "Spearheading D-Day, American Special Units in Normandy" from Histoire & Collections (THANK GAWD! For re-enactors!!!!)

"Much less space was needed to transport the 4.2-inch mortar units than a regular artillery battalion, so a chemical mortar battalion were assigned to the early waves. The mortars would be pulled ashore on small wheeled carts and would be able to be placed into action upon reaching dry land. On Omaha Beach, a major problem was that these powerful mortars needed a minimum range of 550 yards and in some places, the Germans were not pushed back that far until later in the day."

"The 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion was assigned to support the Omaha Beach landings, with A and C companies attached to the 16th Infantry Regiment and B and D companies to the 116th Infantry. The original plans called for the mortars to be landed with the 2nd waves. Due to the confusion on the beach, A and D companies were not landed unitl H+50, B company at H+90 and C company at H+9 hours."

"B Company was mis-landed on Beach Easy Green at about 0930 hours. The company managed to move inland through a uncleared minefield and set up their firing positions. It was not until 1700 hours that they were able to fire thier first fire mission of the day."

"Much of the 81st's equipment was lost during the landings and the troops had to man-carry the mortars and ammunition inland."

"The 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion was assigned to Utah Beach. A company was attached to the 1/8th Infantry, B company to the 2/8th Inf, C company to the 3/8th Inf and D company to the 3/22nd Inf. During the landing, two mortars and two jeeps were lost when an LCVP was sunk, but no personnel drowned."

"A and B companies were landed at H+5- and set up firing positions just behind the sand dunes. They quickly fired some 100 rounds before moving further inland 40 minutes later. C and D companies also landed and set up within the sand dunes, before firing some 40 additional rounds before moving inland."

Hope this helps!
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  #62  
Old 01-13-2014, 07:54 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Recoilless Rifles

For the United States Army, the recoilless rifle did not enter service until the last year of the war. Development of the recoilless rifle started in early 1943 when the Ordnance Department stated researching the recoilless principle. The first pilot model was ready for testing on July 27, 1943. The results of these initial tests led to several modifications and improvements to the prototype. In October of 1943, was designated as the “Rifle, Recoilless,
57mm, T15E1” and went into extensive trails at Aberdeen Proving Grounds that November.

The T15E1 had its trigger and sear enclosed in metal housings. Further testing resulted in the replacement of this method by a firing mechanism connected by wire cables, this variant was standardized as the M-18. The
57mm recoilless rifle was deemed a high priority weapon and was rushed into production.

The M-18 weighed 45 pounds and was just over five feet in length. It could be fired from the shoulder (from an attached monopod/bipod assemble) or from the M-1917A1 .30-caliber machine gun tripod. The M-26 sight was standardized for use with the M-18.

Due to a lack of suitable manufacturing facilities at the time, the first M-18s were built by the Canadian firm of Dominion Engineering Works.

The M-18 fired three basic types of ammunition; these were a HE round that weighed 5.3 pounds and had a range of 4,340 yards; a antitank round (HEAT) that weighed 5.64 pounds with a range of 4,300 yards; and a smoke round that weighed 5.66 pounds, with a range of 4,340 yards.

Due to the problems with the 2.36-inch bazooka’s lack of power in certain situations, a rush shipment of the first 50 M-18s was sent to the European Theater of Operations in March of 1945. The first units to receive the new weapon were the airborne divisions, who loved the light weight and capabilities of the new weapon.

On May 19,1945, a Tenth Army demonstration team arrived on Okinawa after the initial invasion, with two M-18s.

The M-18 recoilless rifle was often packed for parachute delivery in the M-10 Paracrate which contained an M-18 and 14 rounds of ammunition. The M-12 Paracrate was also dropped, which contained an M-1917A1 tripod and additional 14 rounds of ammunition.

A total of 951 57mm recoilless rifles were delivered by the time production stopped in the summer of 1945.

After World War II, the introduction of the 3.5-inch bazooka brought about the end of the M-18s service with the U.S. Army, by the early 1950s the
M-18 was declared Obsolete and was transferred to military aid programs.

The success of the 57mm M-18 proved the validity of the basic design and work began on a larger and more powerful version. In March of 1944, the Ordnance Department began the design work on a 75mm recoilless rifle. The first pilot model was completed and started its test program in September of 1944.

The initial version was designated as the T21. As the testing program progressed, redesigns of the breech were made and this improved variant was standardized as the M-20.

Initial production of the M-20 started in March of 1945 by the Miller Printing Machine Company of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

The M-20 weighed 114.5 pounds and was 6 feet, 10 inches in length. The weight prevented the weapon from being fired from the shoulder and the M-20 was designed to be fired from the M-1917A1 tripod.

As with the M-18, the M-20 fired three types of ammunition; the HE round weighed 21.86 pounds and had a range of 7,000 yards; the antitank round (HEAT) weighed 20.54 pounds and had a range of 7,000 yards; the white phosphorus round weighed 22.61 pounds and had a range of 7,200 yards.

While the M-18 performed admirably, it was essentially used as a replacement for the bazooka. The M-20 represented what was considered to be a new class of weapon. It’s accuracy and power was favorably commented on by the infantrymen who had the chance to use the weapon.

One officer of the First Allied Airborne Army in the ETO stated the following:

“Its effective range for direct fire is the limit of visibility. The gun is as accurate as an M1 rifle and a tank can be hit in any desired spot.”

The M-20’s use was not limited to the ETO, as it was used with great effectiveness in the fighting on Okinawa. The same Tenth Army demonstration team deployed with two M-20s as well as two M-18s and used the weapons with great effectiveness. However, its limited numbers led the Ordnance Department to acknowledged that the recoilless rifle did not have any great impact on the outcome of the campaign.

The success of the recoilless rifles saw extensive plans for their deployment for the invasion of Japan.

A total of 1,238 M-20s were produced by the end of the war.

Unlike the M-18, the M-20 saw extensive in the United States Army until well after the Korean War.
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  #63  
Old 01-15-2014, 11:42 AM
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Default Flame Throwers

The use of fire as a weapon dates back to antiquity, but the genesis of the modern portable flame thrower was with the Imperial German Army in the first decade of the twentieth century. The first use of the flame thrower was against French troops at Malencourt in World War One. While the weapon proved terrifying to the French troops, its impact was limited due to reliability problems. The French and British armies rushed to develop their own versions of the flame thrower to counter the German threat. By 1916, both Allied nations had fielded their own versions, but like the Germans, they proved to be unreliable, vulnerable and only useful at very short range.

The United States Army did not field any flame throwers during the First World War and only limited research and development was carried out on such weapons after the Armistice. The R&D program took place under the auspices of the Army’s Chemical Warfare Service. Due to the unfavorable reputation of the weapon at the time, it was often joked that “the Chemical Warfare Service has acquired the habit for a long time of not mentioning the flame thrower at all, unless questions were asked about it.”

While the United States continued its lack of interest, other nations continued to develop flame throwers throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Tank-mount flame throwers were used by the Italians during the Abyssinian War (1935-1936) as well as German versions in the Spanish Civil War in 1937. During the opening days of World War Two, the Germans made use of flame throwers in Poland, Belgium and France.

The effective use of flame throwers as combat weapons was not lost on the U.S. Army and the Chemical Warfare Service was ordered on August 12, 1940 to accelerate its development of a flame thrower for the troops. Much of this developmental work was carried out at the Edgewood Arsenal, adjacent to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

The first experimental model was the E1 with the first few pilot models used for testing in the fall of 1940. The weapon had four basic components; a storage system for the fuel; a storage system for compressed gas to propel the fuel; a flame gun and an ignition system. The fuel supply consisted of five gallons of diesel oil, fuel oil or a blend of gasoline and oil. The gas system contained pressurized nitrogen. Both the fuel system and gas system were contained in a single vertical cylinder that held the fuel in one compartment and the gas in a second. A trigger mechanism released the fuel that was propelled by the gas and was ignited by an electrical spark supplied by a battery. The weapon weighed 70 pounds when fully loaded and had a rage from 14 to 21 yards.

Testing revealed that the E1 was cumbersome, heavy and unreliable. The engineers went back to work and the improved E1R1 was tested in March of 1941. The fuel and gas supplies were now in separate tanks as well as being fitted with improved values and a refined electrical system. It weighed 32 pounds empty and 57 pounds fully loaded.

In spite of its marked improvement, the E1R1 was still not a satisfactory weapon. Its range was still limited to between 15-20 yards and its time of use was only some 15-30 seconds. It was uncomfortable to carry and the values could not be easily reached by the operator. But the E1R1 was the only flame thrower in service by December, 1941. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, only 12 E1R1s were on hand.

The first recorded use of a E1R1 took place on December 8, 1942 at Buna Village, Papua. Its user had crawled through the underbrush to a spot some thirty feet from a Japanese emplacement. He fired his flame thrower only to watch a dribble of burning oil land some 15 feet in front of him. Twice more he tried to hit the emplacement, only to watch the flame fall to carry the full distance. Finally, a Japanese bullet glanced off the operator’s helmet, knocking him unconscious.

Hardly an auspicious beginning.

The Chemical Warfare Service continued to push development of a flame thrower and an improved E1R1 was standardized as the M-1 in August of 1941 with series production starting in March of 1942. By the end of year, the M-1 was appearing in the South Pacific. First combat use was on January 15, 1943 on Guadalcanal.

The M-1 was an improvement over the E1R1, but there were still a number of problems with the weapon. As one Chemical Warfare Service document explained:
“One example just received from the States, would function properly and spurt a jet of flame the customary fifteen yards, but its twin might eject a harmless stream of non-burning oil a distance of five yards. Batteries in the ignition circuit deteriorated rapidly in the hot, humid climate; inadequate waterproofing allowed moisture to corrode parts and to short-circuit the electrical system; minute rust holes in the tanks allowed compressed gas to escape and the pressure to drop. Chemical Maintenance Companies had their hands full inspecting, testing, repairing and servicing flame throwers to keep them in proper working order for the troops.”

Needless to say, the GI’s and Marines disliked and distrusted the M-1.

Work continued to increase the effective range of the flame thrower. The Chemical Warfare Service developed napalm as a thickening agent added to gasoline for use in incendiary bombs. Experimentation revealed that the use of a napalm-thickened gasoline mixture in a flame thrower greatly increased its range and lethality. As stated in a CWS report:
“…ordinary gasoline broke into a spray after it left the nozzle of the flame gun and burned itself out in a billow of fire while thickened fuel flew through the air in a compact stream that would ricochet into portholes and stick to flat surfaces.”

However, the new thickened fuel mixture would not work in the M-1. Engineers rushed a series of changes that would allow the M-1 to use the new mixture.

Most of these changes consisted of modifications to the fuel system, including the valves and pressure regulator. The flame gun was also modified to permit operation at the higher pressure required by the use of napalm. The waterproofing of the flame thrower was also improved.

The new weapon was standardized in late 1942 as the M-1A1. Externally, both the M-1 and M-1A1 were virtually identical, but the M-1A1 was a dramatic improvement with an effective range over three times greater than the M-1.

While there were still problems with the flame thrower’s electrical system, the M-1A1 was such an improvement that it was rushed into production with a run of some 14,000 units.

The first combat use of the M-1A1 took place in mid-1943. While generally successful, the problems with the ignition system plagued the weapon. Something better was needed.

M2-2 Flame Thrower
The Chemical Warfare Service continued its efforts to improve the flame thrower. Two improved versions were considered. The E2 featured a waterproofed electrical ignition system and lightweight aluminum tanks. The E3 had a streamlined flame gun, a better fitting backpack carrying system and a pyrotechnic cartridge type ignition system. This consisted of a plastic cylinder, much like a revolver, which held six patches of incendiary material. When the trigger on the front hand grip was pressed, a “match-mixture-coated pin” ignited one of the incendiary patches and the resulting shower of sparks ignited the fuel mixture. Six bursts could be fired before the cartridge had to be replaced. This type of ignition system had superior waterproofing and was more reliable, especially under typical jungle conditions.

Both models had very similar performance and both had an effective range with the thickened fuel mixture of about 60 yards. The engineers felt that the E3 would be a more rugged and reliable system and it was standardized in March of 1944 as the M2-2. The M2-2 weighed 70 pounds fully loaded and had a fuel capacity of four gallons. Some 24,500 M2-2s were built between 1944 and 1945.

The first combat use of the M2-2 was during the fighting on Guam in July of 1944. While the M2-2 was a definite improvement over the previous flame throwers, it still had drawbacks. It was too heavy when fully loaded, uncomfortable to carry for long distances and had a limited fuel capacity. Still it was a reliable weapon and saw service until well after the end of the war.
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  #64  
Old 01-17-2014, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
The M2-2 Flame Thrower... [snip] was standardized in March of 1944 as the M2-2. The M2-2 weighed 70 pounds fully loaded and had a fuel capacity of four gallons. Some 24,500 M2-2s were built between 1944 and 1945.

The first combat use of the M2-2 was during the fighting on Guam in July of 1944. While the M2-2 was a definite improvement over the previous flame throwers, it still had drawbacks. It was too heavy when fully loaded, uncomfortable to carry for long distances and had a limited fuel capacity. Still it was a reliable weapon and saw service until well after the end of the war.
The US must have provided at least a few to Allied forces in the Pacific because I have seen movie footage of the Battle of Balikpapan in Borneo in 1945 (the Australian 7th Division, with US, UK and Dutch support), the last great Australian amphibious assault of WWII, and there is really clear footage of Australian troops using what looks very much to me as the M2-2 as you've described it. From the range of the flame streams it's clear whatever weapon it is is filled with napalm.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:25 AM
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The US must have provided at least a few to Allied forces in the Pacific because I have seen movie footage of the Battle of Balikpapan in Borneo in 1945 (the Australian 7th Division, with US, UK and Dutch support), the last great Australian amphibious assault of WWII, and there is really clear footage of Australian troops using what looks very much to me as the M2-2 as you've described it. From the range of the flame streams it's clear whatever weapon it is is filled with napalm.
Should have said the first U.S. combat use was on Guam.

Numbers of the M2-2 were supplied via Lend-Lease to the British (for testing only) as well as the Free French, Russians and the Australians. As to the exact numbers, I've never been able to track down anything saything that a specific number were provided, and the reference works I've accessed as well as the offical records all claim that these were for evaluation only. I was not aware of any combat use by the Australians, any chance that you can provide any further details?
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  #66  
Old 01-18-2014, 07:50 PM
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I was not aware of any combat use by the Australians, any chance that you can provide any further details?
Apologies, I don't have any solid information at all really.

The footage I saw was in a compilation of black and white British newsreel footage in a film called Balikpapan that screened on free to air TV here in Australia on Anzac Day last year. I had a copy saved on my PS3 (which I use for recording TV) but I deleted it after re-watching it recently.

A quick internet search has turned up the following (none of it from the TV film I recorded):

There's US newsreel combat footage of a flamethrower being used at Balikpapan at 1m 16s in this video: Allied troops invade - World War II - Australian 7th Division, Douglas-MacArthur . In that footage you can't see who's holding the flamethrower but given that the land combat forces involved were almost exclusively Australian, it's likely that it was an Aussie soldier.

The website https://archive.org/ won't let me link directly to the video, but at 11m 18s of the video July 1945 newsreel: from the Potsdam Conference to the 914mm "Little David" mortar (it includes US newsreel footage filmed at Balikpapan) you can see clearly that it's an Aussie soldier firing a flamethrower. Is it an M2-2?
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  #67  
Old 01-19-2014, 02:26 PM
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The website https://archive.org/ won't let me link directly to the video, but at 11m 18s of the video July 1945 newsreel: from the Potsdam Conference to the 914mm "Little David" mortar (it includes US newsreel footage filmed at Balikpapan) you can see clearly that it's an Aussie soldier firing a flamethrower. Is it an M2-2?
I'm stuck at work so I can't download much of anything on the computer, but the easy way to tell the difference is that the M-1 flame gun looks like a wand with a lever at the end, the M2-2 has a forward and aft pistol grip on its gun, the nozzle is also a tapered cone.

If you are a fan of classic Hollywood movies, the flame thrower most commonly uses is the M2-2, the only film that I've seen with a M-1 is "Saving Private Ryan".
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:29 AM
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Default The Armored Divisions

Unit Nickname Campaigns
1st Armored Division 'Old Ironsides' Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; North
Apennines; Po Valley
2nd Armored Division 'Hell on Wheels' Algeria-French Morocco; Sicily; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland;
Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
3rd Armored Division 'Spearhead' Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
4th Armored Division Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
5th Armored Division 'Victory' Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
6th Armored Division 'Super Sixth' Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
7th Armored Division 'Lucky Seventh' Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
8th Armored Division 'Tornado' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
9th Armored Division 'Phantom' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
10th Armored Division 'Tiger' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
11th Armored Division 'Thunderbolt' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
12th Armored Division 'Hellcat' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace;Central Europe
13th Armored Division 'Black Cat' Rhineland; Central Europe
14th Armored Division 'Liberator' Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
16th Armored Division Central Europe
20th Armored Division Central Europe
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:33 AM
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Default The Cavalry Divisions

Unit Nickname Campaigns

1st Cavalry Division 'First Team' New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Leyte; Luzon
2nd Cavalry Division (Colored) European Theater (without inscription)
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:37 AM
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Default The Infantry Divisions: The Regular Army

Unit Nickname Campaigns
1st Infantry Division 'Big Red One'
Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
2nd Infantry Division 'Indianhead'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
3rd Infantry Division 'Rock of the Marne'
Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
4th Infantry Division 'Ivy'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
5th Infantry Division 'Red Diamond'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
6th Infantry Division 'Sightseeing Sixth'
New Guinea; Luzon
6th Airborne Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
7th Infantry Division 'Bayonet'
Aleutian Islands; Eastern Mandates; Leyte; Ryukyus
8th Infantry Division 'Pathfinder'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland, Central Europe
9th Infantry Division 'Varsity'
Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Normandy; Northern France;
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
9th Airborne Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
10th Mountain Division 'Mountaineers'
North Apennines; Po Valley
11th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
11th Airborne Division 'Angels'
New Guinea; Luzon
12th Infantry Division 'The Plymouth Division'
American Theater
13th Airborne Division
Central Europe
14th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
15th Airborne Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
17th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
17th Airborne Division 'Golden Talon'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
18th Airborne Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
19th Infantry Division
American Theater
21st Airborne Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
22nd Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
24th Infantry Division 'Victory'
Central Pacific; New Guinea; Leyte; Southern Philippines; Luzon
25th Infantry Division 'Tropical Lightning'
Central Pacific; Northern Solomons; Guadalcanal; Luzon
Americal Division
Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons; Leyte; Southern Philippines
Philippine Division
Philippine Islands
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:41 AM
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Default The Infantry Divisions: The National Guard

26th Infantry Division 'Yankee'
Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
27th Infantry Division 'New York'
Central Pacific; Western Pacific; Ryukyus
28th Infantry Division 'Keystone'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
29th Infantry Division 'Blue & Grey'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe
30th Infantry Division 'Old Hickory'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
31st Infantry Division 'Dixie'
New Guinea; Southern Philippines
32nd Infantry Division 'Red Arrow'
New Guinea; Southern Philippines; Luzon
33rd Infantry Division 'Prairie'
New Guinea; Luzon
34th Infantry Division 'Red Bull'
Tunisia; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; North Apennines; Po Valley
35th Infantry Division 'Sante Fe'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
36th Infantry Division 'Texas'
Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes- Alsace; Central Europe
37th Infantry Division 'Buckeye'
Northern Solomons; Luzon
38th Infantry Division 'Cyclone'
New Guinea; Southern Philippines; Luzon
39th Infantry Division 'Delta'
American Theater
40th Infantry Division 'Grizzly'
Bismarck Archipelago; Southern Philippines; Luzon
41st Infantry Division 'Sunset'
New Guinea; Luzon; Southern Philippines
42nd Infantry Division 'Rainbow'
Rhineland; Central Europe
43rd Infantry Division 'Winged Victory'
Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons; New Guinea; Luzon
44th Infantry Division
Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe
45th Infantry Division 'Thunderbird'
Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:46 AM
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Default The Infantry Divisions: The National Army

46th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
48th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
50th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
55th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
59th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
61st Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
62nd Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
63rd Infantry Division 'Blood & Fire'
Rhineland; Central Europe
65th Infantry Division 'Battle Axe'
Rhineland; Central Europe
66th Infantry Division 'Panther'
Northern France
67th Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
68th Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
69th Infantry Division 'Fighting 69th'
Rhineland; Central Europe
70th Infantry Division 'Trailblazer'
Rhineland; Central Europe
71st Infantry Division 'Red Circle'
Rhineland; Central Europe
72nd Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
73rd Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
74th Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
75th Infantry Division
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
76th Infantry Division 'Onaway'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
77th Infantry Division 'Statue of Liberty'
Western Pacific; Leyte; Ryukyus
78th Infantry Division 'Lightning '
Rhineland; Ardennes; Alsace; Central Europe
79th Infantry Division 'Cross of Lorraine'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
80th Infantry Division 'Blue Ridge'
Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
81st Infantry Division 'Wildcats'
Western Pacific; Leyte
82nd Airborne Division 'All American'
Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
83rd Infantry Division 'Thunderbolt'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
84th Infantry Division 'Railsplitters'
Rhineland; Ardennes; Alsace; Central Europe
85th Infantry Division 'Custer'
Rome-Arno; North Apennines; Po Valley
86th Infantry Division 'Black Hawk'
Central Europe
87th Infantry Division 'Golden Acorn'
Rhineland; Ardennes; Alsace; Central Europe
88th Infantry Division 'Blue Devils'
Rome-Arno; North Apennines; Po Valley
89th Infantry Division 'Rolling W'
Rhineland; Central Europe
90th Infantry Division 'Tough Ombres'
Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
91st Infantry Division 'Pine Tree'
Rome-Arno; North Apennines; Po Valley
92nd Infantry Division (Colored) 'Buffalo'
North Apennines; Po Valley
93rd Infantry Division (Colored) 'Bloody Hand'
Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; New Guinea
94th Infantry Division 'Neuf Quatres
Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
95th Infantry Division 'Victory'
Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
96th Infantry Division 'Deadeye'
Leyte; Ryukyus
97th Infantry Division 'Trident'
Central Europe
98th Infantry Division 'Iroquois'
Pacific Theater (without inscription)
99th Infantry Division 'Checkerboard'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
100th Infantry Division 'Century'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles'
Normandy; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
102nd Infantry Division 'Ozerk'
Rhineland; Central Europe
103rd Infantry Division 'Cactus'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
104th Infantry Division 'Timberwolves'
Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe
105th Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
106th Infantry Division 'Golden Lion'
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe
107th Infantry Division
Planned for activation , but canceled due to manning problems
108th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
119th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
130th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
135th Airborne Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
141st Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
157th Infantry Division
Operation Fortitude deception unit
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  #73  
Old 01-25-2014, 04:08 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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FWIW, I am reading "Marshall and his generals" by Stephen Taaffe this week. It's focused on corps, field army, army group, and theater commanders, and how they were selected and promoted. A lot of names have cropped up that one rarely hears, if ever-- generals who never got the chance to leave the States, or who shipped out with commands but were shouldered aside for someone with more experience.

There's a bit more on the rivalry between Eisenhower and Devers (the latter was able to outmaneuver the former in several instances, which may have rankled Ike).
The system generally would be Marshall sending a list of candidates to the theater commanders when a new HQ was needed, and the men on the spot would select from a list. Sometimes, the chief of staff would indicate his preference, which the commanders might or might not accept.

It's sometimes fascinating to think of the might-have-beens, such as Stilwell or Eichelberger going to North Africa instead of China or the Pacific.
-- Clark going to France instead of sticking it out in Italy,
-- Eisenhower going to Washington as Army chief of staff and Marshall taking the ETO for Overlord.
-- Three generals (Collins, Patch, and Corlett) who had made amphibious landings in the Pacific, taking key roles for D-Day. (Alternately, the Navy bringing Terrible Turner to run Neptune!)

On the whole, I think we can agree that the US Army picked pretty well, most of the higher formation commanders did good work.
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  #74  
Old 01-30-2014, 04:51 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Marshall always wanted the SHAEF job over Ike, so I can see Ike switching over to Chief-of-Staff, by IRL, Marshall was much more useful to FDR/Truman.

Can you picture MacArthur as SHAEF?

With Clark taking his place in the Pacific?
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  #75  
Old 01-17-2019, 10:55 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Artillery of the u.s. Army in world war two

Prepared to be confused.

The U.S. Army entered World War Two with a mixture of obsolescent World War One pieces as well as a small but growing number of new production equipment. I’ll try to explain the major differences where I can. I will not, at this time, go into a detailed description of construction.

Enjoy!
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  #76  
Old 01-17-2019, 10:59 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Anti-Tank Guns

The Anti-tank gun is specifically, an artillery piece designed to destroy enemy armor. The towed anti-tank gun is normally used from a static, defensive position. Their initial use started in the later wars of World War One were artillerymen used their field guns and howitzers to defend against attacking enemy armor, and in the interwar years and during World War Two, it was common practice to train artillerymen to engage enemy armor in direct fire. While trained to engage, it was considered to be a waste of artillery resources and personnel to do so. By World War Two, it was the practice to issue anti-tank gun to infantry units, manned by specialist infantrymen.

At the start of World War Two, the most common anti-tank guns were 25mm, 37mm, 40mm (2-pounder) and 45mm. Against prewar tanks, their performance was highly successful, but as newer tank designs were introduced (with increasing armor), the race to design a anti-tank gun to match accelerated. By the mid-war years, anti-tank guns had increased in size to 50mm and 57mm. The earlier weapons were easy to move and to conceal. The new guns required larger trucks to move them and were difficult to conceal, dig-in, withdraw or reposition. As tank armor increased yet again, the drive to introduce still larger calibers increased as well, by the end of the war, the anti-tank gun was almost impractical in their role, and their size, weight and expense was considered a liability.

Meanwhile, the effect of very compact hollow charge warheads was being noted and a number of countries began producing man-portable anti-tank weapons utilizing this ammunition. The development of man-portable, shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launchers began in 1941; most could be reloaded, but a few such as the German Panzerfaust were fired from disposable tubes. Unlike anti-tank guns, their light weight made them easily portable by individual infantrymen on the battlefield, and they offered similar degrees of firepower whilst being quicker and cheaper to produce.

After the war ended, by and large, anti-tank guns disappeared from most Western countries, in favor of shoulder-fired rocket launchers, recoilless rifles and eventually wire-guided anti-tank missiles.

37mm Gun M-3 and M-3A1 on Carriage M4A1
Standard

The 37 mm Gun M3 is the first dedicated anti-tank gun fielded by United States forces in numbers. Introduced in 1940, it became the standard anti-tank gun of the U.S. infantry with its size enabling it to be pulled by a jeep. However, the continuing improvement of German tanks quickly rendered the 37 mm ineffective and, by 1943, it was being gradually replaced in the European and Mediterranean theaters by the more powerful British-developed 57 mm Gun M1. In the Pacific, where the Japanese tank threat was less significant, the M3 remained in service until the end of the war.

Like many other light anti-tank guns, the M3 was widely used in the infantry support role and as an anti-personnel weapon, firing high-explosive and canister rounds.

In addition to its anti-tank role, the M-5 and M-6 37mm guns were used in various vehicles, such as the Light Tank M-3 and M-5, the medium tank M-3 and the M-8 armored car. By the end of the war, some 18,702 M-3/M-3A1 guns were produced.

Weight of the weapon (firing order) was 912lbs, 950lbs in travel order. Elevation and depression ranges from-10 degrees to +15 degrees. Traverse is 30 degrees R/L. Maximum range was 12,800 yards for the HE round and 7,500 yards for the APC round. Maximum armor penetration for the APC round was 2.4 inches at 500 yards. Rate of fire was 15-20 rounds per minute.

Ammunition consisted of the M-74 AP (penetration of 1.42in at 500yds); the M-63 HE shell (containing 1.36oz of flaked TNT); the M-51B1 APC round and the M-2 Canister round (containing 122 3/8-inch steel balls).

57mm Gun M1 on Carriage M-1, M-1A1, M-1A2 or M-1A3
Standard

The North African campaign rapidly convinced the Army that the 37mm gun was too light to be able to successfully engage enemy armor. The decision was made to acquire the British 6-pounder Mark 2 gun and the drawings were received in early 1941 and converted into standard U.S. dimensions, tolerances and threads. It was adopted into service in May 1941. The only major differences between the American and British weapons is that the American version is 16-inches longer and a muzzle velocity about 100fps greater. Total production of the U.S. version was 15,637 pieces.

Weight of the weapon is 2,810lbs. Elevation and depression ranges from +5 degrees to +15 degrees. Traverse is 45 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 10,620yds. Maximum armor penetration is 3.11 inches at 1,000yds. Rate of fire is 12-15rpm.
In U.S. service, the only issued round was the M-86 APC.

As for the multiple carriages…

M-1 is the British carriage with changes in dimensions, clearances and threads to meet U.S. standard methods. It is a two wheel, split-trail type with a curved shield and uses handwheel traversing and elevation gears. It is fitted with commercially available wheels and tires. Limited Standard.

M-1A1 is the M-1 carriage but fitted with combat wheels and tires. Limited Standard.

M-1A2 removes the traversing handwheel and gear mechanism and can be freely traversed on its pintle by the gunner pushing and pulling on his shoulder piece. Substitute Standard.

M-1A3 features a modified lunette and trail lock that allows for a reduced turning circle when being towed. Standard.


3-inch Gun M-5 on Carriage M-1, M-1A1, or M-2
Standard

This is the heavy anti-tank gun that equipped the Tank-Destroyer (Towed) Battalions. It was developed in September 1940 with a demand that it be capable of stopping then known enemy tank. In order to speed development the decision was made to adapt various items then in current supply/manufacture. It consists of the barrel of the AA Gun M-3 fitted to the breech of the 105mm Howitzer M-1 and mounted on adopted Howitzer Carriage M-2. The result was Standardized in December 1941 and placed into production in late 1942. Total production of both types was 2,500 pieces.

Weight in firing order is 4,875lbs. Elevation and depression ranges from+5 degrees to +30 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 15,400 yards. Maximum armor penetration is 3.93 inches at 1,000 yards. Rate of fire is 8-12rpm.

Ammunition available consists of the M-42A1 HE shell; the M-79 AP round (armor penetration of 3.93in at 1,000yds); and the M-62A1 APC round.
And the carriages…

M-1 is the standard 105mm Howitzer Carriage M-2 with modifications to the cradle to accept the 3-inch gun tube. It is a split trail, two-wheel carriage fitted with a vertical shield. Limited Standard.

M-1A1 is the M-1 modified by the Tank-Destroyer Board with the shield sloping backwards and fitted with axle stops and firing segments. Standard.

M-2 is exactly the same as the M-1A1 but is of new manufacture instead of being a modified M-1 carriage. Standard.

75mm Gun M-1897A2, M-1897A4 on Carriages M-2A1, M-2A2 and M-2A3
Standard

This is the French 75mm M1897 Field Gun. It is constructed in the U.S., but the French and U.S. parts are interchangeable.

Weight in firing order: 3,400lbs. Elevation and depression: -9 degrees +45 degrees. Traverse is 30 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 13,870yds. Rate of fire is 6rpm.

Ammunition available is the M-48 HE shell; M-72 AP round (armor penetration is 2.7in at 1,000yds); and the M-61 APC round (armor penetration is 2.5in at 1,000yds).

Carriages M-2A1 and M2A2 are designed for high speed towing, they are split trail, two-wheeled designs.

Carriage M-2A3 is a modification of the M-2A1/M-2A2 with improved clearance for the axle.

I've included the 75mm in spite of its intended role as the standard field piece, at least in the early days of the war. While production was gearing up for the new anti-tank guns, the old M-1897A2 and M-1897A4 were pressed into service as anti-tank weapons and were even mounted on the Half Track M-3 as a Gun Motor Carriage.
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The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.

Last edited by dragoon500ly; 01-20-2019 at 06:25 AM.
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  #77  
Old 01-17-2019, 11:03 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Howitzers

75mm Pack Howitzer M-1A1 on Carriages M-1, M-3A1, M-3A2, M-3A3 and
M-8

Standard

Originally designed for pack transport, animal draft and low-speed towing. Animal was disconnected prior to the war and the special accessories made obsolete. Development started in 1902 and the M-1 was standardized in 1927. Slight changes in the M-1 were later made and this became the
M-1A1. The primary use of this version was in mountainous terrain.

Weight in firing order was 1,269lbs. Elevation and depression ranges from -5 degrees to +45 degrees, Traverse is 3 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 9,760yds and the rate of fir is 6rpm.

Ammunition available includes the M-41A1 HE shell; M-48 HE with Tracer shell; and the M-66 HEAT shell (armor penetration of 3in at howitzer ranges).

The M-1 carriage is a box-trail, two-wheel unit designed for pack transport and low-speed towing. It is equipped with wooden spoked wheels.

M-3A1 carriage is designed for high-speed towing and is a redesign of the
M-1 carriage. It is a split-trail, two-wheeled design. Limited Standard.

M-3A2 basically a M-3A1 carriage that has been fitted with an armor shield. Standard.

M-3A3 this is a M-3A1 or M-3A2 carriage equipped with combat tires. Standard

The M-8 carriage is designed for airborne use and is identical to the M-1 carriage but is fitted for high-speed towing and rubber wheels.

In this version of the pack howitzer, it can be broken down into nine loads for airborne operations. Paracrates M1 to M7 are constructed of plywood, each paracrate designed to accommodate a specific load. When packed, the paracrates are secured to bomb shackles and parachute harnesses by means of a quick release fitting. A standard 24-foot cargo parachute is attached to each load. Paracrates M1 to M5 together with the M9 are fastened together and dropped from parachute racks on the bottom of the transport. Paracrates M6 and M8 are carried as a daisy-chain load inside the fuselage, from which they are pushed out through the door of the airplane.

Paracrate M-1 contains the front trail, front reinforcement, rear reinforcement and a lifting bar. It weighs 326lbs.

Paracrate M2 contains the rear trail, axle, trail handspike, sponge staff, tool box and spare parts. It weighs 274lbs.

Paracrate M3 contains the bottom sleigh and recoil mechanism, aiming circle w/case, and a lifting bar. It weighs 326lbs.

Paracrate M4 contains the cradle and top sleigh. It weighs 331lbs.

Paracrate M5 contains the tube and a lifting bar. It weighs 302lbs.

Paracrate M6 contains the breech assembly and the panoramic telescope w/mount. Weight is 202lbs.

Paracrate M7 contains the two wheels. Wight is 217lbs.

Paracrate M8 consists of a chest holding 8 rounds of ammunition, packed in individual fiber containers. Weight is 290lbs.

Paracrate M9 consists of a cart holding a chest, holding 8 rounds of ammunition, packed in individual fiber containers. Weight is 304lbs.


105mm Howitzer M-2 and M-2A1 on Carriages M-2, M-2A1 and M-2A2

Standard

The standard artillery piece of the U.S. Army in World War Two. The design originated in a report by the Caliber Board in 1919 which made recommendations for future equipment as a result of experiences in France. Development began in 1920 and the Howitzer M-1 was standardized in 1928. No manufacture was undertaken. When the Army began its mechanization, it became necessary to redesign all horse-drawn equipment. The redesign of the M-1 began in 1933 but was then shelved and not restarted until 1936.

Weight in firing order: 4,980lbs. Elevation and depression: -4 degrees to +64 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 12,200 yards. Rate of fire is 2-4rpm.

Ammunition includes M-1 HE shell; M-67 HEAT shell (armor penetration is 4.5in at howitzer range; M-60 Chemical Shell (Smoke); M-60 Chemical Shell (WP); M-60 Chemical Shell, Gas (HS); M-84/M-84B1 Shell Chem (smoke).

Carriage M-2 is a prewar design fitted with electric brakes. Limited Standard.
Carriage M-2A1 uses standard brakes. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-2A2 is fitted with a new, larger gun shield, a larger buffer and an enclosed screw traverse. Standard.


105mm Howitzer M-3 on Carriage M-3 and M-3A1

Standard

A lightweight version of the Howitzer M-2 designed for airborne use or for other tasks where light weight is an advantage. It fires the same ammunition as the M-2, except for using a smaller propelling charges. The barrel and breech mechanism are those of the Howitzer M-2,with the barrel reduced in length by 27in.

Weight in firing order is 2,495lbs. Elevation and depression is -9 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 8,295yds. Rate of fire is 15rpm.

The Carriage M-3 is assembled from the 75mm Howitzer Carriage M-3A1 with the 75mm Howitzer Carriage M-8 recoil mechanism. Substitute Standard.

The Carriage M-3A1 is fitted with shields. Standard.

155mm Howitzers M-1917, M-1917A1 on Carriages M-1917, M-1917A1, M-1917A2, M-1917A3, M-1917A4

Limited Standard

The first 155mm howitzers used by the U.S. Army, they were designed and manufactured in France by the Schneider Company. In turn, they were superseded by the M-1918 which was in turn superseded by the M-1 as the standard 155mm howitzer. The M-1917 and M-1918A1 were short, heavy cannons with built-up barrels.

Weight in action was 8,184lbs. Elevation and depression was 0 degrees to 42 degrees. Traverse was 3 degrees L/R. Maximum Range was 12,400yds and rate of fire was 1-2rpm.

Carriage M-1917 was a French manufactured carriage with a box trail, steel-tired wooden wheels and a curved gun shield. Recoil and counter recoil of the howitzer was regulated by a hydropneumatic recoil system, housed in a sleigh to which the howitzer is connected. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A1 this the M-1917 carriage with a straight gunshield, a sight port, rubber-tired wheels and provision for a quadrant sight and a panoramic sight. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A2 when the M-1917A1 carriage is modified with a cradle lock and drawbar for motor draft, it is redesignated as the Carriage M-1917A2. These modifications eliminate the need for a limber. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A3 this modification includes a high speed axle, wheels with pneumatic tires, a drawbar and a cradle traveling lock. Limited Standard.
Carriage M-1917A4 the addition of torque rods to a Carriage M-1917A4 results in the Carriage M-1917A4.


155mm Howitzer M1918 on Carriage M-1918, M-1918A1 and M-1918A3

Substitute Standard

Similar in build, weight, dimensions and ballistics to the M-1917 and M-1917A1. The firing mechanism is of the screw type and is provided with a block-latch assembly as a safety measure.

Weight in firing order: 8,184lbs. Elevation and depression is 0 degrees to +42 degrees. Traverse is 3 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 12,400yds, Rate of fire Is 2rpm.

Carriage M-1918 In its main construction details, this is similar to the Carriage M-1917. The wheels have rubber tires and the shield consists of right and left plates suitably connected together. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1918A1 experiments in 1933 for the purpose of adapting the 155mm howitzer to high speed transport resulted in connecting the carriage to the prime mover by means of a draw bar and in new wheel bearings to reduce friction as well as pneumatic-tired wheels. Limited Standard,

Carriage M-1918A3 this is the Carriage M-1918A1 when equipped with torque rods. Limited Standard.


155mm Howitzer M-1 on Carriage M-1

Standard

The barrel is longer and heavier than the barrels of previous models.

Weight in firing order is 11,966lbs. Elevation and depression is 0 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 26 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 16,000yds. Rate of fire is 2rpm.

Carriage M-1 is interchangeable with the Carriage M-2 used for the Gun 4.5-inch M-1. Length of recoil varies automatically with the elevation and zone of fire. Equilibrators of the spring type neutralize the unbalanced weight of the tube. The carriage has a split trail, pneumatic tires and air brakes. Standard.

8-inch Howitzer M-1 on Carriage M-1
Standard

Based on the British 8-inch Howitzers, Mk. VI, Mk. VII and Mk. VIII-1/2 and issued to the AEF during World War One. The original design started in 1919 but lapsed until resurrected in 1927 as a partner-piece for a new 155 mm gun. It was standardized as 8 inch Howitzer M1 in 1940.

Weight in firing order: 31,700lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +64 degrees. Travers is 30 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 18,510 yards. Rate of fire is 1 round in 2 minutes.

240mm Howitzer M-1918M1A1 on Carriage M-1918A2
Limited Standard

Adopted by the AEF in 1918 as the super heavy artillery piece. This is a French manufactured unit. 330 were purchased during World War One.

Weight in firing order: 41,296lbs. Elevation and depression: +1 degree to +60 degrees. Traverse is 10 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 16,400 yards. Rate of fire is 1 round in 5 minutes.

240mm Howitzer M-1 on Carriage M-1
Standard

The 240 mm Howitzer M-1, was a towed howitzer used by the United States Army. The 240 mm M-1 was designed to replace the World War I era 240 mm Howitzer M-1918 which was based on a 1911 French design and was outdated by World War II. The project to replace the M-1918 began in 1941.

It was the largest field piece used by the US Army during the war except for naval ordnance adapted into railway guns. The weapon addressed the requirement for super heavy field artillery capable of attacking heavily reinforced targets like those likely to be found along the Siegfried Line. A total of 315 were produced.

Weight in firing order: 64,700lbs. Elevation and depression: +15 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum Range is 25,225 yards. Rate of fire is 1 round per 2 minutes.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.

Last edited by dragoon500ly; 01-20-2019 at 06:26 AM.
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  #78  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:58 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
75mm Pack Howitzer M-1A1 on Carriages M-1, M-3A1, M-3A2, M-3A3 and
M-8

Standard

Originally designed for pack transport, animal draft and low-speed towing. Animal was disconnected prior to the war and the special accessories made obsolete. Development started in 1902 and the M-1 was standardized in 1927. Slight changes in the M-1 were later made and this became the
M-1A1. The primary use of this version was in mountainous terrain.

Weight in firing order was 1,269lbs. Elevation and depression ranges from -5 degrees to +45 degrees, Traverse is 3 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 9,760yds and the rate of fir is 6rpm.

Ammunition available includes the M-41A1 HE shell; M-48 HE with Tracer shell; and the M-66 HEAT shell (armor penetration of 3in at howitzer ranges).

The M-1 carriage is a box-trail, two-wheel unit designed for pack transport and low-speed towing. It is equipped with wooden spoked wheels.

M-3A1 carriage is designed for high-speed towing and is a redesign of the
M-1 carriage. It is a split-trail, two-wheeled design. Limited Standard.

M-3A2 basically a M-3A1 carriage that has been fitted with an armor shield. Standard.

M-3A3 this is a M-3A1 or M-3A2 carriage equipped with combat tires. Standard

The M-8 carriage is designed for airborne use and is identical to the M-1 carriage but is fitted for high-speed towing and rubber wheels.

In this version of the pack howitzer, it can be broken down into nine loads for airborne operations. Paracrates M1 to M7 are constructed of plywood, each paracrate designed to accommodate a specific load. When packed, the paracrates are secured to bomb shackles and parachute harnesses by means of a quick release fitting. A standard 24-foot cargo parachute is attached to each load. Paracrates M1 to M5 together with the M9 are fastened together and dropped from parachute racks on the bottom of the transport. Paracrates M6 and M8 are carried as a daisy-chain load inside the fuselage, from which they are pushed out through the door of the airplane.

Paracrate M-1 contains the front trail, front reinforcement, rear reinforcement and a lifting bar. It weighs 326lbs.

Paracrate M2 contains the rear trail, axle, trail handspike, sponge staff, tool box and spare parts. It weighs 274lbs.

Paracrate M3 contains the bottom sleigh and recoil mechanism, aiming circle w/case, and a lifting bar. It weighs 326lbs.

Paracrate M4 contains the cradle and top sleigh. It weighs 331lbs.

Paracrate M5 contains the tube and a lifting bar. It weighs 302lbs.

Paracrate M6 contains the breech assembly and the panoramic telescope w/mount. Weight is 202lbs.

Paracrate M7 contains the two wheels. Wight is 217lbs.

Paracrate M8 consists of a chest holding 8 rounds of ammunition, packed in individual fiber containers. Weight is 290lbs.

Paracrate M9 consists of a cart holding a chest, holding 8 rounds of ammunition, packed in individual fiber containers. Weight is 304lbs.


105mm Howitzer M-2 and M-2A1 on Carriages M-2, M-2A1 and M-2A2

Standard

The standard artillery piece of the U.S. Army in World War Two. The design originated in a report by the Caliber Board in 1919 which made recommendations for future equipment as a result of experiences in France. Development began in 1920 and the Howitzer M-1 was standardized in 1928. No manufacture was undertaken. When the Army began its mechanization, it became necessary to redesign all horse-drawn equipment. The redesign of the M-1 began in 1933 but was then shelved and not restarted until 1936.

Weight in firing order: 4,980lbs. Elevation and depression: -4 degrees to +64 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 12,200 yards. Rate of fire is 2-4rpm.

Ammunition includes M-1 HE shell; M-67 HEAT shell (armor penetration is 4.5in at howitzer range; M-60 Chemical Shell (Smoke); M-60 Chemical Shell (WP); M-60 Chemical Shell, Gas (HS); M-84/M-84B1 Shell Chem (smoke).

Carriage M-2 is a prewar design fitted with electric brakes. Limited Standard.
Carriage M-2A1 uses standard brakes. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-2A2 is fitted with a new, larger gun shield, a larger buffer and an enclosed screw traverse. Standard.


105mm Howitzer M-3 on Carriage M-3 and M-3A1

Standard

A lightweight version of the Howitzer M-2 designed for airborne use or for other tasks where light weight is an advantage. It fires the same ammunition as the M-2, except for using a smaller propelling charges. The barrel and breech mechanism are those of the Howitzer M-2,with the barrel reduced in length by 27in.

Weight in firing order is 2,495lbs. Elevation and depression is -9 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 22.5 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 8,295yds. Rate of fire is 15rpm.

The Carriage M-3 is assembled from the 75mm Howitzer Carriage M-3A1 with the 75mm Howitzer Carriage M-8 recoil mechanism. Substitute Standard.

The Carriage M-3A1 is fitted with shields. Standard.

155mm Howitzers M-1917, M-1917A1 on Carriages M-1917, M-1917A1, M-1917A2, M-1917A3, M-1917A4

Limited Standard

The first 155mm howitzers used by the U.S. Army, they were designed and manufactured in France by the Schneider Company. In turn, they were superseded by the M-1918 which was in turn superseded by the M-1 as the standard 155mm howitzer. The M-1917 and M-1918A1 were short, heavy cannons with built-up barrels.

Weight in action was 8,184lbs. Elevation and depression was 0 degrees to 42 degrees. Traverse was 3 degrees L/R. Maximum Range was 12,400yds and rate of fire was 1-2rpm.

Carriage M-1917 was a French manufactured carriage with a box trail, steel-tired wooden wheels and a curved gun shield. Recoil and counter recoil of the howitzer was regulated by a hydropneumatic recoil system, housed in a sleigh to which the howitzer is connected. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A1 this the M-1917 carriage with a straight gunshield, a sight port, rubber-tired wheels and provision for a quadrant sight and a panoramic sight. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A2 when the M-1917A1 carriage is modified with a cradle lock and drawbar for motor draft, it is redesignated as the Carriage M-1917A2. These modifications eliminate the need for a limber. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1917A3 this modification includes a high speed axle, wheels with pneumatic tires, a drawbar and a cradle traveling lock. Limited Standard.
Carriage M-1917A4 the addition of torque rods to a Carriage M-1917A4 results in the Carriage M-1917A4.


155mm Howitzer M1918 on Carriage M-1918, M-1918A1 and M-1918A3

Substitute Standard

Similar in build, weight, dimensions and ballistics to the M-1917 and M-1917A1. The firing mechanism is of the screw type and is provided with a block-latch assembly as a safety measure.

Weight in firing order: 8,184lbs. Elevation and depression is 0 degrees to +42 degrees. Traverse is 3 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 12,400yds, Rate of fire Is 2rpm.

Carriage M-1918 In its main construction details, this is similar to the Carriage M-1917. The wheels have rubber tires and the shield consists of right and left plates suitably connected together. Limited Standard.

Carriage M-1918A1 experiments in 1933 for the purpose of adapting the 155mm howitzer to high speed transport resulted in connecting the carriage to the prime mover by means of a draw bar and in new wheel bearings to reduce friction as well as pneumatic-tired wheels. Limited Standard,

Carriage M-1918A3 this is the Carriage M-1918A1 when equipped with torque rods. Limited Standard.


155mm Howitzer M-1 on Carriage M-1

Standard

The barrel is longer and heavier than the barrels of previous models.

Weight in firing order is 11,966lbs. Elevation and depression is 0 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 26 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 16,000yds. Rate of fire is 2rpm.

Carriage M-1 is interchangeable with the Carriage M-2 used for the Gun 4.5-inch M-1. Length of recoil varies automatically with the elevation and zone of fire. Equilibrators of the spring type neutralize the unbalanced weight of the tube. The carriage has a split trail, pneumatic tires and air brakes. Standard.
You need the M114 155mm Towed Howitzer. It was introduced in 1942 and I was shooting one at Ft. Drum NY in 1992. They are STILL in mothballs with the Army... along with a couple of THOUSAND M2 105mm Towed Howitzers.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:32 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
You need the M114 155mm Towed Howitzer. It was introduced in 1942 and I was shooting one at Ft. Drum NY in 1992. They are STILL in mothballs with the Army... along with a couple of THOUSAND M2 105mm Towed Howitzers.
The M-114 is simply the Korean War vintage M-1A1 155mm howizer. It was renumbered in 1962. Since this work is WW2 oriented, I didn't list either of these.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:28 AM
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Default Part Forty One: Artillery-the Guns

155mm Gun M-1917, M-1918M1 on Carriages M-1017, M-1917A1, M-1918, M-1918A1, M-2 and M-3
Substitute Standard

The M-1918M1 started out as a French design (Canon de 155mm GPF) and served as the French Army’s standard field gun from 1917 to World War Two, it was used by the U.S. Army as the 155mm Gun M-1917. A slightly modified version was adopted by the AEF in 1918 as the 155mm Gun M-1918. It was used by the United States Army and United States Marine Corps as their primary heavy artillery gun until 1942, when it was gradually replaced by the 155mm Gun M-1A1.

Weight in firing order: 23,302lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +35 degrees. Traverse is 30 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 20,100 yards. Rate of fire is 4rpm.

155mm Gun M-1A1 on Carriage M-1
Standard

The 155 mm Gun M1 was a 155 millimeter caliber field gun developed and used by the United States military. Nicknamed "Long Tom", it was produced in M1 and M1A1 variants. Developed to replace the Canon de 155mm GPF (M-1917, M-1918), the gun was deployed as a heavy field weapon during World War II, and also classed as secondary armament for seacoast defense.

Weight in firing order: 30,600lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +65 degrees. Traverse is 30 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 25,395 yards. Rate of fire is 1rpm.


8-inch Gun M-1 on Carriage M-2
Standard

In 1919, the Westervelt Board described the ideal heavy gun for future development having a bore of 194mm to 8-inches, a projectile of about 200lbs, and a range of 35,000 yards. More striking was that it be must be road transportable. At this time no other country had such a road-transportable field gun. Low-priority design work occurred until 1924. Serious development began in June 1940 of an 8-inch (203 mm) gun that would have a range of 33,500 yards (30,600 m), a road speed of 25 mph (40 km/h), be transported in two loads weighing no more than 44,000lbs and be suitable for rail movement. The gun used the same projectile as the 8-inch coastal gun and the US Navy's 8-inch cruiser gun. Using the same carriage as the 240 mm howitzer M1 eased development, but the gun was very troublesome and was not standardized until January 1942. The main problems were excessive bore wear and poor accuracy, but it was felt that nothing better could be produced in a timely manner. Thus it entered production at a low rate and in small numbers. Only 139 weapon systems were produced before production ceased in 1945.

Weight in firing order: 69,300lbs. Elevation and depression: +10 degrees to +50 degrees. Traverse is 15 degrees L/R. Maximum range is 35,635yds. Rate of fire is 1rpm.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:31 AM
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Default Part Forty Two: the Artillery, Railway Gun

In World War One, super heavy artillery was often mounted on railroad carriages for better mobility. This idea fell out of fashion as World War Two started, now the Germans, Russians, and British made limited use of railway guns, the U.S. Army only deployed one model:

8-inch Navy Gun Mark VI, Mod 3A2 on Railway Mount M-1A1
Standard

The 8-inch Navy gun Mk.VI, M3A2 on railway mount M1A1 was a World War II improved replacement for the World War I-era 8-inch (203 mm) M-1888 gun and was used by the US Army's Coast Artillery Corps in US harbor defenses. The guns were also mounted in fixed emplacements on the barbette carriage M-1A1. These guns were US Navy surplus 8"/45 caliber guns from battleships scrapped under the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. Mark VI (also Mark 6) was the Navy designation.

The gun was quickly assembled at the start of World War Two. Its carriage was developed from an experimental 12-inch railway howitzer carriage with all-round rotating mount and outriggers and was designed to track a target ship for seacoast defense. All told, some 32 railway versions and 16 barbette versions were produced. They had a short service life, being cut up for scrap after the war.

Weight in firing order: 230,000lbs. Elevation and depression: +5 degrees to +45 degrees. Maximum range is 32,000 yards. Rate of fire is 2rpm.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:38 AM
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Default Part Forty-three: Seacoast Defense Guns

Coastal defense was the responsibility of the U.S. Army, it was concerned with the operation of mobile anti-ship batteries and fixed coastal fortifications. In the inter-war years and early war years it was also responsible for antiaircraft defense.

6-inch Gun M-1897, M-1900, M-1903, M-1905 and M-1908 on disappearing carriages or barbette mountings.
Standard

As part of the reforms of the Endicott Board, a massive construction program of new breech-loading cannons, mortars and submarine mines was implemented between 1885 and 1905. The 6-inch caliber was chosen, as in many applications, for combining a relatively heavy shell with rapid hand loading. Initially, most of the guns were mounted on disappearing carriages; when the gun was fired, it dropped behind a concrete and/or earthen wall for protection from counter-battery fire, but it was soon discovered that this type of mounting decreased the rate of fire. In 1900 a low profile pedestal mount was introduced. This would later be replaced by a high-angle barbette carriage after World War One.

The following models were used:

Model; Weight; Number Built; Carriage; Max Range; Rate of Fire

M-1897; 16,216lbs; 29; disappearing; 14,600yds; 3rpm
M-1900; 19,968lbs;45; pedestal; 17,000yds; 6rpm
M-1903; 19,990lbs; 90; disappearing; 14,600yds; 4rpm
M-1905; 21,148lbs; 33; disappearing; 14,600yds; 4rpm
M-1908; 12,500lbs; 6 ; pedestal; 17,000yds; 6rpm
M-1; 20,550lbs; 143; high-angle barbette; 27,500yds; 8rpm


10-inch Gun M-1895, M-1888, M-1900 on disappearing carriages
Limited Standard

As part of the reforms of the Endicott Board, a massive construction program of new breech-loading cannons, mortars and submarine mines was implemented between 1885 and 1905. Initially, the 10-inch M-1895 guns were mounted on pedestals, this was later changed to disappearing carriages, where the gun was loaded and aimed in the lowered position and then raised to fire. For the most part the 10-inch guns were deployed to the Philippines, sold via Lend-Lease or scrapped 1943-44.

Weight in firing order (disappearing): 67,200lbs. Elevation and depression (disappearing) 0 degrees to +12 degrees. Traverse (disappearing): 170 degrees (varies per installation. Maximum range is 14,700 yards. Rate of fire: 2-3rpm.

12-inch Coast Defense Mortar
Substitute Standard

One of the Endicott Board findings was to place the primary reliance on seacoast defense on “mortars” rather than guns. Over the years, some 476 of these mortars were deployed.

The M-1890M1 was one of the most powerful pieces of its era and was the most common type emplaced to guard U.S. harbors. This mortar and other models, the M-1886, M-1908, and M-1912, usually fired deck-piercing (also called armor-piercing) shells. These weighed from 700 to 1,046 pounds and had heavy, hardened steel caps, designed to pierce a ship's deck armor before the shell exploded. These mortars, firing the half-ton shells at an elevation of 45 degrees, had a range of 12,019 yards when firing the 1,046lbs shell and up to 14,610 yards when firing the 700lb shell. In addition, what was first called a “torpedo” shell (HE shell) weighing between 800 to 1,000 pounds was available. These were thin-walled shells roughly 5 feet in length that carried explosive charges of about 130 pounds and were meant to detonate upon contact with the deck of a ship, scattering fragments among the crew.

Coast defense mortars were never intended to be fired in the direct mode, they were not even actually mortars, rather being extremely short barreled howitzers. Their ranges depended on two factors, first was, of course, the elevation of the weapon. The second was the size of the powder charge loaded into its breech. The desired range was specified in terms of “zones”.

The smallest zone (shortest range) was Zone 1, and the largest (longest range) was Zone 9. With the so-called "aliquot charge", up to 9 equal-sized, disk-shaped bags of powder (each about 2 inches thick and containing 6.3 pounds of powder) could be attached to a 10th (or "base") bag, by means of cloth binding straps that were sewn to the base bag. Often the base bag was painted red, indicating that the powder assembly was to be loaded into the breech "red end last," so that it bumped up against the closing breech block. The red base bag also contained a small charge of black powder as an igniter. When the breech was closed, a detonator was inserted through the breech block and contacted the igniter, ready to set off the full powder charge.

The earliest coast defense mortar batteries were designed as so-called “Abbot Quads” (after its developer). Abbot Quads were rectangular configurations of four rectangular mortar pits, with each pit designed to mount four of the huge mortars.

The idea behind the Abbot Quad was to have all 16 mortars in the four pits fire at once, producing a shotgun-like salvo of plunging shells optimally dispersed to destroy an enemy ship. It was argued that targeting each mortar individually would not produce many more hits than salvo firing, since early fire control procedures and equipment were often error-prone. Furthermore, proponents of salvo firing pointed out that it made for easier command and control (particularly under battle conditions), since all mortars in all pits of a battery could be given the same firing data. One key problem of the Abbot Quad was that it placed four of these massive weapons in a very small pit, this resulted in often only having two tubes manned instead of all four due to the cramped conditions. As a result, partially due to the crowded conditions as well as improvements in fire control, the emphasis was switched to individually firing each tube, this resulted in mortar batteries being built into two four-tube firing bays

Weight in firing order: 157,000lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +40-+70 for firing. Traverse: 360 degrees. Maximum range: 14,610 yards. Rate of fire: 1 rpm.

12-inch Gun, M-1895A2, M-1895A3, M-1895M1A2 and M-1895M1A3 on disappearing and barbette carriages.
Substitute Standard

These weapons were large coastal artillery pieces installed in fixed positions to defend major seaports between 1895-1945. Most were installed on disappearing carriages, with early installations on low-angle barbette mountings. From 1919, 19 long-range two-gun batteries were built using the M1895 on an M-1917 long-range barbette carriage.

Weight in firing order: 115,000lbs (disappearing), 406,700lbs (barbette). Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +20 degrees (disappearing); 0 degrees to +35 degrees (barbette). Traverse: 170 degrees (disappearing, varies per installation); 360 degrees (barbette). Maximum range: 18,400 yards (disappearing); 30,100 yards (barbette). Rate of fire: 1 1/3 rpm.

16-inch Mark 2 Gun on Barbette Carriage
Standard

The 16"/50 caliber Mark 2 gun and the near-identical Mark 3 were guns originally designed and built for the United States Navy as the main armament for the South Dakota-class battleships and Lexington-class battlecruisers. At the time, they were among the heaviest guns built for use as naval artillery.

As part of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, both of these ship classes were cancelled part way through construction, leaving a surplus of about 70 examples of the 16-inch/50 which had already been built. Twenty were released to the US Army, between 1922–1924, for use by the Coast Artillery Corps, the rest were kept in storage for future naval use. Only ten of the twenty available guns were deployed (in five two-gun batteries) prior to 1940.

In January 1941 all but three of the remaining fifty Mark 2 and Mark 3 guns were released to the Army. They were the primary armament of 21 two-gun batteries built in the United States and its territories during World War II.

Weight in firing order: 1,172,500lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to +46 degrees. Traverse: 145 degrees. Maximum range: 45,100 yards. Rate of Fire: 2rpm.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:43 PM
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Default Part Forty-four Antiaircraft Artillery

Multiple Machine Gun Carriage, M-51
Standard
This weapon is the M-45 MMGM from the M-16 MMGC mounted on a large twin-axle trailer. Intended to provide antiaircraft protection for truck convoys. It consisted of four M-2HB machineguns mounted on an armored turret. It is a power-driven, mount with a self-contained power unit. It can be traversed through 360 degrees and can be elevated from -10 degrees to +90 degrees. Traverse/elevation speed is 60 degrees per second.
Maximum ceiling is 15,583ft. Maximum ground range is 7,403yds.

Multiple Machine Gun Trailer, M-55
Standard
This is the M-45 MMGM stripped of its armor shield and mounted on a light two-wheeled trailer. It is issued to airborne units. It consisted of four M-2HB machineguns mounted on an armored turret. It is a power-driven, mount with a self-contained power unit. It can be traversed through 360 degrees and can be elevated from -10 degrees to +90 degrees. Traverse/elevation speed is 60 degrees per second. Maximum ceiling is 15,583ft. Maximum ground range is 7,403yds.

37mm Antiaircraft Gun M-1A2 on Carriage M-3A1
Substitute Standard
Developed in 1939, this was the U.S. Army’s light antiaircraft cannon. Some 7,278 were produced in towed and a further 2,332 in SP mounts. This SP mount consisted of a single 37mm gun and two M-2HB machineguns on the M-2/M-3 halftrack, resulting in the T28/T28E1/M15/M15A1 series of multiple gun motor carriages. The towed versions were soon replaced by the 40mm Bofors M-1 gun while the SP mount served in self-propelled antiaircraft battalions.
Weight in firing order: 6,124lbs. Elevation and depression: -5 degrees to +90 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 18,600ft. Maximum horizontal range is 8,875yds. Rate of Fire is 120rpm.

40mm Antiaircraft Gun M-1 on Carriages M-2 or M-2A1
Standard
Originally developed in 1934 by the AB Bofors Company of Sweden, the 40mm was soon in widespread service in European armies. American interest in the weapon began with the U.S. Navy in 1938 and the U.S. Army in 1940. After testing of British supplied Bofors, approval was given for U.S. manufacture with a license agreement with the Bofors Company in 1941.
The 40mm M-1 is essentially the original Bofors design, but with dimensions, clearances and threads modified to U.S. standards. It is a recoil-operated automatic weapon using a vertical sliding wedge breech-block. Ammunition is supplied in four round clips. A clip is placed into the clip guides and the first round is manually loaded into the breech. Upon firing, the empty case is ejected down a chute to the front of the weapon while the next round is automatically loaded. If the foot pedal trigger is held down, the weapon will fire and repeat as long as the clip guide is supplied with ammunition.

The Carriage M-2/M-2A1 is a modified form of the original Bofors carriage. This mount allowed the gun to be fired from the carriage with no setup required, although with limited accuracy. If time was available for setup, the gunners used the tow-bar and muzzle lock as levers, raising the wheels off the ground and thereby lowering the gun onto supporting pads. Two additional legs folded out to the sides, and the platform was then leveled with hand cranks. The entire setup process could be completed in under a minute.

The M-5 (Airborne) Carriage is a modified version of the M-2A1. It is a smaller platform that can be transported by C-46/C-47 aircraft. It can be easily unload from the plane and be moved on its two wheel carriage for short distances by manpower. It can also be hooked to any prime mover, although care should be taken to insure that the two speed is less than five miles per hour, in order not to damage the smaller wheels and suspension. Weight of the Weapon and carriage in firing order is 4,495lbs.
Weight in firing order: 5,549lbs. Elevation and depression: -11 degrees to +90 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 23,490 feet. Maximum horizontal range is 10,850 yards. Rate of fire is 120rpm.

3-inch Antiaircraft Gun M-1 and M-3 on Mounts M-1A1, M-1A2, M-2A1 and
M-2A2
Standard
The development of medium caliber mobile antiaircraft artillery for the U.S. Army started when a 75mm Gun, M1916 was placed on a truck during the First World War. Shortly thereafter, the caliber of the antiaircraft gun was fixed at 3-inches.

The first mobile antiaircraft gun and mount of the new caliber to be designed and manufactured was the 3-inch Gun, M1918 and the Mount M1918. This was soon replaced in the postwar period by the Mount M2. Postwar development continued, focussing on increasing the muzzle velocity and rate of fire, improving road performance, the stability of the firing platform as well as producing a more efficient fire control system. By 1928, the new 3-inch Gun M-1 entered service. Further development of a removeable liner for the barrel saw the 3-inch Gun M-3 entering service.

Weight in firing order: 16,800lbs. Elevation and depression: -1 degree to +80 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 31,200 feet. Maximum horizontal range is 14,780 yards. Rate of fire is 25-30rpm.

90mm Antiaircraft Gun M-1 and M-1A1 on Mount M-1A1
Substitute Standard
Aviation progress, especially in the field of high-altitude bombing, demanded reconsideration of requirements for mobile antiaircraft artillery. In order to cop with rapidly maneuvering bombers, flying at modern speeds at extreme heights, it was essential to develop weapons with longer range, greater muzzle velocity and a larger effective shell-burst area than the older 3-inch gun was capable of delivering. Introduced into service in 1938, the 90mm gun was the U.S. Army’s primary heavy anti-aircraft gun, So well did the new 90mm weapon perform that is was also deployed as a coast defense gun and as a anti-tank and later as tank armament.

Weight in firing order: 19,000lbs. Elevation and depression: 0 degrees to 80 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 43,500 feet. Maximum horizontal range 18,960 yards. Rate of fire: 32rpm.

90mm Antiaircraft Gun M-2 on Mount M-2
Standard
By July of 1941, it was decided that all mobile antiaircraft guns should be dual-purpose weapons capable of engaging both aerial and ground targets when the mount was on wheels. This was impossible with the M-1A1 mount, since it was necessary to remove the wheeled bogie and emplace the mount on its pedestal base with outriggers extended before opening fire. The redesigned carriage entered service as the M-2. Modifications to the gun included an armored shield to protect the gun crew. Another feature was the fitting of a combination fuse setter-rammer to increase the rate of fire in the antiaircraft role.

Weight in firing order: 32,300lbs. Elevation and depression: -10 degrees to +80 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 58,860 feet. Maximum horizontal range is 19,500 yards. Rate of fire: 37rpm.

120mm Antiaircraft Gun M-1 on Mount M-1
Standard
The 120 mm Gun M1 was the United States Army's standard super-heavy anti-aircraft gun during World War II., complementing the smaller and more mobile M2 90 mm gun in service.

The Army first worked on a 120 mm gun after the end of World War I, with a prototype being presented in 1924. The system was considered far too heavy and expensive to be useful, and the project slowed down, although it was never canceled outright.

In 1938, the Army reviewed its needs for newer AA systems and decided to order new systems for both the heavy and super-heavy role. The former was filled by the new M1 90 mm gun, which replaced the earlier M3 3-inch gun then in use. For the super-heavy role, the 120 mm gun design was dusted off and mated to a new eight-wheel carriage, designated 4.7-inch M1 when it was accepted in 1940. The 120mm M-1 entered service in 1944.

Weight in firing order: 61,500lbs. Elevation and depression: -5 degrees to +80 degrees. Traverse is 360 degrees. Maximum ceiling is 57,500 feet. Maximum horizontal range is 27,300 yards. Rate of fire: 10rpm.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:39 AM
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Default Part Forty-five. The Light Tanks

M-1 Combat Car and Light Tank M-2 Series

The National Defense Act of 1920 set tanks as the responsibility of the infantry and the general staff defined the purpose of tanks as the support of infantry units. Light tanks were defined as weighing five tons or less – so they could be carried by trucks – and medium tanks no greater than 15 tons to meet bridge weight limits. With very tight restrictions on spending, tank development in the U.S. was limited to a couple of test vehicles a year. The mechanization of the army was promoted by General Douglas MacArthur (Chief of Staff of the US Army) who believed that the cavalry should have tanks for an exploiting role rather than acting in support of the infantry. To allow U.S. Army cavalry units to be equipped with armored fighting vehicles, the tanks developed for the cavalry were designated "combat cars"

In the mid-1930s, the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) built three protype models of the M-2 light tank, based on the British Vickers 6-ton tank. At the same time RIA also built a version for the U.S. Cavalry called the T-5 Combat Car. The only major difference between the two was that the T-5 used vertical volute suspension (VVSS) while the T-2 had leaf springs as on the Vickers. The T-5 was developed further and the T5E2 was accepted for production as the "M-1 Combat Car".

The M-1 Combat Car saw only limited production from 1937-1939. All told only 113 were produced. They remained in U.S. Army service until 1943 as training vehicles.

This led to a second prototype of the T-2, the T-2E1 in April 1934, adopting VVSS from the T-5. The T-2E1 was armed with one .30 caliber and one .50 caliber Browning machine gun mounted in a fixed turret; another .30 caliber Browning was mounted on the hull front. The T-2E1 was selected for production in 1935 as the M-2, which mounted only the M-2 Browning in a small one-man turret, and the .30 caliber in the hull. A total of seventeen were produced.

After only 10 units were delivered, the Infantry Branch decided to switch to a twin turret configuration in the M-2A2, with a .30-caliber machine gun in a second turret. While the twin turret design was inefficient, it was a common design feature of many tanks in the 1930s. Further refinements to the M-2A2 produced the M-2A3 model, which incorporated a modified suspension system that reduced the tank's ground pressure. The weight increased to 10 tons. A total of 239 M-2A2 and 72 M-2A3 were produced.

Lessons learned from the Spanish Civil War made the U.S. Army realize that, in addition to machineguns, tanks would need to be armed with a cannon as well. The Cavalry had chosen to equip its Combat Cars with a single, larger turret so in 1938, the Infantry ordered a single M-2A3 too be modified with heavier armor and weapons. The new M-2A4 Light Tank was equipped with the M-5 37mm cannon, 25mm thick armor and seven-cylinder Continental R-670-9A radial gasoline engine. Other upgrades would include improved suspension, improved transmission, and better engine cooling. Production of the M-2A4 began in May of 1940 and ended in April 1942 with a total production run of 375.

By Pearl Harbor, the M-2A1, M-2A2 and M-2A4 were training vehicles, a role they would maintain until 1942. The U.S. Marine Corps, equipping its new tank battalions, chose the new M-3 Light Tank, but until production caught up, it took over 36 M-2A4s. Many of these tanks were assigned to A Company, 1st Tank Battalion where they took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal.

Light Tank M-3 “Stuart” Series

With the changing situation in Europe, the Army realized that its Light Tank M-2 series were obsolete and started designed its replacement. The New Light Tank M-3, with thicker armor, a modified suspension system and a new gun recoil system started production in March, 1941 until October 1943. It was armed with the same M-5 37mm cannon as on the M-2A4 and carried a total of five .30-caliber machineguns (coaxial, a antiaircraft mount on the turret top, in a ball mount on the hull front and two fixed in sponsons). The sponson machineguns would later be deleted, and the M-6 37mm cannon (with a longer barrel) would replace the M-5.

Combat weight of the M-3 was 13.7 tons. Armor protection for the hull front ranged from 16mm to 38mm; Hull sides from 16mm to 25mm; Hull top: 9mm; Hull bottom: 9mm to 13mm. Turret Front: 38mm. Turret Sides and rear: 32mm and Turret Top: 13mm. Crew consisted of four men (tank commander/loader, gunner, driver and assistant driver/bow gunner).

The M-3 used the same gasoline-fueled 7-cylinder Continental W-670 radial engine that powered the M-2A4. This gave a Road Speed of 36mph and a Cruising Range of 70 miles with 56 gallons of fuel.

The M-3 carried 103 rounds of 37mm and 8,270 rounds of .30-caliber ammunition.

A total of 4,526 M-3s were built.

The M-3A1 replaced the gasoline engine with a Guiberson T1020-4 9-cylinder diesel radial engine, as well as deleting the two sponson machineguns. Combat weight increased to 14.25 tons. Ammunition storage changed to 116 rounds of 37mm and 6,400 rounds of .30-caliber. A total of 1,285 were produced.

Modifications continued on the M-3 Light Tank as lessons learned from combat operations started its way back to the design boards. In August of 1942, The M-3A3 entered service with an improved turret with a bulge for the radio added to the rear. The hull was streamlined and was now welded. The front armor plate was extended forward and reinforced, providing great protection for the driver and assistant. The driver’s hatches were relocated from the front plate and were moved to the top plate.

The sponsons were lengthened to the rear of the vehicle and now contained additional gas tanks as well as ammunition storage. Other improvements include an easier steering mechanism, improved fire protection and ventilation, relocation of the battery, switch and instruments and provision of detachable headlights.

Combat weight of the vehicle climbed to 15.9 tons. Ammo stowage now included 174 rounds of 37mm and 7,500 rounds of .30-caliber.
A total of 3,427 of the M-3A3 were produced.

Light Tank M-5 “Stuart” Series

One of the quirks of the M-3 series was its reliance on a powerful, lightweight engine that, at the time, could only be resolved by using an aircraft radial engine. As the war progressed, demand for these radial engines to be used only by the aviation industry resulted in the development of a new engine by Cadillac. The Series 42 was a 16-cylinder Dual V-8, fitted with a twin Hydra-Matic transmission. This resulted in a powerplant quieter, cooler and roomier; as a bonus, the automatic transmission simplified crew training.

The hull is basically that of the M-3A3, but with a raised deck over the engine compartment. The turret was similar to that of the M-3A1, but with the lower drive-shaft tunnel required by use of the new engine, it was possible to relocate the turret traversing mechanism and much of the gyro-stabilizer under the turret basket, providing more space in the turret.

Armor protection was slightly improved with the Hull front ranging from 29mm to 64mm. Hull sides and rear from 25mm to 29mm. Hull top: 13mm and Hull bottom: 9mm to 13mm. Turret front was now 48mm. Turret sides was 33mm. Turret Top was 13mm.

Combat weight was 16.5tons. Maximum road speed was 36mph and it had a cruising range of 100 miles. Crew consisted of four men (tank commander/loader, gunner, driver and assistant driver/bow gunner).

Armament consisted of a M-6 37mm gun and three M-1919A4 Browning machine guns (coaxial, hull front and an antiaircraft mount). Ammunition storage consisted of 123 rounds of 37mm and 6,250 rounds of .30-caliber.

In September, 1942, the Light Tank M-5A1 entered production. The principal change was an improved turret, similar to that of the M-3A3. This lead to an increase in the combat weight to 16.9 tons. Ammunition stowage was improved and now 147 rounds 37mm and 6,500 rounds of .30-caliber were carried.

The M-5/M-5A1 remained in production through 1944 with a total run of 8,885 vehicles.

Total production run of the M-3 and M-5 series was 22,744 vehicles.

Light Tank (Airborne) M-22 “Locust”

In 1941, the British requested the development of a airborne light tank that could be delivered by glider to a landing zone. The Light Tank Mark VII Tetrach served this purpose for British Airborne, but it had not been designed for this purpose. The War Office then requested the War Department to develop and produce this design. The prototype was designated the Light Tank T-9 (Airborne) and was designed to be slung underneath the C-54 Skymaster transport and its dimensions also allowed it to be carried within the Hamilcar glider.

Design issues delayed production until late 1943 with a production run of 830 vehicles ending in early 1944. By this time, the design was considered to be obsolete and it was used as a training tank in the U.S., however, 260 were supplied to Britain under Lend-Lease. There it was considered to be not as reliable as the Tetrach and it was used as a training tank. In October 1944, the M-22 was issued to the 6th Airborne Armoured reconnaissance Regiment and eight took part in Operation Varsity in March 1945. It did not perform well in action. Five were damaged during landing, one was destroyed by a German self-propelled gun and only two went into action. The M-22 never saw use with the British Army after that.

Combat weight was 8 tons. Power plant was a Lycoming 0-435-T 6-cylinder inline gasoline engine. Road speed was 35mph and cruising range was 110 miles. Crew consisted of three men (tank commander/loader, gunner and driver).

Armor protection was very thin. Hull front 25mm. Hull sides ranged from 9 to 13mm. Hull Rear was 13mm; Hull top was 9mm and Hull bottom was 13mm. Turret front was 25mm; turret sides and rear was 13mm.

Armament consisted of a M-6 37mm gun and a coaxial .30-caliber machine gun. Provision for 50 rounds of 37mm and 2,500 rounds of .30-caliber were made.


Light Tank M-24 “Chaffee”

British combat experience in North Africa with the M-3 Stuart showed several shortcomings to the American design. Besides issues with limited range and poor crew conditions, the most serious was the poor performance of the 37mm gun. While to fire a HE shell, its antiarmor performance, especially against the later models of the Panzer Mark III and Mark IV indicated a need to seriously upgun.

Experiments proved that the basic M-3 chassis could fit a 75mm howitzer and this was later to enter service as the M-7 Howitzer Motor Carriage. But the 75mm lacked the antiarmor performance that was needed.

In April 1943, the Ordnance Corps, together with Cadillac (who manufactured the M5), started work on the new project, designated Light Tank T-24. The powerplant and transmission of the M5 were used together with some aspects of the experimental T-7. Efforts were made to keep the weight of the vehicle under 20 tons. The armor was kept light, with the glacis plate only 25 mm thick but sloped to maximize effectiveness. A new lightweight 75 mm gun was developed, a derivative of the gun used in the B-25H Mitchell bomber. The gun had the same ballistics as the 75 mm M3 in use by American tanks but used a thinly walled barrel and different recoil mechanism. The design featured 16 in (41 cm) tracks and torsion bar suspension, similar to the slightly earlier M-18 Hellcat tank destroyer, which itself started in production in July 1943. The torsion bar system was to give a smoother ride than the vertical volute suspension used on most US armored vehicles. At the same time, the chassis was expected to be a standard used for other vehicles, such as self-propelled guns, and specialist vehicles; known together as the "Light Combat Team". It had a relatively low silhouette and a three-man turret.

There is no turret basket, with the turret crew being provided with seats suspended from the turret base ring. The 75mm ammunition is stored on the floor of the vehicle in water-protected containers.

The first production M-24 rolled off the production line in October, 1943 and proved to be a success. Production orders totaling 4,731 quickly followed. Production ended in August, 1945.

Combat weight is 19.4 tons. Power plant is a Cadillac, Series 42 16-cylinder Dual V-8 (the same unit fitted to the M-5 series). Road speed is 35mph and the vehicle has a cruising range of 175 miles. The crew consists of four men (tank commander/loader, gunner, driver and assistant driver/bow gunner).

Armor protection consists of: Hull armor: 25mm; Hull sides ranging from 19mm to 25mm. Hull rear is 19mm. Hull top is 13mm and Hull bottom ranges from 13mm to 19mm. Turret front, sides and rear are 25mm. Turret top is 13mm. Gun shield is 38mm.

Armament consists of a M-6 75mm Gun, a M-2HB .50-caliber machine gun for antiaircraft protection, two M-1919A4 .30-caliber machine guns (coaxial and bow) and M-3 2-inch smoke mortar. Ammunition stowage consists of 48 rounds of 75mm, 440 rounds of .50-caliber, 3,750 rounds of .30-caliber and 14 rounds of 2-inch smoke bombs.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:37 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Part Forty-six, Chapter One, the Medium Tank M-2 Series

In 1939, the Medium Tank M-2 entered service at the Rock Island Arsenal, with a total production run of 18 vehicles and 94 slightly improved M-2A1 tanks. With the outbreak of War in Europe, it rapidly became apparent that the new medium tanks were obsolete, as a result, the M-2 series never saw combat service and was used stateside as training vehicles.

The M-2 design featured a large number of machine guns, bullet deflector plates and a sloped glacis plate on the hull front. It was a development of the Light Tank M-2 Series and featured the vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS) and twin-wheeled bogies and a rubber-bushed and rubber-shod track, features that would be used on the future Medium Tanks M-3 and M-4. The power plant was a Wright R975 radial gasoline engine (originally designed for aircraft).

The M-2 had a high superstructure, with a sponson-mounted machine gun in each corner. Additional machine guns were fixed in the glacis plate and were fired by the driver. On top of the superstructure was a turret mounting a 37mm M-5 cannon with a coaxial machinegun and two additional machine guns were mounted on either side of the turret for antiaircraft protection.

The crew consisted of six men (tank commander/loader, driver and four gunners). Ammunition stowage consisted of 200 rounds of 37mm and 12,250 rounds of .30-caliber.

Maximum road speed was 26mph with a cruising range of 130 miles. Combat weight was 20.5 tons.

Armor protection was thin, measuring from 13mm to 51mm. An unusual design feature was the fitting of deflector plates on the rear fenders, the idea being that as the tank crossed a trench, the rear sponson machineguns could fire on these plates and the rounds would then be deflected down into the trench or into the area behind the tank. Sadly, this feature did not work.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:41 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Part Forty-seven, the Medium Tank M-3 Series

The events in Europe in the late Spring of 1940 emphasized the urgent necessity to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces. The success of the German “Blitzkrieg” underlined the requirement that the new forces be reorganized, but they must be armed with equipment second to none. The first move towards this reorganization was the formation of the separate Armored Force combining the tank elements that previously belonged to the Cavalry and the Infantry. A key item in its equipment was the Medium Tank M-2A1 but reports from observers in Europe indicated that its 37mm gun and light armor was already inadequate for a modern medium tank. The success of the 75mm short barreled cannon of the Panzer Mark IV clearly showed the need for a weapon at least as powerful for the new medium tank.

In June of 1940, new requirements was issued by the Ordnance Corps. This was standardized in July 1940 as the Medium Tank M-3. So urgent was the world situation that it was standardized and ordered into production long before the design was complete.

at Dunkirk. There was now a vital need to equip its armored units as quickly as possible. A British Tank Mission was dispatched to the U.S. to arrange for the purchase of armored vehicles. At first, it was hoped that the production of British designs in American factories would be possible. It was quickly realized that this would cause a dispersion of effort and an inefficient use of the available resources. The British were informed that only designs acceptable to the U.S. would be produced, but some modifications would be permitted on vehicles under British contracts. On this understanding, the British placed orders for the new M-3 with a modified crew compartment and a new turret.
During the summer of 1940, a great deal of change took place in the design of the M-3. The original concept was to thicken the armor and install a 75mm gun in the right front sponson on the M-2A1. A meeting of the various manufacturers along with representatives of the Armored Force met in Aberdeen Proving Grounds in August, 1940 to view a full size wooden mockup of the new tanks hull.

This initial version of the M-3 attempted to retain the heavy machinegun armament of the M-2A1. With the placement of the 75mm, a new auxiliary turret was mounted on the left sponson (with two .30-caliber machine guns). Armor thickness was increased to 51mm on the hull front and 38mm on the hull sides and rear.

Observing the shortcomings of the design, it was initially planned to limit total production to only 360 vehicles and to push the development of a tank that mounted the 75mm gun in a turret. But the urgent need for large numbers of new tanks by the British for the Middle East would not permit the limited production run.

The decision was made to delete the sponson machine guns and install pistol ports to cover these areas. The radio set was moved into the space vacated by the auxiliary turret. Fuel capacity was increased and the turret floor was lowered to give more head room in the turret.

In the meantime, the British designed a new turret with more room for the crew and a radio set carried in the extended turret bustle. The cupola was replaced by a circular hatch fitted with a rotating split hatch cover. The British named their version the General Grant I and the U.S. model was referred to as the General Lee I, both would be used in the North Africa fighting. Total production of the M-3 came to 4,924 tanks.

Combat Weight was 30.7 tons. Powerplant was a Wright-Continental R975 EC2 9-cylinder radial engine. This allowed the M-3 a maximum road speed of 24mph and a cruising range of 120 miles.

Armor protection comprised: Hull Front: ranging from38mm to 51mm; Hull sides of 38mm; Hull rear of 38mm, Hull top of 13mm; Hull bottom ranging from 13mm to 25mm. Turret Front, sides and rear of 51mm; Turret top of 22mm.

Armament comprised a 75mm Gun M-2 or M-3 (with 50 rounds of ammo); a 37mm Gun M-5 or M-6 (with 178 rounds of ammo) and three .30-caliber machineguns (coaxial, cupola antiaircraft and fixed glacis plate mount, fired by the driver) (total of 9,200 rounds of .30-caliber).

The Cruiser Tank Grant I was very similar, with a combat weight of 31 tons. The turret front armor was increased to 76.2mm.

Armament comprised a 75mm Gun M-2 (with 65 rounds of ammo), a 37mm Gun M-5 or M-6 (with 128 rounds of ammo), three .30-caliber machineguns (coaxial and two fixed in the glacis plate and provided with 4,084 rounds of ammo).

The M-3A1
One of the dangers of the M-3 was its riveted construction. The M-3A1 was made with cast armor upper hull. Production began in February 1942 and ended that August after a total run of 300 vehicles. Vehicle stats are the same as for the M-3, with a combat weight of 31.5 tons.

The M-3A2
The primary feature of this version was that upper hull was welded. Production began in January 1942 but ended after only 12 vehicles were completed.

The M-3A3 and M-3A5
By the Summer of 1941 it was rapidly becoming apparent that the limiting factor in armored vehicle production was the lack of suitable engines. The air-cooled radials of the Light Tank M-3 and the early versions of the Medium Tank M-3 were required for use in training aircraft, thus restricting the production of future tanks. Starting in August of 1941 contracts were let for the development of new tank engines. One of the first was a General Motors unit that consisted of a pair of standard 6-71 diesel truck engines. A noted feature of this design was its symmetrical engine block, allowing accessories to be mounted on either side of the blocks, placing them on the outside of the power plant. Another advantage of this power plant was that if one engine failed, the other could still be used to operate the tank.

A disadvantage was that the new engine was larger than the radial engine it replaced, requiring modifications to the engine compartment. To protect the radiators installed at the rear, the side and rear armor plates were extended down to the level of the tracks and the rear plate was sloped about 10 degrees from the vertical. The engine compartment doors of the M-3 was replaced by a single lower plate and a dust deflector was installed.

Because of the larger engine compartment, fuel tankage was reduced from 175 gallons to 148 gallons, but the superior performance of the diesel engines actually increased the cruising range to 160 miles.

This new vehicle, with its welded hull was standardized as the M-3A3 and a total of 322 were produced between January thru December 1942.

The same power plant was installed in the riveted hull version and this was standardized as the M-3A5, total production run during the same period was 591 vehicles.

The M-3A4
The final production version of the Medium Tank M-3 was the M-3A4, like the A3/A5 it also used an alternative powerplant, in this case the Chrysler A57 30-cylinder multibank engine. This was five 6-cylinder automobile engines, mounted in a star configuration and geared to operate as a single unit.

The large power plant required modifications to the standard M-3 hull. The engine compartment was lengthened by 11 inches and the hull upper rear armor plates were moved back 15 inches. A 4.25-inch blister in the hull floor was provided to give clearance for the cooling fan. Another bulge on the top of the rear deck covered the single radiator assembly which cooled the entire power plant. It also forced the removal of the two vertical fuel tanks in the engine compartment, but this was compensated by the enlargement of the two sponson fuel tanks.

The longer hull also required modifications to the suspension system, The center and rear bogie assemblies were moved to the rear, increasing the space between each set of bogies by 6 inches.

Combat weight was increased to 32 tons. There was no change to the armament or armor protection. The production run lasted from June 1942 to August 1942 when it was changed over to the new Medium Tank M-4. Total run was 109 vehicles.

Medium Tanks Ram I and Ram II

No discussion of the Medium Tank M-3 would be complete with adding the Canadian versions. The Medium Tanks Ram I and Ram II. The Grant I was always considered to be a interim version until the new Medium Tank M-4 entered service. Concerned over the shortcomings of the M-3 design, the British Tank Mission in collaboration with the Canadian General Staff designed a modified M-3 for production in Canada. This tank would use the standard M-3 power train and running gear, but with a redesigned upper hull and turret.

The Ram I featured a low silhouette cast turret mounting a British 2-pounder gun with a coaxial M-1919A4 machine gun. An additional .30-caliber machine gun was mounted on the turret roof for antiaircraft protection. The upper hull was a single large casting with the driver located on the right front and a small auxiliary turret on the left, mounting a .30-caliber machine gun. Hull doors on each side provided access to the interior. The Ram I entered production in January 1942 and consisted of a run of 50 vehicles before supplies of the new British 6-pounder arrived.

Combat weight was 32 tons. Armor protection comprised: Hull front: from 44mm to 76.2mm. Hull sides: from 44mm to 64mm. Hull rear: 44mm. Hull top 25mm to 44mm. Hull bottom: 13mm to 25mm. Turret front was 76.2mm. Turret Sides ran from 64mm to 76.2mm. Turret top was 25mm.'

Armament comprised a 2-pounder Gun Mark IX or Mark X (with 171 rounds of amm) and three .30-caliber machine guns (coaxial, antiaircraft and bow turret with 4,715 rounds of ammo). Crew consisted of 5 men (tank commander, gunner, loader, driver and assistant driver).

Power planet was the Wright-Continental R974 EC2 9-cylinder radial engine. Maximum road speed was 24mph. cruising range was 120 miles.

A total of 1,899 Ram II tanks through September 1943. Major modifications included the replacement of the auxiliary turret with a ball mounting and the removal of the hull side doors mid-way through the production run.

Combat weight was increased to 33 tons. There was no change to vehicle performance or armor protection.

Armament comprised a 6-pounder Gun Mark III or mark IV (with 92 rounds of ammo) and three .30-caliber machine guns (coaxial, antiaircraft and bow with 4,440 rounds of .30-caliber ammo).
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