M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage

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M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage
TM-9-335-8in-HMC-M43-1.jpg
M43
TypeSelf-propelled artillery
Place of originUnited States
Specifications
Weight83,000 lb
Length289 in
Width124 in
Height129 in
Crew8

Shellseparate loading, bagged charge
Barrels1
Rate of fireSustained:
Muzzle velocity1,925 ft/s
Effective firing rangeConventional:
Maximum firing range16,800 m
Feed systemhand
SightsM13 or M6

Main
armament
M115 howitzer
EngineContinental R975-C4
400 hp
SuspensionHVSS (Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension)
Operational
range
107 mi
Speed24 mph

The 203 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M43 was an American self-propelled artillery vehicle built on a widened and lengthened Medium Tank M4A3 chassis, but with a Continental engine and HVSS that was introduced at the end of the Second World War. The M43 shared the same chassis as the more widely produced M40 Gun Motor Carriage, which instead mounted a 155 mm gun, and were designed by the Pressed Steel Car Company. A production run of 576 was planned originally, but in the end only 24 were produced and another 24 were converted from M40 hulls,[1] the M43 went on to serve in the Korean War, and was retired after its conclusion.

History[edit]

Equipped with a M115 203 mm (8") Howitzer, it was designed to replace the earlier M12 Gun Motor Carriage. Its prototype designation was the T89, but this was changed to the M43 in March 1945. The 41.5 ton vehicles struggled to keep up with mechanized formations, but were successful when employed in more stationary roles.

Operational Service[edit]

A single pilot vehicle was deployed in Europe before the end of World War II and was used in action by the 991st Field Artillery Regiment, first seeing action as part of Zebra Force in February 1945 in the capture of Cologne.

M43s were used in action in the Korean War, where they were well suited to the static fighting there, their high angle of fire permitting them to hit the rear slopes of hills.[2]

Popular Culture[edit]

Despite its small production run, the M43s is featured in the computer games World of Tanks and R.U.S.E..

Variants[edit]

  • 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43 - 8 inches (203 mm) HMC, standardized August 1945; 48 were built.
  • The Army planned to use the same T38 chassis for a family of SP artillery.
  • Cargo Carrier T30 - a few built before cancellation in December 1944 to make more chassis' available for GMCs.

Surviving vehicles[edit]

M43 Howitzer at Ft. Sill, OK.

[3]

  • one at the Fort Sill museum, OK
  • one in Wyoming, MI
  • one in American Society of Military History Museum, South El Monte, CA

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage". Military Factory. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. ^ "M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage". Military History Encyclopedia of the Web. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. ^ http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Tank-based_GMC.pdf

References[edit]

  • TM 9-747
  • SNL G232