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M1 240mm Howitzer

The M1 240mm Howitzer was the largest field piece used by the US Army during World War II (except for the naval of railways guns).

During World War I the US Army determined that a 240mm Howitzer was needed. Approximately 300 weapons based on a French design were built after the war. The project to replace the unsatisfactory 240mm (about 9.5") M1918 dated from the mid-1920's

In 1934 it was decided to design an all new weapon to rectify the short comings of the French weapon. The program started only in April of 1940 (prototype T1) and the M1 was standardized in May 1943, at a time when mass-production had already started [the new howitzer entered service in 1940].

The howitzer was good, with its split trail. The carriage is the same as that used on the 8" gun M1 and requires extensive preparations to transition the gun to or from its firing position. The M35 and other tracked high-speed tractors were designed for the heavier 8" Gun M1 and its partner 240mm Howitzer M1 which was a different artillery system altogether. These were designed to be transported with gun and split-trail carriage separated and mou ted on special trailers to the gun-site where there were assembled using a crane. The transport of such a massive weapon was not easy (two separated loads) and putting it in firing position could take up to eight hours, unless special materials was available.

Its main battlefield was Italy, employed both the US and the British Army. Both continued to use them until the late fifties, when the ammunitions supplies went out

Caliber: 240 mm

Barrel weight: 11458.0 kg

Length: 8.40 meters

Weight of the projectile: 163.3 kg

Muzzle velocity: 701 meters per second

Range: 23 000 meters

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