M114 155mm (155mm Howitzer M1) Towed 155mm Heavy Howitzer
The 155mm M114 Howitzer began life in World War 2 as the M1 before seeing a name change in 1962 - it has served over 35 nations worldwide.
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Prior to its use of the M198 howitzer of 1979, the United States military (and many of its allies) relied on the World War 2-era M114 towed howitzer to fulfill its 155mm long-range artillery requirement. The weapon served into the Korean War (1950-1953) and across the campaigns of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) before seeing formal retirement with American forces. Design work on the weapon began in 1939 and spanned into 1941 to which the system cleared its requisite trials before being adopted into service. Production spanned from 1941 into 1953 to which some 10,300 units were eventually produced by the Rock Island Arsenal stateside and additional examples appearing under license elsewhere. The M114 still serves in some armies today (2013). Notable current operators include Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Notable former operators became Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Spain (see operators listing below for complete list).
The origin of the M114 actually lay in an initiative by the US Army to design and develop a modern carriage system for its aged M1918 155mm guns. The M1918 was nothing more than a copy of the World War 1-era French Canon de 155 C modele 1917 Schneider system which was procured in number by the American military. When it was decided against modernizing the older M1918 guns in this way, a new gun system was developed as the M1. The carriage became a split trail type and the gun was coupled to a hyrdopneumatic recoil system. The breech incorporated a two-step, "slow-cone" interrupted screw. The gun mounting allowed for an elevation of -2 to +63 degrees and traversal of 25-degrees right or left. The weapon entered production as the 155mm Howitzer M1. It was not until 1962 that the now-modified M1A1 was redesignated to the M114/M114A1.