The "105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T19" (105mm HMC T19) was yet another offshoot of the ubiquitous and wide-reaching American M3 Half-Track family. This particular variant, developed to fulfill the self-propelled artillery role, mounted the 105mm M2A1 field howitzer in a mounting over the midsection of the M3 Half-Track hull. The driving cabin was retained from the original as was the running gear, configuration and general profile of the classic vehicle. Due to the large nature of the gun being carried, only eight 105mm projectiles were stowed aboard, giving the T19 something of a limited tactical reach on the battlefield. However, it fulfill a vital role in providing a self-propelled artillery piece to the very fluid fronts across the campaigns of World War 2.
The M2A1 howitzer was a design stemming from the storied Rock Island Arsenal bordering Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. It entered production in 1941 and manufacture spanned into 1953, ensuring that the artillery piece would end with a good healthy service career. The weapon system weighed nearly 5,000lbs and measured a length out to 19 feet, 6 inches. The breech utilized a horizontal block arrangement with recoil handled by a hydropneumatic system. Elevation measured -5 to +66 degrees with traverse reaching 46-degrees to either side. Maximum firing range was seven miles. The weapon proved hugely popular with American allies during and after World War 2.
Generally such vehicles as the T19 gave way to properly dedicated platforms such as the M7 Priest SPAs making their mark from 1942 onwards. These were built atop the chassis of the M3 Lee Medium Tank.
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