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M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage


203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)


United States | 1945



"The M3 Howitzer Motor Carriage fielded the massive 203mm M115 howitzer gun and was based on the preceding M40 155mm SPA development."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage was a World War 2 (1939-1945) development and a further evolution of the M40 Gun Motor Carriage line. The two were, therefore, closely related products from the Pressed Steel Car Company and emerged in 1945. The hull, chassis and running of the M40 was retained (itself taken from the M4 Sherman line) though the M43 mounted the massive 203mm howitzer system and early trials were carried out through the T89 Howitzer Motor Carriage pilot vehicle. After their acceptance in November of 1945 - following the end of war - the T89 emerged as the standardized M43. 576 units were part of the original U.S. Army order but the end of the war reduced total procurement to just 48 - twenty-four of these completed by war's end and a further twenty-four converted from existing M40 systems. The single pilot vehicle did, in fact, see combat service before the close of the war though its production brethren were not used in anger until the Korean War (1950-1953).

The finalized vehicle was a 41.5-ton product requiring a crew of eight with the gunnery section operating in an open-air environment (the driver was in the hull). The main gun was the M115 land howitzer standardized in 1941. It fired a 240lb shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,925 feet per second out to 10.5 miles away. It was typically arranged atop an eight-wheeled, twin-axle carriage system that included the tow arms, recoil mechanism and mounting hardware. Beyond the carriage, this was carried over to the M43 vehicle. A rear-mounted recoil support was lowered prior to firing to help counter some of the violent effects of the action.

Drive power was through a Continental R975-C4 engine of 400 horsepower which, as a self-propelled vehicle, allowed the M43 a maximum road speed of 24 miles per hour and a driving range out to 105 miles. The performance was eventually found wanting as the heavy vehicle struggled to keep up for mechanized forces of the U.S. Army. As a stationary battlefield artillery piece, however, the M43 did not disappoint in Korea.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
1 x Continental R975-C4 engine of 400 horsepower.
Installed Power
24 mph
38 kph
Road Speed
107 miles
172 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
8
(MANNED)
Crew
24.1 ft
7.34 meters
O/A Length
10.3 ft
3.15 meters
O/A Width
10.8 ft
3.3 meters
O/A Height
80,006 lb
36,290 kg | 40.0 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA).
1 x 203mm M115 Howitzer main gun.
AMMUNITION:
Not Available.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage family line.
M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage - Base Series Designation.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 48 Units

Contractor(s): Pressed Steel Car Company - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
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Image of the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage
Image courtesy of the Public Domain.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
FIRE SUPPORT / ASSAULT / BREACHING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) appears in the following collections:
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