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M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage


203mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) (1945)


Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 1
Image courtesy of the Public Domain.

Jump-to: Specifications

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.
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.

Specifications



Service Year
1945

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Crew
8
CREWMEN
Production
48
UNITS


Pressed Steel Car Company - USA
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.


Length
24.1 ft
7.34 m
Width
10.3 ft
3.15 m
Height
10.8 ft
3.3 m
Weight
80,006 lb
36,290 kg
Tonnage
40.0 tons
MEDIUM
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Continental R975-C4 engine of 400 horsepower.
Speed
23.6 mph
(38.0 kph)
Range
106.9 mi
(172.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 203mm M115 Howitzer main gun.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank cannon armament


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Not Available.


M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage - Base Series Designation.


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