The 105mm Howitzer (M2A1)

 

 

 

Number Produced: 10,202
Crew: 8
Barrel Length: 7’7” (2.31 m)
Caliber: 4.1” (105 mm)
Rate of Fire: Up to 10 rounds per min.

Range: 12,300 yards (11,270 m)

Weight: 2.5 tons
Length: 19’6” (5.94 m)
Width: 7’3” (2.31 m)
Height: 5’8” (1.73 m)

Range: 12,300 yards (11,270 m)
Weight: 2.5 tons
Length: 19’6” (5.94 m)
Width: 7’3” (2.31 m)
Height: 5’8” (1.73 m)

 

 

 

 

'The War As I Knew It', p. 41..."when a battery of 105mm howitzers was placed in position to fire, each 105 was staggered to prevent being wiped out in the event enemy artillery reached the gun sites. Usual spacing between guns was about 25 to 30 yards. Ammunition was stacked behind the gun and was usually dug in time permitting. There were three types of artillery shells used; armor piercing for frontal attacks by enemy armored units, high explosive shells for contact against enemy troops and air burst shells programmed to burst over the heads of oncoming enemy troops, scattering the shell fragments downward. Hardly ever did a battery fire at close-in targets and typically fired at ranges of one half to three miles over the heads of our own infantry." (John Macdonald)

 

The M2A1 105mm Howitzer was the standard light field howitzer in the US Army in World War II. It filled the need for a motor-drawn artillery to replace outdated guns and tactics. With a moderate range, soldiers appreciated its accuracy and powerful punch. Its main purpose was antipersonnel, but it was flexible enough to provide indirect fire as well. It served in all major theaters of World War II. 

 

One out of every five shells fired by the US during WWII was a 105mm HE (high explosive) round.

 

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A typical 105mm gun crew in action during WW2