Equipment, Vehicles and Weapons

155mm M1 Gun

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M1 155 mm Long Tom


Long Tom in travelling position, US Army Ordnance Museum.
Type Towed field artillery
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States
South Korea
Republic of China
South Africa
Wars World War II, Korean war
Production history
Designed 1930s
Weight Travel: 13,880 kg (30,600 lbs)
Barrel length 6.97 m (22 ft 10 in) L/45
Crew 14
Caliber 155 mm (6.1 inch)
Breech Asbury breech
Carriage M1 Carriage
Elevation −2/+65
Traverse 60
Rate of fire 40 rounds per hour
Muzzle velocity 853 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
Maximum range 23.2 km (14.4 mi)
Not to be confused with the French built 155 mm Creusot Long Tom used by the Boers in the Boer War.
The 155 mm Gun M1 and M2 (later M59), widely known as Long Tom, were 155 millimeter calibre field guns used by the United States armed forces during World War II and Korean War. The Long Tom replaced the Canon de 155 mm GPF in United States service.
1 Development
2 Service
3 Variants
4 Ammunition
5 Existing examples
6 See also
7 Notes
8 References
9 External links
[edit] Development
Before entering World War I, the United States was poorly equipped with heavy artillery. To address this problem a number of foreign heavy artillery guns were adopted, including the Canon de 155 mm GPF. After the end of the war development work began in the United States on a design to improve upon the existing models of heavy gun and carriage. A number of prototypes were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, but the projects were put on hold due to lack of funds. In 1938 the 155 mm Gun T4 on Carriage T2 was finally adopted as 155 mm gun M1 on Carriage M1.
The new design used a barrel broadly similar to the earlier 155 mm GPF, but with an Asbury breech. The new split-trail carriage featured two roadwheels, each mounting two tires mounted on a bogie on each side. The wheels could be raised using an integral jack on each bogie, allowing the gun carriage to rest on the ground. There were spades (requiring correctly positioned holes to be dug) at both ends of each trail leg. This made the gun very stable and assisted its accuracy.
The gun was developed into M1A1 and M2 variants. After World War II, the United States Army re-organized, and the gun was redesignated as the M59. The carriage was shared with the 8 inch Howitzer M1.
[edit] Service
Long Tom at crew training in England. M2 during the Battle of Okinawa.
The Long Tom saw combat for the first time in North African Campaign on December 24, 1942, with "A" Battery of the 36th Field Artillery Battalion. Eventually it equipped about 49 battalions, including 40 in the European Theater and 7 in the Pacific. The preferable prime mover was initially the Mack NO 6x6 7 ton truck; from 1943 on it was replaced by the tracked M4 High Speed Tractor.[1]
A small number of Long Tom guns were authorised for supply via lend lease channels, to the United Kingdom (184) and France (25).[2] However, the authorised establishment of British batteries (excluding training units), including four batteries from the Dominion of Newfoundland, totalled 88 guns.
[edit] Variants
M40 in the US Army Ordnance Museum.
Gun variants:
M1920 prototype.
T4 prototype.
M1 (1938) first production variant, 20 built.
M1A1 (1941) modified breech ring.
M1A1E1 prototype with chromium plated bore.
M1A1E3 prototype with liquid cooling.
M2 (1945) modified breech ring.
Carriage variants:
T2 prototype.
M1 (1938).
M1A1 refurbished T2 carriages.
The gun was also mounted on a modified M4 medium tank chassis, in mount M13. The resulting vehicle was initially designated 155 mm Gun Motor Carriage T83 and eventually standardized as 155 mm Gun Motor Carriage M40.[3]
155 mm Gun Motor Carriage T79, based on T23 Medium Tank chassis, never advanced past proposal stage.[4]
[edit] Ammunition
British gunners cleaning Shells, Italy, February 1945
The gun utilized separate loading, bagged charge ammunition. The propelling charge consisted of base (9.23 kg) and increment (4.69 kg). The data in the table below is for supercharge (base and increment).