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from US Army training film TF6-3646, “Weapons of the Field Artillery”
Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.
Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The M108 Howitzer is an American self-propelled 105 mm howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s.
The M108 was powered by a Detroit diesel turbocharged 8V-71T 8-cylinders 405 hp engine. It used the same hull and turret as the 155 mm M109 self-propelled howitzer, and components of the M113 armored vehicle. The M108 was phased out soon after the American intervention in the Vietnam War, as the M109’s 155 mm calibre was considered better fitted for the modern war.
The M108 was used in several NATO countries…
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent. Until fairly recently, about the end of the Second World War, such weapons were characterized by a barrel length 15 to 25 times the caliber of the gun.
In the taxonomies of artillery pieces used by European (and European-style) armies in the eighteenth, 19th, and 20th centuries, the howitzer stood between the “gun” (characterized by a longer barrel, larger propelling charges, smaller shells, higher velocities, and flatter trajectories) and the “mortar” (which was meant to fire at even higher angles of ascent and descent). Howitzers, like other artillery pieces, are usually organized in groups called batteries…
The modern howitzers were invented in Sweden towards the end of the 17th century. These were characterized by a shorter trail than other field guns meaning less stability when firing, which reduced the amount of powder that could be used; armies using these had to rely on a greater elevation angle to achieve a given range, which gave a steeper angle of descent.
Originally intended for use in siege warfare, they were particularly useful for delivering cast-iron shells filled with gunpowder or incendiary materials into the interior of fortifications. In contrast to contemporary mortars, which were fired at a fixed angle and were entirely dependent upon adjustments to the size of propellant charges to vary range, howitzers could be fired at a wide variety of angles. Thus, while howitzer gunnery was more complicated than the technique of employing mortars, the howitzer was an inherently more flexible weapon that could fire its projectiles along a wide variety of trajectories.
In the middle of the 18th century a number of European armies began to introduce howitzers that were mobile enough to accompany armies in the field. Though usually fired at the relatively high angles of fire used by contemporary siege howitzers, these field howitzers were rarely defined by this capability. Rather, as the field guns of the day were usually restricted to inert projectiles (which relied entirely upon momentum for their destructive effects), the field howitzers of the 18th century were chiefly valued for their ability to fire explosive shells. Many, for the sake of simplicity and rapidity of fire, dispensed with adjustable propellant charges…