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from US Army training film TF6-3646 “Weapons of the Field Artillery”
NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFEY1Sd0aFc
Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The 105 mm M2A1 (M101A1) howitzer was the standard light field howitzer for the United States in World War II, seeing action in both European and Pacific theaters. Entering production in 1941, it quickly entered the war against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Pacific, where it gained a reputation for its accuracy and powerful punch. The M101 fired 105 mm high explosive (HE) semi-fixed ammunition and had a range of 11,200 metres (12,200 yd), making it suitable for supporting infantry.
All of these qualities of the weapon, along with its widespread production, led to its adoption by many countries after the war. Its ammunition type also became the standard for many foreign countries’ later models. In 1962 the artillery designation system was changed and the 105mm M2A1 howitzer became the M101A1. It continued to see service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Though a similar model, the M102 howitzer, shared the same roles in battle, it never fully replaced the M101. Today the M101A1 has been retired by the U.S. military, though it continues to see service with many other countries.
The Canadian Forces continued to use the M2A1 as the C1 Howitzer until 1997 when a modification was made to extend its service life. It is now designated the C3. Those improvements include a longer barrel, a muzzle brake, reinforced trails and the removal of shield flaps. It remains the standard light howitzer of Canadian Forces Reserve units. The C3 is used by Reserve units in Glacier National Park in British Columbia as a means of avalanche control. In addition, the M101 has found second usage in the U.S. as an avalanche control gun, supervised by the US Forest Service.
France and the State of Vietnam used it during the First Indochina War.
A number of M2/M101 howitzers were used by Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and approximately 50 were inherited by Croatia of which 4 are still in use for training with the Croatian army.
M2 Howitzers are still in limited service in the Australian Army Reserve, but are being replaced with 81mm mortars with an emphasis on the retention of indirect fire support skills. In regular service they were replaced by the 105mm L119 Hamel gun and the 155mm M198 howitzers…
The gun fired semi-fixed ammunition, with 105mm Cartridge Case M14. The propelling charge consisted of base charge and six increments, forming seven charges from 1 (the smallest) to 7 (the largest). Use of M1 HE rounds prepared for the 105mm howitzer M3 (same projectile and cartridge, but different propelling charge) was authorized.
HEAT M67 Shell was originally designed as fixed round, with Cartridge Case M14 type II. It was later changed to semi-fixed type with the standard cartridge, but with non-adjustable propelling charge. For blank ammunition, a shorter Cartridge Case M15 with black powder charge was used…