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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=NJBgKOFe3nQ
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 M115 203 mm howitzer, also known as the M115 8 inch howitzer, was a towed howitzer used by the United States Army. Originally designated the 8 inch Howitzer M1, it was designed during the buildup to World War II as a counterpart to the German 21 cm Mörser 18 gun. The M115 could be towed by the M35 Prime Mover gun tractor or a large truck.
The M115 owes some of its origins to the British BL 8 inch Howitzer of the First World War, using the same Welin screw for the breech. The carriage was the same as used for the US 155 mm gun, and was also adopted by the British for their 7.2 inch Mark 6 howitzer. The British 8 inch howitzer was produced in both England and under license in the US for the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I as the 8-inch Howitzer MK. VI. It was in service with the US Army till replaced by the M115. There are no reports of the MK. VI or another marks being used during World War II.
The first photos of the M115 type 8 inch cannon on its redesign carriage appeared in 1931, but development was slowed by the Great Depression.
The M115 saw service in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Croatia War. In NATO service, its main purpose was to fire the W33 and later the W79 nuclear artillery shell, a role which ended when the smallest types of tactical nuclear weapons were removed from service and eliminated.
– The howitzer was mounted on a modified M4 medium tank chassis, in mount M17. The resulting vehicle was initially designated 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage T89 and eventually standardized as 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43. A total of 48 units were built.
– 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage T80 – based on T23 Medium Tank chassis, never advenced past proposal stage.
– 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage T84 – based on T26 Medium Tank chassis, a single pilot was built in 1945.
– The howitzer was mounted on a purpose-built tracked chassis to become the 8 inch Self-Propelled Howitzer M110. Notably accuracy and rate of fire suffered from having to lower the weapon to use the track mounted auto loader.
The howitzer fired separate loading, bagged charge ammunition, with seven different propelling charges, from 1 (the smallest) to 7 (the largest)…