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 Dated:  October 25, 2008

Equipment used by the Artillery

   This page was intended to introduce the types of equipment commonly used by the artillerymen.  Their equipment included everything from jeeps, trucks, HF radio equipment, telescopes, 2-1/2 ton trucks.  The equipment for a light artillery battalion and a heavy artillery would be different.  This page includes a few of examples of this equipment.
   This page includes some of most common equipment that is usually omitted from most history books.  I want to describe some of this equipment and maybe provide some information as to how they were used.

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 Vehicles -   Trucks used for command and towing.
 Opticle Instruments -  Telescopes & range finders used by a battery.

Radios -  Various types of radios -- to be updated

Army Field Manuals -   Training manuals that I have in my library.
See also Weapons used in the Italian Campaign.
Unless otherwise noted, the photos are from the US Army Series on the History of WW2 and the Pictorial Record, entitled "The War Against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas".   Photo of M5 HST from a Fort Sill publication "Field Artillery Replacement Training Center".  Other photos are from the US Army field manuals listed below (Manuals).

Horse Artillery - 75mm Howitzer

The early artilery units that existed before WW2 were all horse-drawn artillery.  The lightest of these was the 75mm Howitzer.  Even after the US Army changed to vehicles, the horse-drawn light artillery was still an important part of the US Army, especially in the mountains of Italy and the jungles of the Pacific.
The  75mm Howitzer is shown below.  It could be disassembled into 6 pieces and loaded on pack mules as shown in the images below.

Reference source:  Field Manual listed below.

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Vehicles - Jeeps and Trucks
   The artillery required a vehicle to tow their cannons.  These are the types of vehicles used for command and control and for towing for the field and heavy artillery units plus hauling all of the small and large caliber ammunition.

Check out this external link with a Chart on Trucks.

¼-Ton 4X4  Command and Recon Truck
Referred to as a “Peep”, especially with armored units.

Gross Weight:  3000 lb
Payload:  800 lb
Length-Height: 130 X 71 in
Road Clearance: 8-3/4 in
Engine:  4 cyc 60 bhp @ 3600rpm
Torque:  107 ft-lb at 2000rpm
Transmission:  3 Fwd - 1 Rev
Max Speed:  55 mph

1/2 -Ton 4X4  Command and Recon Car
The first Army car that was called a “Jeep”.
Maker: Dodge
Gross Weight: 
5,373 lb

Payload:  800 lb
Length-Height: 164 X 81 in
Engine:  6-cyc 92 bhp @ 3200rpm
Tires:  9.00 -16
Transmission:  4 Speed
Max Speed:  55 mph
Range:  240 miles
½ Ton 4X4 Truck 
Light Cargo, radio & weapons carrier.

Gross Weight:  5950 lb
Payload:  1300 lb
Length-Height: 179 X 83 in
Road Clearance:  9 in
Engine:  6 cyc - 85 bhp @ 3000rpm
Torque:  170 ft-lb at 1200rpm
Transmission:  4 Fwd - 1 Rev
Max Speed:  55 mph

1-½ Ton 4X4 Truck
Maker: Chevrolet 1941
Prime Mover, personel & cargo carrier

Gross Weight:  10,200 lb
Payload:      3,000 lb  (4,000 towed)
Length-Height: 221 X 106 in
Road Clearance:  9-½ in
Engine:  6 cyc - 93 bhp @ 3100rpm
Torque:  192 ft-lb at 1450rpm
Transmission:  4 Fwd - 1 Rev
Max Speed:  48 mph

2-½ Ton Truck
Maker: GMC 1941
aka "duece and a half"
Ammo carrier.

Gross Weight:  16,100 lb
Payload:   5,000 lb  (4500 towed)
Length-Height: 256 X 111 in
Road Clearance:  9-½ in
Engine:  6 cyc - 97 bhp @ 3200rpm
Torque:  221 ft-lb at 1200rpm
Transmission:  5 Fwd - 1 Rev
Max Speed:  45 mph

4- Ton 6X6 Truck
Maker: Diamond 1941

Gross Weight:  24,800 lb
Payload:   8,000 lb  (11,00 towed)
Length-Height: 268 X 113 in
Road Clearance:  11 in
Engine:  6 cyc - 122 bhp 
Torque:  362 ft-lb at 1100rpm
Transmission:  5 Fwd - 1 Rev
Max Speed:  40 mph

M5 HST Prime Mover
  M5 HST  High Speed Tractor

Maker: International Harvester
Suspension & wheels from M5 Tank.

 13-Ton prime mover used to tow the 105mm Howitzer, 4.5-inch gun and 155mm Howitzer.
Spare Ammunition:  38 rounds of 4.5-in ammo
or  24 rounds of 155mm ammo.

Later versions added a .50-caliber machine gun mount.

Production:  1943.
Quantity:  M5A1 - total 589.

Photo from WW2 Fort Sill publication.

                                    Tractor pulling a 155-mm gun through Sicily.
      The artillery also used diesel tractors to haul the larger bore cannons (see miniature photos, below).
      The armor-plated half-track was also used.  But both of these were not typical for the field artillery.
Photos from the US Army History series and Field Manuals.

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Opticle Instruments -   Telescopes & Range Finders

The artilleryman's job required precise opticle instruments for him ensure accurate fire was delivered to a target.  The battery was surveyed into a position and each cannon was sighted in so that they were all aimed in the same direction.

Field Binoculars  - Most common instrument used by Army.
Artillerymen preferred more powerful ones that these.

Range Finder (right photo)  - Calculated the distance to a target.

Compass  -

Battery Commander's Telescope  -

Radio Equipment

The wireless radio was essential to communication among the batteries and headquarters and the forward observers.  The Army had used radios for many years but they were still bulky equipment.  I plan to expand this section to show the "handy-talkie", the "walkie-talkie", and the larger radios used by field battalions.

SCR300 "Walkie-Talkie" Radio --  Portable FM radio


Weight 38 Lbs.  
Range 10 to 20 miles.   Frequency Signal: 40-48 MHz FM

Entered service in early 1943 and saw combat action during the Allied landings at Anzio, 
Italy in January of 1944.  

Galvin Manufacturing Co./Motorola of Chicago, Illinois

An antenna would be mounted in the "Antenna Terminal". 
Headphones and/or Mic could be plugged in at the "Jack Assemblies".
The lower CS-128 Case carried the battery and was detachable.

Photos show an SCR-210 radio transmitter installed in a
  ¼-Ton 4X4  Command and Recon car. 

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Army Field Manuals:
The following are some of the Field Manuals that were used to train artillerymen.  These are the sources for the above photos and information.
These were issued in two sizes: small pocket size and the 9 X 6 inch size.
 FAB Book 223 - Field Artillery Elementary Tactics  - The basic handbook for the artilleryman.  Topics include organization, definitions, deployment, signal communications(including laying of ground lines). General definitions.  Appendix includes symbols and table of organizations for various types of infantry, armored and artillery units.    363 pages.  (9 X 6 in) 1942.
   FAB Book 200  - Field Artillery  - The Battery Detail (75-mm Gun)This is the book I've been searching for that explains everything about plotting targets and OP on maps.  Covers the basics of plotting from maps and photos.  Includes details about optical instruments for observation and ranging, with photos and diagrams.  More details on communications and laying of ground phone lines.  269 pages.  (9 X 6 in) 1939.
   FAB Book 20  - Field Artillery - Military Fundamentals - This manual begins with a history of each war the US Army has fought.  Includes general organization of US Army, drill for dismounted and mounted units and units of various sizes.  Ends with chapters on medical and sanitation.  B&W Photos of the early guns, mostly of French design.  392 pages. (9 X 6 in) 1935.
  FM 6-40 - Field Artillery Field Manual - Firing  -  Quoting introduction - 
   "Scope - This chapter covers duties of personnel of the battery(except those duties prescribed for the service of the piece) and prescribes fire commands with explanation of their execution. It governs primarily the division artillery, but with obvious modifications applies to all types and calibers." 
 Small (4-1/2 X 7) 198 page booklet. US Govt Printing Office 1939.
  FM 21-100 - Basic Field Manual: Soldier's Handbook - Basic handbook for the soldier with details about equipment and packs, weapon,  first aid.  Some info on drill and tactical maneuvers. Pages 251, with photos and sketches. (4-1/2 X 6-1/2) July 23, 1941.
  FM 21-105 - Basic Field Manual: Engineer Soldier's Handbook - Everything for the combat engineer; such as how to use a axe & shovel, demolitions, construction of bunkers, Bailey bridges, and even runway construction. Pages 198, with photos and sketches. (4-1/2 X 6-1/2) June 2, 1943.
  FM 5-230 - Topographic Drafting - This is an instructional book used to teach how to draft maps.  It begins with the basics of lettering and illustrates drafting tools. Then it gets into very technical details on photogrammetry and photo-mechanical mapping, restitution and photo offset.  Section IX is on mapping coordinates and zones and the Army use of maps in the field. Pages 300,  20 fold-out pages in back with maps and symbols and photo mosaics + a pair of 3-D glasses.   November 1940.
  TM 20-230 - Logarithmic, Trigonometric, and Mathematical Tables for Artillery - Full of tables and instruction on how to use them, but very little insight into artillery. (9 X 6 inch) October 1944.
   TM 11-272 - Radio Sets SCR-210-A, -B, …-J and Radio Sets SCR-245-A, -B….-P.    Detail description of FM radio with photos of one installed in a command car.  Includes wiring diagrams. 156 Pages. Feb 23, 1942. 
   FAB 120 – Field Artillery - Automotive Instructions.  1941 Edition.   Classroom instructions for auto mechanics.  One chapter includes photos and description of all the trucks used by field artillery.   404 pages & appendix.
  Drill & Ceremonies for Field Artillery -  Ceremony Drill for mounted and motorized light artillery.  Includes aquestrian details and uniform details as well as care of the Model 1911 pistol.  534 pages  March 1941

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