|155 mm Gun Motor Carriage M40|
It's time to pound the Jerries!
|Class||Heavy Armored Artillery|
|Factory||Artillery & Anti-air Base|
The M40 Gun Motor Carriage was a huge self-propelled gun that carried a massive 155mm howitzer. Its 1.6km range means it can fragment large areas with cumulative amounts of infantry, tanks ,and other artillery. Nonetheless, it is still vulnerable to heavy aircraft fire, and its whopping $50 price means commanders must fight hard to protect the M40 at all costs.
A single pilot vehicle was used in the European Theatre in 1945 by 991st Field Artillery Battalion, along with a related 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage T89 which was sometimes also equipped with a 155 mm barrel. A total of 311 out of a planned 600 were completed before the end of the war. From there it was deployed during the Korean War. Although it's powerful it is very inaccurate.
Strategies and TacticsEdit
- In comparison with the Priest, the M40 has the same armour, has the same speed, has better range but is more expensive.
- When a few of these fire upon a single unit, destruction of the enemy is underway in only a few volleys.
- Unfortunately no anti-infantry or anti-armour armament are available to the M40, so close guarding of this unit is priority.
The success of the M12 GMC drew the US Army Artillery Corps' attention to heavy self-propelled guns, leading to the M40. Because the production of the M12 had to stop in 1944 due to a lack of the M1918 gun, it was decided to replace it with the newer M1 155 mm gun. However, the M3 chassis was no longer suitable for such a weapon, as the 155mm was too powerful and unwieldy. The project had to be redesigned completely changing both the chassis to that of M4A3E8 and the cannon: the project was completed with the T83.
To accommodate the M1 155mm, the army adopted some elements of the later Sherman models, like the M4A3E8's Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension. Five prototypes of both the T83 and T89 (equipped with the M1 203 mm howitzer) were ordered from the Pressed Steel Car Company in March 1944, and the first model came off the line in July of that year. Test shots for the two vehicles were satisfactory overall. Some changes took place in the interior, but for the most part, the vehicle fufilled requests from the U.S. Army. It started production in January 1945. 418 M40s were made from the Pressed Steel Car Company, 24 of which were later converted into M43 Howitzer Motor Carriages. Production stopped in late 1945.
The M40, like M43, were assigned to combat testing in the 991th Field Artillery Battalion, Operation Zebra. They participated in the capture of Cologne in indirect- and direct-fire missions. The officer in charge of this mission reported lack of protection for the crew and recommended the establishment of a protective roof and a close combat weapon, but the configuration of the vehicle and the extra weight given did not allow meet these requirements. Finally, the war ended without real operational commitments for the two models. However, with the M12 ending it's service life, they were almost guaranteed a role.
When war broke out in the Korean peninsula in 1950, most self-propelled artillery batteries that fought with M12s were re-equipped with M40s or M43s. They then served as long-range support for missions against the North Korean and Chinese forces.
At the end of the Korean War, the M40 and M43 were considered obsolete by the US Army, and so were replaced with more modern pieces. Some of the retired guns were donated to US allies.