M3 Gun Motor Carriage
|Primary Role||Tank Destroyer|
Contributor: Alan Chanter
ww2dbaseThis was the first American self-propelled weapon to be used in combat during the Second World War.
ww2dbaseIn June 1941 the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, United States was requested to adapt the 75mm field gun to a half track carriage in order to provide a suitable mobile weapon for the tank destroyer battalions at that time being contemplated. The M1897A4 gun (originally a French design) was fitted, on a pedestal mount with a protective shield, into the cargo space of a standard White M2 armoured personnel carrier, where it had a traverse of 19 degrees left and 21 degrees to the right. It was fired forward over the cab and the projectile had a muzzle velocity of 2,000 feet per second.
ww2dbaseThe vehicle was standardized as the GMC M3 in November 1941, by which time a small number had been sent to the Philippine Islands where they proved effective, shortly afterwards, in dealing with Japanese tanks during the invasion. Others were used in action in Tunisia and Italy, where they did rather less well against German armour. The fundamental defect was that the gun, dated from 1897, and was no longer sufficient to cope with modern armour. The GMC M3 was reclassified in March 1944 and declared obsolete in September.
ww2dbaseThey were also used by the US Marine Corps in the Pacific theatre, equipping both Special Weapons Battalions and Regimental Weapons Companies from mid-1944, but began to be replaced by the 105mm self-propelled guns towards the closing weeks of that year. The Marines employed it principally as an assault gun for knocking out fortifications and for indirect artillery fire. In the USMC the type was commonly known as the SPM (Self Propelled Mount). In addition a number were supplied to the British where they were used in Armoured Car regiments for fire support purposes.
Ian V. Hogg & John Weeks, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Hamlyn, 1980)
Gordon Rottman , US Marine Corps 1941-45 (Osprey Elite, 1995)
B.T. White, Tanks and other Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1942-45 (Blandford Press, 1975)
Last Major Revision: Mar 2012
M3 Gun Motor Carriage
|Machinery||6,326cc White 160AX 6-cylinder petrol engine rated at 128bhp at 2800rpm|
|Suspension||Semi-elliptic volute spring|
|Armament||1x75mm M1897A4 gun (59 rounds)|
Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
- Â» Wreck of Johnston Found (8 Apr 2021)
- Â» Passing of Margaret Kelly (25 Jan 2021)
- Â» WW2DB's 16th Anniversary (29 Dec 2020)
- Â» See all news
- Â» 1,100 biographies
- Â» 333 events
- Â» 38,704 timeline entries
- Â» 1,139 ships
- Â» 338 aircraft models
- Â» 191 vehicle models
- Â» 354 weapon models
- Â» 120 historical documents
- Â» 226 facilities
- Â» 464 book reviews
- Â» 27,516 photos
- Â» 357 maps