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M3 Howitzer file photo [18366]

105 mm Howitzer M3 Field Gun

Country of OriginUnited States
TypeField Gun
Caliber105.000 mm
Length3,940.000 mm
Barrel Length1,680.000 mm
Weight1130.000 kg
Rate of Fire2 rounds/min
Range7,600 m
Muzzle Velocity311 m/s


ww2dbaseThe 105 mm Howitzer M3 light howitzers were designed specifically for airborne operations in mind. The design merged a shortened barrel of a 105 mm Howitzer M2 and the recoil system and carriage of the 75 mm field pack howitzer. The first prototype was fired at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, United States in Mar 1942. They were used by some airborne troops in Normandy, France in Jun 1944, and they were officially adopted as the standard light howitzers of airborne divisions in Europe in Jan 1945. Within the US Army, in addition to airborne troops, some cannon companies of infantry regiments also received them. A small number of 105 mm Howitzer M3 light howitzers were exported to friendly forces: 94 were sold to the Free French, 2 to the British, and 18 to various Latin American countries.

105 mm Howitzer M3 light howitzers fired the same semi-fixed ammunition as their M2 predecessors, but they used faster-burning powder because the M3 barrels were shorter. In emergency situations, high explosive rounds prepared for the M2 could also be used by the 105 mm Howitzer M3 light howitzers, again with different powder.

Production lasted from Feb 1943 to May 1944, and then again between Apr and Jun 1945. Overall, 2,580 units were built.

105 mm Howitzer M3 Production1,9654102052,580

Source: Wikipedia.


Last Major Revision: Nov 2008


American 105mm Howitzer M3 shelling German forces near Carentan, France, 11 Jul 1944

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. dproximan says:
28 Apr 2016 09:57:16 PM

The second or right side photo is NOT a M3 but a standard M2 105mm howitzer.

Note the M3 did not have a recoil buffer above the barrel. Also notice the long shell tray at the bottom of the M2 that is not on the M3.

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105 mm Howitzer M3 Field Gun Photo Gallery
American 105mm Howitzer M3 shelling German forces near Carentan, France, 11 Jul 1944

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