Often, considering US weapons systems, we're talking about, that most of them are designed for expeditionary units and subunits. clear, that being «of otshibe» world policy, Americans are well aware, that get involved in a war they will have on another continent. Opponents of Canada or Mexico are not particularly troubled US.
It is this, perhaps, It explains why, that the US Army has almost no use of fixed artillery systems, even in coastal defense. Mobility tools has always been a prerequisite for their acceptance into service.
So what happened to the famous American Field 155-mm gun M1 / M2 «Long Tom». A long (lanky) Tom. weapon, is born… World War I! It sounds a little defiantly, but it was the study of the use of artillery systems warring armies in World War I., It forced Americans to go to establish their own mobile-caliber weapons.
Americans are seriously concerned to study European armies artillery systems. 11 December 1918 by order of the Chief of Staff of the US Army was created calibers Commission, headed by a brigadier general Westervelt. For the majority of the interests of American artillery systems, it is known exactly how Westervelt Commission.
The Commission has studied almost all the systems of the time. And it had a very specific task - the definition of the American artillery development concept for the next 20 years. How view, strategic thinking American staff officers had already made the correct conclusions about trends in world politics.
so, 5 May 1919 Westervelt, General submitted a report, who determined the further development of the American artillery. For those, to whom it will be interesting, We advise to read this report in its entirety. It concerns almost all the guns. From mild to extreme power tools. But today we are interested in Long (A long) Tom.
Among the "ideal" modern army guns Commission called 155-mm heavy cannon with a range of 23 km, circular fire and mechanical traction. At the end of the First World War, the US Army has adopted a French 155-mm "big gun might" model 1917 GPF horse traction.
Naturally, buy weapons and to transport it to the United States was too expensive. therefore, in the United States have launched this instrument under its own designation M1918.
With all the advantages of the system, It appeared some disadvantages. First of all, animal traction. for mobile, expeditionary type of army to transport herds of horses were quite expensive. Besides, it was necessary to increase the range of fire and shelling sector. And finally, except for 155-mm guns, need was even a howitzer on the same carriage. Simply put, requires duplex.
by the way, the first to develop such duplexes, 155-mm gun and 203 mm howitzer, the metal had already 1920 year! Furthermore, according to some sources, they even passed field tests. But the work due to lack of funding stopped.
However, the development of new guns lasted. Again, the development of a new 155-mm guns were taken into account such requirements, and an increase in range of a fire sector, mechanical (tractor) pull, unification carriages for heavy guns and howitzers.
AT 1933 year at Aberdeen Proving Ground has been tested 155-mm cannon on the gun carriage T2. Later, a T4 with increased gun barrel length. AT 1938 year with gun T4E2 gun carriage 12 put into service under the designation "155-mm gun M1". In March 1939 years spent shooting the first full-time battery. It is a tool and later became famous «Tom».
By the beginning of World War II in the US Army stood 65 M1 guns. What was extremely small for such an army. That is why the US industry (Uotervlitsky arsenal) It increases the production of these systems in a relatively short time.
Now that, Why Tom became long or lanky. History will usually suffice to direct Americans. What do I see, and call. The gun had a length of barrel 45 calibres, for which he received the nickname "Long Tom" (Long Tom). In the bore formed 48 Right narezov. The barrel was connected to the breech through a spacer sleeve.
Loading - Separate, kartuznoe, It was used to ignite the primer Mk IIA4.
Interrupted screw with a plastic obturator is made according to the scheme, patented J.. L. Smith and D. F. Esburi. Otpiranie prison, removing it from the socket and tilting in the direction of movement of the lever is made by one. Locking gate - also.
Recoil device - hydropneumatic, Variable length rollback. To increase the angle of elevation of the stud and raised upper machine referred back, which required a balancing mechanism with two hydropneumatic cylinders.
Martial swing lower machine mast served two two-axle trucks - a total of four double wheels with wide rubber tires. In the firing position of the lower frontal part of the machine is lowered onto the ground by means of two screw jacks, wheels hung, staninы razvodilisy.
Prop frontal part of the mast to the ground and precast coulters bed provides stability when shooting. Flitches unified with heavy 203mm howitzer M1.
The implement towed at speeds up to 19-20 km / h the wheel or crawler tractors, including high-speed tractor M4 and M5, bronetyagachi M33 and M44. Before towing the barrel separated from the anti-recoil devices and was delayed on a gun carriage ago.
Uniaxial front M2 limited towing speed and overcoming irregularities due to the long mast vibrations. chuck M5, limited the fluctuations, It turned out to be unsafe in operation, and calculations of preferred front M2 even when using high-speed tractors.
On the march the wagon had a length of more 11 m and width 2,5 m. Dimensions hampered traffic on narrow roads, system is clearly overweight - on dirt roads and light bridges. Some calculations weapon hitched to the tractor circuits without the use of uppers.
The ammunition included high-explosive, armor-piercing explosive, smoke, gas-shell, similar fire unit 155mm howitzer. charges, of course, not interchangeable with howitzer. The main propellant charge in 9,25 kg nitroglycerin powder provides a range of firing explosive shells to 17 km, additional charge for a maximum range used in 4,72 kg.
His combat path «long Tom» I began in North Africa 24 December 1942 of the year. During the operation, «Torch» guns were part of the battery «A» 36 Division field artillery.
In the future, these systems are actively used in the Pacific theater (7 divisions). In Europe «long Tom» He fought in the British Army. Several tools have received even the French, which also included the organization in the British army. Total participated in the European theater 40 divisions M1 / M2.
In the future, the system was used during the Korean War. As the total number of such systems in the US Army figures differ. Most likely, no more 50 divisions.
Now it is necessary to clarify the designation «long Tom». Where did the confusion, M1, M2, M59.
It is logical, that a successful artillery system upgraded, simplified, mounted on the machine chassis. If you want to, this is one of the indicators «how good». Not escaped this fate and «Tom».
AT 1941 year on arms adopted a modification of the M1A1 with a breech, directly screwed on the barrel, in September 1944 year - M2 to simplify the connection of the barrel and breech of the pipe and the simplification of a number of other details.
During the war, it has been developed, but a number of experienced modifications - a "rifled" in shell ammunition, with chrome bore, Liquid-cooled barrel, a gun carriage of cheaper alloys for saving high-quality steel, on fixed installations of the coastal defense, shortened to be installed on a heavy tank.
To increase the mobility of the heavy 155-mm guns, M1 and M1A1 tanks during the war have developed several self-propelled units. AT 1945 year under the designation M40 entered service self-propelled version of "Long Tom" to recompose medium tank chassis M4A3E8.
With the advent of clear M2. It remains to M59. Here the story is very banal and uninteresting. The usual bureaucratic «reshuffle», caused by the reorganization of the US Army in the 50s of the last century. Just new designation M2, no more.
Performance characteristics «lanky Tom»:
Caliber, mm: 155
barrel length, mm: 7020 (45 calibres)
Mass gun in firing position, kg: 13 800
Mass high-explosive shell, kg: 43,4
The initial velocity of the projectile, m / s: 853
Maximum range, m: 23 500
The angle of elevation of the barrel: from -2 ° to + 63 °
The maximum rate of fire fighting, rounds / min: 1-2
Calculation, people: 14
Transfer time from traveling to combat, min: 20-30
There remains talk about gun, that you see in our pictures. This «long Tom» «Birthday» at 1944 year. Official name - release M2 1944 of the year. UMMC is in the museum of military equipment in Verkhnyaya Pyshma.
History is not that silent, but to ascertain, how we turned out to be a tool, not yet succeeded. In the museum it fell to the storage depots near Perm, and there ...
apparently, "Long Tom" became the object of study, that is, or the North Koreans, Vietnamese or shared trophy.