Para M2A1 105mm Howitzer US573
Para M2A1 105mm Howitzer (US573) with 2 guns and crew.
The American 105mm field howitzer was already developed in the 1920s as the "105mm Howitzer M1" up to pre-production stage. However, the gun did not go into production, since large numbers of the older WWI vintage 75mm field guns were still in service. It was put on the back burner until war finally broke out for the US in 1941. The gun and carriage of the 105mm howitzer were each designated M1.
After further improvements to the M1 design the weapon was re-designated "105mm Howitzer M2 on carriage M2", and was put into mass production in 1940. Further technical changes in the course of production on the construction of gun and carriage led to the M2A1 version of the gun and the M2A1, M2A2 and M2A3 of the carriage.
All parts were interchangeable, so that with the 105mm field howitzer different combinations of gun and carriage were produced. The M2A1 and successive models served the US from before WWII through to Vietnam.
An experienced crew can fire up to 100 rounds per hour. In WWII, some M2A1 guns were mounted on medium tank chassis as mobile artillery (M7 Priest). The 105mm howitzers, though occasionally modified, are in the arsenals of more than 60 countries.
463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battery in Italy
The 463rd Parachute Artillery battery was formed on Anzio Beach on 20 February 1944. It consisted of the headquarters and personnel of A and B batteries of the 456th Parachute Artillery of the 82nd Airborne Division. However, all their guns had been sent back with C and D batteries to England for the Normandy Invasion.
The 463rd Parachute Artillery Battery received their 105mm howitzer guns from the 45th Infantry Division and supported the First Special Service Force throughout Italy.
Guns designed by Karl Cederman
Crew designed by Evan Allen
Painted by Jeremy Painter