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M101 105mm Howitzer
The M101 and M101A1 105mm Light Howitzer, Towed is a general purpose, light field artillery weapon used by U.S. ground forces. The M101 was developed in 1928 and saw extensive use in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It is manufactured at Rock Island Arsenal with over 10,000 produced including all variants.
Until a renumbering of artillery in 1962, this howitzer was known as the M2 or M2A1. With the 1962 change, it became the M101.
Howitzer, Light, Towed: 105 mm, M-101 and M-101A1
The M101A1 howitzer consists of a cannon (105mm howitzer M2A2), recoil mechanism (M2 series), and carriage (105mm Howitzer, M2A2). The cannon itself is comprised of the tube assembly, breech ring, and locking ring. The cannon is mounted on the recoil sleigh assembly. The firing mechanism is a continuous pull (self cocking) type activated by pulling a lanyard.
The cannon is single-loaded, air-cooled and uses semi-fixed ammunition. The howitzer fires a 105mm (4.2-inch diameter) projectile which can be adjusted for distance and target. The M101 can be used for direct or indirect fire.
The carriage is of the single axle and split trail type. The trails are divided at emplacement, but are drawn together and locked during travel. A drawbar is provided for securing to a prime mover. The carriage consists of an equilibrator, shield, elevating mechanism, cradle, gear, elevating arcs, traversing mechanism, top carriage, wheels, and trails.
The recoil mechanism is a constant hydropneumatic type shock absorber that decreases the energy of the recoil gradually and so avoids violent movement of the cannon or carriage. It is installed in the cradle of the carriage.
The M102 105mm howitzer began replacing the M101A1 105mm Howitzer starting in 1964.
Specifications of the M101 or M101A1 Howitzer