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M53 155mm Self-Propelled Medium Gun (G259)
The M53 155mm Self-Propelled Gun is the sister vehicle to the M-55 8-inch Self-Propelled Howitzer, differing almost entirely in the mounted gun and a few other details. Both were manufactured by Pacific Car and Foundry based on the M46, M47 and M48 Patton tanks. The M53 155mm gun tube is longer and thinner than the tube of the 8-inch howitzer mounted on the M55, the main way to visually distinguish the two models. The M53 155mm SP Gun was known as the T97 in prototype.
The M53 and M55 self-propelled artillery were employed by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps beginning in 1952. Most of the M53 155mm Self-Propelled Medium Guns were converted to M55 8-inch Self-Propelled Heavy Howitzers, starting in 1956. The requirement for air-transportable heavy artillery, powered by diesel engines, led to the replacement of these units with the introduciton of the M-107 175mm Self-propelled Howitzer and M-110 8in Self-propelled Howitzer in the early 1960s, gradually phasing out the M53 and M55.
M-52 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer Specifications
Since the introduction of the M53 and M55 self-propelled artillery in 1952, there have been published Technical Manuals for the two models jointly. The original manuals were numbered in the TM 9-xxxx series, superseded in the late 1950s by the current numbering system of the form TM 9–2350–210-xxx. Examples include:
The M53 Gun, Field Artillery, Self-Propelled was assinged FSN 2350-739-3840 and then NSN 2350-00-739-3840.