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M1 57mm Antitank Gun

The 57mm Gun M1 on Carriage M1 was towed anti-tank artillery, based on the British "6 pounder" anti-tank gun. In Feb 1941, U.S. Army Ordnance started a program to adapt the British 6 pounder antitank gun to U.S. production, in order to supply the British under the Lend Lease program. The U.S. version was designated 57mm Gun M1 on Carriage M1. Production began in February 1942, with all guns going to the British, none used by U.S. forces.

Later modifications of wheels and tires on the M1 were designated the M1A1. While the initial design had a geared traverse, 57mm guns manufactured after 1 September 1942 had free traverse, designated M1A2. After Army Infantry tests in the Spring of 1943, a new carriage was devised with a caster wheel and lunette assembly matched to U.S. trucks and the rsulting 57mm antitank gun was designated M1A3 with M2 carriage, now classified Standard for use by the US Army.

The prime mover for the M1 57mm antitank gun was the Dodge WC62 (or WC63 w/winch) 1 1/2 ton 6x6 truck, although other vehicles were used as needed.

The M1 57mm antitank gun replaced the M3 37mm Antitank Gun in the European Theater, starting in Tunisia. Due to a lack of production planning, only antitank rounds were produced until near the end of the war, limiting the gun's usefullness without HE rounds. Although intended to replace the underpowered 37mm M3 antitank gun, the 57mm gun was still too light to be uniformly effective against German armor. It was better, with a muzzle velocity of 2700 feet/sec, the ability to penetrate 2 inches of armor plate at 100 yards, and a higher rate of fire, but it was still a stopgap until more effective Panzer killers were produced.

The M1 57mm antitank gun weighed 2,100 pounds, and had a barrel length of 9.33 feet. Some of the British 6 pounders had a shorter barrel due to production shortages, but most had the longer barrel.

Recommended Book about the M1 57mm antitank gun

Gunners struggle to place their 57mm M1 Antitank Gun, Belgium, 1944
Gunners struggle to place their 57mm M1 Antitank Gun, Belgium, 1944.

57mm Antitank Gun M1A3 with M2 carriage, 334th Infantry, 84th Division, Marche, Belgium, 2 Jan 1945.  This gun has the caster wheel folded up in the travel position (to the right of the kneeling soldier).  Soldiers are using a cleaning rod to service the barrel.
57mm Antitank Gun M1A3 with M2 carriage, 334th Infantry, 84th Division, Marche, Belgium, 2 Jan 1945. This gun has the caster wheel folded up in the travel position (to the right of the kneeling soldier). Soldiers are using a cleaning rod to service the barrel.

A camouflaged M1 57mm anti-tank gun is moved into position by South Korean artillerymen, 1 August 1950
A camouflaged M1 57mm anti-tank gun is moved into position by South Korean artillerymen, 1 August 1950.

M1 57mm Antitank Artillery at the National Infantry Museum, Ft. Benning, GA
M1 57mm Antitank Artillery at the National Infantry Museum, Ft. Benning, GA