Today in WW II: 13 Aug 1944 US XV Corps [of US 3rd Army] captures Argentan, threatening to close the Falaise Pocket on the overextended Germans.  More 
13 Aug 1944 Gen. Bradley orders Gen. Patton to stop northward movement of XV Corps, preventing them from meeting Canadian troops and sealing the Argentan-Falaise pocket.
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Field Gun, 75mm M1897

This artillery piece was the U.S. Army adaptation of the "75 modèle 1897" or "French 75". Some French-built guns and the U.S. M1897 copy were used by the AEF in World War I, 1917-1918. During the inter-war decades between WW I and WW II there was little new development of weapons in the U.S. so this gun remained the main light field artillery of the U.S. Army. It was updated and redesignated with a series of names including M1897A2, M1897A4, then the M2A1 and finally M2A2 in 1939. Changes included better ammunition, pneumatic tires, and improved sights but otherwise remained largely the same as the original M1897. The Fredericksburg TX gun in these photographs had an arsenal rebuild in 1941 at Watervliet, the Army's cannon foundry, but is still marked M1897. The gun weighed 3,440 pounds and fired a shell weighing 14.9 pounds.

Until the 1930s this gun was horse drawn, with each FA Section consisting of one six horse team pulling the piece and another pulling an ammunition caisson. In the U.S. Army, the 75mm M2A2 was replaced early in World War II with the more capable 105mm Howitzer, M2, Truck-Drawn. This same gun was acquired and used by the British Army during World War II under the name "75mm QF Mark I".

Gun, 75mm M1897A2 photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
Gun, 75mm M1897A2 photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

75mm Field Gun, Model 1897, Texas Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006.  Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
75mm Field Gun, Model 1897, Texas Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

Gun, 75mm M1897A2 photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
Gun, 75mm M1897A2 photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

Markings on Gun, 75mm M1897A2.  Indicates that the gun was rebuilt at Watervliet Arsenal in 1941. Photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
Markings on Gun, 75mm M1897A2. Indicates that the gun was rebuilt at Watervliet Arsenal in 1941. Photographed at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg TX, 7 November 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

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