The M1 Pack Howitzer was a light artillery howitzer used by the United States during World War II.


The M1 fired 75 mm shells and they could be fired over a distance of 8.9 kilometers. The type of rounds could vary between smoke, blank, HE, Chemical, etc. and each basic shell weighed 6.6 kg.

The average amount of men needed to operate the M1 was six and the weight of the system was about 1,088.6 kg. The system was meant for easy transport and because of this, it had six major pieces that could be taken apart.[1] The name pack howitzer literally meant for the gun to be carried by mules or other animals.

The fact that the M1 Pack Howitzer was so versatile meant that it could get into the densest of areas which was often the case in the Pacific Theater.[2] The M1's elevation ranged from +5 degrees to +45 degrees and the rate of fire was about four rounds per minute. The M1 could also traverse 3 degrees either left or right.


The M1 had several variants which each had some minor modifications made. The first variant, the M1A1 had a modified breech ring and it was the main version produced during World War II. The M2 and M3 variants were specially modified for use on vehicles and were not really that different from each other. The part of the M1 that had the most changes made to it was the carriage which had several more variants.

The original M1 carriage had wooden wheels and the M3A1 Carriage was the first to utilize tires (The M2A1 carriage never reached production). The M3A2 simply had a shield added and the M3A3 carriage had different tires. The M8 Airborne version had special new wheels and tires. It was meant to either be dropped with other supply crates or dropped in a glider.[3] Although, this carriage could be used with the M1A1 howitzer normally.


M1 Pack Howitzer Tarawa

Marines using an M1 Pack Howitzer on Tarawa.

The M1 Pack Howitzer was developed in 1920 because of the need for an artillery piece that traverse rough terrain. It was used by the United States since then up to present day. Among the campaigns it was used in during World War II include Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of Tarawa and the Battle of Okinawa. The M1 was even used in vehicle mounts such as on the M3 Half-Track, LVT, and M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage. The M1 was later redesignated the M116 howitzer and it remains to this day the M116 howitzer.



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