War Machine, Volume 5

use as the 90-mm Gun M lon Antiair­craft Mount M1A1 and production commenced with a high priority cachet. The M1 was a handsome abut rather complex weapon which proved dif­ficult to produce The gun assembly itself was straightforward but the car­riage was another matter. It was de­signed to be towed on a single axle with two pneumatic tyres on each side This 90-mm M l anti-aircraft gun is dug into take part in beach defences. Other emplacements can be seen, including atone the left rear containing the battery's rangefinder and other fire control equipment. The mount is theM lA l the later M2 mount used a turntable. and inaction it stood on a cruciform mounting with the crew standing around the gun on a folding platform. The problem was to get all this car­riage and platform folded onto the single axle The result can be de­scribed only as complicated. Soon after the Ml gun was placed in production it was supplemented by the M1A1 which had provision for the fitting of a spring rammer. In practice this rammer proved to be more trouble than it was worth and was usually re­moved but another change was on the way. In July 1941 it was decided that in future the 90-mm (3.54-in) gun and car­riage would have to be capable of en­gaging sea and land targets as well. This meant a revision of the carriage as on the Ml carriage the gun could not 3-in Antiaircraft Gun M3 (continued) gun. For this role the breech of the 105-mm (4.13-in) M2 howitzer was used and thus the old anti-aircraft guns went onto anew service career. Atone point in the days immediately after Dunkirk there were plans to sell numbers of M3 guns to the United Kingdom to replenish AA guns lost at Dunkirk but in the event none made the Atlantic crossing Specification 3-in Antiaircraft Gun M3 on Mount M2A2 Calibre: 76.2 mm (3 in) Weight: complete 7620 kg (16800 lb) Dimensions: length travelling 7.62 m (25 ft 0 in) width 2108 m (6 ft 1 1 in) height 2.87 m(9 ft 5 in) length of barrel 381 m(12 ft 6 in) length of rifling 3196 m (10 ft 5.83 in) Elevation: +807-1° Traverse: 360° Maximum ceiling: 9510 m (31200 ft) Shell weight: 5.8 kg (12.8 lb) Muzzle velocity: HE853m(2,800ft)per second Left: The M3 was by 1941 largely relegated to home defence as many o f the eruns backdated to World W arl. Some did see inaction the Far East during 1942 however. Above: In 1941 the American 3-in (76.2-mm)gun was instill service in several forms. This static version was the 3-in Gun M4 on Mount M3 and was used in such locations as the Philippines and the Canal Zone. 90-mm Gun M l Heavy Anti-Aircraft Guns of World War II Once it was realized that the old 76.2- mm (3-in) anti-aircraft guns were com­ing to the end of their service life dur­ing the late 1930s it was decided by the US Army to produce a weapon not only with abetter performance but one capable of firing a heavier projectile. Since a 90-mm (3.54-in) projectile was considered the upper weight limit of what a soldier could handle manually this was fixed as the new calibre and design work began in 1938 By 1940 the prototypes were approved for service Right: The 90-mm Antiaircraft Gun M2 was a much revised version of the earlier M l but used anew carriage with a turntable a power rammer, fuse setter and other changes. This resulted in an excellent gun but one that was slow and expensive to produce. 1199
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