Re: Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements
Daniel A. Mitchell
The gun shown is the M1 (later M2) “Long Tom”. It was the largest of three variants of the 155mm gun, having a tandem-axle, 8 tire main chassis, and (usually) a 2-wheeled limber for the gun trails (early versions hooked the trails directly to the towing Mack NO truck). This is a true “rifle” with a 22 ft. long rifled barrel. For its size it was quite mobile, and widely used in both the WWII European and Pacific theaters. It was also used in Korea. Much the same gun also appeared in self-propelled chassis as the M-40 (and earlier as the M-12 with a shorter barrel).toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
There was also the 8” (203mm) howitzer version with the same chassis, but a shorter, "fatter” smooth-bore barrel. The two barrels were interchangeable on the chassis.
Then there was the version we have been discussing, the M-114 howitzer, with a short (11 ft.) 155mm barrel and a single axle (2-wheeled) carriage. It was much lighter and more mobile, but had less range.
All these could be towed behind heavy trucks (7-ton or more, Mack, Diamond-T, Brockway, White, and Corbitt), or the so called “high speed tractors”: the 8-ton M5, the 18-ton M4, and the much larger 38-ton M6 (used mainly for the huge 240mm gun).