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ugly

LE
Moderator
Which 75 were they fitted with the same as the M3 and M4?
 
Knocked out GMC in the middle of German armour. The US engineers blew a load of German stuff to pieces including the Tigers after the battle.

 
See the source image


And before @Ian525 gets here, no, that's not my attempt at a restoration. :p
 
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Which 75 were they fitted with the same as the M3 and M4?
It was a French pre WW1 field gun. The Americans adopted it as their field gun and used it until the 105mm howitzer replaced it. Surplus guns were fitted to the GMC's. It used the same ammo as the guns used in the Lee/Grant and the Sherman.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Cheers, seems to have been reasonably effective for its time
 
As an expedient weapon they did OK, but as Signalman said, they did sterling service in British units.

The_British_Army_in_Italy_1944_NA14653.jpg


If it's anything like my T19 they only had localised strengthening to the chassis. The whole thing must have taken a bit of a pounding when firing.
 
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At El Guetta the GMC halftracks of the US 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion claimed to have destroyed thirty German tanks, including two Tigers, at the cost of twenty-one M3 75mm GMCs. That's quite impressive. But overall they were markedly inferior to the M10.
Yeah, I was probably a bit harsh. They were a marked improvement on what came before (37mm on truck), but the TD Bns were very grateful to get M10s.

The Rangers also made good use of a couple of them on Omaha Beach - along with some Army M15 MGMCs, they were some of the only vehicles on the beach that were able to put some heavy direct fire down against the larger bunkers.

Interestingly, Commonwealth forces in Italy had STACKS of the things, with virtually every Recce Corps Regiment having some in addition to those held by the Armoured Car Regiments. In NW Europe they were only used by two British Armoured Car Regiments (11th Hussars and 1st Dragoons). The other two regiments (2 HCR & Inns & Court) had AEC Mk III, which was far less useful for HE fire support. The Recce Corps in NW Europe didn't have any heavies at all (the Belgian Armoured Car Regiment received AEC Mk III when it expanded from a Squadron to a Regiment in 1945 and the Canadian Manitoba Dragoons had nothing until it acquired some M7 Priests in Normandy, which were then replaced by Staghound Mk III in 1945).
 
Very, very interesting photo of a Canadian GMC taken during the liberation of Groningen, Netherlands. Notice something? Look at the rear corner. It's an International Harvester M14/17. Never seen that before. Can only imagine that they have taken the complete gun assembly off a clapped out M3 and plonked it in an Inter. The battery/squadron markings are interesting too.

20190802_125021.jpg
 
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Very, very interesting photo of a Canadian GMC taken during the liberation of Groningen, Netherlands. Notice something? Look at the rear corner. It's an International Harvester M15/17. Never seen that before. Can only imagine that they have taken the complete gun assembly off a clapped out M3 and plonked it in an Inter. The battery/squadron markings are interesting too.

View attachment 408256
For a brief moment, I was cursing that the regimental history of the Manitoba Dragoons had got it wrong, but then realised that this must belong to the 1st Canadian Dragoons, which had been moved with I Canadian Corps from Italy to NW Europe in January 1945 (Op GOLDFLAKE). The corps sign is red-white-red with a red diamond and gold maple leaf. The arm-of-service flash is green-over-light blue with '44' serial, which signifies a corps armoured car regiment - the white bar across the top signifies corps troops. The cap-badge certainly does appear to be the RCDs' Springbok badge.

That's also a very nice example of a variation on the 'D' Squadron sign, being a 'Lazy D'. 'D' Squadron signs were officially a vertical solid bar, but the Canadians tended to use the Lazy 'D' (I've also seen it on Manitoba Dragoon cars). the British Army also adopted the Lazy D post-war. 'D' Squadrons were very rare, as Armoured Regiments of the period only had three squadrons. 'D' Squadron signs are only really seen therefore, in Armoured Car Regiments and occasionally on the heavy weapon platoons of Motor Battalions (which were sometimes grouped as a fourth company and marked accordingly).

And yes, the M17 75mm 'upgrade' is a completely new one on me! Do you suppose that they were just able to slap it straight on to the original MG turret mount?
 
For a brief moment, I was cursing that the regimental history of the Manitoba Dragoons had got it wrong, but then realised that this must belong to the 1st Canadian Dragoons, which had been moved with I Canadian Corps from Italy to NW Europe in January 1945 (Op GOLDFLAKE). The corps sign is red-white-red with a red diamond and gold maple leaf. The arm-of-service flash is green-over-light blue with '44' serial, which signifies a corps armoured car regiment - the white bar across the top signifies corps troops. The cap-badge certainly does appear to be the RCDs' Springbok badge.

That's also a very nice example of a variation on the 'D' Squadron sign, being a 'Lazy D'. 'D' Squadron signs were officially a vertical solid bar, but the Canadians tended to use the Lazy 'D' (I've also seen it on Manitoba Dragoon cars). the British Army also adopted the Lazy D post-war. 'D' Squadrons were very rare, as Armoured Regiments of the period only had three squadrons. 'D' Squadron signs are only really seen therefore, in Armoured Car Regiments and occasionally on the heavy weapon platoons of Motor Battalions (which were sometimes grouped as a fourth company and marked accordingly).

And yes, the M17 75mm 'upgrade' is a completely new one on me! Do you suppose that they were just able to slap it straight on to the original MG turret mount?
Great stuff! Every day is a learning day!

No, the Maxson turret would be mounted too far back for the gun, and would not be strong enough. I suspect they torched off the old M3 gun mount (which is riveted to the chassis on my T19) and used a bit of scrap steel plate to weld it to the Inter.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Great stuff! Every day is a learning day!

No, the Maxson turret would be mounted too far back for the gun, and would not be strong enough. I suspect they torched off the old M3 gun mount (which is riveted to the chassis on my T19) and used a bit of scrap steel plate to weld it to the Inter.
Remember the quote about authenticity at the weald
 
Great stuff! Every day is a learning day!

No, the Maxson turret would be mounted too far back for the gun, and would not be strong enough. I suspect they torched off the old M3 gun mount (which is riveted to the chassis on my T19) and used a bit of scrap steel plate to weld it to the Inter.
I thought that might be the case. It still seems like a heck of a job though! And I wonder where they got the M17 from? The first examples didn't really start appearing in Commonwealth LAA Regts in NW Europe until April 1945, though Italy did tend to get a very different scale of lend-lease kit when compared to NW Europe.
 
I forgot to add that the central bar of the II Canadian Corps sign was black instead of white, so it's definitely a I Canadian Corps vehicle. The 'D' Sqn sign would also be white - that being the colour for an un-brigaded regiment.

[Edited to add more tedious minutiae] I've just noticed that the red of the corps sign completely disappears and blends in with the olive drab due to the black & white photography. I've seen several discussions in the past regarding Grenadier Guards tanks (which should have carried red squadron signs, being the senior regiment in the brigade), with people adamant that they didn't paint signs on their tanks, because there are none visible in photos... ;)
 
Which 75 were they fitted with the same as the M3 and M4?
The halftracks used the Frog M1897 75mm field gun. They began making their own in 1918 but only about a hundred reached the Western Front. After the war the thousand or so made were eventually replaced by the 105mm M2 and put into store, to be dragged out again and either sent to the UK after Dunkirk or bolted onto halftracks. As noted we also used the latter, armoured car regiments in the Med theatre were issued with two per squadron, those in NW Europe used AEC MkIII armoured cars, the anomaly also noted was I Canadian Corps on transfer.

All of the Septic 75mm guns: M3 and M4 medium tanks; M24 light tank; B-25G and H ground-attack aircraft and even the 75mm pack howitzer used essentially the same M1897 ammunition (the last with a shorter case), which might explain their crappy anti-tank capability.

Edited for typing incompetence.
 
See the source image


Caption read "27th Lancers, north-west of Mezzano, Italy, 18 February 1945"
 
Yeah, I was probably a bit harsh. They were a marked improvement on what came before (37mm on truck), but the TD Bns were very grateful to get M10s.

The Rangers also made good use of a couple of them on Omaha Beach - along with some Army M15 MGMCs, they were some of the only vehicles on the beach that were able to put some heavy direct fire down against the larger bunkers.
The US 2nd and 5th Rangers had no M3 GMC on Omaha Beach. In fact no M3GMC were in use by US forces @ normandy. The Ranger Force (Darby's Rangers in Italy- 1st, 3rd and 4th battalions) had a 4 gun section of M3GMC up to Cisterna. When the 1st, 3rd and 4th Rangers were disbanded the vehicles and men went to the US/Canadian FSSF and did see service in Southern France.
 
The US 2nd and 5th Rangers had no M3 GMC on Omaha Beach. In fact no M3GMC were in use by US forces @ normandy. The Ranger Force (Darby's Rangers in Italy- 1st, 3rd and 4th battalions) had a 4 gun section of M3GMC up to Cisterna. When the 1st, 3rd and 4th Rangers were disbanded the vehicles and men went to the US/Canadian FSSF and did see service in Southern France.
Might have been some. Cant view these pics, but an interesting read.
GMC M3 TD at Omaha Beach - Axis History Forum
 

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