Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / M7 Priest

M7 Priest

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    1941 - 1942

  • DESIGNER
    ?

  • PRODUCTION
    1942 - 1945?

  • PRODUCERS
    United States

  • QUANTITY
    3.490 M7
    826 M7B1

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Much better mobility than towed M101
    Direct fire capability
    Exposed crew
    Limited speed

Introduction

The M7 Priest is a tracked 105mm self-propelled howitzer of US origin. It was developed during the early stages of World War 2 and was produced from Februari 1942 onwards. In US service it was called the 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7 and in UK service the 105mm Self Propelled Gun Priest.

Layout

The M7 Priest is based on the chassis of the M3 Lee tank. Later on the M4A3 Sherman chassis was used. The gun is mounted facing forward and has a limited traverse. The raised steel superstructure gives the crew some protection.

Firepower

The M7 Priest is fitted with the same ordnance as the towed M2A1 howitzer, which was later renamed M101. A total of 69 projectiles are carried. The maximum range is slightly over 11km. A M2HB heavy machine gun is fitted in a drum type cupola for self-defense.

Protection

The M7 Priest has an open roof and the sides do not fully cover the crew. This makes the crew vulnerable. The steel armor protects the crew to some degree against small arms fire and shell splinters.

Mobility

The tracked chassis gives the M7 Priest a good cross country performance although the average speed is limited. A Continental 340hp or 400hp gas engine provides propulsion.

Users

The M7 Priest was widely used by US forces in World War 2 and Korea. It was also used by the British and some commonwealth forces. After World War 2 the M7 Priest was exported to various US allies during the early Cold War era. For several decades the M7 Priest is no longer in active use and very few remain in storage.

Variants

M7 Priest

The M7 is based on the M3 Lee chassis, the M7B1 on the M4A3 Sherman chassis. The M7 is fitted with the same ordnance as the towed M2A1 howitzer, later called M101. The M7B2 has an improved main gun elevation angle for use in Korea.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew7 (commander, driver, gunner, 4 loaders)
Length6.02 m
Width2.87 m
Height2.95 m (incl MG)
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight23.0 t combat load
Ground pressure0.73 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 3.73 m length, 0.42 m width, 2.11 m track
Turn radius19 m
EngineContinental R975 C1 gasoline
400 hp at 2.400 rpm
Power ratio17.4 hp/t
TransmissionSynchromesh, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed39 km/h dash, 34 km/h sustained
Fuel662 L
Range190 km on road
Wall0.6 m
Trench2.3 m
Gradient60% gradient
Fording1.0 m
ArmorSteel, up to 13 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament105mm M2A1 howitzer
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon1105mm M2A1 howitzer
69 rounds
-5 to +35° elevation, manual
-15 to +30° traverse, manual
non-stabilized
Weapon212.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
300 rounds, 100 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-
TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew7 (commander, driver, gunner, 4 loaders)
Length6.02 m
Width2.87 m
Height2.95 m (incl MG)
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight22.7 t combat load
Ground pressure0.73 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 3.73 m length, 0.42 m width, 2.11 m track
Turn radius19 m
EngineFord GAA gasoline
500 hp at 2.600 rpm
Power ratio22.0 hp/t
TransmissionSynchromesh, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed39 km/h dash, 34 km/h sustained
Fuel662 L
Range190 km on road
Wall0.6 m
Trench2.3 m
Gradient60% gradient
Fording1.0 m
ArmorSteel, up to 13 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament105mm M2A1 howitzer
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon1105mm M2A1 howitzer
69 rounds
-5 to +35° elevation, manual
-15 to +30° traverse, manual
non-stabilized
Weapon212.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
300 rounds, 100 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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