Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator

155mm M59 Long Tom


155mm Gun M1


Overview


155mm Long Tom

155mm Long Tom on public display.
Source: Dsdugan - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

Origin
United States
Type
Towed howitzer
Entered service
1940
Status
Limited service
Development
1920's - 1938
Developer
United States
Production
1938 (M1)
1940 - 1945 (M1A1)
1945 (M2)
Producer
United States
Number produced
1.882
Designations
155mm Gun M1 and M2 (World War 2 era designations)
155mm Gun M59 (Post World War 2 designation)
Long Tom (popular nickname)
Notable users
United States
United Kingdom
Taiwan

Description


Introduction

The M59 is a heavy World War 2 era towed howitzer of US origin. It was developed after World War 1 as the 155mm Gun M1 since the US was found to have limited heavy gun capabilities. After World War 2 the "155mm Gun M1" was redesignated M59, but it remains widely known under the popular nickname Long Tom. As a gun the M59 was designed to have a long range and flat trajectory, whereas a traditional howitzer has a shorter range and much higher trajectory.

Design

The M59 uses a long 155mm 45-caliber rifled ordnance without muzzle brake. The lower chassis is a two axle eight wheel split trail carriage with a two wheel limber. The upper carriage holds the gun support systems such as the cradle, recoil system and elevating and traverse mechanisms. In the firing position the spades on the trails are lowered in pre-dug holes and the wheels are raised. A 14 man crew is required for normal operations.

Firepower

The M59 fires 155mm shells with a weight of around 45 kg at ranges up to 23.7 km. Sustained rate of fire is 40 rounds per hour. Ammunition types include high explosive, smoke, chemical and illuminating shells.

Mobility

The M59 is a massive gun and hard to transport in the field. During transport the length is reduced by retracting the ordnance over the carriage. Due to its weight M59 cannot be manhandled and requires powerful towing vehicle. During World War 2 the Mack NO 6x6 7.5t truck and M4 High Speed artillery tractor were used.

Users

The M59 was widely used by US forces during World War 2. After the war it was also used in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. By that time it was supplemented by newer types of self-propelled heavy artillery. Many M59 were obtained as military aid by nations with good relations with the United States.

Variants


155mm Long Tom

155mm Long Tom on display in a museum in Israel.
Source: Bukvoed - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

155mm Gun M1
Early production model introduced in 1938. Only 20 produced.
155mm Gun M1A1
Improved production model with modified breech ring introduced in 1941.
155mm Gun M2
Further improved production model with modified breech ring introduced in 1945.
M59
Post World War 2 designation for M1, M1A1 and M2 models.

Details


Facts M59 Long Tom
General
Origin
United States
Type
Towed howitzer
Crew
14
Dimensions
Weight
13.9 t (travel configuration)
Length
11 m (travel configuration)
Width
2.5 m (travel configuration)
Height
2.7 m (travel configuration)
Ordnance
Type
155mm 45-caliber howitzer
Barrel length
6.97 m
Muzzle brake
No
Muzzle velocity
853 m/s
Elevation
-2° to +65°
Traverse
60° in total
Firepower
Rate of fire
40 rounds per hour
Range
23.7 km
Carriage
Type
8 wheel twin-axle split-trail carriage
Limber
2 wheel limber
Gun shield
No
Mobility
Towing vehicle
Mack NO 6x6 truck
M4 High Speed Tractor
Autonomous mobility
Too heavy for manhandling
APU
No

Media