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M-7 "Priest" Self-Propelled 105mm


With the on set of WWII in the early 1940's, the marriage of a M2A1, 105mm howitzer onto a M3 medium tank chassis created the M7 "Priest" becoming an all terrain, 105mm self-propelled howitzer. In 1942, the first combat deployment was with the British Army through the Lend-Lease Act at the battle of El Alamein during the North Africa campaign. It performed well despite its flaw of non-compatibility with the British 87mm, artillery standard. The British crews that operated the M7, nicknamed it the "Priest" derived from its machine gun mounting that reminded them of a church pulpit.
Operated by a crew of (5), the M7, was powered by a (9) cylinder piston engine and had a maximum speed of 25 mph with a range of 125 miles. The "Priest" had a roomy interior and carried (69) round of 105mm projectiles. In addition, 1 inch of armored plating protected the crew from enemy small arms fire. The 105mm fired a 33 lb high explosive projectile with a muzzle velocity of 1,550 feet per second and a maximum range of 12,200 yards. A .50 caliber machine gun was mounted externally for additional protection from aircraft. After WWII the M7 was short live with many having their howitzer removed and utilized as a 10 man armored personnel carrier known as "Kangaroos."




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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net