105 mm Howitzer M7 Self Propelled Priest

M7 Priest

 

Production of the M7 began in April 1942. The first vehicles were built on the M3 Lee chassis but as the Lee was suplanted by the Sherman, production switched to the M4 chassis. The open topped fighting compartment mounted the M2A1 105 mm Howitzer. They first saw action with the British at the second battle of Al Alamein. They continued in British service through to 1945. They started to be replaced by the 25 pdr SP Sexton as it became available but continued to serve, mostly in the Far East.

 

Gun

 

M2A1 Modified M2 standardised in 1940

 

Carriage

 

M7 Open topped compartment on M3 Lee tank chassis. Howitzer on Mount M4
M7B1 As M7 but based on M4 Sherman chassis

 

Data – Carriage

 

Weight 50,40 lbs (22.97 metric tons)
Length 19 feet 9 inches (6.02 m)
Width 9 feet 5 inches (2.87 m)
Height 8 feet 4 inches (2.54 m)
Speed 24 mph (39 km/h) on road, 15 mph (24km/h) cross country
Operational range 120 miles (193 kms)

 

Data – Gun

 

Length of Bore 93 inches (22.5 calibres)
Rifling 34 grooves, uniform right handed 1/20
Breech & Mechanism Horizontal sliding block, percussion fired
Recoil system Hydropneumatic, constant 42 inches

 

AmmunitionSemi-fixed, cased charge

 

Shell, semi-fixed, HE, M1 Streamlined shell weighing 33 lb
Shell, semi-fixed, Chemical, M60 White Phosphorus smoke
Shell, semi-fixed, Chemical, BE, M84 Base ejection smoke
Shell, HEAT, M67 Hollow charge with base fuze M62A1