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M7 Priest 105mm HMC 2nd Armored Division, Sicily, July 1943
General Background
The U.S. Army required a fully-tracked Howitzer Motor Carriage capable of keeping up with armored divisions. The lower chassis and suspension of the M3 Lee and later the M4 Sherman was selected to have a 105mm Howitzer placed on top with a crew area open to the elements. In 1942 the new SPG was delivered as the M7 HMC (Howitzer Motor Carriage). British forces referred to the M7 as the “Priest” because of the high rounded .50- caliber Machine Gun position resembled the pulpit of an Anglican priest.
Specifications :
Type: Armored Artillery
Crew: 7
Engine: Continental R975 C1, 9 cylinder., Gasoline 400 hp
Maximum Speed: 39 km/h
Power/weight: 17.3 hp/t
Range: 190 km
Length: 6.02 m
Width: 2.87 m
Height: 2.95 m
Weight: 23000 kg
Maximum: 108 mm
Minimum: 13 mm
Suspension: Vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS)
Armament: Main - 1 x 105 mm Howitzer M2A1
Secondary - 1 x .50cal (12.7 mm) M2HB MG