- Artillery tractor
Artillery tractor is a kind of
tractor, also referred to as a gun tractor, a vehicleused to tow artillerypieces of varying weights. The first such devices were designed prior to the outbreak of World War I, often based on agricultural machines such as the Holt tractor. Such tractors allowed the tactical use of heavier guns to supplement the light horse drawn field guns. For example in the British Army it allowed the heavy guns of the Royal Garrison Artilleryto be used flexibly on the battlefield.
World War II
World War IIthe horse was still the most common source of motive power in many armies. Most nations were economically and industrially unable to fully motorise their forces. One compromise was to produce general purpose vehicles which could be used in the troop transport, logistics and prime mover roles, with heavy artillery tractors to move the heaviest guns. The Royal Artilleryhowever, persisted with specialist artillery tractors through out World War II, rather than adopt a general purpose vehicle. This was in order to prevent their vehicles being taken from them for other tasks.
There are two main types of artillery tractors, depending on the type of traction. Wheeled tractors are usually variations of lorries adapted for military service. Tracked tractors run on
caterpillar track, and in some cases are built on a modified tank chassiswith the superstructure replaced with a compartment for the gun crew or ammunition. The idea of half-tracktractors was mostly discontinued after the World War II.
In modern warfare towed artillery has given way in part to
List of artillery tractors
*Dragon, Medium Mark IV' – British army, 1928; developed from the Vickers 6-Ton mark E.
**M33 Prime Mover - converted by removing turret and recovery gear from M31 TRV. 109 converted in 1943-44.
**M34 Prime Mover - converted by removing recovery gear from M32B1 TRV (M4A1 Sherman tank chassis) and adding air brakes to tow heavy artillery. 24 converted by Chester Tank Depot in 1944.
**M35 Prime Mover - converted by removing turret from M10A1 tank destroyer (M4A3 Sherman tank chassis) and adding air brakes to tow 155 mm and 240 mm artillery.
**Sherman Gun Tower - British field conversion in Italy by removing turrets from old M4A2 Sherman tanks to tow 17 pdr AT gun and carry crew with ammunition
**Wolverine Gun Tower - British M10 (M4A2 chassis) or M10A1 (M4A3 chassis) converted by removing turret, 1944-45
*Crusader II, Gun Tractor Mk I – British army, variant of the
*pre- and First World War
**Hornsby tractor – British army, 1910
Renault UE Chenillette– France, 1932
C7P– Poland, 1934
Universal Carrier– British, 1936; "Bren Gun Carrier", armored utility tractor
Lloyd carrier- UK, 1940
*M4 High Speed Tractor – USA, 1943
*M5 High Speed Tractor – USA, 1942
*M6 High Speed Tractor – USA, 1944
*M8 High Speed Tractor – USA, 1950
Snow Trac– 1957, UK Royal Marines Light WOMBAT gun carrier
AT-L- Soviet Union
ATS-59- Soviet Union
AT-T- Soviet Union
*MT-LBT - Soviet Union, mid 1970's, variant of the MT-LB armoured personnel carrier.
Hitachi Type 73– Japan, 1974
*Unic P107 – France, 1934; towed the French 75 and short 105 mm field guns
SOMUA MCG– France; towed the French long 105 and short 155 mm field guns
SdKfz 7– Germany, 1938; 8-ton half track often towed the Flak 36 88 mm
M2 Half Track Car– USA, 1940
M3 Half-track– USA, 1940
Krupp Protze– Germany, 1933; towed the 3.7 cm PaK
Scammell Pioneer– British, 1937; lorry used for the largest guns
Morris C8– UK, 1938; the "Quad" British lorry; towed the QF 25 pdr
AEC Matador– UK, WWII; lorry used for pulling intermediate artillery such as the 5.5 inch gun
*Laffly V15T – France, WWII; towed 25 mm AT guns
*Laffly S15T – France, WWII; towed the French 75 and short 105 mm field guns
*White Scout Car – USA, 1941; 4x4 utility armored car
CMP FAT– Canada
KarrierKT4 – UK; for the British Indian Army
Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle– UK, 1971
Land Rover 101 Forward Control– UK, 1972
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