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57 mm Gun M1, was based on the 6 pounder Mk 2, two units of which were
received from the UK.
Production started early in 1942 and continued until 1945 and the M1A2
introduced the British practice of free traverse, i.e. the gun could be
traversed by the crew pushing and pulling on the breech, instead of a solely
geared traverse, from September 1942.
A more stable carriage was developed but not introduced. Once the 57 mm
entered US service a modified towing point design was introduced (the M1A3) but
only for US use.
American shell designs and production lagged behind the introduction of the gun
once it was accepted for service and so at first only AP shot was available. The
HE shell was not available until after the Normandy landings and UK stocks were
procured to cover its absence.
In spring 1943, following the experience of the North African Campaign where
allied guns struggled against German armour, the Infantry branch of the U.S.
Army recognised the need to field a heavier antitank gun than the 37 mm M3. and
from 26 May 1943, a regiment antitank company included nine 57 mm guns and
each battalion had an antitank platoon with three guns giving a total of
18 guns per regiment.
Introduction was made in the face of objections by the US Army Infantry Board
which believed it too heavy. The Ordnance Board on the other hand where all for
it however both Airborne and Cavalry rejected it. By mid-1944 the M1 was the
standard antitank gun of the U.S. infantry in the Western Front and outnumbered
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