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The 3in Gun M5 is an anti-tank gun developed by the US from the T9 3in
anti-aircraft gun. In late 1940 the US Ordnance Corps began to adapt the T9 3in
Gun to the anti-tank role.The barrel of the T9 was combined with the horizontal
sliding block breech, hydropneumatic recoil system and split-trail carriage of
the M2 105mm howitzer. The prototype test weapon was designated the T-10 and
began trials in September 1941. Field trials soon proved the new weapon was a
great improvement over existing US anti-tank guns.
A few minor problems were ironed out and it was adopted as the M5 3in Gun on
carriage M1. Unfortunately at that time no branch of the army seemed interested
in taking on the new gun for various reasons. The Infantry deemed it too heavy,
while the Tank Destroyer command preferred self-propelled weapons. However
pressure from higher command forced some Tank Destroyer units to adopt it.
Production began in December 1942. In November 1943 a slightly modified
carriage was standardized as the M6. The new carriage replaced the flat shield
from the 105mm howitzer with a new sloped one.
In January 1944 all the existing guns were upgraded from the M1 carriage to
M6 carriage. A total of 2,500 guns were built during the war. On 31 March
1943 Army Ground Forces command (AFG) ordered the conversion of fifteen
self-propelled tank destroyer battalions to towed guns. Eventually it was
decided that half the TD battalions would be towed. The M5 saw combat in the
Italian Campaign and in Northwest Europe. The M5 was never popular with the
troops. The large and heavy
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