75 mm Gun M2/M3/M6

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Summary

The 75 mm Gun is a tank gun developed by the Americans and will be their standard tank armament throughout World War II, firing the 75x350mmR rounds. It's initial variant was the 75 mm Gun M2 that equipped the M3 Lees as its armament. This was improved to the M3 variant by lengthening the barrel that improved ballistic ratings and became the main armament of the M4 Sherman tanks for the most part of World War II. Another variant called the M6, derived from the T13E1 developed for the PBJ-1H bomber plane, was developed for the light tank M24 Chaffee, which retained the same ballistic ratings despite being shorter. The 75 mm gun was supplemented by the high-velocity 76 mm Gun M1 that equipped later model Sherman tanks, which gave the Allied tanks a much better punch against heavily armored German tanks.

Variants

  • M2 - 31 calibers long, fitted on the M3 Lee and the first two M4 Shermans made.
  • M3 - 40 calibers long, fitted on the M4 Sherman and some M3 Lees.
  • M4 - Anti-aircraft variant
  • T13E1/M5 - Fitted onto the PBJ-1H bomber.
  • M6 - 39 calibers long, derived from the M5 and fitted onto the M24 Chaffee.

Game Usage

The 75 mm gun is a very versatile weapon for American tanks from BR 2.0 to 4.3. The M2 variant on the M3 Lee is no slouch against its Rank I competitors, adding up with the 37 mm gun for extra firepower. The M3 variant on the Sherman works superbly against most of the Rank II vehicles, with some difficulty on the T-34s though due to their sloped armor. The M4A2 Sherman has access to the APCR ammunition able to adequately deal with all vehicles at its matchmaking range. The version on the M24 Chaffee is equivalent to the M3 on the Shermans. The highest ranked vehicle with the 75 mm gun, the M4A3E2 Jumbo, has some difficulty fighting Rank III vehicles with the gun, but can alleviate some of the struggles with the APCR ammunition.

It is recommended that the standard round of use on the 75 mm gun is the M61 APCBC due to the explosive filler, making quick work of a tank's interior after penetrating. The T45 APCR ammunition is also recommended for any tank able to use them as they give a very big boost to the 75 mm's firepower.

Guns of comparable performance

Users

M2

M3

M5

M6

Ammunition

Historical

Available rounds for the gun:

  • M48 HE Shell - Two variants, standard or super charge. Difference is propellant charges, thus different muzzle velocities and ranges.
  • T30 Canister Shot - Shot gun round firing large steel ball bearings.
  • M88 Base-Ejecting Smoke Shot - Round that ejects smoke canisters for a smoke screen.
  • M89 WP Shot - White Phosphorus round that produces incendiary effects and smoke.
  • M72 AP-T Shot - Regular AP shell, no cap.
  • M61/M61A1 APC Shell - AP Shell with explosive filler. However, initial production didn't have the explosive filler.

Game Statistics

M2

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M72 shot 96 95 81 66 54 45 AP 588 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M48 shell 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 448 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M61 shot 79 78 72 65 58 52 APCBC 588 6.8 1.2 20 63.7 +4° 48° 63° 71°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
M89 Smoke 259 3 13 5 20 50

M3/M6

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M72 shot 110 109 92 76 62 51 AP 619 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M48 shell 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 463 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M61 shot 90 88 81 73 65 59 APCBC 618 6.8 1.2 20 63.7 +4° 48° 63° 71°
T45 shot* 143 137 127 106 86 70 APCR 868 3.8 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
M89 Smoke 259 3 13 5 20 50

* - Only available on the M4A2 Sherman, Sherman II, M4A3E2 Jumbo, M4A3E2 "Cobra King", and M24 TL

History

Development

The French artillery piece Canon de 75 modèle 1897 was well-renowned from its service in World War I and was adopted by the Americans as the 75 mm Gun M1897 in 1917. The Americans manufactured the gun in large numbers after its adoption, building 1,050 units before the end of World War I. These guns went into World War II on M2A3 carriages for mobility and better ammunition. However, the need for a tank gun was in high demand after the German Blitzkrieg tactics showed that their current tank inventory was insufficient. Thus, the gun that would become the 75 mm gun was derived from the 75 mm Gun M1897.

Service

The 75 mm gun was first used as the M2 variant mounted onto the M3 Lee on a sponson mount. This was an interim design due to the lack of turret able to mount the gun. The 75 mm gun greatly benefited the Allies due to two reasons. Firstly, it was able to knock out most German tanks at the time, such as the Panzer III and the Panzer IVs; secondly, the 75 mm gun has the benefit of being dual-purpose, firing armor-piercing or high-explosive rounds. This luxury is not experienced by most other contemporary tank guns except perhaps the Soviet F-34 cannon. The turret development finished in 1942 as well as the tank design, and the 75 mm gun was also upgraded into the M3 variant. This longer gun was mounted in the finished turret on the newly developed M4 Sherman tank, where it would perform favorably against the Axis forces.

While its applications as a tank gun is acceptable, the air force requested for a heavy-hitting aircraft for anti-ship assaults by air. The solution was the use of a B-25G bomber with a 75 mm gun in the nose. The model first used was the anti-aircraft variant M4, but this was rejected. The gun was redesigned to be lighter as the T13E1 (later the M5) and was tried on the B-25G and H models. While the concept was interesting, the practicality of the armament was not efficient, it was hard to aim, made the plane much heavier, and has a low fire rate that allowed only four rounds fired per strafing runs. Thus, the B-25 crews usually removed the 75 mm gun for more machine guns or bombs and rockets.

The development of the T13E1 was not a waste however, as a light tank program undergoing development at the time required a light weight armament. The requirements of the project created a development to adapt the T13E1 gun onto the design, this gun design would be the M6, the main armament of the light tank M24 Chaffee.

However, by 1944, the 75 mm gun in the Allied arsenal was beginning to become inadequate against the changing tank warfare against the Germans. The Germans began fielding their heavier Panthers and Tigers in larger numbers, which are mostly impervious to the 75 mm weapon upfront. However, the 75 mm gun stayed in service despite the introduction of the better penetrating 76 mm Gun M1. This was because the 75 mm gun had a much better high-explosive shell than the 76, an important factor as most of the engagements the Shermans engage were against soft-skinned vehicles, anti-tank guns, infantries, and fortifications than against tanks, making the HE shell much more useful in these circumstances. Nevertheless, the 76 mm gun soon became the standard US tank armament in the last months of World War II, taking over the anti-tank role while the 105 mm howitzer-mounted Shermans stayed to provide the necessary high-explosive support.

Images

Additional information (links)