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The T19 105mm HMC

T19 105mm HMC

The T19 105mm HMC
By Jim Westerfield

The T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was an expedient design that mounted a standard 105mm howitzer on the chassis of an M3 half-track.

In the autumn of 1941 the US Army Ordnance Department ordered work to begin on mounting the 75mm and 105mm howitzers on half-tracks as a short-term expedient while more suitable fully tracked vehicles were under development.

You can find the T19 105mm HMC spotlight here...

The T30 75mm Howitzer Gun Carriage was a fairly simple project, but there was some concern that the M2A1 105mm howitzer was too heavy and too powerful for the M3 chassis. As a result two projects were begun. The T38 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was designed to take a lighter T7 105mm pack howitzer, while the T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage used the M2A1.

The T19, T30 and T38 shared a common basic layout. The howitzer was mounted on a table at the front of the fighting compartment, allowing it to fire horizontally forward. The fuel tanks were moved to the back corners of the compartment, and a machine gun mount was located at the rear. Storage arrangements differed between the designs. For the T19, the M2 recoil mechanism and other parts of the M2 howitzer carriage were used in the vehicle mounting. After several tests, the gun carriage proved fragile on bumpy terrain. The problem was corrected by reinforcing the frame, and redesigning the howitzer mount.

The Allies have the fascists on the run in North Africa, but the fight is not over yet. The United States is the newest army to enter the war. They boast some of the best tanks in the world, backed up by well-equipped infantry, either marching to battle on foot or riding in half-tracks, and the latest deadly tank destroyers. Their troops are inexperienced, but they have trained hard and are eager to prove themselves. They will need to learn quickly, as they face a cunning and battle-hardened enemy.

Click here to find out more about Fighting First...

Fighting First: US Forces In North Africa 1942-43 

The T19 was ready for tests early in 1942 and it was authorized for service use on 25 March 1942. At the same time the T38 was cancelled. A total of 324 T19s were produced by the Diamond T Motor Company, but production then ended in favor of the much superior M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage 'Priest'. It was issued to the cannon companies of infantry divisions in North Africa, each of which got six T30 75mm HMCs and two T19 105MM HMCs. They were also used by the artillery battalions of the armored divisions, although the 1st Armored Division was the only one to use the T19 in combat. 

The T19 made its combat debut during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942. A small number of T19s and T30s were landed at Oran and Algiers to support the infantry that made up the bulk of the landing force. The T19 was used during the campaign in Tunisia, including the battle at Kasserine Pass. 

T19 105mm HMC

The T19 was used in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily of July 1943, but by that point it was already being replaced by the M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage 'Priest' in most units. The Cannon Company of the 16th Infantry was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its actions near Gela, on Sicily, in June 1943, where it used its T19s to help repulse an attack by the Hermann Goring Panzer Division, destroying a number of tanks.  

The MTOE reorganization of the US infantry Division in 1943 eliminated the self-propelled howitzers in the infantry regimental cannon companies.  They were replaced with the towed M3 howitzer.  A small number of T19s remained in use in Italy although the numbers available slowly declined. They were also used during Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the south of France of August 1944 in those units that still had them and shipped overseas as part of the North African Campaign

In Flames Of War:
The Skill, Confidence and Hit On rating are the same as the T30 75mm Assault Gun. Likewise Movement is also the same. The gun is the same as the 105mm on the Priest, but the driver had to dismount to fire so rather than Slow Fire it is ROF 0 on the move. The unit consists of a 3 or 6 tank battery in an Armored Artillery Battery in lieu of the Priest.  For points we have a split between a M2A1 gun team at 2.5 points a piece and a M7 Priest at 3.67 points apiece. Let’s call it an even 3.  So we get:

T19 105mm HMC T19 105mm HMC

A Regimental Cannon Company has just 2 guns and a slightly worse Skill rating than the T30 75mm Assault Gun, so should probably be a bit cheaper at 4 points for the unit. Rifle Companies could take a T19 (105mm) Assault Gun Platoon in place of the T30 (75mm) Assault Gun Platoon.

T19 105mm HMC

T19 105mm HMC

Download the pdf files for the cards here:

T19 105mm Artillery Battery (unofficial) (PDF)...
T19 105mm Assault Gun Platoon (unofficial) (PDF)...

Other Community Unit Cards...