The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm (T89). - case report

      New projects...Time to see this huge girl, sister of M40 GMC 155mm: the M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm (T89).

M43 HMC barking loud in action.
Co. A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Eighth Army
west of Punchbowl, Korea, 13 August 1952
      The M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm (8inches) was an American self-propelled artillery vehicle built on a widened and lengthened Medium Tank M4A3 chassis, but with a Continental engine and HVSS that was introduced at the end of the Second World War. 
M43 moving with full crew in his top
      The M43 shared the same chassis as the more widely produced M40 Gun Motor Carriage, which instead mounted a 155mm gun, and were designed by the Pressed Steel Car Company
M40 GMC 155mm
      A production run of 576 was planned originally, but in the end only 24 were produced and another 24 were converted from M40 hulls. The M43 went on to serve in the Korean War, and was retired after its conclusion.
M43 in firing position
      Equipped with a M115 203 mm (8") Howitzer, it was designed to replace the earlier M12 Gun Motor Carriage 155mm. Its prototype designation was the T89, but this was changed to the M43 in March 1945. The 41.5 ton vehicles struggled to keep up with mechanized formations, but were successful when employed in more stationary roles.
M43 front view
       A single pilot vehicle was deployed in Europe before the end of World War II and was used in action by the 991st Field Artillery Regimentfirst seeing action as part of Zebra Force in February 1945 in the capture of Cologne, togheter another single M40 GMC 155mm.
M43 rear view
      The M43s were used in action in the Korean War, where they were well suited to the static fighting there, their high angle of fire permitting them to hit the rear slopes of hills.

  • 8 inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43 - 8 in (203 mm) HMC, standardized August 1945; 48 were built. The Army planned to use the same T38 chassis for a family of SP artillery.
  • Cargo Carrier T30 - a few built before cancellation in December 1944 to make more chassis' available for GMCs.
T30 cargo carrier

M43 Howitzer motor carriage 203mm
TypeSelf-propelled artillery
Place of origin                                            United States
Weight37.650 Kg
Length7.34 m
Height2.70 m

Shellseparate loading, bagged charge
Rate of fireSustained:
Muzzle velocity586 m/second
Effective firing rangeConventional:
Maximum firing range16,800m
Feed systemhand
SightsM13 or M6

M115 howitzer
EngineContinental R975-C4
350 - 400 HP
SuspensionHVSS (Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension)
172 Km
Speed38 Km/h (on road)
23 Km/h (off-road)

The kit:
      To start this project, I used the excellent AFV Club kit (#35031) of M40 switching the 155mm metal gun barrel by the AFV Club kit (#35S-06) M115 8 inches howitzer aluminum gun barrel. 
The kits in my workbench: M115 and M40 boxes.
Notice the Kojak inspecting the project!!
Booklets: Notice the drawings...
Same parts except the barrel.
      Pic with the two metal barrels: 155mm and 203mm:

The howitzer for the M43
     The kit (#35S-06) M115 8 inches howitzer was not "crippled" since I used the 155mm barrel left over from the M40 AFV Club kit (#35031) to turn the 8 inch howitzer into Long Tom 155mm gun. "In modeling, nothing is lost, everything is transformed" (First Law of Conservation of Model Stuff).

203mm howitzer under construction
      Following the booklet, suspension time:
Horizontal volute springs for suspensions
       The springs and the howitzer;

       And the chassis and hull almost ready:

The main gun pedestal

The M43 and his sister, the M40...
Howitzer and ammo racks in dry-run.
      The major difference between the M40 and M43 hulls is the ammunition racks in the front portion of the combat compartment. In the M43, the 203mm projectiles stand vertically, in trays of 8 shells, instead of 10 (155mm) projectiles horizontally of the M40. See the pics below: (Courtesy of Saul Garcia).
Left front corner: Rack for eight vertical shells(Courtesy of Saul Garcia).

Right front corner:Rack for eight vertical shells.(Courtesy of Saul Garcia).
      More internal details of M43's combat compartment:
Left side (Courtesy of Saul Garcia).

Right side (Courtesy of Saul Garcia).
     Scratch time! 203mm ammo racks in plasticard.

Ammo racks in position: left side

Ammo racks in position: right side

Done. Next step: Painting..
       Olive drab with black stripes...

        Now, the black stripes characteristic of Zebra Mission:  991st Field Artillery Regiment.

The two heavy artie girls: M40 and M43
       Next step: Markings... M43 in action in the Zebra Mission: 991st Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Cologne, Germany. 1945

      Starting the weathering....

The 203mm howitzer, in close...

The main gun in place, in dry-run...
       Almost ready!!

      And the huge girl was ready: M43 HMC 203mm (T89)  in action in the Zebra Mission: 991st Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Cologne, Germany. 1945

M43 HMC 203mm (T89)
991st Field Artillery Regiment - 3rd Armored Division.
Zebra Mission - Cologne, Germany. 1945

M43 HMC 203mm (T89) - right side

M43 HMC 203mm (T89) - left side

M43 HMC 203mm (T89) with Kojak and Rover, the dog.

M40 GMC 155mm (T83) and M43 HMC 203mm (T89)

M40 GMC 155mm (T83) and M43 HMC 203mm (T89)
991st Field Artillery Regiment  - 3rd Armored Division
Zebra Mission - Cologne, Germany. 1945

Heavy sisters: M40 GMC, M43 HMC and M12 GMC

M40 GMC, M43 HMC, M12 GMC and M30 ammo carrier

M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage 203mm (T89)
991st Field Artillery Regiment - 3rd Armored Division.
Zebra Mission - Cologne, Germany. 1945
Stay in touch, Gunny!!