105mm Self-propelled Howitzer M521-3

M52: General
Date of first acceptance 1955 Total acceptances 684
Crew
5 men:
  • Chief of section in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Driver in turret left front
  • Assistant gunner in turret left
  • Cannoneer in turret right
M52: Dimensions
Combat weight 54,100lbs
24,500kg
Height over AAMG 130.6"
331.7cm
Length 228.4"
580.1cm
Howitzer overhang forward 0"
Width 123.9"
314.7cm
Tread 102.5"
260.4cm
Ground clearance 19.3"
49.0cm
Fire height 83.5"
210cm
Turret ring diameter 73"
185cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 8.6psi
.60kg/cm²
M52: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
105mm Howitzer M49 M85 in turret 102 rounds
(21 ready)
120°
(60° left and right;
manual)
+65° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 900 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M52: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .5"
1.3cm
52° and 81°
Lower front .5"
1.3cm
40° and 66°
Sides .5"
1.3cm
Rear .5"
1.3cm
Top .5"
1.3cm
90°
Floor .375"
.953cm
90°
Turret
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Howitzer shield (cast) .5"
1.3cm
0° to 90°
Front .5"
1.3cm
30°
Sides .5"
1.3cm
Rear .5"
1.3cm
Top .5"
1.3cm
90°
M52: Automotive
Engine Continental AOS-895-3; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, opposed, supercharged gasoline
Horsepower Net: 446@2400rpm
Gross: 500@2800rpm
Torque Net: 890 ft-lb@2200rpm
Gross: 955 ft-lb@2400rpm
Fuel capacity 174gal
659L
Transmission Allison CD-500-3, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, T-bar
Brakes Multiple disc
M52: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 5 individually sprung dual/track 4 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
12-tooth front drive Trailing at rear of track On first, second, and fifth road wheels/track
M52: Track
T91E3
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
53cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track Left side: 74
Right side: 75
Ground contact length 149.4"
379.5cm
M52: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max trench 72"
180cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 30"
76cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~90mi, roads
~145km, roads

The M52 self-propelled howitzer used the same chassis as the M44 155mm howitzer, which was in turn based on the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank. M52 was similar to M44, except that the weapon was installed in a large rotating turret instead of a barbette superstructure. Production of M52 started in 1951, but problems with the design prevented its immediate deployment. M52 was finally issued in 1955. The total crew consisted of eight men, but when traveling three cannoneers had to ride in another vehicle.

When the M52 was fitted with the AOSI-895-5 fuel injected engine, its designation was changed to M52A1, and its road range increased to about 100 miles (160km).

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Sheridan: A History of the American Light Tank, volume 2. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1995. Reprinted with permission from Sheridan, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1995, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. FM 6-77 105-mm Howitzer M52 Self-propelled. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, December 1956.
  3. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

Last updated 6 Dec 2007.
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© Copyright 2001-07 Chris Conners