M110 (howitzer)

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203 mm field howitzer M110 (US) with weather protection

203 mm field howitzer M110 (US) with weather protection

General properties
crew 5 (commander, driver, gunner, two loaders) + 8 (on support vehicle)
length 6.46 m (without gun barrel)
width 3.1 m
height 3.1 m
Dimensions 28.4 t
Armor and armament
Armor 13 mm (tub only)
Main armament 1 × M201A1 howitzer 203.2 mm (8 inch)
Secondary armament no
drive Detroit Diesel 8V71T, 8 cylinder, diesel compressor
405 hp
suspension Torsion bar with spring lock cylinders
Top speed 55 km / h
Power / weight 14.3 hp / t
Range approx. 523 km

The M110 is an artillery gun with the barrel of the M115 howitzer on a self-propelled gun . It was designed by the USA in the 1950s and was designed to fire 8- inch (203.2 mm) grenades. Since there were also two tactical nuclear bullets for the weapon , it held a special position within the framework of NATO strategy.


American M110A1 with M548 transport vehicle in the background, 1978

The M110 was developed by the US Army in the 1960s as the successor to the 203 mm towed M115 howitzer and the M55 self-propelled howitzer . The 203 mm gun with its heavy grenade was considered to be particularly accurate, was suitable for fighting bunkers and fortified positions and was now more mobile and air transportable in the field by being mounted on a light self-propelled gun.

The company Pacific Car and Foundry produced the M110, which the US Army began to use in 1962.


Tub, drive and motor

The hull, which was also used for the M107 and the M578 armored recovery vehicle, consisted of welded steel plates up to 1.3 cm thick. With the exception of the driver sitting in the front left in the tub, no crew member was protected against fire on the open platform of the howitzer. Due to the open construction, there was also no NBC protection that could have protected the crew from the inflow of warfare agents by means of artificially generated overpressure.

The vehicle was powered by a 302 kW (405 hp) 8-cylinder Detroit Diesel 8V71T diesel engine, which was embedded in the front right of the tub. The chain drive with 46 cm wide caterpillar tracks had torsion bar springs . The drive had a spring lock cylinder that locked the hull's suspension in order to stabilize the howitzer when firing. This prevented the gun from deflecting and jumping when firing a shot.


Of the 13 soldiers operating the gun, only the gun leader, driver and three gunners had space on the gun carriage. Therefore, during mobile US operations, the M110 was accompanied by an M548 tug, which picked up eight additional ammunition gunners as well as projectiles, propellant charges, fuses, camouflage nets and other equipment. Other armies used their own vehicles as transporters, for example the 7t gl truck or 7t mil gl truck was used in the Bundeswehr .


On the left the gunner's place with optics, next to it the open breech on an M110A2 in Taiwan 2011.
Loading operation: A training grenade is lifted 1970/71 to the loading arm for closing an M110 howitzer (4./FArtBtl 11).

The 203 mm M2A2 howitzer used initially was mounted on an M158 mount and placed on a rotating platform in the rear part of the hull. The swivel range of the weapon was - due to the platform - at 30 ° on each side, the height adjustment range - due to the mount - ranged from −2 ° to + 60 °.

The recoil was dampened and limited by a hydraulic pipe brake , the remaining recoil energy was diverted into the ground by a hydraulically lowerable shield - a spur the width of a vehicle. After the end of the rewind, the pipe was brought into the starting position by the pipe retriever.

The top-heaviness of the pipe was equalized by a pair of equalizers on the right and left of the pipe so that the pipe could be lifted and lowered with the same amount of force.

The gun was loaded with the loading device, which had a hydraulic rammer and crane function. This enabled the grenades , which weighed up to 110 kg, to be taken over from the ground by the ammunition cannons, lifted and pressed into the transition cone of the tube (see photo of loading activity ). The breech of the weapon was a rotatable and swiveling screw cap with a bayonet thread.

Two shots could be carried on the M110 self-propelled gun, and another 30 shots on the truck (see above). Equipment not lashed to the tub was carried in equipment boxes hanging from the ground spur

The different types of ammunition for the M110 were:

designation Type charge Weight function
M14 Practice floor no 94.5 kg Copy of the M106 without explosives, but otherwise with identical properties
M106 HE grenade TNT or composite B 94.5 kg Different types of detonators, including timed detonators, to fight infantry accumulations as air blows.
M650 High explosive grenade (RAP) TNT 91 kg Rocket propellant to increase range.
M404 Submunition carriers 104 × M43A1 bomblets 91 kg When the M404 hits, bomblets are thrown about 1.8 meters into the air, where they explode.
M509A1 Submunition carriers 180 × M42 bomblets unknown Bomblets are released in flight and explode on impact.
M426 Gas grenade VX or GB (sarin) gas 90 kg
M422A1 tactical nuclear weapon 1 to 2 kilotons 110 kg From 1955 - The prerequisite for firing was a sighting in with M424.
M424 Target marker for M422 unknown unknown 1955
M753 tactical nuclear weapon 2 kilotons 97 kg From 1981 - explosive power and precision increased, from 1985 new fuse type W-79-1 politically limited to 2 km effective radius.

M110 variants and differences

American M110A2 during the REFORGER '85 maneuver near Weitershain (Grünberg, Hesse)
  • M107 : Variant with a 175 mm howitzer and a range of 32,700 meters. In the US Army from 1962.
  • M110: Like M107, but with a short 203 mm howitzer M2A2 (8 inch) and a range of 17,300 meters. US Army influx at around the same time as M107. This first version of the M110 took around two minutes to go into the firing position, the fired shells reached a muzzle velocity of 594 meters per second (m / s). A rate of fire of at most 1.5 rounds per minute was achieved.
  • M110A1: initially referred to as M110E2, had a range of 21,000 meters with the longer 203 mm M201 howitzer tube ; In 1977 in the US Army.
  • M110A2: an M110A1 with retrofitted muzzle brake and reinforced barrel to enable stronger propellant charges and the firing of RAP ammunition (rocket-assisted projectile). The tube had a caliber length of 40.5. This barrel could also be used to shoot with a 9th charge (instead of the otherwise maximum 8th charge). The muzzle velocity with the M106 high explosive grenade at 9th charge was 778 m / s; the maximum range was 22,900 meters. The maximum range with a rocket propelled M650 projectile was 30,000 meters. The rate of fire was unchanged at around 1.5 rounds per minute for the first three minutes of use, but then fell to one shot every two minutes. The life of the gun barrel was under optimal conditions around 10,000 rounds.


M110 at the Bundeswehr parade for the NATO anniversary in 1969 on the Nürburgring with boxes of equipment on the ground spurs
M110 of the US Army in Vietnam 1971.
Iranian M110

In the US Army , M110 howitzers were generally assigned to the divisional artillery or formed independent battalions of the corps artillery . The weapon was first used in this role in the final phase of the Vietnam War .

The divisional artillery of the mechanized and armored divisions of the US Army formed a combination of 54 M109 howitzers in 155 mm caliber and twelve M110 howitzers. The last variant of the weapon in service - the M110A2 - was retired in 1994.

The British Army also used the M110 as divisional and corps artillery, but combined it with the M109 and rocket artillery as well as the 105 mm Abbot self-propelled gun . For example, one of the divisions of the British Rhine Army (BAOR) on German soil had two artillery regiments during the Cold War in the 1970s: one with 24 Abbots and another with twelve M109 and four M110 howitzers. In the 1990 Gulf War, the British Army provided its division with an artillery unit with 16 M109, 12 M110 howitzers and 12 MLRS multiple rocket launchers to support its tank brigades.

In 1964 the Bundeswehr procured 80 howitzers of the type M110 for the 4th  batteries of the field artillery battalions of the army divisions, among other things as an element for nuclear participation . 150 M107 vehicles were procured for the 2nd and 3rd batteries of these battalions. In 1985 both models were upgraded to the type SF M110 A2 G with a long barrel and two-chamber muzzle brake. They also received a crew cabin made of tent fabric as weather protection. This could be swiveled on a platform with the pipe. In 1993 these guns were retired.

User states

former and current users:

  • Flag of Bahrain.svg Bahrain
  • Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium
  • Flag of Germany.svg Federal Republic of Germany, a total of 230 pieces, retired by 1993.
  • Flag of Greece.svg Greece
  • Flag of Iran.svg Iran
  • Flag of Israel.svg Israel
  • Flag of Italy.svg Italy
  • Flag of Japan.svg Japan (license production)
  • Flag of Jordan.svg Jordan
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
  • Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan
  • Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea
  • Flag of Spain.svg Spain
  • Flag of the Republic of China.svg Taiwan
  • Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
  • Flag of the United States.svgUnited States of America, US Army and USMC . Retired in 1994. Replaced by MLRS .
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom, replaced by MLRS


  • Jeff Kinard: Artillery. An Illustrated History Of Its Impact. 2007, ABC-Clio, ISBN 978-1851095568 (English).
  • A fully illustrated guide to Modern Self-Propelled Guns and Howitzers. In: Warmachine. Vol 2, Issue 15, Aerospace Publishing Ltd., London 1983 (English).

Web links

Commons : M110 (Howitzer)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. 4.5 rounds per minute are used in Spencer Tucker: The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO, 2011, ISBN 978-1851099603 mentioned on p. 71.

Individual evidence

  1. US Army Field Artillery, Weapons and Equipment. Fort Sill, Oklahoma 1972, p. 9.
  2. Jerold E. Brown: Historical Dictionary of the US Army. Greenwood Pub Group Inc., 2000, ISBN 0313293228 , p. 236.
  3. John Jordan, Tim Ripley: Modern US Army. Smithmark Publications, 1992, ISBN 0831750510 , p. 55.
  4. ^ Rheinmetall Waffentechnisches Taschenbuch. 5th edition 1980, pp. 29, 306.
  5. ^ Gesellschaft für Artilleriekunde e. V. Artillery of the Bundeswehr 1956–2009 Large equipment and equipment. 2013, p. 24.
  6. TM 43-0001-28, p 3-173.
  7. TM 43-0001-28, p 3-173.
  8. Warmachine. Vol 2, Issue 15 “A fully illustrated guide to Modern Self-Propelled Guns and Howitzers”, p. 288.
  9. Bullet on armymunitions.tpub.com, viewed on February 2, 2014 ( Memento from February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  10. TM 43-0001-28, p 3-183.
  11. TM 43-0001-28, pp. 3–177-
  12. TM 43-0001-28, pp. 3-181.
  13. floor. ( Memento of December 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: landscaper.net. , Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  14. TM 43-0001-28, p 3-179.
  15. ^ A b c James N. Gibson: Nuclear Weapons of the United States. Schiffer Publishing, 1996, ISBN 978-0764300639 , p. 230.
  16. ^ David Doyle: Standard Catalog of US Military Vehicles - 2nd Edition. Krause Publications, 2010, pp. 379, 380.
  17. Jeff Kinard: Artillery. An Illustrated History of Its Impact. ABC-Clio INC, 2007, ISBN 978-1851095568 , p. 315.
  18. a b US Army Engineer Center and School of Fort Belvoir: Fire support handbook. 1985, p. 5.
  19. M110. ( Memento from February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: army-guide.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  20. a b Jane’s Weapon Systems 1979–1980. Jane's Information Group , 1979, p. 399.
  21. Annual Historical Review. Historical Office, US Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command, 1984, p. 9.
  22. US Army Field Artillery School: Field Artillery Cannon Weapons Systems and Ammunition Handbook. Fort Sill - Oklahoma, Dec. 1981, pp. 8-20.
  23. ^ Committee on Armed Services: Hearings, Reports and Prints of the House Committee on Armed Services. Issue 33, Parts 2-3, United States Government Printing Office , 1976, p. 443.
  24. ^ Shelby L. Stanton: Vietnam Order of Battle. Stackpole 2003, ISBN 978-0811700719 , pp. 104, 107.
  25. David Miller: The Cold War. A Military History. Chapter 27 “Artillery,” Vintage Digital, 2012.
  26. ^ Graham Watson, Richard A. Rinaldi: The British Army in Germany. An Organizational History 1947-2004. Tiger Lily Publications Llc., 2005, ISBN 978-0972029698 , p. 75.
  27. David Miller: Desert victory. The war for Kuwait. Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1557502544 , p. 282.
  28. Christopher F. Foss : Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide. Harper Collins Publishers, 2002, ISBN 0007127596 , p. 485.
  29. ^ Karl Anweiler, Rainer Blank: The wheeled and tracked vehicles of the Bundeswehr 1956 to today. Bechtermünz-Verlag, 1999, ISBN 3-8289-5369-7 , p. 313
  30. Arnd Baumgardt, Thomas Lendorf, R. Haag, Rolf Gronen, Werner Schröder and Wolfgang Igert: Schwere Feldkanone 175mm M107 (Bw) / Heavy Howitzer 203mm M110A1 / A2 (Bw). ( Memento from May 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: panzerbaer.de. Retrieved February 1, 2014.