US WW2 57mm M1 Anti-Tank Gun
In the first year of the war for the US, an up dated anti-tank gun was a necessity because only the obsolete 37mm was in service. The most expedient answer was to copy the British 6 Pdr. Anti-Tank Gun. This was accomplished by adapting the British manufacture’s drawings to match US production techniques. The wheel type was changed and unlike some British 6 Pdr. Guns there was not a muzzle brake. A different sight and sight mount are used on the US designed and produced pieces.
Several variants of the US 57mm exist but we have an M1. 57mm Guns have a semi-automatic vertical sliding wedge breech mechanism. The firing mechanism fits into the breech with interrupted screw threads. This mechanism is very much like the ones for the British 2 Pdr. AT Gun and the British 25 Pdr. Howitzer. The piece has an elevation hand wheel but free traverses. Traverse is controlled by the gunner keeping his shoulder within the shoulder stock of the gun. As he moves from side-to-side the tube traverses. The carriage has a split trail and a shield with a wavy cut-out top. This is much like the British 3.7 Inch Screw-Gun. Likely, this feature is to brake up the silhouette of the gun. The recoil is hydro-spring. Despite being rarely seen in combat, there is additional armor plating available for the 57mm. These auxiliary shields also have the same wavy cut-out on their tops as the gun’s shield. These two pieces fit into the channels on the ends of the axial and give the crew additional side protection. Sometimes, these shields were carried in the mine racks of the Half-Track prime mover for the 57mm. The US 57mm served throughout WW2 and the Korean War. It and the British 6 Pdr. are still in service with a number of nations.
The most common prime movers for the 57mm Anti-Tank Gun are the White Half-Tack and the WC 62 Truck. The 57mm was also mounted on top of the T48 Half-Track for use as a Tank Destroyer. However, these where mainly sent to the Soviet Union with the Lend Lease Program.
The paint scheme on our 57mm is late WW2-Korean War Era US Army Olive Drab.
This US 57mm M1 was one of the first pieces acquired and restored in the Lovett Collection. Leon and Ralph Lovett along with William May restored this piece in the mid-1980s.
Caliber 57mm (2.244 in)
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All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.