M109: The King of Battle

The M109 is an American Cold War era SPH, developed during the early 1950s as a replacement for outdated postwar designs. The anticipated M109 will arrive to War Thunder as part of the upcoming “Kings of Battle” major update!

M109: A Self-Propelled howitzer for USA / Britain / Germany / Italy / Israel at Rank IV


  • Powerful 155 mm howitzer.
  • Good mobility.
  • High-caliber machine gun.
  • Light protection.
  • Low rate of fire.
Vehicle History

Development of the M109 began in the early 1950s under a U.S. program to develop a common chassis for a number of different SPH designs. Upon entering service, the M109 was immediately deployed to the Vietnam War. However, its operational service during the conflict was cut short due to serious mechanical malfunctions which rendered the fleet inoperable. Nonetheless, after being addressed and receiving its first upgrade to the A1 standard, the M109 would continue service with U.S. forces for decades to come, taking part in virtually all military conflicts where U.S. forces were deployed in. Once its design eventually matured, the M109 successfully resisted replacement on multiple occasions and continuously received upgrades until the present day.

Meet the M109!

Coming to War Thunder as part of the major update, the M109 will reinforce the mid ranks of not just the American but also other nations’ ground forces trees as a truly powerful new addition! Representing the first advanced SPH design for some of the trees it will appear in, the M109 not only sports devastating firepower, but also offers you decent mobility, thus making it a highly versatile predator in your battles. Let’s dive into the details!

Developer’s comment: The M109 will arrive in several nation-specific variants. The German, Italian as well as Israeli ground trees will receive base models of the SPH equipped with the standard L23 caliber cannon, where the M109G represents the German and Italian variants which are additionally equipped with smoke launchers. The American and British ground trees however will gain access to a modernized variant — the M109A1 — whose most striking feature is without a doubt its longer L39 cannon.

Representing the upgraded version of the original howitzer, the M901A1’s cannon features a higher muzzle velocity, thus making target acquisition a much easier process. Unaffected by this is the cannon’s sheer destructive power. Firing heavy 43.1 kg shells, containing 6.86 kg of TNT results in the immediate obliteration of any lightly armored vehicle. For more heavily armored targets, you’ll need to aim more precisely — a task for which the aforementioned cannon’s excellent ballistic properties should come in handy for.

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In addition to the cannon, the M109 also comes fitted with a .50 cal machine gun (except for the German variant, which has a standard MG3 machine gun) on the commander’s hatch which can both serve as a rangefinding method but more importantly, will also help to protect you against enemy aircraft!

Interesting: The decisive role of artillery on the battlefield is recognized by military experts of different nations. In the territory of the former USSR, the expression “artillery is the god of war” is widely known; while in the American military, artillery is often called the “king of battle”.

Speaking of protection, the M109 is only lightly protected as is commonplace for vehicles of this type. Being encased in 31.7 mm thick sheets of aluminum alloy, the M109 is effectively shielded from machine gun fire and some automatic cannon fire at longer engagement distances, however dedicated anti-tank cannons will have no trouble bypassing it. However, if you’re daring enough, you can still use this SPH as an effective support vehicle by sticking close to allies and helping take out particularly tough targets.

Although it doesn’t look like it at first glance, the M109 is quite a mobile vehicle for its class. Powered by a 405 HP diesel engine, the M109 possesses a power-to-weight ratio of 17 hp/t and is able to reach a top speed of 56 km/h under ideal conditions. As a result, the M109 can quickly shift positions on the battlefield and is able to closely follow its allies as the frontline shifts during a battle, allowing it to shine.

In your matches: Pro-tips when using the M109 by Dmitry Gordeev, Game Designer: “Finally, large-caliber SPGs have entered the research branches of nations such as the USA, Britain, Germany, Italy and Israel, and their players will be able to gain a new and unusual experience. The 155mm HE shell has very destructive power, but at the same time requires an accurate hit in the vulnerable zone of an armored enemy. It’s best to aim at the roof of the turret; it’s especially good to do this on maps with developed terrain, when the enemy has not yet come at you to shoot, but has already received a destructive shell into the turret.

Similar SPGs in the game lack an anti-aircraft machine gun, but not the M109s, the good old .50 cal will certainly save you from aircraft, to which you are so vulnerable. At the same time, you can use a projectile with a radio fuse to hunt straight-flying aircraft, but take into account the extremely slow (for “SPAA”) turret rotation and gun elevation speed, use a body turn and try to attack the plane that comes to attack you when there is about 1-1.5 km between you.

The M109 will soon be arriving to rank IV of the American, British, German, Italian and Israeli ground forces trees with the release of the next major update, “Kings of Battle”! In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye out on the news for what is coming next. Until then, enjoy your matches and see you soon!


Wait… so American, British, German, Italian and Israeli tech trees ALL get this when last update Sweden’s VIDAR only got added as a premium? …
seems unfair…

I have to say its great that all nations get SPGs, but I also hope that in near future we also see SPGs like SP-70, Palmaria Rascal…etc. Now everybody is going to run around in M109 and lack their own indigenous SPGs.
Even these M109s could have been unique versions like M109A5 Doher and A3GE


How is it unfair?
Sweden has own tech tree arty and we probably see prem SPGs to other nations in future.

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Britain has the G6 already
Italy has the 2S1 already
USSR has two (2S1 and 2S3M)
Japan has the Type 75 SPH
Fance and china has zero

USA Germany and Israel getting their first ones i absolutely get. but why give Britain and Italy their second ones and not Sweden?

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m109 was my favorite vehicle in armored warfare back in the days.

China is getting PLZ-83
France has AuF1 and Lorraine 155 Mle.50.
So after this update all nations have at least one SPG and few have two.
I don’t see anything unfair in that. Sweden is in really good position it having two really good SPGs one being best SPG ingame probably all the way to 2024.


Spawning this in the same lineup as the Tiger E and three Panthers is gonna be a truly bizarre fever dream.

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CHina “is getting” so does not yet have, meaning zero.
The France one i honestly missed (AuF1) when looking trough. The Lorraine is an event only vehicle, not in normal tech tree.

so then after update every nation will have at least one and
3/10 will have two. 2 of those getting their second one this update.
so how is that not unfair to put the Swedish one in premium only last update?

yes? Sweden’s only one? that is what i’m saying.

Personally I would’ve rather seen the M109A2 or A3 (basically identical (in WT terms) to the M109A1 except for more ammo) which would’ve allowed the other countries to get the export M901A1s, the M109A1B or other long-barreled export variants. Britain used the M109A2, as did Canada. Germany had the M109A3G1. Italy had the M109A2 or M109A1B, which one I am not sure. Regardless this allows them all to have the long-barreled version instead of some countries being stuck with the short barrel and some having the long barrel. In my eyes that would seem more fair.

Give them time, this update are literally made in 1 month. Im sure they gonna see more artillery tanks in the game for more Nations, even with his own aiming system for indirect fire in the future.

As a lover of ground vehicles and especially indirect artillery, I am happy to see that they are adding more of this type of vehicles in the game. I think this is a good step to see more artillery vehicles in the future added in the game so dont mind it, its a new vehicle for some Nations. They used it, and gaijin added it to the game and i think its good.

Personally i think the ROC should get one too. I know china is getting its own PLA ~6.3 arty but given how sparse that tree is below tier 5 i dont think it would hurt to add another copypasta M109 foldered behind the PLA arty.

Some examples of vehicles from different nations:

The PZH2000 for Germany. The AS-90 for Great Britain (tested bt Swedish so can go to the both tech trees). The Type 99 SPH for Japan or even the South Korean K-9 Thunder. The chinese PLZ-05. The AHS Krab SPH (an modified version of the K-9 thunder used by Poland, so it can go to the German tech tree) The 2S19 Msta-S for Russia. And why not, the M109A6 “Paladin” to EE.UU. The Oto-Melara for Italy. The Sholef for Israel.

I think these vehicles will come to the game in the future, so it’s good to see these types of vehicles being added to the game regardless of whether some have short barrels and others long barrels.

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I am aware of the different ones. However I am considering the M109s addition as mid-cold war, as every other SPH so far (except for the VIDAR :/ ) has been mid-cold war. So the PZH2000, AS-90, and Type 99 SPH wouldn’t fit, potentially being fitted with thermal imaging and other such ease-of-use features, which while not bad would just make it less fun to fight against and to fight with.

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All we’re missing are indirect fire mode for artillery, FPV drones, minefields and Javelins.

Might as well give a direct middle finger to tanks fully


Yeah I agree but like I said, I am talking about future additions, I mean like on two or three years with any type of Indirect aiming fuction for these tanks. I think they´re going to add more variants of the M109 on short future for more nations asswell

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As much as I would like indirect fire, I hope it never really becomes a thing. It runs counter to the gameplay of War Thunder and is already present in the artillery strike ability (in a sense). It would just encourage back-of-map camping, not to mention most maps are too small for artillery to even min-range a shot indirectly.

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Where is panzerhaubitze??