M44 HMC - An Uncommon Ally

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TL;DR: A M44 HMC in Japanese service.

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History:

The need to motorize artillery was felt by the US military as early as WW1. Many projects attempted to satisfy this need, which was always evolving as time passed and technology improved, most failures but some successful. One such rare success was the M44 HMC, a lightweight and very mobile casemate 155mm howitzer carrier based on the chassis of the successful M41 Bulldog. As soon as the Korean War began, it became apparent that the M41 Gorilla just wasn’t going to cut it. It’s production run of 250 was cut short at the end of 1945 after only 85 were built, making them very limited, and the M24 Chaffee had been on its way out for a while. As such, developments to mount a 155mm howitzer onto a more modern platform began. The obvious choice for this was the developing M41 Bulldog. The finished M44 would be based on a reversed M41 Bulldog chassis with the transmission, thankfully, being reversed as well. The M44 would be accepted for standardized production in 1954, too late to take part in the Korean War. The US now had way more M44s than would be needed in peacetimes and they did not want the excess. As such, they were practically given away to anyone that was willing to take them. Around the same time, Japan was struggling with the development of their own domestic motorized artillery platforms, with the M24-based Type 56 SY being in turbulent development. Eventually, Japan decided to obtain an M44 and M52 for trials. Both SPGs passed trials and were adopted, with JGSDF receiving 10 M44s, which would serve until the 1980s when they were replaced by the Type 75 SPH.

Place In War Thunder:

Quick derp vehicles have always had their fair share of fans. Their high-risk high-reward playstyles are very attractive to those just looking to have a good time. Japan’s tank destroyer line, specifically Rank III, has always been horrendously anemic, with the mediocre Na-To being the only vehicle there. The M44 HMC would provide a faster, harder hitting, and generally more entertaining back up to Japan’s 4.3 - 4.7 lineup and assist in closing the 3.3 - 5.7 tank destroyer gap. Playstyle would be similar to other high caliber derp vehicles with the exception of having much higher speed and mobility, allowing you to potentially appear in places where you are not expected. Your open-topped nature would still require you to play with caution, however. Out of sight and out of mind is what you should strive for. As previously stated, the best placement for this vehicle would be in the tech tree, bridging the tank destroyer gap between 3.3 and 5.7.

Specifications:

Armament: 155mm M114 howitzer and 1x 12.7mm HMG

Dimensions: 6.16m, 3.24m, 3.11m (L,W,H)

Weight: 29000kg

Armor: Proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters

Crew: 5

Ammunition: HE and Smoke

Speed: 56kph

Horsepower: 450hp

Picture:

During A Parade:

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Sources:

Cardinal Who?

M44 self-propelled howitzer - Wikipedia

Tank Encyclopedia - The Online Tank Museum

https://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/nae/7d/hensei/team/a/7a-enkaku.html

M44 (155 mm self-propelled howitzer) : USA (USA)

AP

JAPAN: JAPANESE SELF-DEFENCE FORCES IN TOKYO MILITARY PARADE. - British Pathé

3 Likes

Can’t go wrong with more derp +1

1 Like

Big boom! +1

I personally say no more big guns but I would be lying to myself