Book Review
U.S. WW II 155mm Howitzers
U.S. WW II 155mm Howitzers - M1 & M1917/M1918 4.5' Gun M1
  • 155-cover

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there are no models of this artillery piece available. Sadly, at least amongst modelers, this may limit its sales somewhat. However, just because it isn't available, this doesn't mean it isn't a viable scratchbuild project. For those contemplating projects of this type, the book will have enormous value. For those who simply like artillery it's an equally attractive subject.

In Brief

U.S. Army WWII 155mm Howitzers M1 & M1917/M1918 & 4.5in Gun M1 is the latest in Tankograd Publishing's Technical Manual Series. The book is in the 'established' format of this series, consisting of 48 4 pages. However, as is the case with many books of this type, the real strength comes with the images. The book contains 3 color and 190 b w images along with 10 line-drawings. The book is edited by Michael Franz.

In detail

Although, it is essentially a reprint of the original U.S. Technical Manuals, the author begins by giving a concise background on its development along with a brief description of the piece itself. The first part of the images give five pages of the 155 in three time periods - WW1, the inter-war period and some images of the gun during WWII. With this introduction complete, the book then moves onto the 'official' technical images of the 155 beginning with general views, the Tube and Breech, the Carriage, the deployment in firing position and terminates the section with a close look at the sighting mechanism and the various Ammunition types.

The following chapter heading begins the documentation of the 155mm Howitzer M1 . Once again a brief overview is presented followed by a series of excellent contemporary photos of the gun - once again in the pre-war period, WWII and post-war. This quickly follows onto reproductions of the technical images which cover the gun in towed/deployed positions, Tube & Breech, Recoil Mechanism/Gun Cradle, the Top Cariiage, Bottom Carriage and finshes with the trails and spades. The next series of photos (again, originating from the manuals) shows the gun in the firing position. This section is enhanced by adding a series of 'in-theater' images - very different from the textbook..The final section, once again, looks at Sighting Equipment and Ammunition.

The next variant documented is the 4.5-inch Gun M1. Similar images are provided to the other variants although in more limited detail as this version was not as widely used. The final page of photos shows the an M1 (in 1947) being loaded for air-transportation.

The book finishes with a German/English glossary and a very complete bibligraphy which gives the references for all of the relevant U.S. Army publications, along with 'civilian' publications for futher reference.


Once again, a very competent publication which will be of enormous value to the modeler. It will, as I mentioned in the introduction be somewhat limited due to the model manufacturer's inability (unwillingness?) to produce a range of artillery pieces which reflect what was ACTUALLY deployed.. However, with the detail in this book and acquiring some good scale plans, it would be a good scratchbuild project.

Although many of the U.S. technical manuals are available on-line, the value of this series, lies in their editing. Having a good number of the (public-domain) manuals, the problem is frequently the sheer volume of information. This book 'cuts to the chase' by covering the areas the modeler requires in more than adequate detail.

Quality of the images is excellent with emphasis on large, crisp images rather than the postage stamp-size images which are still used by some other publishers.

A very useful addition to an increasingly invaluable series.

Another in Tankograd's highly-useful 'reprints' of the invaluable U.S. Technical Manuals. This time, an artillery piece which was developed during WWI, widely used during WWII,Korea and Vietnam - undoubtedly an interesting subject for any enthusiast of artillery.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 6012
  Suggested Retail: 9.90 Euro
  PUBLISHED: Feb 01, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


That is a very nice series. Using the original technical material for a reference is a great way to see all of those details that might be hidden otherwise. It is nice to see a subject being written about that is not currently covered in a kit. Sure it is a little like putting the cart before the horse, but it could maybe push things along.
FEB 01, 2008 - 03:35 AM
This looks like a great reference book for a workhorse WW2 US artillery piece. Italeri did make a 155mm Howitzer kit in the 80's, but it wasn't well detailed and better represented the M1A2 postwar version. This book would come in handy for someone to rework the kit to the M1 configuration. It seems these kits are still available on ebay from time to time.
FEB 01, 2008 - 07:47 AM

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  • 155-2
  • 155-3
  • 155-1
  • 155-4