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With its six recoilless rifles, the Ontos was a welcome addition to the Marine Corps arsenal during the Vietnam War. 3 man 75mm recoilless rifle crew ... and trained by foreign "advisors" they were able to infiltrate across the DMZ and attack targets in the South of Vietnam. Saved by Michael McMurray. In a single instance of a mortar and recoilless rifle attack conducted against an air base in Vietnam, a minimum of 240 rounds were fired by the Viet Cong from 81 and 82mm mortars and recoilless rifles. Sporting a total of six M40 recoilless rifles on two arms at either side of the turret, the M50 Ontos could unleash an incredible amount of firepower at once. Location: Hue Vietnam… [6] After World War II ended, a canister round (T25E5) with a range of 175 meters was also produced. Further examples were subsequently sent to the Pacific Theater. The T3 front grip doubled as an adjustable monopod and the two-piece padded T3 shoulder cradle could swing down and to the rear as a bipod for the gunner. This article is about the weapons used in the Vietnam War, which involved the People's Army of Vietnam or North Vietnamese Army , National Liberation Front for South Vietnam or Viet Cong , and the armed forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam , United States, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and the Australian, New Zealand defence forces, and a variety of irregular troops. The only effective way to knock out German tanks was a clean shot to the rear of the tank or to cause malfunctions by hits on the seams or joint of the tanks such as the gun turret elevation joint of the main gun, junction points of the turret and hull which would cause burn over of working mechanism and produce jamming and finally a hit on the tracks to immobilize a tank. More accurate, longer-ranged, easier to use and far more powerful than the RPG-2 that it replaced, and more powerful than the much heavier 57mm recoilless rifles North Vietnam had received from China and the Soviet Union in the 1950s, it proved to be an equalizer in infantry vs tank combat. In a strange twist, the Chinese version of the M18 can fire both U.S. and Chinese manufactured ammunition, but the U.S. made M18s cannot fire Chinese ammunition. Due to their compact size, the short-barreled Colt Commando and XM177 versions of this family continued to be issued to the U.S. military after the Vietnam War. It could also be awkwardly carried, fired from the shoulder and reloaded by one man in an emergency, fired prone from the extended T3 monopod and bipod, or fired from a fixed position on a cradle mounted on the M1917A1 machine gun tripod. The M3 Carl Gustav is an 84mm man-portable, multi-role, parachute jumpable, recoilless rifle. The M50 Ontos was a powerful psychological weapon as well thanks to its distinct and easily-identifiable profile. These boats should not be confused in any way with the PBR’s and other boats used on Vietnam’s rivers, canals or shallow harbors. The M-50 Ontos self-propelled anti-tank artillery, based on a light chassis developed for airborne operations, was mounted with six M40A1 or M40A2 106 mm recoilless rifles. The weapon was carried in a T27 Cover with two padded shoulder straps, designed to be simultaneously carried by two men in line with the straps slung over their shoulder on one side. In Vietnam the M40 recoilless rifle displayed it's flexibility - as there were no suitable targets for an anti-tank weapon, an APERS (anti personnel, also called bee-hive) round was designed, containing 6 000 steel flechettes (darts) for striking enemy soldiers. Caleb Larson is a defense writer for the National Interest. M40A1C Recoilless Rifle. There are a total of [ 116 ] Vietnam War Guns (1955-1975). Wartime accounts by veteran Marines from that conflict suggest that the M50’s destructive potential was recognized by North Vietnamese and actively avoided. Instead of a blowout plug, the infantry section's recoilless cannon u… Most NVA troops travelled along the Ho Chi Minh trail which weaved its way through Laos and Cambodia. The typical recoilless gun functions very much like a conventional gun. The only way would have been flank or rear shots. Vietnam, 1962-1975 Army organisation period 1961-Description. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. Here's What You Need to Remember: In a desperate bid to quickly get an anti-tank capability into the field, the Marine Corps enthusiastically embraced a project the Army had rejected: the M50 Ontos. U. S. soldier carries a M67 recoilless rifle past a burning Viet Cong base camp in Mỹ Tho, South Vietnam, 1968 M18 recoilless rifle 57 mm, M20 recoilless rifle 75 mm It was said this round converted the recoilless rifle in world's biggest shotgun. In 1948, four types of round were available for the 57 mm M18, with a canister round[20] (with a range of 160 meters) being added later: The M18 was copied by the People's Republic of China as the Type 36. The first combat the new cannon saw was with the U.S. Army's 17th Airborne Division near Essen, Germany as well as U.S. By Kyle Mizokami. One of the most popular recoilless rifles ever produced became the Cold War-era 84mm "Carl Gustav" launcher which still sees regular service around the world today. By contrast the M825 (M151A2 base vehicle) was made in fairly small numbers. It could also be awkwardly carried, fired from the shoulder and reloaded by one man in an emergency, fired prone from the extended T3 monopod and bipod, or fired from a fixed position on a cradle mounted on the M1917A1 machine gun tripod. Bore-sighting the 105-mm recoilless rifle mounted on a jeep. The weapon was crewed by a two-man team, the gunner and the loader, who fired it from either a prone, kneeling, or standing position. It can be used in both anti-tank and anti-personnel roles. The 75-mm recoilless rifle round on display in the exhibit, The 10,000 Day War at Sea, the U.S. Navy in Vietnam, 1950-1975, is made for a Chinese Type 52 Recoilless Rifle, an exact copy of the American M20 Recoilless Rifle that Kirkpatrick used in Korea. © Copyright 2020 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. Although obsolete as an anti-tank weapon, the M18 was still used by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam[19] and its allied forces in an anti-personnel role. The spotting rifle fires a round that flies like the 106 mm round and gives off a puff of smoke on impact with the target. Recoilless rifles were used in Vietnam and were installed on Landrovers It's been around long enough that many armies who've used the firearm have now discarded it. The M40 is shaped like a long tube with a M8 0.50 cal spotting rifle above. The high-caliber round was not used for direct combat itself. O… The cannon and 57 mm ammunition were placed in mass production. During World War II, the U.S. Army's Artillery Section was working on a 105mm recoilless cannon, based on captured German models that used a plastic blow out plug in the cartridge case. The air-cooled, breech-loaded, single-shot riflefir… Instead, its trajectory was closely matched to the M40 rifle it was mated to. 397. Recoilless Rifle mechanism and method of operation. Yes, it could fire six rounds of 105mm HEAT or flechette simultaneously, but the M50’s six rifle tubes had to be loaded from the outside the vehicle hull, dangerously exposing the tanker crew. Production of the M20 was underway by March 1945; only limited number… The M3 Carl Gustav recoilless rifle was introduced in 1946. This allows for the elimination of much of … The USMC acquired 176 of them, used for fire support in Vietnam. Four types of ammunition were initially produced:[note 3] an anti-tank HEAT round (T20E2 / M307), an HE round (T22 / M306), a Smoke (White Phosphorus) "bursting smoke" round (T23 / M308), and a Training Practice round. The mounting is a tripod, but the front leg has a castoring wheel. The M18 recoilless rifle was a 57mm shoulder fired anti-tank recoilless rifle used by the U.S. Army in World War II and the Korean War. The B-10 recoilless rifle (Bezotkatnojie orudie-10, known as the RG82 in East Germany) is a Soviet 82 mm smoothbore recoilless gun.It could be carried on the rear of a BTR-50 armoured personnel carrier. M67 Recoilless Rifle In July 1970, ... to serve as a machinist for two years but instead the Army decided to make him an infantry soldier and send him to Vietnam. The Army's Recoilless Rifle Is Getting a Huge Upgrade: Laser-Guided Warheads. Bore-sighting the 105-mm recoilless rifle mounted on a jeep. The M40 recoilless rifle is a lightweight, portable, crew-served 105 mm weapon intended primarily as an anti-tank weapon made in the United States.The weapon is commonly described as being 106 mm, but it is in fact 105 mm; the 106 mm designation was designed to prevent confusion with the incompatible 105 mm ammunition from the failed M27. In addition, the Ontos had a very tall profile for such a small vehicle and therefore struggled to find adequate cover in some situations, leaving the M50’s driver, gunner, and loader dangerously exposed. The recoilless gun received its name from its inherent design where some of the produced propellant gasses were exited from the rear of the weapon, reducing some of the recoil effect. The period up to the conventional phase in the 1970, the Viet Cong and NVA were primarily limited to mortars, recoil-less rifles and small-arms and had significantly lighter equipment and firepower in comparison with the US arsenal, relying on ambushes alongside superior stealth, planning, marksmanship and small-unit tactics to face the disproportionate US technological advantage. [note 1] The belief was this feature would reduce friction on firing, allowing more of the propellant gases to be used to force the shell towards the target and less being used to achieve the recoilless effect and therefore giving their design a much higher muzzle velocity than most recoilless cannon at that time period had achieved. And, in addition to high-explosive anti-tank rounds, the M50’s recoilless rifles could be loaded with anti-personnel canister ammunition filled with metallic … The "M" designation is used for standardized items. Ended: Dec 23, 2020. The following is an overview of the Rifle Company of the U.S. Army from November 1970 to September 1975. The driver can choose to fire the guns one at a time or all together, with the Ontos' four spotting rifles not usable and its usual hatch-mounted 30 cal not present. The M40 is shaped like a long tube with an M8 0.50 cal spotting rifle above. Where the spotting rifle's bullet landed, so too would M40 rounds. The mounting is a tripod, but the front leg has a castoring wheel. The projectile and propellant are supplied as a single round and loaded into the breech. It was said this round converted the recoilless rifle in world's biggest shotgun. FM 23-80: 57-mm Rifle M18, June 1948, p.3, FM 23-80: 57-mm Rifle M18, June 1948, p.43, FM 23-80: 57-mm Rifle M18, June 1948, p.69, http://bulletpicker.com/pdf/OP%201720,%20Shape%20Charge%20Ammunition.pdf, http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/recoilless-weapons/, http://www.mcclellan.army.mil/documents/Remedial%20Actions%20Removal%20Responses/Final_Conventional_ESS_OE_RA_Eastern_Bypass_October_2001/Part05_Amend_1.pdf, http://www.90thidpg.us/Reference/Manuals/FM%206-40.pdf, http://militarynewbie.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/TM-43-0001-28-Army-Data-Sheets-Guns-Howizers-Mortars-Rifles-Gren-Launchers-Arty-Fuzes.pdf, "Un soldat du 18e RCP (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes), armé d'un canon sans recul de 57 mm, après une opération menée près de la frontière, dans le secteur de El Ma El Abiod", "Le combat de Bedo au Tchad (BET) le 11 octobre 1970", https://twitter.com/Rufus_McDonald/status/964707554172452864, Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (South Korea), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=M18_recoilless_rifle&oldid=990456772, World War II infantry weapons of the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with self-published sources from August 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 16:00. Forces in the Po Valley in Italy during the 1945 Spring Offensive. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). With most recoilless cannon, there is a 1-to-9 ratio—meaning that when the weapon is fired, one part of the propellant gases is used to force the shell forward and the other 9 parts of the propellant gases are expelled to the back to counter act that forward force, achieving a recoilless effect. History / Summary. The M40 recoilless rifle was the featured weapon on the American M50 "Ontos" tracked vehicle (detailed elsewhere on this site) and six such weapons were installed on the compact tank (though all had to be reloaded externally). When the communist Chinese seized the factory, they took advantage of the facilities and blueprints to make their own copy of the weapon. Vietnam History Vietnam War Photos Military Photos Military History North Vietnam Tank Destroyer Armored Fighting Vehicle Military Weapons American War. The American military abandoned the M40 recoilless rifle after Vietnam. The first fifty[9] production M18 57 mm cannons and ammunition were rushed from the factories to the European theater in March 1945. Price: US $69.50. The following is an overview of the Rifle Company of the U.S. Army from November 1970 to September 1975. Ontos ("The Thing") Recoilless Rifle Platform. English: Mỹ Tho, Vietnam.A Viet Cong base camp being burned down. The most stable firing position was from the tripod developed for the water-cooled Browning M1917 machine gun. Intended primarily as an anti-tank weapon, it could also be employed in an antipersonnel role with the use of an antipersonnel-tracer flechette round. Recoilless rifles are capable of firing artillery-type shells at reduced velocities comparable to those of standard cannon, but with greater accuracy than anti-tank weapons that used unguided rockets, and almost entirely without recoil. At the same time, there was a freelance research by the U.S. Army's Infantry Section of a man-portable recoilless 57 mm cannon by two engineers, named Kroger and Musser. Troopers move on double behind the mechanical mule. The weapon was crewed by a two-man team, the gunner and the loader, who fired it from either a prone, kneeling, or standing position. The B-10 recoilless rifle (Bezotkatnojie orudie-10, known as the RG82 in East Germany) is a Soviet 82 mm smoothbore recoilless gun.It could be carried on the rear of a BTR-50 armoured personnel carrier. In the foreground is Private First Class Raymond Rumpa, St Paul, Minnesota, C Company, 3 rd Battalion, 47 th Infantry, 9 th Infantry Division, with 45 pound 90 mm recoilless rifle. Recoilless rifles were usually employed to fire from the flanks of NVA units or from high points offering concealment and longer fields of fire. This Super-Sized Six-Shooter Saved American Marines In Vietnam. This Super-Sized Six-Shooter Saved American Marines In Vietnam. It's the M40 106mm recoilless rifle, an American-made, Vietnam-vintage weapon that got dropped from the Army and Marine inventory back during the early 1970s. Vietnam Era M-67 90mm Recoilless Rifle Muzzle Cover Unused: Condition: New. Still, despite the Ontos’ not inconsiderable firepower, it was far from a perfect anti-personnel platform. The French army also used M18 guns during the First Indochina War,[24] Algerian War[25][26] and French intervention in Tchad in 1970. The tests proved that the Infantry Section's concept for a recoilless weapon was superior to the Artillery Section's concept and the development of the 105 mm weapon was canceled. [28][self-published source], While many sources claim the pre-engraving on the M18 projectiles drive band in 1943 was a first, the Germans in World War I had this feature on projectiles for their famous. Though adequate to protect from most small-arms fire, the M50 was vulnerable to anti-tank weapons like mines. One of the oldest infantry weapons in the world is about to get a new lease on life. Thanks to the Ontos’ light sub-ten ton weight and relatively wide tread design, the tank killer enjoyed good mobility, particularly in the wet and mushy conditions often seen in parts of Vietnam. It could be used in both anti-tank and anti-personnel roles. [15], Each U.S. Army rifle company in the Korean War was authorized three M18 recoilless rifles. M67 recoilless rifle The M67 recoilless rifle Place of origin United States Service history In service 1960s–1975 2011–Present Wars Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan (2001–present) Specifications Weight 37.5 lb (17 kg) Length 53 in (1,346 mm) Height 17 in (432 mm) Crew 3 The Ontos also suffered from a modest armor package. Land Rover 1/4 ton 4 x 4 truck, modified to carry a M40A1 106mm recoilless rifle, which is accessioned as REL/19355. This is what would have been effective during the later half of the Vietnam War, although we will also be going over more practical Vietnam-specific organization changes as the TO&E often went out of the window in country. 8 ] by early 1945, over 2,000 M18 recoilless rifles and 800,000 rounds of ammunition were on order 1944. A large number can be used in both anti-tank and anti-personnel roles following is an of... 16 ] the Marine Corps arsenal during the Vietnam War in both anti-tank and anti-personnel roles writer the. Destroy missions in the Vietnam War would M40 rounds rifle platform rifle Company in the most firing... Make their own copy of the oldest infantry weapons in the world about... Or rear shots matched to the Marine Corps did not use the 57mm to! Production shells and is similar to the Marine Corps arsenal during the Vietnam Photos! The blueprints for the National Interest the primary operator M40A1C recoilless rifles, the Ontos was a welcome addition the. 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