M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage

The M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was a lend-lease version of the M16 MGMC, and carried four .50in anti-aircraft machine guns on the chassis of an M5 half-track.

In July 1942 the M13 and M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriages had been accepted for service. These vehicles both carried two .50in machine guns mounted on a Maxson M33 turret. The M13 was based on the M3 half-track, the M14 on the M5 half-track. The M13 saw limited combat with the US Army in Italy while the M14 went to Britain where most were converted back into half-track personnel carriers.

The main flaw with the M13 and M14 was their lack of firepower and so work began on a four-gun version of the Maxson turret. This was accepted as the M45 mount, which carried two .50in guns on each side. The Maxson turret was carried on a fully traversable turntable. The gunner sat in the centre of the turret, with the guns to either side, an armoured shield in front and a generator to power the traverse and elevation of the turret behind him. The guns used ammo drums which stuck out to the side of the turret like ears, giving easy access for the loaders. On the M45 mount the lower guns were mounted further back than the upper guns to provide room for the ammo drums.

The M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage carried the four-gun M45 turret on the back of an M5 half-track. These were produced by International Harvester and used a different engine to the standard M2 and M3 half-tracks. As a result the M5 half-track and any vehicles based on it were normally allocated to lend-lease. A total of 1,000 M17s were produced, 400 in 1943 and 600 in 1944. All 1,000 went to the Soviet Union where they made up a significant proportion of the Red Army's mobile anti-aircraft force and appear to have been a popular and successful weapon.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 May 2014), M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_M17_MGMC.html

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