Army & Navy - Stovepipe Artillery

Germans captured in Sicily and Italy wanted to see the U.S. weapon which had lobbed such powerful shells so fast. They called it the "automatic howitzer." Last week the Army reported some new feats of the not-so-new piece which has proved so versatile in battle.

The "automatic howitzer" is a 4.2-in. mortar which can slam out an 8-lb. shell every three seconds. Developed before the war by the Chemical Warfare Service to throw gas shells, it can also handle high explosive shells for use against tanks, pillboxes and troop concentrations. Unlike other mortars, which are smoothbores, the 4.2 is rifled,...

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