Cranking up the ol’ Meat Chopper

marine m45

Marines pulling airbase defense somewhere in the Pacific in WWII. Note the F4Us on the flight line. The lawnmower style gas engine of the M45 turret is visible behind the gunner’s back.

Known as “The Meat Chopper” from its use against infantry, the M45 Maxson Quad turret was designed as an anti-aircraft gun, envisioned in the above image.

The electrically-powered mount moved at about 60-degrees per second and could elevate to near-vertical and depress slightly less than the horizon for use against ground targets in enfilade. Two 6-volt batteries recharged by a small Briggs and Stratton gas engine coupled to a generator fed the electric motor on the mount.

M45 Mount

To this mount, the design added a central gunner’s seat of luxurious canvas, a large spiderweb-type graduated sight, and four Browning M2 heavy machine guns arranged in a pair on each side, which provided .50 cal suppression in surround sound.

Fully equipped with 800 rounds of ammunition (200 in each “Tombstone”), an armor shield for the gunner, oil and fuel for the engine and all accessories, the mount topped 2,400-pounds. This size fit in the rear of a large truck, half-track, or could be towed alone on a small M20-style trailer and their firepower made them very popular with the Joes and Marines in the field.

Note wheels cranked out when stationay

Note wheels cranked out when stationary

That comfy gunner's chair

That comfy gunner’s chair. Note the engine.

Note the electronic solenoid for the M2s. Without electrical power via battery or engine, the Maxson was a lawn ornament

Note the electronic solenoids for the portside M2s. Without electrical power via battery or engine, the Maxson was a lawn ornament

IJM Restorations in the UK has been working on a vintage Maxson for several weeks and in the above images and below video shows it in working condition, able to elevate and traverse with the assistance of a small gasoline-powered engine.


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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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