Dragon’s Roar

“Front view of 240mm howitzer of Battery `B’, 697th Field Artillery Battalion, just before firing into German-held territory. Mignano area, Italy.” SC photo by Boyle, January 30, 1944, some 76 years ago today.

111-SC-187126. National Archives Identifier: 531176

Nicknamed the Black Dragon, the M1 240mm (9.4-inch) howitzer was the largest boom stick deployed with U.S. Army artillery units during World War II, able to fire a 360-pound shell some 25,000 yards. Other than coastal artillery, the Cold War-era 280mm Atomic Annie series, and naval guns adapted for railway use, it remains the biggest artillery piece ever used by the Army.

They are still used in Taiwan today as low-tech coastal artillery where, based on Kinman Island, they can reach mainland China some 14 miles away as the shell flies.


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