|Weapons & Weapon Systems
The 76 mm mountain gun M48, which is often called the 'Tito Gun', was developed after the Second World War specifically to meet the requirements of Yugoslav mountain units, although it can also be used as a field gun. As far as it is known there has been no recent production of the 76 mm mountain gun M48. A recent list of weapons currently being marketed by Yugoimport still listed the 76 mm mountain gun M48. At this stage it is not clear as to whether these are surplus weapons or new production weapons.
There have been at least four variants of the M48. The M48 (B-1) has pneumatic tyres and a maximum towing speed of 60 km/h. It can also be towed by animals in tandem or disassembled into eight pack loads. The M48 (B-1A1-I) has the pneumatic tyres and wheels as fitted to the M48 (B-1), plus some of the features of the suspension of the M48 (B-1A2). The M48 (B-1A2) can also be used as a field piece but cannot be towed by animals or disassembled for pack transport. The M48 (B-1A2) has light alloy wheels with solid rubber tyres and modified suspension, its maximum towing speed is 30 km/h. The final production model of the 76 mm mountain gun M48 was called the B-2 about which little is known at present.
Ammunition is of the semi-fixed type with four charges. It is based on that used for the obsolete Russian 76 mm Regimental Gun M1927 which fired fixed ammunition: HE M55 projectile weighing 6.2 kg with a muzzle velocity between 222 and 398 m/s; High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) projectile weighing 5.1 kg which will penetrate 100 mm of conventional steel armour at a range of 450 m; and a smoke shell WP M60 weighing 6.2 kg.
The 76 mm mountain gun M48 is related to the Romanian 76 mm mountain howitzer M1984 (or Model 1984 as it is also referred to).
According to the Romanian manufacturer, the 76 mm mountain howitzer fires the following ammunition types as listed below. It should be noted that some of these with the M series designation are also used by the Yugoslav 76 mm mountain gun M48:
- Charge round - HE OF-350M, fuze UP3
- Charge round - M55, fuze M51A5
- Charge round - smoke WP M60, fuze PD M48A3
- Charge round - smoke D-350 TM, fuze UP3
- Charge round - HEAT BK 354, piezoelectric fuze CVP-312
- Charge round - shell M50, fuze PD MK-451
All models of the M48 have split trails with each trail hinged in the centre and folding forwards through 180° for towing. At the end of each trail is a slot for the stake. The shield has winged sides and the centre of the shield has to be raised to obtain maximum elevation.
In 2004 Yugoimport was marketing the 76 mm mountain gun M48 B1 A5, which has an almost identical specification to that given below apart from the fact that it has a crew of seven.