Lance and Pershing – Missiles of the Field Artillery (1977)

The film outlines the evolution of modern missile systems in the U.S. Army, contrasting them with horse-drawn cannons and detailing the development and capabilities of the Lance and Pershing 1A missile systems. It highlights the transition from traditional artillery to rocket-propelled missiles, a change driven by World War II experiences, particularly the impact of German V2s on London.

The Lance missile, operational since 1972, is showcased for its rapid deployment and versatility. It can be equipped with either nuclear or non-nuclear warheads and is launched from a self-propelled, diesel-powered track vehicle. The film details the missile’s preparation process, emphasizing its ability to be ready to fire within minutes.

The Pershing 1A missile is presented as a longer-range, quick-response nuclear delivery system with solid propellant, offering shorter reaction times and greater accuracy. It is transported and launched from a semi-trailer and truck tractor, ensuring mobility across various terrains.

Both systems are described as highly mobile, reliable, and capable of operating in extreme weather conditions. They are designed to hit distant targets with precision, supplementing traditional cannon artillery and enhancing the Army’s capabilities in supporting operations and deterring aggression. The film underscores the technological sophistication and strategic importance of these missile systems in modern military operations.

We digitized and uploaded this film from the A/V Geeks 16mm Archive. Email us at if you have questions about the footage and are interested in using it in your project.

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