New PDF release: M103 Heavy Tank 1950-74

New PDF release: M103 Heavy Tank 1950-74

By Kenneth Estes, Richard Chasemore

The T43 layout represented the head of U.S. military tank engineering of the overdue Forties, with its forged elliptical hull and turret, Continental AV-1790 engine, cross-drive transmission, and torsion bar suspension. A range-finder and mechanical desktop directed a robust 120mm major gun in a singular electro-hydraulic turret, between different positive aspects. The heavy tank proved quite well-liked by its crews, who specially revered the strong armament it carried. Many demanding situations to the crewmen have been taken on with a feeling of satisfaction. average used to be the activity of the second one loader to hand-ram either the projectile (positioned by means of the 1st loader on the breech) and the propellant cartridge into the chamber in one circulate, all in the confines of a slender turret. The outbreak of battle in Korea introduced a hurry order in December 1950 which resulted in a whole construction run of three hundred autos, thought of enough for military and Marine Corps necessities.
As could have been anticipated from the frenzy to creation, the T43E1 failed its preliminary trials at toes. Knox, normally for erratic gun controls and terrible ballistic functionality of the projectiles. A amendment application (of over a hundred discrepancies) led to the standardization of the T43E1 because the 120mm gun wrestle tank, M103 in 1956.
After 1951, the Marine Corps on my own retained self belief within the heavy tank software, making an investment its scarce cash within the advancements essential to result in its fielding after a moved quickly construction run in midst of the 'tank quandary' of the 12 months 1950-51. with no the Marine Corps' decision to deliver the M103 to operational prestige, it kind of feels transparent that the three hundred cars might have languished in garage earlier than their eventual disposal. The correctness of the Marine Corps aid of the M103 tank used to be in no small approach stated through the Army's borrowing of seventy two M103A1 better USMC tanks important for its unmarried heavy tank battalion in Germany. No different weapon method, prior to the period of antitank missiles, may well warrantly the destruction of the Russian heavies, which endured their carrier in the course of the past due Nineteen Sixties. The eventual retirement of the M103 in 1972, over twenty years after manufacture and after 14 years of operational provider, established the steadiness of its engineering and achievement of its designed function. it could actually were the undesirable 'ugly duckling' of the military, which kept away from naming the M103 on my own of all its postwar tanks. For the Marine Corps, it served the aim outlined for it in 1949 until eventually the automobile and guns expertise of the USA may possibly produce manageable choices.

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This T58 heavy tank was one of two backups to the T43 program: T57 with an autoloading 120mm and T58 with an autoloading 155mm, both using the new look oscillating turret fad. Both used the M103 chassis and were cancelled when the M103 became type standard. (US Army) 45 28/11/2012 12:32 The M51 heavy tank recovery vehicle, based upon the M103 suspension system, was proposed by the Army for both heavy and medium tank support, but only the Marine Corps took it as such, operating it through 1978 despite dismal logistic support in its elderly years, especially when the Army had embraced the M88 series medium recovery vehicle.

Unlike the old Korean War vintage 18-inch incandescent tank searchlight, the new device had potential for the M103A2 tank, for its white light range approached the 2,000-meter range that represented the minimum ideal fighting range of this tank. Although the searchlight boasted a 25M candlepower infrared capability, the M103A2 tanks were never modified with the required IR sights, as their operational service neared its end. indd 39 39 28/11/2012 12:32 ABOVE LEFT Returning the modernized tanks to their battalions was routinely handled using standard tank transporters and heavy flatcars long in service by this point.

The tanks depicted are from the 3rd Platoon, C Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. indd 35 35 28/11/2012 12:31 In garrison, tank demolition demonstrations proved popular events, frequently to support a unit raffle, charity drive, or similar fundraising event. The winners are presumably riding the tank wearing soft covers. (USMC) On patrol along the boundary of US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, a pair of heavy tanks from C Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, carry out the only routine deployment overseas that this type tank experienced.

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