Military Review

Self-propelled anti-tank gun M56 Scorpion

Regardless of the presence of a wearable infantry weaponsThe most valuable weapon used by the U.S. airborne forces during World War II was the Ml 57mm anti-tank gun towed by a jeep. In fact, this gun was a British 6-pound gun, manufactured in the United States. After the war, they formulated requirements for a mobile self-propelled anti-tank gun, which could be parachuted in the initial stages of an army landing operation and having firepower as tank a gun. Two samples of such a machine, under the designation T101, were built by Cadillac Motor Car Division, from General Motors Corporation. As a result of further development, an improved T10EI was obtained, which was standardized as a "self-propelled 90-mm anti-tank gun M56", also referred to as "Scorpion" (Scorpio). “Cadillac Motor Car Division” produced cars in 1953-1959. In 1953, these machines entered military trials. M56 in the US Army entered the arsenal of only the 1955nd and 82st airborne divisions, but in 101 these self-propelled guns were replaced with the M1960 Sheridan light tank. A small number of M551 delivered to Morocco and Spain, few were used by the American army in Vietnam, where they were used for fire support.

When creating to save weight in the manufacture of the hull used aluminum, and also abandoned the tower, instead of which to protect the gun used a small shield. The body is a fully riveted and welded construction. The hull is divided into two sections - located in front of the power section and the fighting compartment (middle part) and the control section in the aft part of the hull. In fact, when creating the M56 Scorpion, the developers took advantage of the unarmored chassis of the M76 floating cargo conveyor, which had four running wheels on each side and a torsion bar suspension. The gun was installed on a small carriage on top. In the case there was only the place of the engine day, the control levers and the driver, so the gunner's place was placed outside. Two more crew members were housed in a trailer with ammunition. The weight of the Scorpion was 7500 kg. The main units and components are sealed, the wiring is made waterproof.

The main drawback of the car was the complete absence of body armor for the crew, with the exception of a small gun shield. The driver's seat was to the left of the gun, the shooter was placed behind him, equipped with a sight having an increase of x4,1 or x8. For night driving, the M56 Scorpion used night-vision binoculars, worn on a driver's helmet. The commander was sitting on the box with the radio, located to the right of the driver's seat. The other two crew members were located near the tailgate on the starboard side.

Self-propelled anti-tank gun M56 Scorpion

The main weapon is the M90 54-mm anti-tank cannon, which is placed openly on a thumbnail unit in the fighting compartment. The barrel of the gun is a monoblock with a screwed breech, a gun shield and a single-section muzzle brake. Valve wedge, vertical, semi-automatic. On the breech of the gun top mounted a pair of cylinders of hydraulic recoil devices. The ballistic data corresponded to the gun gun MNNX. The range of real fire was 48 meters.

Guidance mechanisms have manual drives, manual loading. The angles of vertical guidance ranged from + 15 to -10 degrees, and the angle of horizontal guidance was 60 degrees. When firing direct fire, an optical sight, having a variable magnification, was used, from closed positions - corresponding sights.

In ammunition includes unitary shots with armor-piercing, high-explosive, cumulative and sub-caliber projectiles. The ammunition was transported directly to the ACS and placed in a separate waterproof aluminum container. Ammunition included 29 unitary projectiles. An additional part of the ammunition was towed on a trailer.

For firing 90-mm M54 anti-tank guns, unitary shots were used, which were developed for American-made M36 and M41 guns and projectiles for Rheinmetall guns of West German production. These included shots:
- with an M82 armor-piercing tracer with a explosive charge and armor-piercing tip;
- with continuous armor-piercing tracer M318, M318A1 and M318A1С;
- with sub-caliber armor-piercing tracer M304 having a high initial speed;
- with sub-caliber armor piercing tracer M332 and M332A1;
- with cumulative non-rotating M348 and M348A1;
- with cumulative non-rotating tracer M431;
- with high-explosive fragmentation grenade M71;
-with M91 fragmentation-tracer grenade;
- with M336 frame gun;
- with the fragmentation grenade M377, which is equipped with arrow-shaped lethal elements;
- with fragmentation-tracer grenade XM580E1, with swept killer elements;
- with a smoke shell M313 and M313C.

The M56 ACS had a much greater firepower, compared to the M41 light tank with its 76-mm gun, and the chassis too light. Therefore, after firing a 90 millimeter cannon, the car bounced back a few feet, and the target was no longer visible due to a cloud of dust raised by a muzzle flash.

The M56 self-propelled self-propelled gun was equipped with an air-cooled 151-kilowatt 6-cylinder engine with air cooling, Continental direct fuel injection, an opposite cylinder arrangement, and Allison hydromechanical transmission. Fuel injection provided maximum speed in 50 km / h.

The engine was connected to a transmission of General Motors Corporation with two forward and one reverse speeds. Turning was carried out with the help of onboard gears. Chassis with four rollers with torsion bar suspension, rubber tires, front driving and rear - guide wheels, there were no supporting rollers. The caterpillar is an endless steel-reinforced rubber band.

In the undercarriage used rubber tracks with metal fittings in the form of transverse slats and steel cables. Track rollers equipped with tubeless pneumatic self-gluing tires. For the suspension of each rink served as a double torsion of small length, which was carried out in the form of a pipe with a rod placed in it. In addition, hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers were used in the suspension. Such a running gear was noiseless, lightweight and provided low specific pressure on the ground, which made it possible to overcome the muddy, sandy, swampy and snowy ground.

In May 1959, the production of M56 Scorpion was turned down, and it was decided to install an 106-mm recoilless gun on its chassis. In addition, the tracked base of the M56 Scorpion self-propelled self-propelled gun was supposed to be used as a multipurpose chassis for a floating armored personnel carrier, 106-mm and 81-mm mortars, quad-mounted anti-aircraft machine guns of 12,7 mm and ATGM launchers.

The M56 in the 1960s was used in the Vietnam War, where it was used as an artillery system for firing from prepared positions.

Combat weight - 7,13 t;
Crew - 4 person
Body length - 4557 mm;
Length with a gun forward - 5837 mm;
Case width - 2573 mm;
Height - mm 2004;
Clearance - 325 mm;
Type of gun - rifled;
Make and caliber of the gun - M54, 90 mm;
Barrel length - 50 calibers;
Ammunition gun - 29 shots;
Vertical guidance angles - from -10 to + 15 degrees;
Horizontal guidance angles - ± 30 degrees;
Firing range (high-explosive projectile) - about 15 km;
Sights - Periscopic T186
Engine power - 165 l. with.;
Highway speed - 45 km / h;
Cruising on the highway - 225 km;
Power density - 21 hp / t;
Ground pressure is 0,29 kg / cm²;
Overcoming rise - 30 grad .;
Breakable wall - 0,75 m;
Overcoming ditch - 1,2 m;
Passable ford - 1,05 m (1,5 with additional equipment).

Prepared by materials

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  1. T80UM1
    T80UM1 25 July 2013 08: 25
    Stanin is not enough, the return is strong in my opinion
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 25 July 2013 09: 04
      Yeah. Even with such a long rollback and developed anti-recoil, the car is robustly throws up. Only the beds would not help. Exceptionally increasing base weight.

      In general, a cool flea. Something like our ZiS-30 on the Komsomolets, but more comfortable.

      1. Bongo
        Bongo 25 July 2013 14: 40
        In this photo from the ZIS-30 in real life do not fire, the rear supports are not lowered. In this position, when fired, he would be knocked over.
  2. il grand casino
    il grand casino 25 July 2013 11: 03
    The first photo is chic shine! But the return is still foolish. I wonder how much the sight after such a shot knocked down
  3. Fibrizio
    Fibrizio 25 July 2013 11: 34
    In general, this is a half measure. It’s no longer necessary to carry the pens or pens, but all the same, ugliness. The silhouette is high, no armor protection. I think at the forefront such a thing should either dig in or incur a decent loss.
  4. krot00f
    krot00f 25 July 2013 12: 55
    What a rich ammunition load, "Rheinmetall" worked hard, I often read about this company, Why was it not ruined after the war? Share if anyone knows.
  5. krot00f
    krot00f 25 July 2013 12: 59
    Not entirely clear "The range of the actual fire was 1820 meters." Is this the direct shot range? Or, in fact, did they not shoot further?
    1. Ivan_Ivanov
      Ivan_Ivanov 25 July 2013 13: 06
      Maybe aiming range?
  6. Ivan_Ivanov
    Ivan_Ivanov 25 July 2013 13: 05
    Great car for its time.



  7. spirit
    spirit 25 July 2013 13: 43
    in vain replaced! and in her place put the miracle Yudo Sheridan. Aluminum tank with shaitan pipe)
  8. Prohor
    Prohor 25 July 2013 20: 10
    Choo-oo! Our MT-12 is much cooler! soldier
  9. bublic82009
    bublic82009 25 July 2013 22: 46
    nonsense thing. after the first shot it could easily be detected and destroyed. crew more suicide bombers than our 45s
  10. alex86
    alex86 26 July 2013 19: 02
    For some reason, I recalled an article in the Technique of Youth for the 78th year, the American recoilless gun was mentioned there, it was put on a tilt truck, and the task was to prevent the Rommeleans in Africa from driving closer to the tank - and how lucky. And, like, praised ...
  11. frank123
    frank123 10 November 2014 21: 55
    Drain from the test))) video tank battle cool))