THE KITTY-KILLERS: HEAVY TANKS, T29-T34, 1945 DESIGNS

Heavy Tank T29: Development of this vehicle started in March 1944 in an attempt to produce a heavy tank with firepower and armour protection superior to that of the T26E3 (M26). It was intended to fit the Cross-Drive transmission and a Ford tank engine uprated to 750HP. Approval for building pilot models was given in September 1944. Hull was similar to that of the T26E3 but lengthened to take a massive new cast turret to hold the 105mm T5 gun. The General Staff authorised production of this type in February 1945 for use in the war against Japan where heavy calibre weapons were considered necessary for firing against bunkers and caves. Army Ground Forces, however, were opposed to vehicles as large as this and stated that they had no requirement for them. With the cessation of hostilities, production was limited to a batch of pilot models only for testing and development. These were delivered in 1947. Details: combat weight: 138,000lb; crew: 6; armament: 1 x 105mm gun T5; length: 25ft (excluding gun); width: 12 ½ ft; height: 10ft 7in; top speed 18 ½ mph; ammunition stowage: 63 rounds; engine: Ford 750HP.

T29 Specs:

6 man crew

Combat Weight: 70.75 tons

HULL

Upper Front: 174mm effective

Lower Front: 132mm effective

Front Sides: 76mm effective

Rear Sides: 51mm effective

Upper Rear: 52mm effective

Lower Rear: 40mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

Front Floor: 25mm effective

Rear Floor: 13mm effective

TURRET

Gun Shield: 203-279mm effective

Front: 206mm effective

Sides: 127mm effective

Rear: 102mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

105mm Gun T5E2

Loading: Manual (6 rds/min with 2 loaders)

Stablizer: None

Vision:

T143E1 Telescope

M10E5 Periscope

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Flexible AA on commanders hatch

2 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Coaxial

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Bow Mount

Ammo Load:

63 Rounds 105mm

2420 rounds .50 Caliber

2500 rounds .30 caliber

—————–

The 8th T29 built was modified to provide for the installation of the range finder T31E1, and became the T29E3.

T29E3 Heavy Tank

This tank probably has a significantly better rangefinder rating than anything except probably laser rangefinder equipped tanks in game terms, because of the sheer size of the rangefinder; the wider the base of the rangefinder, the better and more accurate it is; the T29E3 had a 274.32 cm rangefinder ; while the Panther F had a 132 cm rangefinder, and the Tiger II a 160 cm one.

T29E3 Specs:

6 man crew

Combat Weight: 72 tons

Speed: 22 MPH

HULL

Upper Front: 174mm effective

Lower Front: 132mm effective

Front Sides: 76mm effective

Rear Sides: 51mm effective

Upper Rear: 52mm effective

Lower Rear: 40mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

Front Floor: 25mm effective

Rear Floor: 13mm effective

TURRET

Gun Shield: 203-279mm effective

Front: 206mm effective

Sides: 127mm effective

Rear: 102mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

105mm Gun T5E1

Loading: Manual (6 rds/min with 2 loaders)

Stablizer: None

Vision:

T31E1 Range Finder

T93E2 Telescope

M10E5 Periscope

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Flexible AA on commanders hatch

2 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Coaxial

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Bow Mount

Ammo Load:

63 Rounds 105mm

2420 rounds .50 Caliber

2500 rounds .30 caliber

Heavy Tank T30: This was a parallel design to the T29 evolved and produced at the same time and within the same programme. Principal difference was the installation of a Continental 810HP air-cooled engine in place of the Ford unit, and the mounting of a 155mm gun T7 in place of the 105mm weapon. This vehicle included a rammer in the turret for loading the gun which fired separate ammunition. Both the T29 and T30 were classified “limited procurement” types in April 1945. T30 details as for T29, except: armament: 1 x 155mm gun T7; combat weight: 144,500Ib; ammunition stowage: 34 rounds; top speed: 16tmph; engine: Continental 810HP.

T30 Specs

6 man crew

Combat Weight: 71.3 tons

Speed: 22 MPH

HULL

Upper Front: 174mm effective

Lower Front: 132mm effective

Front Sides: 76mm effective

Rear Sides: 51mm effective

Upper Rear: 52mm effective

Lower Rear: 40mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

Front Floor: 25mm effective

Rear Floor: 13mm effective

TURRET

Gun Shield: 203-279mm effective

Front: 206mm effective

Sides: 127mm effective

Rear: 102mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

155mm Gun T7

Loading: Manual with hoist and spring rammer (2 rds/min with 2 loaders)

Stablizer: None

Vision:

T143E1 Telescope

M10E9 Periscope

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Flexible AA on commanders hatch

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Coaxial

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Bow Mount

Ammo Load:

34 Rounds 155mm

2200 rounds .50 Caliber

2500 rounds .30 caliber

—————

Statistics of 155mm T7 Gun:

40 calibers

2 rounds/minute with two loaders

It was never provided with an AP shot as far as I can tell; but I would imagine a 95 pound HE shell would mess up any tank’s day; and given the calibre of the gun, a HEAT round from it would be truly terrifying.

Heavy Tank T34: This resulted from the adaptation of the standard American 120mm AA gun to a form suitable for mounting in a tank. The design of the T29/T30 series was modified to take the 120mm gun T53 by suitable changes in the gun mount, but with no fundamental alterations to the basic design. One T29 and one T30 pilot model were each fitted with the 120mm gun and re-designated as Heavy Tank T34. Approval for this development was given in April 1945, but the pilot model T34s were not delivered until 1947. No production orders followed but the post-war M103 heavy tank design stemmed from the T34. Details as for T29/T30 except for 120mm gun.

T34 Specs

6 man crew

Combat Weight: 71.8 tons

Speed: 22 MPH

HULL

Upper Front: 174mm effective

Lower Front: 132mm effective

Front Sides: 76mm effective

Rear Sides: 51mm effective

Upper Rear: 52mm effective

Lower Rear: 40mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

Front Floor: 25mm effective

Rear Floor: 13mm effective

TURRET

Gun Shield: 203 to 279mm effective

Front: 184mm effective

Sides: 127mm effective

Rear: 203mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

120mm Gun T53

Loading: Manual (5 RPM with 2 loaders)

Stablizer: None

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Flexible AA on commander’s hatch

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Coaxial

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Bow Mount

Vision:

T143E2 Telescope

M10E10 Periscope

Ammo Load:

34 Rounds 120mm

2090 rounds .50 Caliber

2500 rounds .30 caliber

———————-

120mm Gun T53 Specs:

60 Calibers

5 RPM, two loaders

AP Shot:

198mm @ 30 degrees @ 914m

173mm @ 30 deg @ 1829m

HVAP Shot:

381mm @ 30 deg @ 914m

318mm @ 30 deg @ 1829 m

T32E1

Heavy Tank T32 and T32E1: This was an improved version of the T26E3 (M26) designed to provide better armour protection without impairing the performance or reliability of the M26. Hull was the same as that of the M26, lengthened by one bogie wheel each side and with armour maximum increased to 125mm at the front and 75mm at the sides. Turret had 200mm frontal armour. Improved T15E1 90mm gun was fitted and a counterweight was added on the turret rear. Engine was uprated to 750HP and cross-drive transmission replaced the Torquematic transmission of the M26. Apart from increased length and increased weight, other details were as for M26 series vehicles. A batch of pilot models was ordered from Chrysler (Detroit Arsenal) in February 1945, but were not completed until early 1946. No production order followed. The T32E1 was similar to the T32 except that it had a welded hull front instead of the cast front, while the hull machine gun was eliminated.

T32 Specs

5 man crew

Combat Weight: 60 tons

Speed: 22 MPH

HULL

Upper Front: 216mm effective

Lower Front: 184mm effective

Sides: 76mm effective

Rear: 52mm effective

Top: 38mm effective

Front Floor: 25mm effective

Rear Floor: 13mm effective

TURRET

Gun Shield: 298mm effective

Front: 309mm effective

Sides: 199 to 154mm effective

Rear: 152mm effective

Top: 25mm effective

90mm Gun T15E2

Loading: Manual (4 RPM)

Stablizer: None

1 x .50 Caliber M2 HB Flexible AA on commanders hatch

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Coaxial

1 x .30 Caliber M1919A4 Bow Mount

Ammo Load:

54 Rounds 90mm

550 rounds .50 Caliber

4000 rounds .30 caliber

Vision:

M77E1 or M71E4 Telescope

M10E4 Periscope

————————–

90mm T15E1/2 Gun Data:

70 Calibers

Penetration:

T43 AP Shot (APBC-T; 3,200 ft/sec)

132mm @ 30 degree angle @ 500 yds

127mm @ 30 degree angle @ 1000 yds

124mm @ 30 degree angle @ 1500 yds

122mm @ 30 degree angle @ 2000 yds

T44 HVAP Shot (APCR-T; 3,750 ft/sec)

244mm @ 30 degree angle @ 500 yds

221mm @ 30 degree angle @ 1000 yds

196mm @ 30 degree angle @ 1500 yds

173mm @ 30 degree angle @ 2000 yds

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.