Firing 4.5 inch rockets from M4-Sherman “Calliope” multiple rocket launcher, mounted on M-4, No. A-3 tank. 14th Armored, France.
T40/M17 mounted on M4 Sherman
While numerous rocket launcher mounts were developed for fitting to M4 series vehicles, very few saw operational use or reached production status.
Rocket Launcher T34 (Calliope): This consisted of 60 4·6in rocket tubes mounted in a frame above the turret. The two bottom sets of 12 tubes each could be jettisoned if necessary on all variants except the M4A1. The mount was traversed with the tank turret and elevated by a rod linked to the gun barrel. The Calliope was a “limited procurement” weapon, developed in 1943 and first used by 2nd Armored Division in France in August 1944. This weapon saw limited combat use until the end of the war.
The T34 Calliope Rocket Launcher was developed in 1943 and consisted of an array of sixty rocket tubes on a frame mounted above the turret of a Sherman tank. The tubes traversed with the turret and could be raised or lowered via a connecting rod to the gun barrel. The name came from its resemblance to the musical steam organ which has similar pipes. The T34 saw action with the US Army in 1944-45, firing 4.6-inch or 114-mm rockets, while the T34E2 saw this calibre increased to 7.2-inch or 183 mm.
Rocket Launcher T34E1: As T34 but with 14 tubes in two bottom projector units.
Rocket Launcher T34E2: Similar in appearance to the T34, but longer, the T34E2 held 60 7·2in rockets and the entire mount could be jettisoned if necessary in an emergency. This mount saw limited combat use, 1945.
Rocket Launcher T39: A mount of enclosed box construction with doors over the tubes. It held 20 7·2in rockets. Experimental only.
Rocket Launcher T40(M17) (Whiz-bang): This rocket launcher held 20 7·2in rockets in a box-like frame and was elevated hydraulically from the 75mm gun controls. The entire mount could be jettisoned if required, and the rockets could be fired singly or in salvoes. This “limited procurement” weapon was classified “limited standard” and saw some combat use in 1944-45.
Rocket Launcher T40 (short version): Experimental version of the above with shorter rocket tubes and 75mm gun removed and replaced by elevation mechanism for launcher. Access door for crew added in side of vehicle which was an M4A2.
Rocket Launcher T72: Similar to T34 but with very short tubes. Not used operationally.
Rocket Launcher T73: Similar to T40 but held only 10 rockets. Not used in combat. Experimental only on M4A1.
Rocker Launcher T76: This was a M4A1 with a 7 ½ in rocket tube replacing the 75mm gun. Had an opening in turret front around the mounting to allow gases to escape on firing. Reloaded from inside turret. Experimental only, 1944. Same weapon mounted on M4A3 HVSS was designated T76E1. Rocket Launcher
T105: A single 7·2in rocket projector in box-like case mounted in M4A1 in place of 75mm gun. Developed from T76, August 1945. Did not proceed past trials stage.
Multiple Rocket Launcher T99: Two small box-like launcher mounts, each holding 22 4·5in rockets, mounted each side of turret for vehicle with 76mm gun. Few produced 1945; also fitted experimentally to M26 heavy tank.