T30 Heavy Tank

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Heavy Tank T30
T30 Heavy Tank.JPG
Type Heavy tank
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service Trials Only
Used by United States of America
Production history
Designer Unknown
Designed Pilot models start it in April 1945
Manufacturer Unknown
Unit cost Unknown
Produced 1947
Variants T30E1, T30E2, and T58
Specifications
Weight 142,600 lb (64.7 t)
Length 429 in (10.9 m) gun forward
Width 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in) (T30)
3.3 m (10 ft 10 in) (T58)
Height 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Crew 6 (Commander, Gunner, Driver, Radio Operator, 2 x loader)

Armor Hull 4 inch maximum
Turret 11 inch maximum
Main
armament
155mm L/40 T7 rifled[1] gun
(T30)
(34 rounds)
155 mm L/40 T7E1 gun
(T30E1)
155 mm L/40 T180 gun
(T58)
(32 rounds)
Secondary
armament
2x M2 HB .50 cal (coaxial and cupola) and M1919A4 .30 cal (bow)
Engine Continental AV1790-3 air-cooled
704 hp (525 kW) net at 2,800 rpm
Power/weight 10 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion-bar
Operational
range
approx 100 miles (160 km)
Speed 22 mph (35 km/h) on roads

The Heavy Tank T30 was a World War II American tank project developed to counter new German tanks, such as Tiger I, Tiger II, and the Jagdtiger or Soviet heavy tanks, such as IS-1 or IS-2. The T30 was designed at the same time as the T29 Heavy Tank.

Early tanks[edit]

Plans for four pilot heavy tanks were put forward in 1944; two T29 with a 105 mm gun and two T30 with a 155 mm gun.[2] The T30 pilot models were started in April 1945 and were delivered in 1947.[3] Apart from modifications to fit the different engine, the chassis was the same as the T29.[4] The 155 mm (6.1 in) gun fired two-piece (shell and charge) ammunition. The loader was assisted by a spring rammer.[5] The T30 was fitted with one of the largest guns ever used on an American tank. The notably high, rounded edge, turret was needed to accommodate the standing loader and large gun mount. Even then the gun could only be loaded at limited elevations. It could carry a mixed assortment of 34 AP (Armored Piercing) or HE (high-explosive) rounds.[6]

Variants[edit]

One pilot model -designated T30E1 - had an automatic system added to load the ammunition. This brought the gun breech into position, loaded the round and then returned the gun to the initial angle. An additional hatch at the back of the turret was added for the automatic ejection of the empty shell casings.[7] The weight of the T30 shell was 43 kg (95 lb) and the charge 18 kg (40 lb), a total of 61 kg (134 lb) for the whole round, which made it difficult to handle and gave it a rate of fire of only two rounds per minute when manually loaded.[1] Another variant of the tank was the T30E2.

Tanks today[edit]

The surviving examples are in Fort Knox, Kentucky area. One surviving T30 is at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI. Another T30 is located at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.[8]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 220)
  2. ^ (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 70)
  3. ^ Pride, P. David (2014). "T30 Heavy Tank at Fort Knox". Retrieved June 2014. 
  4. ^ (Hunnicut 1988, p. 86)
  5. ^ Heavy Tank T30[dead link]
  6. ^ "T30 (Heavy Tank T30) - Heavy Tank (1945)". Military Factory.com. 2014. Retrieved June 2014. 
  7. ^ (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 91)
  8. ^ McKiernan, Danny (July 10, 2009). "Columbia, SC: Fort Jackson - Heavy Tank T-30". flickr.com. Retrieved July 2014. 
Sources
  • Hunnicutt, R.P (1988). Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank. Presidio. ISBN 0891413049.