T30 Heavy Tank

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Heavy Tank T30
T30 Heavy Tank.JPG
T30 Heavy Tank in Aberdeen Proving Ground 1945
TypeHeavy tank
Place of origin United States of America
Service history
In serviceTrials only
Used by United States Army
Production history
Designed1945–1947
ManufacturerPressed Steel Car Company
Detroit Arsenal
Produced1945-1947
No. built2
VariantsT30E1
Specifications
Mass190,000 lb (86 t) combat loaded
Length42 ft 3 in (12.88 m) gun forward
32 ft 10 in (10.01 m) gun aft
Width12 ft 5 in (3.78 m) over sand shields
Height10 ft 7 in (3.23 m) over cupola
Crew6 (commander, gunner, driver, radio operator, 2 x loader)[1]

Armorhull front 102–203 mm (4.0–8.0 in) maximum
gun shield 279 mm (11.0 in) maximum
turret front 303 mm (11.9 in) [1]
Main
armament
155mm T7 L/40 rifled gun (34 rounds) (T30)
155mm T7E1 L/40 rifled gun autoloader (34 rounds) (T30E1, T30E2)
Secondary
armament
2 x .50 in (12.7mm) M2HB AA (1,500 rounds), coaxial & pintle-mounted
2 x .30 in (7.6 mm) Browning M1919A4, bow & coaxial (2,500 rounds)
Engine1,791.7 cu in (29.361 L) Continental AV1790-3 air-cooled
810 hp (600 kW) net at 2800 rpm
Power/weight11.7 hp/t (8.7 kW/t)
TransmissionGeneral Motors CD-850-1 crossdrive, three speeds (two forward, one reverse)
Suspensiontorsion-bar
Ground clearance18.8 in (48 cm)
Fuel capacity350 US gal (290 imp gal; 1,300 L)
Operational
range
100 mi (160 km)
Speed23 mph (37 km/h) (on road)

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 tank destroyers, such as 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 separate loading (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 (armor 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 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.[8]

Survivors[edit]

T30 Heavy Tank at Fort Jackson, South Carolina

There are surviving examples in Fort Benning, Georgia.[citation needed] One surviving T30 is at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI. Another is at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.[9]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Hunnicutt, Firepower, p.197.
  2. ^ (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 70)
  3. ^ Pride, P. David (2014). "T30 Heavy Tank at Fort Knox". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  4. ^ (Hunnicut 1988, p. 86)
  5. ^ Heavy Tank T30 Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "T30 (Heavy Tank T30) - Heavy Tank (1945)". Military Factory.com. 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  7. ^ (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 91)
  8. ^ (Hunnicutt 1988, p. 220)
  9. ^ McKiernan, Danny (July 10, 2009). "Columbia, SC: Fort Jackson - Heavy Tank T-30". flickr.com. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
Sources
  • Hunnicutt, R.P (1988). Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank. Presidio. ISBN 0891413049.