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Sherman “Calliope”

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by Ruud, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Hi,
    This is a 1/76 scale Sherman “Calliope” from Airfix. Horrible flash on every single part and poor fitting parts. But it’s done. Didn’t bother anymore to add electrical wires to the tubes. I did drill out all 60 tubes though..I experimented some weathering with weathering powder.

     
  2. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    Nice, and the weathering too. I have been building various models off and on since about 1956. I never heard of that company as Revell has a reputation for flash and poor fitting parts even though they have been around forever. They were the models I built as a kid. Tamiya models are great in fit and no flash. But actually, the last I built was a Revell P51D Mustang and yes, the fuselage to the wing fit was bad. Tried to fill in the gap with putty and painted it. As I have aged I have often opted for a diecast or two. But during this COVID-19 thing I wanted something to do so I built the aircraft.
     
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  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Again, a great job!
     
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  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Given the base tank probably dates from the 1961 moulds, that's damned fine/patient work.
    Their recent stuff is very good. Slide-moulded etc., but there's still some horrors from the past lurking.

    Don't ever be tempted by their Churchill in that scale. Legendarily bad.
     
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  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    looks very menacing
     
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  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Not a modeling comment, but does anyone know how the Calliope was employed in combat?
     
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  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good show, Ruud.
     
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  8. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Thanks !
     
  9. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    This almost drove me mad. Will consider not building the Churchill then :)
     
  10. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Thanks !
     
  11. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Wikipedia:
    Although Calliopes were originally manufactured before D-Day and were envisioned for bunker-busting duties on the beaches, the proposal was dropped due to the tank's high center of gravity which makes its transportation unsteady. Thirty M4s of the 743rd Tank Battalion had the T34 launchers installed to assist a planned push by the 30th Infantry Division in December 1944. The German Ardennes offensive stopped this plan, and the launchers were subsequently removed.

    In 1945, it was used in various actions by the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 12th, and 14th Armored Divisions. Although seeing limited action, it was effective as a weapon for psychological warfare. The noise generated by launches was enough to scare enemy soldiers.
     
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  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    From my manuscript, For Purpose of Service Test,


    U.S. Army Ordnance expended considerable time, effort, and expense developing battlefield artillery rockets. No less than four successively improved designs of 4.5-inch folding fin (M6, M8A1, M8A2, and M8A3) and three spin-stabilized (M16, T38, and T38E2) HE rockets were produced, albeit the better spin-stabilized rockets did not appear until January 1945 and only saw limited use in the Pacific.[1] At least twenty different launchers were also designed for air and ground launching the rockets. However, just two launchers, the T32 32-tube and the T34 60-tube launchers were designed for tank mountings, firing the folding fin rockets. Only the T34, nicknamed ‘Calliope’ was tested in combat in the ETO, as was a locally produced variant in Italy. As described by The General Board Report, Armored Special Equipment,[2]

    The T34 is a 60 tube 4.5 inch multiple rocket launcher designed to be mounted above the turret of the M4 (Sherman) medium tank. The rockets are discharged electrically from inside the tank at the rate of one round each half second. The 60 rockets can thus be discharged in 30 seconds. The launcher is linked to the gun tube and is elevated and depressed by means of the gun elevating mechanism. The launcher rotates with the turret. Maximum range is 4000 yards. Range dispersion is considerable and was found to be unpredictable. The launcher can be jettisoned from inside the tank.

    Unfortunately, in practice the T34 did not work as well as advertised. The range dispersion of the rockets was 15 mils, great enough that firing them overhead troops was impractical. The rockets also frequently misfired, while the jettison feature also frequently did not work. Several modifications, suggested from the field attempted to correct some of these and other problems, in a T34E1 and T34E2 version, but with limited success. Worse, the tankers questioned why adding an additional complicated device to tanks that detracted from its primary role as a tank was considered necessary, when a truck-mounted or towed version would be just as effective. Nevertheless, the ‘Calliope’ was used frequently, albeit in small numbers. The 743d Tank Battalion, attached to the 30th Infantry Division, XIX Corps, Ninth U.S. Army was preparing to use thirty launchers in mass near Herzogenrath in a renewed drive on the Roer River on 16 December 1944. The German counteroffensive in the Ardennes aborted those plans. The launchers were discarded when the 743d and the 30th were abruptly shifted south to blunt the German attack. The launchers were never reinstalled. It is known the 4.5-inch Rocket Launcher T34 was also used at different times by the 2d, 4th, 6th, and 14th Armored Division and the 702d, 712th, 753d, and 8781st Tank Battalion.[3]


    [1] War Department, Technical Bulletin 9X-98, 4.5-inch Multiple Rocket Launchers T66 and T66E2, dated 10 Jan 45.

    [2] The General Board, USFET, Armored Special Equipment, p. 41.

    [3] The General Board, USFET, Armored Special Equipment, p. 41.
     
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  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    So they mounted them on thirty of the battalion's Sherman - two companies? - and I guess the idea was to fire them off at the outset of the attack, then jettison the launchers and go forward? I think I'd agree with the tankers who suggested using towed or truck-mounted rockets.

    There's a film often seen on history TV shows of 1/2 ton trucks firing 4.5" rockets; that seems like a good system.
     
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  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..sounds odd for bunker busting....did they have the power/energy for that? maybe log bunkers?
     
  15. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    I think they were not accurate enough for pinpointing fire at such static targets.
     
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  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..that's what I would think
    ..I'm looking up ammo weights..it says 4.3 lbs warhead for the M8 rocket ....this is about same as 105mm shell??
    ..yes, the Calliope was an area weapon
     
  17. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    It seems it had indeed the same ‘punch’ as the 105mm howitzer shells. Range about 4100 yards.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The T40 was a bombardment rocket. It was never intended as a direct-fire weapon. The direct fire demolition rocket launcher was the 7.2-inch Rocket Launcher T40 (standardized as the M17. It was a very short range and fairly inaccurate direct fire rocket launcher intended to be used against fortifications. The wading tanks of the 70th, 741st, and 743d Tank Battalions were originally going to mount them for the assault on D-Day, but the height and weight of the mounting, combined with the raised fliring platforms on the LCT(A) and LCT(HE) combined to make an already unstable craft worse, so they were never mounted for the actual assault.
     
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