Monday, January 10, 2011
T50 Patton By Mad Missouri
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
August 30th, 1946
Well Colonel, What do you think? That beast is the final complete test vehicle of the new T50 Patton tank. If all goes well this tank will be standardized as the M50 Patton medium tank early next month.
My God, I thought they were kidding about naming it after Patton. So this is the answer to the Russian Stalin tanks, huh? I’m not seeing anything much different from the M26 tanks. Give me the run down on it.
Yes, Sir. We made great strides with this project. Once the President made up his mind we got straight to work. That turned out to be a very important, because the Centurion isn’t nearly as good as what Mr. Churchill said it was. It’s a maintenance nightmare. Hell it took us 15 hour to get the engine out of the first English tank we received. I thought we were doing something wrong, but the 2 English engineers that came over with the drawings said that it normally takes them 12 hours to pull an engine. And it’s a gas hog. The very best range we got with the English test tank was 45 miles. Once we took it off road the range dropped to around 30 miles. The turret is a real piece of work also; luckily we never planned on using the English turret anyways.
Major this isn’t making me feel any better. Give me the positives of switching tanks mid war.
Well Sir, I think the T50 is going to make you happy. It’s more of an improved version of the English tank, than just a copy. First we kept the 4 man crew. The turret is a new design made of cast armor, with a very narrow forward profile. The main armament is the 90mm M3 gun fitted with a muzzle break and bore evacuator. The secondary armament is a coaxial mounted .30 caliber Browning, and a .50 caliber Browning mounted before the tank commanders hatch for use as an anti-aircraft weapons. We replaced the English made engine with a Ford V12 GAC engine from the T29 heavy tank project. That engine is rated at about 770 hp, which is 120 more horse power than the English engine. That makes the T50 a little faster than the Centurion. We had to do a major redesign of the hull to fit the Ford engine, which allowed us also to increase fuel capacity, and make maintenance much easier. The test hulls got around 160 miles with the sheet steel mock up turrets. We got around 100 to 110 mile range once we put a full combat load in the complete tanks.
Well it sure sounds impressive. What’s the planned production? When will we have some for the Armor School at Fort Knox?
Right now, 20 tanks ready. 10 of those are going to Fort Knox, 10 to one of the new Armored Divisions. We have the Detroit and Fisher Tank Arsenals tooling up for full production and they should be on line by the end of next month. Also production contracts have been given to 4 civilian companies. We hope to have close to 2000 ready by March.
Alright, what’s next?
Yes, Sir. Follow me please; the M38 Wolfhound armored car is next.