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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tanks a Lot by RangerElite

Weapons Development in WWIII 1946 by Ranger Elite

Armored Vehicle Airdrop Experiment
Military Air Transport Service Command
Scott Army Airfield, Illinois

Someone had the bright idea of parachute-dropping a perfectly good armored vehicle out of a perfectly good airplane. I think they got the idea from watching the Limeys dropping SAS jeeps, slung from the underside of Handley-Paige Halifax bombers. Or, they might have heard of Soviet experiments from the 1930's, where they dropped small tankettes from low altitude, without parachutes. But it took an American to perfect the system, to allow for heavier loads, dropped from the internal load bay of a specially-designed cargo aircraft. This might work...
Everyone was buzzing over the scuttlebutt about what happened at Muroc: A man traveled faster than the speed of sound. And furthermore, the rumor was that he was the son of one of their own, their former commanding general, Brigadier General Robert Olds, who died of chronic illness back in 1943. But there was another project happening here. One that involved the transport and air drop of combat vehicles, a feat never before tried in this manner, under actual combat conditions. Off in the distance, a flight of four new C-74C Globemaster transport aircraft are being loaded with three M38A3 Wolfhound armored cars, fitted with turrets from the M24 Chaffee, and a command jeep, into each aircraft.
The only difficulty they've had, thus far, was loading the armored cars, which had been fitted with turrets that mounted a long, high-velocity, 76mm main gun, the same gun installed on the Sherman Firefly tank. This necessitated that the turrets be turned off-center, to accommodate the loading of each armored car, up the long wheel ramps, and into the cargo bays of the aircraft, onto their pallets. Each pallet was equipped with five cargo parachutes, each parachute measuring 100 feet in diameter, enough to slow a cargo pallet weighing a little over 10 tons, down to 15 feet per second. Finally, the loading of all four aircraft was complete and they began to taxi down the runway. They looked a little heavy rolling down the tarmac...
Using most of the runway, each bird made it airborne, and began to wheel around toward the drop zone, some 50 miles away, in Illinois farmland. Each aircraft flew to an altitude of 30,000 feet before opening their cargo bay doors, then, one by one, loadmasters clipped the pallet's master static line clip to the ramp, and pushed each pallet out the door. As soon as each pallet cleared the ramp, the static lines pulled the rip-cords for the cargo pallets and deployed the parachutes. As the armored cars and jeeps fell to earth, another aircraft, carrying the airborne-qualified armored car crewmen, began dropping them on the drop zone. The airborne armored car crews immediately found their vehicles and fired them up, and got them going, in less than twenty minutes. The jumpmasters observing the experiment were suitably impressed that the crews of an armored car platoon of 12 and their 3 command jeeps were able to get their equipment and get them going, all within 30 minutes of aircraft liftoff... But this was an experiment, obviously improving on what the Brits and the Soviets had done before. We'll see how well it'll work in actual combat conditions...

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