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T23 Medium Tank

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T23

The prototype T23 medium tank.

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The T23 Medium Tank was a prototype tank that was produced in limited numbers by the United States during World War II.

Description

The vehicle had an armament consisting of a 76mm antitank gun, two .30 MGs, one mounted coaxially and one in the bow, and a .50 Browning M2 mount on top of the turret (a turret later adapted for use on the M4 Medium Tank). Multiple armaments were to be tested on the vehicle, but only the 76mm gun armed version was actually ever produced. The design was labelled "limited procurement" in May 1943, and 250 were built over the course of the next year or so. The T23 was not adopted for service partly because the Army Ground Forces did not want to disrupt M4 production, partly because they did not want to have to train crews on yet another type of tank, and partly because of its untried electrical transmission system. The design also had poor weight distribution and excessive ground pressure, and after an attempt to rectify this, two further variants were ordered, the T23E3 with torsion bar suspension and the T23E4 with horizontal volute suspension. The T23E4 was cancelled before the design was completed, but the T23E3 prototype was completed and the Torsion bar suspension was found to have reduced the ground pressure by 20% compared to the original T23. The tank's 474hp Ford GAN V8 engine gave it a maximum speed of about 56km/h, and the tank had a range of 160km. It had a crew of five, and weighed about 30 metric tons, with a length of 5.7 meters, a width of 3 meters, and a height of about 2.4 meters. The turret, known as the T80 turret, was deemed a successful design, unlike the rest of the tank, and was modified to see service in (76)W model Shermans. However, some modification was requires, such as the addition of a turret vent (as the T23 had an internal ventilation system in the hull, this wasn't needed in the original design, but was on the M4 that lacked such a system), and the removal of an extra lifting ring. The T23 featured a boom for lifting the power pack, and the extra lifting ring served to support part of the boom's rigging. A few early M4A3 (76)W tanks had turrets directly copied from the T23 program, and as such had this lifting ring and the lack of a vent. Overall the T23 could not be considered a successful medium tank, but it did pave the way for development of the T25 Medium Tank, and then the M26 Heavy Tank.

ReferencesEdit

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/turret_types/76mm_turrets.html http://ww2photo.se/tanks/usa/med/test/test.htm


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