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M56 Scorpions -
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:35 pm
Post subject: M56 Scorpions -

Searching around the net, found this photo,...thought it was cool



Site includes M56 and the M52:

M56 Scorpion and M52 SPA

Don

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:42 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

Interesting, appears it was used by the Spanish Marine Corps? Babelfish says: "Mixed Company of Anti-tank guns and Antiaircraft Arms of the Battalion of Heavy Arms of Disembarkation of the Support battalion of the Special Group, turned as of 1969 the Third of Navy."

I wasnt aware any had ever been exported... Looks like the M52s were used by the Spanish Marines, if the beach-crossing picture is any indication.

Gotta love the Scorpion's crew protection though!





Neil
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:50 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

I had photos of the one at Camp Shelby, but can't seem to find them. It is real nice, for a cosmetic resto.

Going thru some old museum photos, I found several shots of the M56 in the Patton Museum back in the 70's. Its long gone.

A pity, that would make a good companion to the restored Ontos for an 'Armor in Asia' presentation,....hmmmmm


.....and 'they' said the Ontos have no protection...!!!

Don
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:01 am
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

What happened to the Patton Museum's M56?

I am have seen M56s at APG, Fort Bragg and the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

Neil
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:32 am
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

Hi Folks!

MAN! Talk about RECOIL! Crying or Very sad

That's three out of four road wheels off the ground. I though the Sheridan was bad, but I think the M56 might have the worst recoil of all vehicles.

My 2 cents,
Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:45 am
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

Roy, You took the words right out of my mouth! What a kick! Surprised

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oldtop
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:30 am
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

Each M56 plt had 5 guns and 6 2-1/2 ton trucks, our Anti-tank company, Ontos (pigs) would have shoot-outs with them in Hawaii, 5 trucks for ammo and one to haul all the parts that fell off during the shoot! From one month to the next the shooting procedures would change, gunner onboard during firing, gunner off, gunner on , loader off...etc.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:28 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

How far could the gun be traversed on these? From the looks of the seat mounting in the pic above, it appears to be mounted above and below the point of rotation...doesn't seem right, somehow.

Obviously, I'm asking about traverse because of the noted recoil of this vehicle...anything much over 35º looks kinda' risky...maybe less.

Quote for the day: "If you identified all the characteristics we normally associate with what makes a good tank, and systematically eliminated them from the design, the M56 is the vehicle you'd end up with." - Jacques Littlefield (who owns and knows plenty about both), personal conversation.

OK, it's a bit harsh, given the mission of the vehicle, but from a purely technical perspective, one can see his point.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

Hi Doug! Hi Folks!

- Doug_Kibbey

How far could the gun be traversed on these?


Traverse 30 degrees left and right.
Elevation +15 degrees.
Depression -10 degrees.

Max recoil 1.1 meters.

29 rounds carried

Ammo similar to that used on the M48 but with reduced charge.
Ammo types muzzle velocity
APC-T 853 m/s
HEAT 853 m/s
AP-T 914 m/s
TP-T 941 m/s
HE 823 m/s
WP 823 m/s
HEAT-T 1.219 m/s

Sold it to Morocco and Spain. (My note: I didn't know we had done that either)

Engine continental A01-403-5, 6 cylinder air cooled opposed fuel injection petrol, 200 BHP at 3,000 rpm

Armor: NIL (My note: try to think of this vehicle as a jeep with a 90 mm cannon on it and not a light tank).

Sometimes it is helpful to have an old Jane's still around.
Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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oldtop
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:41 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

The one thing Jecque lacked (and this isn't ment to take anything away from him) is he has never sat in the seat of a vehicle in combat, hell I know a guy down the road who had two of them, both ran for a while. but that didn't make him an expert on anti-tank warfare. The M56 was never ment to be a tank, it was a desperate effort to make an anti-tank weapon air transportable, much like the Ontos, at the time there was not a single MBT that could be moved by air in service with the U.S military, the BAT wasn't cutting it and everybody knew the air-moble tank in the U.S. inventory was the "tin can M41". The towed 90mm AT guns under development during WWII were to dam heavy to manhandle (something the Marine Corps forgot before they accepted the M198 towed 155mm How.) So they put the a 90mm gun on a light tracked carrige and did away with the handling problem. Have any of you contributing member ever watch a M101 105mm howitzer section place that gun in action under combat condidtions, I've seen section members collapse trying to manhandle their gun while under fire, its enough to make you cry..which I did).
..As you can see by the photo I spent some time at Jacque's place too.


Last edited by oldtop on Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:50 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

- oldtop
The M56 was never ment to be a tank, it was a desperate effort to make an anti-tank weapon air transportable, much like the Ontos, at the time there was not a single MBT that could be moved by air in service with the U.S military, the BAT wasn't cutting it and everybody knew the air-moble tank in the U.S. inventory was the "tin can M41".


Exactly, and I (and he) was allowing for that with the "mission of the vehicle" caveat. However, the characterization of the design as "desperate" says something about the degree of compromise this entailed, and I completely agree with your description of it as such. Necessary evil, and all that...best available for the mission in the time and circumstances...but not necessarily "good". I certainly would not have been enthused about serving on one of these, had I been old enough at the time they were deployed in numbers.
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oldtop
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:02 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

And both vehicles (M56 and Ontos) served very well in the later stages of Nam with Army units as fire support vehicles (again something the Marine Corps hasn't learned yet)
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:14 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Doug! Hi Folks!

- Doug_Kibbey

How far could the gun be traversed on these?


Traverse 30 degrees left and right.
Elevation +15 degrees.
Depression -10 degrees.

Max recoil 1.1 meters.

29 rounds carried

Ammo similar to that used on the M48 but with reduced charge.
Ammo types muzzle velocity
APC-T 853 m/s
HEAT 853 m/s
AP-T 914 m/s
TP-T 941 m/s
HE 823 m/s
WP 823 m/s
HEAT-T 1.219 m/s


Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile


I wonder if the standard 90mm round would physically fit in the M-56 gun? (was the reduced charge in the same dimensional case?)

If so could we be seeing a picture of one firing a full charge round?

either through a mistake or a 'If the press wants a fantastic picture watch this' situation.

Just a thought

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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:20 pm
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

- Neil_Baumgardner
What happened to the Patton Museum's M56?

I am have seen M56s at APG, Fort Bragg and the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

Neil


They have one at the museum at Ft. Benning, too.

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:21 am
Post subject: Re: M56 Scorpions -

The germans also had them. From what I can translate they seem to have had them from 1959 - 1968. Number unknown but they seem to have had enough to convert one to a driver training vehicle.

Images on JED next week sometime.

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