M-56 Scorpion SP Anti-Tank Gun

The requirement that led to the M-56 Scorpion was set in 1948, for an air-portable self-propelled anti-tank gun (SPAT). After refinement of the design, the Cadillac Division of General Motors was awarded the contract for the vehicle which was produced from 1953 to 1959.

M56 Scorpion Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun, 82d Airborne Division Museum, Ft. Bragg, NC
M56 Scorpion Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun, 82d Airborne Division Museum, Ft. Bragg, NC.

Today in WW II: 27 May 1941 After a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy, German battleship Bismarck sunk.  More 
27 May 1942 British-trained Czech paratroopers attempt to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich in Prague [Operation Anthropoid].
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M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun

The full track self propelled M-56 Scorpion mounted a 90mm gun that used rounds similar to the standard 90mm tank gun but with a reduced charge. The vehicle's light weight and powerful gun resulted in violent recoil. Its crews disliked the M-56 for many reasons, primarily because there was no protection from enemy fire or the elements. They were used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions until withdrawn from service in the 1960s.

M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun
M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun at Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun
M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun at Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun
M-56 Scorpion Self Propelled Anti-Tank Gun at National Infantry Museum, Ft. Benning, GA.