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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: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
25 Oct 1944 First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

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were used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions until withdrawn from service in the 1960s.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.

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