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: 30 Apr 1940 Two killed on the ground in Clacton-on-Sea by the crash of a German Heinkel aircraft, England's first civilian casualties of the war.  More 
30 Apr 1945 Germans abandon Stalag Luft I -- near Barth, Germany -- as advancing Russian forces near, liberating nearly 9,000 Allied airmen imprisoned there.
30 Apr 1945 American troops enter Munich, Germany, the Bavarian capital, finding the city largely destroyed and undefended.
30 Apr 1945 Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin.
30 Apr 1945 Following Hitler's suicide, Adm. Karl Dönitz succeeds him as President of Germany while Joseph Göbbels succeeds as Chancellor.
30 Apr 1945 Soviet flag raised over the Reichstag in Berlin.
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were used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions until withdrawn from service in the 1960s.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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