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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: 23 Oct 1941 Romanian troops slaughter over 20,000 Jews in the Odessa area, in reprisal for bomb set by Soviets.  More 
23 Oct 1942 2nd Battle of El Alamein, Egypt begins; British successfully driving the German Afrika Korps out of Egypt [23 Oct-4 Nov].
23 Oct 1944 Naval Battle of Leyte Gulf begins in the Philippines, protecting US 6th Army Leyte beachheads from sea based attack [23-26 Oct].
23 Oct 1944 Palawan Island, Japanese armada detected on route to Leyte; American submarines sink two Japanese cruisers.
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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were used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions until withdrawn from service in the 1960s.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.

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