Today in WW II: 17 Dec 1939 German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee is scuttled at Montevideo, Uruguay after Battle of the River Plate, first major naval battle of WW II.  More 
17 Dec 1944 Malmedy Massacre: Germans of the 1st SS Panzer Division execute 84 American prisoners of war during the Battle of the Bulge.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-103 Heavy Tank

The M-103 (T43 in prototype) was authorized in 1952, the first US heavy tank. The design was not very successful, especially its underpowered engine. It served as a back-up tank destroyer until replaced in 1963 by the M-60 Patton Tank. Only 200 of these M-103s were produced.

The M-103 was armed with a 120mm main gun plus two .50 cal. machine guns. It weighed 62.5 tons and was powered by the Continental AV 1790-5B gasoline engine used in the M47/M48 series tanks.

T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
T43/M-103 at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.