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: 16 Sep 1940 Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 signed by Pres. Roosevelt, beginning the military draft of US men aged 21-36.  More 
16 Sep 1941 German encirclement of Soviet forces in Kiev completed, to be followed by ruthless German attacks to annihilate the trapped Red Army troops.
16 Sep 1943 Malaya Zemlya enclave of Novorossiysk port on the Black Sea, after holding out against Wehrmacht for 225 days, liberated by the Red Army.
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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were used by airborne battalions and airborne infantry tank companies of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions until withdrawn from service in the 1960s.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.