Rocket Firing Shermans – 20 Awesome pics and video!

During the second world was the United States Army used a tank-mounted multiple rocket launcher the Rocket Launcher T34 (Calliope).

Placed on top of an M4 Sherman tank, it could fire 4.5 inch M8 rockets from 60 launch tubes.

19 December 1944 - Italy. A Rocket Launcher being tested and demonstrated for Fifth Army officers. The Launcher is mounted on a Sherman Tank and has 54 tubes.
19 December 1944 – Italy.
A Rocket Launcher being tested and demonstrated for Fifth Army officers. The Launcher is mounted on a Sherman Tank and has 54 tubes.

The Sherman was designed in 1940 and entered production the following year. The version that was the most common was armed with a 75 mm M3 L/40 gun and supported by a .50 cal Browning machine gun, accompanied with two more .30 cal machine guns, one in the turret and one in the hull.

This firepower was mainly used to support infantry attacks in combined actions. The tank’s armor was 93 mm (3.7 in), or 118 mm (4.6 in) in an improved version which utilized the 76 mm gun.

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There were 3 variants of the Calliope:

Rocket Launcher T34

60 4.5 inch rockets were carried in this version, arranged in a group of 36 tubes which were carried on top,  a two 12 tubes groups were carried on the bottom which could be jettisoned.

T34_Calliope_in_action_1945T34 Calliope in action 1945

Firing 4.5 inch rockets from M4-Sherman "Calliope" multiple rocket launcher, mounted on M-4, No. A-3 tank. 14th Armored, France.Firing 4.5 inch rockets from M4-Sherman “Calliope” multiple rocket launcher, mounted on M-4, No. A-3 tank. 14th Armored, France.

11081504613_a530037e81_bA T34 launcher mounted on top of a Sherman M4A3

Rocket_launcher_T34_Calliope_80th_DivisionRocket launcher T34 Calliope 80th Division

Sherman With T34 Launcher advancing in Germany - 1945Sherman With T34 Launcher advancing in Germany – 1945

52566738Loading rockets on a camouflaged Sherman

T34_Sherman_Calliope_Rocket_Launcher_14th_Armored_Division_1945T34 Sherman Calliope Rocket Launcher 14th Armored Division 1945. Note the sandbags attached to the sides.

Calliope_history_5Another shot of what appears to be the same Sherman

t34calliopeFour T34 equipped Sherman tanks, most probably in Germany 1945

Rocket Launcher T34E1

Basically the same as the T34 launcher but the groups of 12 jettisonable tubes were replaced by groups of 14 tubes.

It has proved very difficult to find pictures for this variant.

m4a1-medium-rocket-launcher-01T-34E1 launcher

mmu_get_jpegLoading rockets on a T34E1 launcher

Rocket Launcher T34E2

The caliber of the rockets was increased from 4.5 inch to 7.2 inch, the number of tubes remains at 60. It saw combat in 1944-1945.

9242db0d9669Loading rockets on a T34E2 launcher

1237211738_sh22Rare color image of the T34E2 launcher

sher-rocket-tank-1Soldiers of the 3rd Armored Div hanging around a Sherman Tank with a T34E2 launcher attached.

Sherman Tulips

In 1945, there were British Shermans fitted with two rails, one either side of the turret, which could carry two 60 lb headed rockets. Tanks of the 1st Coldstream Guards used them at the crossing of the Rhine. The tanks were called “Sherman Tulips”.

Sherman_tank_with_RP-3_rockets_Germany_06-04-1945_IWM_BU_3158Rocket-armed Sherman tank of the Coldstream Guards crossing the Dortmund-Ems Canal, April 1945

Tulip_rocket-600x465 (1)Close-up of the Sherman Tulip

IMG_1287_zpse74360bcShermans equipped with 60-pound rockets, on the first Sherman, the rocket on the right has been fired.

Sherman IC Firefly Tulip with hybrid hull
Sherman IC Firefly Tulip with hybrid hull

Video

https://youtube.com/watch?v=9_uP-AmUEzA