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  • First Tank to Shoot on Move

    Gents:

    After your excellent responses to my first AFV question ("Why do tanks burn?"), another query for you:
    What was the first production tank fitted to be fitted with a gun stablization system, allowing it to shoot on the move?
    Was the Centurion the leader in this area?

    Obviously, all tanks COULD shoot while moving - German armour crews note that T34s in the assault would do this, in order simply to keep the opposition's heads down while they moved into range - but few had a chance of actually hitting anything until gyroscopic stabilizers were fitted to main armaments.

    I have recently been told that the British Centurion was the first to be fitted with a gyroscopic gun stabilizer, but I recall reading that the first such device was actually fitted to a US tank that appeared in the closing months of WWII. Alas, I have lost that reference.

    Can anyone clarify?

    TIA.

    Andrew Salmon
    Seoul
    (82) 11-792-6315
    A massive attack...a brigade against an army...three nights of battle...an unforgettable tragedy.
    Sixty years later, the full story is told at last:
    http://tothelastround.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    Well if it was the first I don't know but the M4 Sherman was equiped with a gyro for stabilizing the gun. It didn't work that well though but it stil was a gyro.
    The safest place in Korea was behind a platoon of Marines. Lord how they could fight! - MGEN Frank Lowe, U.S. Army.
    ----
    We got a kinder, gentler, Machine gun hand - N.Y.

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    • #3
      The first US tank with a gyrostabilizer was the light tank M3, which beat the also stabilized medium tank M3 into service by 3 months (March and June 1941, respectively).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by McCoy View Post
        Well if it was the first I don't know but the M4 Sherman was equiped with a gyro for stabilizing the gun. It didn't work that well though but it stil was a gyro.
        IIRC the stabilization was only in one plane. It might not count but the British 2pdr tanks could fire accurately on the move as the Gunner used his legs to ride out the shocks. The 6Pdr was to large to do that with tough, so the practice fell out of use..

        There's a story (dunno how true it is though) of a US officer showing off a Stuart and it's stabilization to some Australians. He drove round the course banging away, and hardly any of the rounds hit the targets. and he jumps out all chuffed at hitting with any.

        The Australians weren't impressed and wheeled out one of their valentines and soundly trounced his score.
        Winnie says
        ---------------------------------
        "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

        It was an Accident."
        Herr Flick.

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        • #5
          IIRC the M4 was only stabilized on the verticle axis. Centurion still sounds the the first to me.
          Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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          • #6
            As far as I can find Centurion MkIII was the first main battle tank in the world to utilize main gun stabilization in both elevation and azimuth. The MkIII also mounted the 20pdr Gun. This tank did not see WWII at all.
            Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

            History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
            Lazarus Long

            Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
            David Bowie

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            • #7
              Wasn't the T26E stabilized in two axis?
              The safest place in Korea was behind a platoon of Marines. Lord how they could fight! - MGEN Frank Lowe, U.S. Army.
              ----
              We got a kinder, gentler, Machine gun hand - N.Y.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by McCoy View Post
                Wasn't the T26E stabilized in two axis?
                I checked on the American Tanks it looks that there was some stabilization but nothing that would grant fire on the move until the M60 series. With the Russians I believe it was the T62 had some limited fire on the move ability, which got better as the various T series were produced.

                Now that all being said I still wonder why the Americans were slow in buying into the fire on the move capabilities, seeing they had an Ally who was making it work??

                Until I see something different it's the Centurion MkIII.
                Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                Lazarus Long

                Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                David Bowie

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                • #9
                  I seem to recall something along the lines that American tankers would disable the gyro since it was hazardous to the crew.
                  If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
                    I seem to recall something along the lines that American tankers would disable the gyro since it was hazardous to the crew.
                    Only in that SOP was to have a tank with working Stabilization on point, so it could get the first round off while legging it.

                    When they dropped that apparently the number of working stabilization systems increased by quiet allot.
                    Winnie says
                    ---------------------------------
                    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                    It was an Accident."
                    Herr Flick.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by McCoy View Post
                      Wasn't the T26E stabilized in two axis?
                      Pershing was not stabilized.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Listy View Post
                        Only in that SOP was to have a tank with working Stabilization on point, so it could get the first round off while legging it.

                        When they dropped that apparently the number of working stabilization systems increased by quiet allot.
                        Listy, maybe I'm not having a good time with my mother tongue tonight, please explain?
                        Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                        History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                        Lazarus Long

                        Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                        David Bowie

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                        • #13
                          Would You Be Willing To Believe?

                          The PzKpfw II

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Duke William View Post
                            The PzKpfw II
                            Actualy, the up-down stablization on the SHerman was a little trickey, but it did work very well... IF it was maintained properly.
                            The Greatest Generation could fight, but they were not as gadget-oriented as the men we have now.

                            The Mark II? Why, because of the suspension?

                            Any tank can fire on the move... and has done so, but could they hit something?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PzKfwBob View Post
                              Listy, maybe I'm not having a good time with my mother tongue tonight, please explain?
                              normal procedure was to put Sherman's with working stabilization on the point of the advance. That way when ambushed the tanks would be able to drive off while engaging the enemy. This is hazardous to the crew
                              Winnie says
                              ---------------------------------
                              "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                              It was an Accident."
                              Herr Flick.

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