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- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Rocket Launcher T34 Calliope is a premium rank III American medium tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced with Update 1.49 "Weapons of Victory". Though using the base model of a M4 Sherman, it has a 60 round rocket rack sitting above the turret that fires 114 mm rockets at a general location. While giving the team a good edge in firepower, the rocket rack also presents a large weak point that can be targeted with a high-explosive round for an ammo-rack detonation.
This vehicle has guide rails for 114 mm M8 rockets mounted on an M4 tank turret. The main cannon is still usable at any time.
The rocket armaments greatest disadvantage is the inaccuracy, despite its fin-stabilized tail. There is no guidance system, thus every barrage needs to be fired in an arc, greatly increasing the warhead dispersion. Furthermore, the stabilizing fins showed little impact in lateral guidance when fired from the ground, in comparison with their aerial version.
Another drawback is the small warhead with only a 1.9 kg of high explosive filler. Adequate against barricades and entrenchments, but lacking in stopping power against heavy armoured vehicles such as tanks and pillboxes. It is recommended to use multiple rockets on even medium tanks. Additionally, as with any other ground vehicle firing unguided rockets, the weapon will present a very loud but distinct firing signature, allowing enemies to identify the type of vehicle as well as its location on the map. The distinct smoke trail from fired rockets can also reveal the position of the vehicle. However, the higher fire rate of the M8 rockets allows for multiple volleys of rockets to be fired quickly at a target. The ensuing flash, fire and smoke effects from constant barrage against a target can temporarily blind targets and thus can be used as an emergency smoke screen. This rocket launcher system allowed fire not only from a defilade position but also from point-blank range.
Drawbacks are the inaccuracy of the volleys due to arc fire and the lack of anti-tank damage. The warheads are pure HE, thus they need to hit thinly armoured areas, like rooftops and armour hulls above the tracks to be able to deal with any sort of damage. You may wish to get close to a target before firing a volley to have the best chance of your barrage hitting the target.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Front, Side, Rear, Hull roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Transmission area)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 50.8 mm (56°) Front glacis
50.8 mm (12-56°) Transmission area
50.8 (13-20°) + 25.4 mm (35°) Protruding hatches
| 38.1 mm
38.1 + 25.4 mm Appliqué addition
| 38.1 mm (0-10°) Top
25.4 mm (33-64°) Bottom
| 19.5 mm Sides |
12.7 mm Engine deck and center
|Turret|| 76.2-88.9 mm (4-67°) Turret front
50.8 + 88.9 mm Gun mantlet
|50.8 mm (0-68°)||50.8 mm (2-66°)||25.4 mm|
|Cupola||50.8 mm||25.4 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, bogies are 10 mm thick, and tracks are 17 mm thick.
- The front armour has two protruding areas for the driver and co-driver hatches. These are weak points, as they present a flat armour surface.
- Belly armour is 12.7 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|75 mm M3|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
Mass in kg
| Screen radius
| Screen time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass in g|
|97||91 (+6)||88 (+9)||86 (+11)||78 (+19)||63 (+34)||46 (+51)||31 (+66)||1 (+96)||No|
- To go into battle with the turret basket empty of ammo, pack 78 (+19) shells (racks 1 to 4 emptied).
- To go into battle with the turret basket and the flanks empty of ammo, pack 31 (+66) shells (Racks 1 to 7 empty).
- The 8th rack is large and located at a a weak spot: the bottom section of the armor. In case of penetration, there is a high risk of ammo rack detonation. Make sure not to expose your flanks unnecessarily.
|114 mm M8 rocket|
Rocket launcher tubes can easily be detonated by high-explosives when they are loaded with rockets.
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
The T34 Calliope is effective as a close-quarters brawler. It should aim to start engagements suddenly and spam rockets primarily at an enemy's main cannon and roof armour. It is a small chance that this will immediately disable or knock out an enemy vehicle. This is usually enough to either finish off the target with rockets or by using the 75mm cannon.
|II||Suspension||Brake System||FPE||Adjustment of Fire||M61 shot|
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism|
|This is a premium vehicle: all modifications are unlocked on purchase|
Pros and cons
- Quick-firing 75 mm gun with adequate shell options
- Is now equipped with 60 rockets, a salvo can blind or even cripple, if not destroy other enemy tanks
- Despite the rockets having very low penetration, the rack sits about a 1 meter above the already tall Sherman, allowing the calliope to hit the very weak top armour of its target at close range
- Reasonably good frontal protection, can work nicely when in down-tiers
- Turret is quite strong
- The Sherman is already a pretty large vehicle, the addition of the rockets makes the Calliope stick out like a sore thumb.
- The 75 mm gun begins to lack the penetration to go up against tougher foes
- Does not get access to the T45 APCR shot
- Rockets are inaccurate past ~100 meters
- Rockets act as a massive (and unarmoured) ammunition rack
- Rockets only have 29 mm of penetration
- Loses access to the .50 calibre M2 machine gun
- The distinctive firing sound of the rockets can lure unwanted enemies
- The rocket launcher is not linked to the main gun and will also aim at the target marker, meaning it will point downwards when you have returned to cover and the target marker is on the cover directly in front of you.
- Overall armour protection is no longer effective against tougher foes, especially against the German long 75 mm gun
- The extra 25.4 mm side plating indicates the location of ammunition racks (can be resolved by taking less than 23 cannon rounds)
Midway into World War II in 1943, the Western Allies realized that unlike the Soviet Union, they did not have any form of a "multiple rocket launcher system" that the Soviets had with their Katyusha Launchers trucks. The idea of rocket launchers isn't new at this period, they present some advantage over the standard mortar or howitzer. The rocket launcher can launch massive amounts of high-explosive ammunition at a longer distance at a shorter time with a greater psychological impact than normal artillery, at the price of a longer reload time and less accuracy. The Soviets showed the best utilization of this weapon with their Katyushas, having a whole bunch of them fire at a designated target, minimizing accuracy loss with a full area saturation of fire. The effectiveness of this system prompted the Allies to start producing some form of multiple rocket launcher system as well.
In 1943, the project began in the United States and the design was to use the current M4 Sherman tanks in service to mount the rocket launchers to bring into combat. The design, developed by Victor Hawkins, had a rocket mount on the Sherman turret with sixty launch tubes, all made to fire the 4.5 in. M8 rockets. The project gave the experimental tank design the designation T34, and the troops adopted the name "Calliope", which was the name of a steam organ and has a similar look.
These rocket launcher tanks were sent to France in 1944, although many never saw combat for various reasons. During its development, three different variants were made. The original T34 had 60 tubes for the 4.5 in. rockets with 36 fixed tubes on top and 24 on the bottom able to be jettisoned (except on the M4A1 Sherman variant). The second, T34E1, has the 24 jettisonable tubes replaced by 28 tubes, though the total tubes were still 60. The T34E2 had the rocket calibre increased from 4.5 in. to 7.2 in. with the same 60 tubes. This saw combat during the 1944-1945 time span.
However, the modifications of the Shermans seem unnecessary as the war progressed, new development had the rocket launcher system mated to trucks, armoured chassis, and jeeps so the tanks could be left alone to do its purpose. But when the Calliope saw service in the Pacific and Europe, its performance was moderately successful. The T34 was replaced by the T40 "Whiz Bang" Sherman, which was a Sherman with a tank-mounted multiple rocket launcher system like the T34, but only saw combat in the last few months of the war and had the 7.2 in. rockets.
A jet-powered volley-fire system on the base of regular Sherman tank, it received the addition of a T34E1 launch system with a tubes for M8 missiles. The first versions had the body of a T34, which did not allow them to fire the tank cannon, so a modification of the T34E1 was created that was equipped with a special adapter that allowed the tank cannon to be fired on that body.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A5|
|M26||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|Post-war||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1 · T95E1|
|MBT||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · MBT-70 · XM-803|
|XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams · M1A2 Abrams|
|Israeli||Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.2B|
|USA premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||LVT(A)(4) · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.) · M3A1 (USMC) · M8 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.) · T18E2|
|Medium tanks||Grant I · M4A5 · Calliope · T20 · M26 T99 · M26E1 · M46 "Tiger" · Magach 3 · XM-1 (GM) · XM-1 (Chrysler) · T54E1|
|Heavy tanks||T14 · Cobra King · T29 · T30|
|Tank destroyers||M8A1 · M18 "Black Cat" · Super Hellcat · T28 · T114|