Calliope

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Rocket Launcher T34 Calliope
us_m4_sherman_calliope.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
4.3/4.3/4.3BR
5 peopleCrew
Mobility
30.6 tWeight
5 forward
1 back
Gear box
Armament
114 mm M8 rocketWeapon 1
60 roundsAmmunition
-9° / 12°Vertical guidance
260 m/sFlight speed
4 500 mRange
97 roundsAmmunition
-10° / 25°Vertical guidance
verticalStabilizer
3 000 roundsAmmunition
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
Economy
9 740 Ge icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 290/2 100/2 760Repair
10 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
240 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
550 Ge icon.pngAces
x 2.54 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage Calliope.jpg


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. However, the additional rocket payload makes fire from the main cannon impossible. All rockets have to be used before the 75mm can be fired. The coaxial LMG is not affected by this.

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. 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 in some cases can cause sudden software performance dips such as drops in frame rate due to the smoke effects, hindering enemy targeting.

This rocket launcher system allowed fire not only from a defilade position but also from point-blank range. So, once all the rockets have been fired, the Calliope may continue to fight as a standard tank.

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.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • 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
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 50.8 mm 25.4 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, bogies are 10 mm thick, and tracks are 17 mm thick.
  • Front armour has two protruding areas for driver and co-driver hatches. These are weak points as they present a flat armour surface.
  • Belly armour is 12.7 mm thick.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
30.6 N/A 42 (AB)
38 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 620 763
Realistic/Simulator 354 400
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 20.26 24.93
Realistic/Simulator 11.57 13.07

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: M3 (75 mm)
75 mm M3
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
104 -10°/+25° ±180° Vertical
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 14.28 19.80 24.0 26.60 28.20
Realistic 14.28 16.80 20.4 22.60 24.00
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
6.50 5.75 5.30 5.00
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
M72 shot AP 110 109 92 76 62 51
M48 shell HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
M61 shot APCBC 90 88 81 73 65 59
T45 shot APCR 143 137 127 106 86 70
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
M72 shot AP 619 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M48 shell HE 463 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M61 shot APCBC 618 6.8 1.2 20 63.7 +4° 48° 63° 71°
T45 shot APCR 868 3.8 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
M89 259 3 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
97 85 (+12) 73 (+24) 61 (+36) 49 (+48) 37 (+60) 25 (+72) 13 (+84) (+96) Yes

Turret empty: 49 (+48)

Rocket launcher racks can be easily detonated
by high-explosives when there are rockets.

Additional armament

114 mm M8 rocket
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Flight
speed (m/s)
Range (m)
60 -9°/+12° 260 4,500

Machine guns

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm M1919A4
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A

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.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Armament:
    • 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
  • Armour:
    • Reasonably good frontal protection, can work nicely when in down-tiers
    • Turret is quite strong

Cons:

  • Size:
    • The Sherman is already a pretty large vehicle, the addition of the rockets makes the Calliope stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Armament:
    • 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
  • Armour:
    • 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)
  • Price:
    • The Calliope is the most expensive premium vehicle in War Thunder, clocking in at an astounding 9,740 Golden Eagles

History

Development

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.

Combat usage

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.

In-game description

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.

Media

Camouflages & skins

Skins and camouflages for the T34 Calliope from live.warthunder.com

Images

The T34 "Calliope" firing a salvo of 4.5 inch rockets.

Videos

WW2 News Reel:
"1944 M4 T34 Calliope"

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


USA medium tanks
Early projects  Medium Tank M2
M3  M3 Lee · Grant I · M4A5
M4  M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W
M26  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1
Post-war  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T95E1 · ADATS
MBT  M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · MBT-70 · XM-803 · XM-1 (GM) · XM-1 (Chrysler) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams
Israeli  Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1

USA premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  Light Tank M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.) · Light Tank M3A1 Stuart (USMC) · Light Armored Car M8 · M5A1 Stuart (5th Canadian Armored Division) · T18E2 "Boarhound"
Medium tanks  Cruiser Tank Grant I · M4A5 Ram II · Rocket Launcher T34 Calliope · T20 · Medium Tank M26 T99 · Medium Tank M26E1 · Medium Tank M46 Patton (73 Tank Batalion) · Magach 3 · Tank, Combat, Full-Tracked, 105-mm Gun XM-1 (GM) · Tank, Combat, Full-Tracked, 105-mm Gun XM-1 (Chrysler) · T54E1
Heavy tanks  Assault Tank T14 · Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo "Cobra King" · Heavy Tank T29 · Heavy Tank T30
Tank destroyers  75 mm Gun Motor Carriage M8 · M18 Gun Motor Carriage "Black Cat" · M18 90-mm Gun Motor Carriage · Super Heavy Tank T28 · T114