History of the T14 (Assault Tank T14)

The U.S.-British joint T14 heavy tank assault tank program began at the beginning of World War II (1939-1945) when both countries sought to upgrade their existing lines of M4 Sherman and Churchill infantry tanks to match the latest German tank competition. While both proved to be effective designs, the Sherman lacked armor protection, while the Churchill proved to be a hulking, armored beast. The T14 will address both issues in a joint development, and then the owner will attach local weapons and equipment and operate as needed. The optimistic plan yielded only a pair of pilot vehicles, in which Sherman and Churchill evolved into improved forms, negating the need for a new general-purpose machine. The T14 program was subsequently discontinued for a short time, and two prototypes were evaluated and eventually discarded by both countries.

Some work influenced the T20 medium tank program that the Americans eventually abandoned - which would be the successor to the M4 Sherman series.

The order to build two pilot vehicles went to American Locomotive. Orders were received as early as 1942, but in the rapidly changing environment of warfare, progress on the model proved slow. Prototypes were not ready for formal evaluation until 1944, by which time other tank lines had grown into successful (or adequate) combat platforms, combined with airstrikes for air superiority, advances in infantry-class man-portable anti-tank weapons, and professional The rise of tank destroyers and assault guns. Therefore, the T14 program has no further development beyond these two prototypes.

While the design provided the desired armor protection, it was as slow as the Churchill and offered little beyond that.

When completed, the T14 became a 41 ton heavy vehicle with either a British 57mm 6lb QF or American 75mm M3 main gun. Local defense consists of 2 x .30 machine guns and optional .50 caliber heavy machine guns for air defense. Power is provided by a 520-horsepower Ford GAN V8 engine, giving the vehicle a top speed of 17 mph and a range of 100 miles. The armor protection is 133 mm at its thickest point. The design features a rear-mounted engine, sloping armor, and a centrally mounted turret.

In the track arrangement, six twin-tire wheels are placed on three separate support units, with the drive sprocket at the front and the track idler at the rear. The side armor is well contoured from the sloped hull sides of the superstructure to the upper track section. The main gun should carry 50 x 75mm projectiles and the 0.30 caliber gun should carry up to 9,000 rounds.

The five crew members include a driver, an auxiliary driver, a gunner, a loader and a commander. Dimensions include 20' 4" barrel length, 10' 5" width and 9' 10" height.

T14 (Assault Tank T14) Specification

Basic

Year:
1944
Staff:
5
Manufacturing:
American Locomotive Company - USA
Production:
2 units

Roles

- fire support/attack/damage

- Tank vs Tank

- Support/Special Purpose

Dimensions

Length:

6.2m

Width:

10.50 ft (3.2 m)

Height:

9. 84 feet (3 m)

Weight:

41 tons (37,200 kg; 82,012 lb)

Performance

1 x 520 hp Ford GAN V-8 gasoline engine.

Performance

Maximum Speed:

28 km/h

Maximum range:

99 miles (160 km)

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Armor

1 x 75mm M3 main gun

1 x .30 caliber coaxial M1919 Browning

2 x .30 caliber bow mounted M1919 Browning machine guns.

Optional:

1 x .50 caliber M2 Browning heavy machine gun on top of the turret.

Ammo:

50 x 75mm bullet

9,000 x .30 caliber ammo

Changes

Assault Tank T14 - name of the basic series; 2 pilot vehicles completed.

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