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Old 02-14-2019, 03:19 AM
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ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
And speaking of the Shillelagh...
Interesting fact #2
The Australian Army acquired one or two examples (depending on what source you read) of the M551 Sheridan (as well as one example of the M114) for testing as a possible recce vehicle. If the Sheridan had proved successful we would have apparently been getting the missile as well.
That would have made Australia the only other nation to operate the vehicle.
However it proved unsuitable for some of the Australian requirement (as did the M114).
The whole gun wasn't a mature technology. Combustible cartridge cases were new and the interrupted-screw breech was a harking back to earlier designs because of the pressures involved in firing a big bore weapon weren't explored. The hi-lo system would have been a far better solution that would have allowed for a sliding breech.
The combustible cartridges required a high-efficiency bore evacuator that made the cyclical rate way too low or the weapon would blow burning cartridge fragments back into the turret and onto the other combustible cases. Also the ammunition cases were not stable in high humidity environments which was where the US was doing most of its fighting at the time.
What is telling about the M551 was that it was never allowed to mature due to blatant hostility of the 'Tiger Terror' generation of tank commanders who saw it as too-light-to-fight. They wanted a Tiger of their own and all else was a bad idea, even though the Germans themselves had realised their Panthers and Tigers were too heavy and were looking at something like a modernised Panzer IV. In fact the Germans were enthusiastic users of Shermans when the captured them. They had learned the lessons the Russians taught them; 'you can't rely on armour as there's always a bigger gun'.
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