Medium Tank T231-5

T23: General
Date of first acceptance October 1943 Total acceptances 248
Manufacturer Detroit Tank Arsenal Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
T23: Dimensions
Combat weight 75,311lbs
34,161kg
Height over cupola 98.8"
251cm
Length without gun, with sandshields 236.9"
601.7cm
Gun overhang forward 60.6"
154cm
Width over sandshields 122.5"
311.2cm
Tread 102"
259cm
Ground clearance 19.1"
48.5cm
Fire height 77"
195cm
Turret ring diameter 69"
175cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 15.5psi
1.08kg/cm²
T23: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
76mm Gun M1A1 M62 in turret 66 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +25° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 300 rounds 360°
(manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 76mm gun 5000 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +25° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
2" Mortar M3 (smoke) Fixed in turret roof 12 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec 35°
(fixed)
Stabilizer
Elevation only
T23: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 3.0"
7.6cm
47°
Lower front 2.5"
6.4cm
56°
Front sides 2.0"
5.1cm
Rear sides 1.5"
3.8cm
Rear 1.5"
3.8cm
0° to 30°
Top .75"
1.9cm
90°
Front floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
Rear floor .5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 3.5"
8.9cm
Front 3.0"
7.6cm
Sides 2.5"
6.4cm
0° to 13°
Rear 2.5"
6.4cm
Top 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
T23: Automotive
Engine Ford GAN; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, 60° vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 450@2600rpm
Gross: 500@2600rpm
Torque Net: 950 ft-lb@2200rpm
Gross: 1040 ft-lb@2200rpm
Fuel capacity 179gal
678L
Transmission Electric drive
Steering Electric, steering levers
Brakes Electric and mechanical Bendix
T23: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 3 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
1 at rear of each bogie
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth rear drive Adjustable at front of track None
T23: Track
T48
Outside guide, double pin, chevron, rubber
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
T51
Outside guide, double pin, smooth, rubber
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
T23: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max trench 90"
230cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 24"
61cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads

The T23 was one of the T20 series of medium tanks designed to replace the M4 Sherman, ultimately culminating in the M26 Pershing. The T23 pilots were the first of the T20 series tanks to be completed, and the only to be produced serially besides the M26. The T23's electric drive mechanism was a novel way to move a tank, having been previously tested in the heavy tank T1E1 (sometimes referred to as M6A2), and worked by having the GAN engine power an electric generator which in turn drove two traction motors which were connected to the tank's final drives. This allowed the engine to operate at its most efficient speed at all times since there was no direct connection between the engine and tracks, and also allowed an infinitely variable turning radius. T23 was fitted with the same VVS suspension as the M4 Sherman, and the two tanks were further interconnected when the T23's turret was adopted for use on the 76mm gun M4s. Although it was proposed to standardize T23 as the medium tank M27 once it had been fitted with torsion bar suspension (making it T23E3), it was not adopted due to maintenance problems and concerns over training of maintenance personnel to deal with the electric drive system. However, T23 eventually lived on as the M26, which had been designated T26E3. The T26 was a more heavily armored version of the T25, which was essentially a 90mm gun-armed T23.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series. Bellingham, WA: Feist Publications, Inc., 1996.
  2. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.
  3. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  4. AGF Board No. 2. Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks. 1947.
  5. Tank Data, vol. 2. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: US Army Ordnance School, Jul 1958.

Last updated 13 Jul 2016.
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© Copyright 2001-16 Chris Conners