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The broadly similar German Ferdinand tank destroyer. The M70 assault gun is shorter, wider, has a larger gun and better-sloped armor with a less boxy overall appearance.

The M70 Heavy Assault Gun - officially called "155mm Gun Motor Carriage, Tracked, M70", and semi-officially nicknamed "Beast Killer" for its ability to destroy enemy tanks - is a very heavy American armored fighting vehicle. It was originally developed to combat the Imperial Russian Army's Josef Stalin series of heavy tanks, but has since seen widespread use as an assault platform for dealing with fixed fortifications. Despite its prodigious size and weight, as well as its massive main armament, the M70 is quite maneuverable, if somewhat lacking in top speed, and is well liked by its crews. Its extreme firepower and relative rarity make it one of the most prized and respected vehicles in the American arsenal

DesignEdit

M70

"Proof of Concept" prototype of the then-experimental M70, built to prove the feasibility of its many unusual features. This pre-finalization demonstrator is armed with an old short-barreled 5" naval gun, as the powerful 127mm cannon intended for it had not yet finished development.

The M70 "Beast Killer" is a huge casemented self-propelled gun, but is often called mistakenly called a "Super Heavy Tank" by the uniformed (particularly the U.S. media) despite its lack of a turret. The massive vehicle is wide and relatively low to the ground, with extremely thick armor that makes it all but impervious to the cannons of lesser AFVs.

Operational EmploymentEdit

The M70's huge gun is capable of crippling Russian heavy tanks from great distances, cracking open heavily fortified structures or blasting entrenched infantry out of dug-in positions. It is, in many ways, used as a sort of sledgehammer, called in to crack open problems no other machine can solve. The 155mm gun packs more punch than even towed 127mm anti-tank guns, and functions as what is essentially a very very powerful sniping weapon. Despite its size, the M70 is also quite maneuverable: its twin engine arrangement allows it to rapidly alter the speed and direction of its tracks to turn quickly and re-adjust on new targets, which goes a long way toward making up for its lack of a turret. This also means it can move at its full, relatively respectable speed even in reverse; and, despite its prodigious weight (about 90 metric tonnes), the M70 has about the same ground pressure as an M65 Assault Gun or M60 Pershing tank.

SummaryEdit

Production HistoryEdit

Designed: 1955-1959

Produced: 1961-present

Manufacturer: Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant

SpecificationsEdit

Weight: 91 Tonnes metric / 100 Short Tons

Length, overall: 11 meters / 36 feet

Length, hull: 8 meters / 26.3 feet

Width: 4.39 meters / 14.4 feet

Height: 2.84 meters / 9.32 feet

Track Width: 711.2mm / 28" (4 tracks total)

Crew: 6 (Commander, Gunner, Loader, Loader, Driver, Radio Operator)

Armor: 300mm / 11.8" maximum

Main Armament: M75A2 L/65 155mm Rifled Gun

Secondary Armament:

  • .50-calibre M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun in ball turret - front glacis, right side
  • .50-calibre M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun on pintle mount - loader's roof hatch, left side
  • Colt Mk. 12 20mm automatic cannon in independent cupola - commander's roof hatch, right side
  • Colt Mk. 12 20mm automatic cannon in independent coaxial ball mount - main gun mantlet

Engine:  Dietroit Diesel 8V-71T 9.3L Diesels (530 hp) x 2

Suspension: Vertical Volute Spring, double track

Ground Clearance: 420mm / 16.5"

Operational Range, without external tanks: 400 km / 248.5 miles

Road Speed: 35 km/h / 21.75 mph

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