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753rd Tank Battalion, U.S. Army, Germany - 1945
The T34 Rocket Launcher (Calliope) was a tank-mounted multiple rocket launcher used by the United States Army during World War II. The launcher was placed atop the M4 Medium Tank, and fired a barrage of 4.5 in (114 mm) M8 rockets from 60 launch tubes. It was developed in 1943. It got its name from the musical instrument called the calliope or steam organ which had similar lined pipes. Originally deployed to Italy in 1944, these early launchers where called Whiz-Bang launchers and were more bulky. It was not until 1945 that the Calliope launcher was deployed in small numbers. It was never popular with crews (who felt it blocked the crews escape) and tank commanders who would rather have artillery support the tanks.
Quick Note: Airfix identifies the tank as the 752nd Tank Battalion in Germany. The 752nd fought the entire war in Italy. The 752nd tanks received an earlier version of the rocket launcher and other units like the 753rd used the T34 Launcher in Germany.
This is a vintage 1960's Airfix kit with a new sprue to build the rocket launcher. You have to drill your own holes to mount the launcher. I drilled out the tubes (60 of them!) and added wiring to the tubes. Additional armor and a skirt mount was added from sheet plastic. Wire was used to make lifting handles and brush guards. I used Tamiya and Aeromaster paints along with Mig Pigments for weathering. It would be a great model if only the vintage vinyl tracks were not so poorly molded.
Thanks for looking,