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Taste some American cookin'!
- Calliope tank commander, opening fire

The T34 Calliope (not to be confused with the Soviet T-34) was a rocket-launcher variant of the M4 Sherman. Equipped with rails supporting 60 light rockets placed above the tank itself, it could fire a terrific barrage bombardment at range equivalent to that of a 75mm field gun. Lacking accuracy it relied on its rockets' high explosive capabilities to saturate an area with explosives, usually creating panic on a large scale. Aside from its modern weaponry, the Calliope has all the characteristics of an M4 Sherman in terms of armor, armament, and mobility.

In-game, these tanks are about the equal of Soviet Katyushas, but with tank armor. When using Calliopes you should not worry about accuracy, as they are accurate enough and they launch 60 rockets, so they'll destroy light units.

History

The attempt to mate a multiple rocket launching system to a vehicle was nothing new by 1944. The Soviets were already finding successes with their Katyusha launchers against the Germans, who in turn had been fielding their Nebelwerfer weapons for some time. The general idea was to launch massive amounts of high-explosive munitions at distance against entrenched foes. Accuracy was of some concern though the sheer psychological effects of such a weapon lead some to believe this to be their only battlefield advantage.

As a whole, the idea can be of under some debate as to the effectiveness of the Calliope system in a war planner's tool chest. The Sherman Calliope first appeared onto the scene in France in 1944 as the T34 Calliope system. The system featured 60 x 107mm tubes mounted above the standard Sherman turret and operated directly with it in terms of elevation and direction. The rockets could be engaged from within and fired all at once. Calliope systems offered up a large amount of indirect firepower with very little modifications needed to the system carrying it. The system need only be stationary and have the firing systems on-board.

As such, rocket launching systems of all types were used throughout the war, mated to armored chassis, trucks and jeeps. The Sherman Calliope appeared in various forms throughout the latter stages of the war - many never seeing combat. The few that did offered up modest successes and were showcased in Europe and the Pacific. The T40 "Whiz Bang" Sherman became the most identifiable of the type and saw combat action in the final year of the war. The T99 became the only Sherman Calliope system to feature a permanent Calliope fitting onto the standard Sherman tank turret.

Overview

  • It is best to wait until mid-way through the game before producing the Calliope, as its high price can cripple your economy, leaving you ill-defended if the enemy makes an assault.
  • A great support unit, it can give direct or indirect fire support for armored units. Their best use in this way is to clear any bunkers and destroy any anti-tank and infantry units that are ensconced in forests, so long as recon is present.
  • Although these tanks retain the inherent abilities of the Sherman, they are slower due to the rockets, and cannot flee quickly enough from heavier tanks. Therefore, these are best left in a supportive position behind your main force so that they are sufficiently protected.
  • When having a large amount of currency, Calliopes can be deployed in groups(3~15) for a full offensive assault to heavily sabotage the enemy key structures or primary targets . For full effectiveness have about 4~10 M19s for air safety. 
  • Calliopes are the only Rocket Artillery unit that have the ability to defend itself against comparable or weaker armor. That being said, it is very useful for moving in formation with large battlegroups. Unlike conventional howitzers, they do not require much protection (other than a few Mobile-AA units.

Assessment

+
  • Hybrid of an artillery and a tank, can deal with any ground unit, but not ambushes.
  • Out-ranges assault guns and fortifications.

  • Rocket artillery lacks effective firepower.
  • Long-reload time.

Weapons

Weapon Infantrynoicon.jpg Engineernoicon.jpg Buildingsnoicon.jpg Armor1yesicon.jpg Armor2yesicon.jpg Armor3yesicon.jpg Armor4yesicon.jpg Armor5yesicon.jpg Aircraftnoicon.jpg Rangeicon.jpg
Cannon2icon.png
Medium cal.
AP Shell
200 25 20 12 8 5 300m
Weapon Infantryyesicon.jpg Engineernoicon.jpg Buildingsyesicon.jpg Armor1yesicon.jpg Armor2yesicon.jpg Armor3yesicon.jpg Armor4yesicon.jpg Armor5yesicon.jpg Aircraftnoicon.jpg Rangeicon.jpg
Cannon1icon.png
Artillery
Lt. Rockets
38 38 38 8 4 2 1 0 1km
Weapon Infantryyesicon.jpg Engineernoicon.jpg Buildingsnoicon.jpg Armor1noicon.jpg Armor2noicon.jpg Armor3noicon.jpg Armor4noicon.jpg Armor5noicon.jpg Aircraftnoicon.jpg Rangeicon.jpg
Machinegun1icon.png
.30-cal
Machine Gun
21 21 250m

Notes

  • All American vehicles or weapons with the 'T' prefix were regarded as prototype or testing vehicles. Only after extensive testing did the vehicle or weapon advance into getting its own name. Most often, these names had an 'M' preceding it. The T34 rocket launcher on the Calliope saw limited action as the Allies pushed deeper into Germany.
  • During the war, the Calliope main purpose was to wreak havoc in large areas in the enemy defences.

See also

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