The T30 Heavy tank was developed alongside the T29 Heavy tank following a request from the American army back in 14th September 1944, to design a tank with the purpose of countering the new type German tanks, the Tiger II. Although developed at the same time, they were different from each other in terms of firepower and mobility.
Two prototypes for each model were ordered but the T30 prototypes arrived slightly later than the T29 heavy tanks at the Aberdeen vehicle testing grounds in April 1948.
When World War II was coming to a close, the American army lost interest in the T29 and T30 heavy tanks and the completed prototypes were converted to be used as test vehicles after the war to collect data for the development of new tanks.
Both the T30 and T29 heavy tanks were originally manufactured by Ford and supposed to be equipped with a 12 cylinder liquid-cooled GAC V model gasoline engine (720hp output) but the completed prototypes were equipped with different engines.
Due to this, the layout and muffler of the T30 Heavy tank’s top engine room differs from the T29. With the exception of that, the structure of the T29 heavy tank and its frames were roughly the same so the gun turrets remained unchanged.
The T30 was fitted with one of the largest guns ever used on an American tank. The main gun was a staggering 105mm calibre and used to provide support fire to infantry. The notably high, rounded edge, turret was needed to accommodate the standing loader and large gun mount. It could carry a mixed assortment of 34 AP (Armoured Piercing) or HE (high-explosive) rounds.
The T30D1 is a further evolution of the T29, which was developed along with it. The prototypes underwent tests until 1948, but the tank was never adopted for serial production.
Discuss in the forums.