US prototype tanks with oscillating turrets


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14 June 2006
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AFAIK, the only tank with an oscillating turret automatic reloading systems was French AMX-13, one of the best light tanks ever built. Much less known is that in early 1950s US Army had a numeber of tank protos built and tested. US designs were for medium and heavy tanks. I have info on three of these projects.Don't assume that thery were created in the order I present them.
First in the T54E1 (frist image): used the M-48 chassis with an oscillating turret and a 105 mm gun. Turret was designed and built by United Shoes Manufacturing. This project was considered quite high priority, because a parrallel design without oscillating turret, the T54E2, was pursued: it had a 105 mm gun with a semi-automatic reloading system designed by Detroit Arsenal. Neither were series built.
Second is the T57, based on the chassis of the T30 heavy tank with an oscillating turret and a 120 mm gun. I have only chasssi photo.
Third was a medium-to-light tank, based on the chassis of the T-42 (same as the M-42 one) and a 90 mm gun in an oscillating turret.

Has someone more infos on these and other US projects with oscillatiing turrets. And any info of oscillatin turret tank from other countries?


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You are forgetting the AMX-13 big brother, the AMX-50 heavy tank. Plus there were other smaller French prototypes with oscillating turrets, although they never were put into production.

Finally, the Austrian SK 105 uses a license built French oscillating turret as fitted to the AMX-12 (the FL12 IIRC)
I think the US did something called the T-92 which was kitted by Tamiya in 1/48 and 1/55 scale and by another company in 1/20 scale .

Well, I shoulld have said "only tank to enter in service"... And, besides, are you sure the T-92' semi-automatic loader was of the oscillating turret type? ???
Hi, new member.
If you can find it the book FIREPOWER: THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN HEAVY TANKS by (I believe) R.P. Hunnicutt has lots of information on these.
This book has the "no available" label at amazon :'(
IIRC the T92 was a light tank for Airborn Forces. It did not have a oscillating turret but a cleft turret and also feature two sub turrets with 12.7mm HMG.
I'll agree JohnR about it being a light tank. According to the Presidio Press book on light tanks, it was successful but lost out when a change in concept/tactics required a tank that could float without any assistance, like a comparable Soviet light tank, and the basic Sheridan was adopted instead. Low=profile cleft turret, semi-automatic loader, and such worked well. I've got a few ideas for what could've been done with this concept for a medium tank, but those are for another forum.
Hunnicut books are great, but they are almost all out of print, and the few copies that once in a time reach the used books market have APPALLING prices... :mad:

And the Soviet tank was the PT-76, in my opinion a completely different kind of beast (low pressure gun etc.)
Some other photos


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... and something about the T92 (correctly, this isn't a oscillating turret tank)


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shokaku said:
... and something about the T92 (correctly, this isn't a oscillating turret tank)

The thought occurs to me that if you used a hydro-pneumatic suspension with a high range of travel and differential travel (as on the Strv105), you could fix the gun in the turret and still get the elevation you need. This would likely work with a larger gun/tank package, too.

Oh, there was a kit of this T92 produced back in the 1950s by ITC; I wish Glencoe could find the molds for that one.
hello skybolt my name is banken and i am new to the forum.
I read your topic about US prototype tanks with oscillating turrets and your desire to aquire the hunnicutt books
Well I have three of them
first PATTON
second ABRAMS
There is the T54E1 on the chassis from the M48 with a 105mm gun, there is also a mock-up on the same chassis called T77 with a 120mm gun.
There is also the T69 on the chassis from the T42 tank
These two tanks are described in the book Patton from hunnicutt.

The T57 you mentioned is not based on the chassis from the T30 tank but on those from the T43 the basis for the M103 heavy tank. That should correctly be armed with a 120mm gun.

In the book firepower they speak also from the T58 tank on the chassis off the T43 tank armed with a 155 mm gun

There are lots off photo's iff I can scan them and I can get them on the site i'll post them for you.

I'll excuse me for the corrections and for my simple english. (I am a belgium)
Thank you very much.
I am trying to scan some off my pictures but my scanner is old I'll will scan the T58 for you an some of the T69
will post it later
here are my photos
first T69 and then T58


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one more picture off the T54e1, dont know the whereabout of it but it gives you a good idea off the turret. Right behind it is the T30 heavy tank.


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Could be, Aberdeen proving ground is big.
Maybe hidden treasures as in bovington museum. A location were they keep unrestored prototypes.

Have you anymore information or photos off oscillatingturret tanks ?
Are you interresed in the T95 ?
What I have I posted. Lot of photos of AMX 13s, but that's easy... ;)
The only photos I have I must scan.
But i have two more off the T69 for you


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:-\ Do any of you have any interior pictures of these army prototypes. I was at aberdeen proving grounds in the 60's (stationed there for my AIT training) and Ive seen them all on tank road except for the t69 . I know that as late as 2005 they were in outside storage by the museum and not generally available for public viewing. I would really like to get some tec drawings of the interiors.
H3 tank concept, oscillating turret (?), 175 mm "gas-dynamic" gun: IMG_20210710_053300.jpg
SPG concept:
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