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United States' M2 light tank


A M2A2 or M2A3? light tank:
United States' A M2A2 or M2A3? Light Tank
Fort Knox (Mark Holloway)


The T2E1 was produced after the trials of the T2 and T5 in April 1934. It now had the better vertical volute suspension. It was armed with a .30 and .50 caliber Browning machine guns in the turret, which was the width of the hull. An additional .30 MG was installed in the front of the hull. This vehicle was standardized in late 1935 and put into production at the Rock Island Arsenal and designated the M2A1.

The T2E2 had 2 turrets installed, with each containing an MG. This was standardized as the M2A2 and put into production in 1938.


As a result of the war starting in September 1939, the Ordnance Department rushed to have the M2A4 built. The American Car & Foundry was selected in October 1939 to produce 329 vehicles. The first were delivered in April 1940. The order was increased to 365 and the final vehicles were delivered in March 1941.

  • M2:
  • M2A1: 19
    • Manufacturer: Rock Island Arsenal
  • M2A2: 19
    • Production: 1935 -
  • M2A2E3:
    • Manufacturer: Rock Island Arsenal
  • M2A4:
    • Production: 1938
    • Manufacturer: Rock Island Arsenal
  • M2A5: 365, 373, 375
    • Production: 1936 - 1941, 1940
    • Manufacturer: American Car & Foundary (365), Baldwin Locomotive (10)



The M2, M2A1, M2A2, and M2A3 were considered obsolete by 1940 and used only in training.

United Kingdom:

Some were supplied to Britain and were used for training.

M2A4s were supplied.


Various models were supplied under Lend Lease.


M2A4s were supplied.


Crew Commander, driver, co-driver, gunner
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 10.26 tons
10,432 kg
Length 14' 7"
4.45 m
Height 8' 3"
2.52 m
Width 8' 4"
2.53 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Main 37 mm
Secondary (.30 cal) MG
MG 4: 7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
MG 2,137
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 25
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Continental W-670
Bore / stroke  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Manual
Steering ratio  
Electrical system  
Fuel (Type)  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 25-30 mph, 34 mph
55 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18 mph
Range - Road 130 miles
209 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits +20° to -10°
Fording depth 3' 8"
Trench crossing 6'
Vertical obstacle 2'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Width 7 5/8"
Number of links  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6' 1"


  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
  5. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  8. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site