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United States' M24 light tank, Chaffee

Photos

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States' M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States' M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States' M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States' M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
US Army

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States' M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
Imperial War Museum

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee at the Patton Museum in Ft Knox, Kentucky
United States M24 Light Tank, Chaffee at the Patton Museum in Ft Knox, Kentucky
Chris Bobo
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
Mark Holloway

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee:
United States M24 Light Tank, Chaffee
Mark Holloway
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's radio and a M3 sub machine gun "Grease Gun":
United States M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's radio and M3 sub machine gun 'Grease Gun'
Mark Holloway

M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's coaxial machine gun:
United States M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's coaxial machine gun
Mark Holloway
Hobby Master 1/72 Armor 3601:

Hobby Master 1/72 Armor 3602:

Design

After seeing how the M5 Light Tanks did with British forces in the Western Desert the US Ordnance Department and Cadillac, in April 1943, begin work on a new light tank with a 75 mm gun.

The M24 was named after US Army tank pioneer General Adna R. Chaffee.

The armor was welded. The track was center guided and the tank used a torsion bar suspension. The engines were mounted on rail for easy maintenance. Each engine was identical and were interchangeable. The engines were the same engines as used in Cadillac automobiles. There was a bulkhead between the fighting compartment and the engine.

There was a Cletrac controlled differential installed in the front of the hull for steering and braking. A synchronizer was incorporated in the transfer unit and the M24 was capable of 8 speeds forward and 4 reverse. In reverse the M24 could get up to 18 mph.

Armament

The M24 used the same 75 mm gun that was originally designed for mounting in the B-25 Mitchell bomber for anti-ship use. It had a concentric recoil system which saved turret space. The firing trigger for the 75 mm was on the elevation hand wheel and for the machine gun on the power traverse control.

There was recoil guard for the gunner and loader.

For travel there was a lock that fastened to a bracket in the turret roof.

The gun and a .30 cal machine gun were mounted in a Combination Gun Mount, M64. Ammo was stored in water protected containers in the floor.

The hull machine gun had a bag that captured the expended casings. The gun was fed by a supply box on the left of the radio operator. There was a spring that helped counter balance the machine gun.

The AA machine gun could be fire manually or electronically. The antiaircraft gun was mounted on a pintle at the rear of the turret.

The 75 mm used a hydraulically operated stabilizer. It could fire a 14.4 lb shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,050'/sec.

The 2" mortar was located on the right front side of the turret.

Crew

In the front hull the driver sat on the left and the assistant driver / radio operator on the right with each having driving controls. In the turret the gunner and loader were on the right and the commander on the left. Originally it was intended to have only a four man crew with the assistant driver moving to the turret to load the gun. The M24 had no turret basket, as the seats for the crew were suspended from the base ring.

The gunner used a combination telescope-periscope sight for sighting the main armament.

The hatches for the driver and assistant driver could be opened regardless of the turret position. There was an escape hatch placed in the floor of the hull.

Prototype

Two pilot models (T24) were delivered in October 1943 by the Cadillac Motor Division.

Production

The Ordnance Department immediately ordered 1,000 before service tests had begun and then raised to 5,000 vehicles.

Was Standardized in May 1944 / July 1944. First delivered in late 1944.

  • Prototype: 2
    • Manufacturer: Cadillac Motor Car Division
  • M24: 4,070, 4,371
    • Manufacturer: American Car & Foundry, Cadillac Motor Car Division (GMC), Cadillac (Detroit), Massey-Harris (Milwaukee)
      • Cadillac: 3,300
      • Massey-Harris: 770
    • Production: March 1944 - June 1945
  • M19: 185
  • M37: 316
    • Manufacturer: Cadillac
  • M41: 60

Variants

  • T24E1: Prototype that had a Continental engine and torque converter transmission.
  • M24: Main production model.
  • M19 Gun Motor Carriage: Had twin 40 mm M2 AA mounted at hull rear and the engines were moved forward to the center of hull.
  • M37 Howitzer Motor Carriage: Was intended to replace M7 Priest. Had 105 mm howitzer. 448 ordered but only 316 delivered by war end. Carried 90 rounds and a crew of 7.
  • M41 Howitzer Motor Carriage, "Gorilla": Engine moved to center of hull and 155 mm howitzer mounted at rear. 250 were ordered but only 60 were completed when war ended and probably did not see action. Had crew of 12 with 8 of them riding in an ammunition carrier.
  • T6E1: Tank recovery vehicle.
  • T9 and T13: Utility vehicles. T9: Had bulldozer kit installed.
  • T22E1, T23E1, and T33: Cargo carriers.
  • T38 Mortar Motor Carriage: Carried 4.2" mortar. It was cancelled.
  • T42 Cargo Tractor: Based on T33. Had torque transmission of the Hellcat.
  • T43 Cargo Tractor: Lighter version of T42.
  • T77E1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage: Had 6 0.5" machine guns mounted in a new designed turret. Was cancelled.
  • T78: Was to mount a 90 mm antiaircraft gun.
  • T81: Mounted a Bofors 40 mm antiaircraft gun with two .50 cal machine guns.
  • T96: Was to mount a 155 mortar. Project cancelled at wars end.

Usage

First delivered to Western Europe in November 1944. First saw action in Italy.

A small number was supplied to Britain in 1945 and were named Chaffee.

Rhine River

Some M24s were used in crossing the Rhine in late 1944.

After World War II

The M24s saw much service during the Korean War and were used by French forces in Indo-China.,11

Specifications

  T24
Crew 5
Radio  
Radio - command tank  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 38,750 lb
Weight - empty  
Length w/gun 18'
Length w/o gun 16' 3"
Height 8' 1"
Width 9' 4"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 5"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 10.7 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 75 mm
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 48
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
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)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 2: 110
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Gear ratio  
Reverse gear ratio  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system 24 volt
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 110 gallons
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 30 - 36 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 100 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 23'
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 3' 6"
Trench crossing 7' 4"
Vertical obstacle 2' 8"
Climbing ability 31°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Wheel size  
Wheel size - idler  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 1' 4"
Diameter  
Number of links 75
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  M24 light tank, Chaffee
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/radio operator
4, 4 or 5, 5
Radio SCR-508
OR SCR-528
OR SCR-538
OR British No. 19
Radio - command tank SCR-506
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 38,750 lb, 40,414 lb, 40,500 lb
18,290 kg, 18,370 kg, 18,371 kg
18 tons, 18.37 tons, 20.3 tons
Weight - empty 36,250 lb
Length w/gun 18'
5.486 m, 5.49 m
Length w/o gun 16' 3", 16' 4.5", 16.5'
4.99 m, 4.991 m
Height 8' 1", 8' 1.5", 9.1'
2.46 m, 2.4765 m, 2.48 m
Width 9' 4", 9.5', 9' 8"
2.946 m, 2.95 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 5", 1' 6"
Ground contact length 9' 4", 10'
Ground pressure 10.5 psi, 10.7 psi, 11 psi
Turret ring diameter 60"
Armament  
Main 1: 75 mm
1: 75 mm M6
1: 75 mm M6, L/40
Secondary  
MG 3: MG
2: .30 cal MG
2: 7.62 mm MG
1: .50 cal MG
1: 12.7 mm / 0.5" MG
2: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal MG
1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
MG - hull 1: .30 cal MG
1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
MG - antiaircraft 1: .50 cal MG
1: .50 cal Browning M2 HB
1: .50 cal M2 MG
1: .50 cal Browning M2
1: 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG
1: 12.7 mm MG
Side arms 2" M3 Mortar, in turret
1: 51 mm smoke mortar
1: M2 .30 cal Tripod mount
4: M3 .45 cal submachine guns
1: M1 .30 cal Carbine with grenade launcher
Grenades
Quantity  
Main 48 (AP, APC, HE, WP, Canister, Smoke)
Secondary  
MG .30: 3,750, 4,125
.50: 420, 440
Side arms Mortar: 14
.45: 720
Grenades: 8 (2: smoke, 6: fragmentation)
Armor Thickness (mm) 9, 25, 12 - 38, 38
1" - 2.5"
Front: 1"
Front: 25.4
Hull: 2.5"
Hull Front, Upper 1", 1"@60°
Hull Front, Lower 1", 1"@45°
Hull Sides, Upper 0.75", 0.75" - 1", 1", 1"@12°
19
Hull Sides, Lower 0.75" - 1", 0.75"@12°
Hull Rear 0.75", 0.75" - 1.25", 0.75"@0°
19
Hull Top 0.5"
Hull Bottom 0.375" - 0.5", 0.375"
Turret Front 1", 1.25", 1.5"
38
Gunshield: 1.5"
Turret Sides 1", 1"@25°
Turret Rear 1"
Turret Top 0.5"
Engine (Make / Model) 2 x Cadillac Twin 44T24, 2 x Cadillac Series 42, Twin Cadillac, 2xCadillac
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Liquid, Water
Cylinders V-8, 2xV-8
Capacity  
Net HP 110 each, 110@3,400 rpm, 110@3,600 rpm, 220, 220@3,400
Power to weight ratio 10.86 HP/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Hydra-Matic, 8 forward, 4 reverse
Planetary, 4 forward, no reverse and Cadillac helical transfer case with 2 forward, and 2 reverse
General Motors Hydra-Matic 4F, 2 forward, 1 reverse
Gear ratio - 1st speed 9.19:1
- 2nd speed 5.96:1
- 3rd speed 3.62:1
- 4th speed 2.34:1
- 5th speed 4.05:1
- 6th speed 2.62:1
- 7th speed 1.59:1
- 8th speed 1.03:1
Reverse gear ratio - 1st speed 9.57:1
- 2nd speed 6.17:1
- 3rd speed 3.78:1
- 4th speed 2.44:1
Steering Controlled differential
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric
Electrical system 24-volts
Ignition Distributor
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane 80
Quantity 110 gallons
Road consumption 0.9 mpg
Cross country consumption 7 - 8 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 360°, powered
Hydraulic and manual
Speed - Road 34 mph, 35 mph
55 kph, 56 kph
Speed - Cross Country 20-30 mph, 25 mph
40 kph
Range - Road 100 miles, 175 miles
161 km, 281 km, 282 km
Range - Cross Country 100 miles
Turning radius 40'
Elevation limits -10° to +15°
Fording depth 3' 4"
1.02 m
3' 4" unprepared
6' 6" prepared
Trench crossing 6' 6", 8', 8.25'
2.44 m
Vertical obstacle 3'
0.91 m
Climbing ability 31° (60%) slope, 60%
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar
Wheels each side 5
Wheel size 25.5" x 4.5"
Wheel size - idler 22.5" x 4.5"
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Steel-rubber bushed, single pin, T.72
Length  
Width 1' 4"
0.406 m
Diameter  
Number of links 75
Pitch 5.5"
Tire tread Rubber
Track centers/tread 8', 10'
2.438 m

Sources:

  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. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. The American Arsenal, 1996
  6. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  7. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  8. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  9. Profile AFV Weapons #46 Light Tanks M22 Locust and M24 Chaffee, Colonel Robert J. Icks, 1972
  10. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
  11. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site