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United States' M2A4 light tank

Photos

M2A4 Light Tank:
United States' M2A4 Light Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

The M2A4 Light Tank was the main production version of the series. Was developed at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Standardized in 1939. 37 mm gun mounted in the single turret. Hand traverse. Fired an 1.9 lb AP shell at a velocity of 2,900'/sec. The .30 cal MG filed a shell at 2,800'/sec. Few late production vehicles had Guiberson T1020 diesel.

Production

Was delivered in April 1940 by the American Car and Foundry Company.

Usage

The M2A4 saw some action in the early Pacific battles in the Philippines. Also saw combat on Guadalcanal. They were plagued by ammunition shortages and shortages of spare parts. Were in service in some areas of the Pacific until 1943.

Issued to the US Marine Corps.

Specifications

  M2A4
Crew Commander, driver, co-driver, gunner.
4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 11.5 tons, 12 tons
23,000 lb, 24,125 lb
10,433 kg, 12,193 kg
Length 14' 6", 14' 7"
4.42 m, 4.45 m
Height 8' 2", 8' 2.5", 8' 3", 8' 8"
2.489 m, 2.52 m
Width 8' 1.25", 8' 4"
2.47 m, 2.54 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 14.5"
Ground contact length 97"
Ground pressure 13.75 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 37 mm
1: 37 mm M5
Secondary  
MG 4: MG
1: .50 cal
4: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG
MG - coaxial 1 :.30 cal MG
MG - hull 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
MG - sponsons 2: .30 cal MG, 2:.30 cal M1919A4 MG
MG - anti-aircraft 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 103, 104
Secondary  
MG 2,137, 7,184, 7,900
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6, 25
3/8" - 1"
Front Front: 25
Front: 0.98"
Hull Front, Upper 1"@0°
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 1"@0°
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.375"@0°
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 1.5"@0°
Turret Sides 1.25"@0°
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Continental W-670
Continental
Continental WG70
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders R-7
Capacity  
Net HP 250
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Manual
Syncromesh
5 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 54 gallons
Road consumption 1.5 mpg
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 270°, 360°
Manual
Speed - Road 25 - 30 mph, 34 mph, 35 mph
40 - 48 kph, 54,7 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18 mph, 25 mph
29 kph
Range - Road 78 miles, 130 miles
209 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth 3' 6", 3' 8"
Trench crossing 6'
Vertical obstacle 2'
Climbing ability 26° slope
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute, Vertical volute spring
Wheels each side 2 double wheel bogies
Return rollers each side 2
Tracks (Type) Steel rubber bushed pins, rubber pads
Length  
Width 7 5/8", 11 5/8"
0.1937 m
Diameter  
Number of links 66
Pitch 5.5"
Tire tread Rubber
Track centers/tread 6' 1"
1.854 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. 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