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United States' M5A1 light tank

Photos

M5A1 Light Tank:
United States' M5A1 Light Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

M5A1 Light Tank12:
United States' M5A1 Light Tank
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
M5A1 Light Tank12:
United States' M5A1 Light Tank
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

M5A1 Light Tank, drawing12:
United States' M5A1 Light Tank, drawing
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

M5A1 Light Tank, stowage box12:
United States' M5A1 Light Tank, stowage box
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

Design

The M5A1's design was standardized in September 1942.12 By July 1944 is was classified as Substitute Standard.12

All welded.11 Had improved turret with more room and radio bulge in rear, with the antenna above the bulge.11,12 There was a plate in the bulge that allowed the 37 mm gun to be removed for maintenance.12 Another periscope in turret for viewing rear better. The commander had a direction finder fastened to the turret roof to indicate the straight ahead position.12 There was also a spotlight provided.12

The antiaircraft gun mounting was moved to the right side of the turret.12 The commander could traverse the turret and fire the antiaircraft gun at the same time.12

Larger escape hatches and positive water sealing door latches installed.12 An additional escape hatch in the floor of the hull is installed.12 Pistol ports are supplied with locks.

Armament

The M5A1 had the Combination Gun Mount, M44, installed in the turret.12 This had a direct 3-power telescope.12

The 37 mm gun fired a 1.9 lb shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,600'/sec.9

Production

First productions models were completed in December 1942.7

  • M5A1 prototype: Cadillac Motor Car Division12

Variants

  • M5A1:
  • M5A1 with Psy-war equipment: Fitted with PA system.11 Used from 1944 - 1945.11
  • M5A1 with E7-7 Flame Gun: Main gun replaced by flame thrower equipment.
  • M5A1 with E9-9 Flame-throwing equipment: Based on British Crocodile. Prototype only.
  • M5A1 with E8 Flame-gun: Original turret removed. Box like superstructure was added with a smaller turret with flame thrower coming from it. Prototype only.

Specifications

  M5A1 light tank
Crew Commander, gunner, driver, co-driver.3
43,4,9,11,12
Radio SCR-50812
OR SCR-52812
OR SCR-53812
Radio - command tank SCR-50612
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 33,907 lb3,4,11,12, 34,700 lb
16.9 tons9
15,380 kg11
Length 15.9'9, 15' 10.5"3,4,11,12
4.839 m11
Height 7.5'9, 7' 6.5"3,11, 7' 10.5"4,12
2.299 m11
Width 7" 4.25"3,11, 7' 5", 7' 6"4,9,12
2.241.5 m11
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 13.75"12, 15"9
Ground contact length 117"12, 120"9
Ground pressure 11.4 psi9, 12.5 psi12
Turret ring diameter 46.75"12
Armament  
Main 37 mm M63
37 mm4,9,11
Secondary  
MG 2 or 3: .30" MG11
3: MG4
2: .30 cal Browning MGs, most had additional MG as AA.3
2: .30 cal M1919A4 MGs9
2: .30 cal M1919A5 MGs9
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A5 MG 12
MG - hull 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4 MG12
MG - antiaircraft 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4 MG12
Side arms .30 cal M2 tripod mount12
.45 cal submachine gun12
Grenades
Quantity  
Main 1473,9,11,12
Secondary  
MG 6,5003,9,11,12
Side arms .45: 42012, 540
4: Fragmentation Mk II12
2: Offensive Mk III12
4: Smoke HC M812
2: Thermite
Armor Thickness (mm) 123 , 673
12 - 674
Front: 1.5"9, 2.125"11
Front: 5411
Side: 1"11, 1.1"9
Side: 25.411
Hull Front, Upper 1 1/8"12
Hull Front, Lower 2" - 2.5"12
Hull Sides, Upper 1" - 1 1/8"12
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 1" - 1 1/8"12
Hull Top 0.5"12
Hull Bottom 3/8" - 0.5"12
Turret Front 44.511
1.75"11,12, 0.5"9
Mantlet: 2"9
Turret Sides 1.25"9,12
Turret Rear 1.25"12
Turret Top 0.5"12
Engine (Make / Model) Cadillac Twin1,3,4, 2xCadillac9, Cadillac Series 4212
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Liquid12, Water9
Cylinders 2:V-89,12
Capacity  
Net HP 1214, 22011, 220@4,000 rpm12, 260@3,600 rpm9
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 7.1:19
Transmission (Type) Hydramatic9
4 forward, 1 reverse, 2 speed transfer case9
6 forward, 1 reverse
4 forward, 1 reverse12
Gear ratio - first speed 3.26:112
- second speed 2.26:112
- third speed 1.44:112
- fourth speed 1.00:112
- reverse 3.81:112
Steering Controlled differential9
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric9
Electrical system 12-volt9,12
Ignition Distributors9
Fuel (Type) Gasoline9,12
Octane 7012, 8012
Quantity 82 gallons9, 89 gallons12
Road consumption 1.2 mpg9
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°3, hydraulic or hand9
Speed - Road 36 mph3,9,11,12, 40 mph4
60 kph11
Speed - Cross Country 20-25 mph9, 24 mph3,11
38.6 kph11
Range - Road 100 miles3,11,12, 160 miles9
161 km11
Range - Cross Country 100 miles9
Turning radius 21'12
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
Fording depth 3'3,9,12
Trench crossing 5.3'9, 5' 4"3,12
Vertical obstacle 1' 6"3,9,12
Climbing ability 31° (60%) slope9, 60%12
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute3
Vertical volute spring9,12
Wheels each side 49,12
Return rollers each side 39
Tracks (Type) Rubber bushed, double pin9, T1612
OR T36E612
OR T55E112
Length  
Width 11 5/8"3,11,12, 11.6"9
0.295 m11
Number of links 1329,12
Pitch 5.5"9,12
Tires  
Track centers/tread 6.1'9, 6' 1.5"3,11,12
1.867 m11

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. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. 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
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. -
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Battle Winning Tanks, Aircraft & Warships of World War II, David Miller, 2000
  9. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  10. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  11. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  12. The American Arsenal, 1996
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site