Armored Utility Car M201-5

M20: General
Date of first acceptance July 1943 Total acceptances 3791
Manufacturer Ford Motor Co. Crew 6 men
M20: Dimensions
Combat weight 15,650lbs
7099kg
Height 91"
230cm
Length 197"
500cm
Width 100"
250cm
Tread 76"
190cm
Wheelbase Front to center axle: 80"
Front to rear axle: 128"
Front to center axle: 200cm
Front to rear axle: 325cm
Ground clearance 11.5"
29.2cm
M20: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on mount M49 or M66 1000 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M20: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .75"
1.9cm
45°
Middle front .50"
1.3cm
60°
Lower front .625"
1.59cm
30°
Upper sides .375"
.953cm
22°
Lower sides .375"
.953cm
22°
Rear .375"
.953cm
Front top .25"
.64cm
83°
Rear top .25"
.64cm
86°
Floor .25"
.64cm
90°
M20: Automotive
Engine Hercules JXD; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 110@3200rpm Torque Net: 220 ft-lb@1150rpm Fuel capacity 56gal
210L
Transmission Synchronized, selective gear, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
Brakes Hydraulic, internal expanding
M20: Suspension
Type Road wheels Shock absorbers
Semi-elliptic leaf spring 3/side On each wheel
M20: Performance
Max level road speed 55mph
89kph
Max trench 18"
46cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 12"
30cm
Min turning diameter 56'
17m
Max fording depth 24"
61cm
Cruising range ~350mi, roads
~560km, roads

The M20 was standardized as the armored utility car M10 in April 1943, but the designation was changed to M20 to avoid confusion with the 3" GMC M10, alongisde which the M20 was to serve in tank destroyer units. The M20 was based on the M8 armored car, and essentially replaced the latter's gun turret with a .50cal MG ring mount. The M20 used the ring mount M49 until August 1944, when production switched to the ring mount M66. The M66 mount used roller-bearing construction, and the inner ring was rotated to traverse the weapon. A back rest was provided to allow the operator to use his whole body to move the gun. November 1944 saw the addition of a second generator in M20s fielding two radios. Improvements to the M8, such as stowage bins and stronger front leaf springs, were also grafted onto the M20 during production.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2002. Reprinted from Armored Car, R.P. Hunnicutt ©2002, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Novato, CA 94945.
  2. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. Minneapolis: Victory Publishing, Ltd., 2001.
  3. Gill, Lonnie. Tank Destroyer Forces--WWII. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1992.
  4. TM 9-1743 Ordnance Maintenance--Power Train, Suspension, Hull, and Turret for Light Armored Car M8 and Armored Utility Car M20. Washington, DC: War Department, 26 October 1943.
  5. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, 2nd edition 1944, volume 1. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Ordnance Technical Division, 1 June 1945.

Last updated 24 Oct 2016.
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