76mm Gun Motor Carriage M181-4
M18: General
Date of first acceptance July 1943 Total acceptances 2507
Manufacturers Buick Motor Car Division of General Motors Corp. Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret left rear
  • Gunner in turret left front
  • Loader in turret right
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M18: Dimensions
Combat weight 39,000lbs
18,000kg
Height over AAMG 101"
257cm
Length without gun 208"
528cm
Gun overhang forward 54"
140cm
Width over track guards 113"
287cm
Tread 94.63"
240.4cm
Ground clearance 14.3"
36.3cm
Fire height 73.8"
187cm
Turret ring diameter 69"
175cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration
(including track pins)
12.6psi
.885kg/cm²
M18: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
76mm Gun M1A1, M1A1C, or M1A2 M1 in turret 45 rounds
(9 ready)
360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Ring mount on turret 800 rounds 360°
(manual)
-- Manual
M18: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .5"
1.3cm
64°
Upper middle front .5"
1.3cm
38°
Lower middle front .5"
1.3cm
24°
Lower front .5"
1.3cm
53°
Upper sides .5"
1.3cm
23°
Lower sides .5"
1.3cm
Upper rear .5"
1.3cm
13°
Lower rear .5"
1.3cm
35°
Top .31"
.79cm
90°
Floor .19"
.48cm
90°
Turret
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield .75"
1.9cm
0° to 60°
Front (cast) 1.0"
2.5cm
23°
Sides .5"
1.3cm
20°
Rear .5"
1.3cm
Top Open
M18: Automotive
Engine Continental R-975-C4; 9 cylinder, 4 cycle, radial gasoline
Horsepower Net: 400@2400rpm
Gross: 460@2400rpm
Torque Net: 940 ft-lb@1700rpm
Gross: 1025 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 165gal
625L
Transmission 900T Torqmatic, 3 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M18: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 5 individually sprung dual/track 4 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
31-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M18: Track
T69
Center guide, single pin, rubber bushed, steel, parallel grouser
Width 12"
(14.375" including track pins)
30cm
(36.513cm including track pins)
Pitch 5.09"
12.9cm
Shoes/track 83 Ground contact length 116.5"
295.9cm
M18: Performance
Max level road speed 50mph
80kph
Max trench 73.2"
186cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter 66'
20m
Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads


The M18 tank destroyer, known unofficially as Hellcat, was armed with the same 76mm gun series as the 76mm-gun medium tanks M4. The M18 was very fast, and its torsion bar suspension ensured a smooth ride over rough terrain. The drivers were provided with split hatches in the hull roof, and the turret was open-topped except for a small plate welded to the front right of the turret, which also supported with 76mm ammunition ready rack. The hull front featured a large service hatch for access to the vehicle's transmission and final drives.

The 76mm guns themselves differ in the following ways: the M1A1C had the end of the barrel threaded for a muzzle brake, and the rifling of the M1A2 was one turn in 32 calibers versus one turn in forty for the other weapons. All M1A2s were equipped with muzzle brakes.


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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1992.
    Reprinted with permission from Stuart, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1992, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.

  2. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.

  3. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyers." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 25 Nov 2000. 1 Feb 2001 <http://www.shadowsfolly.com/WWII/USA/M18TD.htm>.

  4. Zuljan, Ralph. "M18 Hellcat." Second World War Armor. 16 Mar 2000. 1 Feb 2001 <http://www.onwar.com/tanks/usa/ftdm18.htm>. Second World War Armor



Last updated 30 Aug 2013.

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