Light Tank M22 Locust1-8
M22: General
Date of first acceptance April 1943 Total acceptances 830
Manufacturer Marmon-Herrington Co. Crew
3 men:
  • Commander/loader in turret right
  • Gunner in turret left
  • Driver in hull left front
M22: Dimensions
Combat weight 16,400lbs
7440kg
Height 72.5"
184cm
Length without gun 155"
394cm
Gun overhang forward 1"
2.5cm
Width 88.5"
225cm
Tread 70.3"
179cm
Ground clearance 10"
25cm
Fire height 58"
150cm
Turret ring diameter 47.45"
120.5cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 7.1psi
.50kg/cm²
M22: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
37mm Gun M6 M53 in turret 50 rounds 360°
(manual)
+30° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 37mm gun 2500 rounds 360°
(manual)
+30° to -10°
(manual)
M22: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .5"
1.3cm
65°
Driver's head cover 1.0"
2.5cm
Lower front 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper sides .375"
.953cm
45°
Lower sides .5"
1.3cm
Rear .5"
1.3cm
Top .375"
.953cm
90°
Floor .5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 1.0"
2.5cm
50°
Front 1.0"
2.5cm
30°
Sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Rear 1.0"
2.5cm
Top .375" to .75"
.953cm to 1.9cm
90°
M22: Automotive
Engine Lycoming O-435T; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, opposed gasoline
Horsepower Net: 162@2800rpm
Gross: 192@2800rpm
Torque Net: 332 ft-lb@2100rpm
Gross: 360 ft-lb@2100rpm
Fuel capacity 57gal
215L
Transmission Manual, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse (synchromesh 3rd and 4th gears)
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M22: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 2 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
2/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
22-tooth front drive Trailing adjustable with volute spring at rear of track None
M22: Track
T78
Outside guide, single dry pin, cast malleable iron
Width 11.25"
28.58cm
Pitch 3.0"
7.6cm
Shoes/track 106 Ground contact length 102.5"
260.4cm
M22: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max trench 66"
170cm
Max grade 50% Max vertical obstacle 18"
46cm
Min turning diameter 38'
12m
Max fording depth 36"
91cm
Cruising range ~110mi, roads
~180km, roads


The M22 light tank was intended for airborne use, and the C-54 Skymaster cargo aircraft was the original carrier plane. When transported by the C-54, the turret of the M22 was removed, and the hull was suspended below the plane via lifting brackets at the four corners of the hull. The turret of the Locust was designed to be easily removable for this reason, and British tests found that the tank could be reassembled in ten minutes or less using the aircraft's integral hoists. Combined with the fact that the laden C-54 would require a large runway, though, the reassembly process meant that achieving any measure of surprise was seriously hindered for the tanks. The British Hamilcar glider and later American aircraft like the C-82 could carry the M22 ready for battle. The tank was never used operationally by US troops, but eight M22s were part of the British airborne force that assaulted enemy positions along the Rhine during Operation Varsity in March 1945.

The suspension of the M22 included strengthening braces running between the two bogie brackets and between the rear bogie and idler assembly. The commander and gunner had their own hatches, and the driver was protected by a protruding hood on the hull left front that was hinged at the top. The first 27 M22s featured a protected direct vision slot for the driver, which was replaced with a vision port which was closed with a steel plug. The steel plug closure system was similar to the driver's direct vision setup in the light tank M5. The sides of the driver's hood were also sloped on later tanks. The exhaust pipe for the M22 exited the engine compartment in the rear, and then curved up to the right rear fender of the tank, where the muffler rested.


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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. AGF Board No. 2. Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks. 1947.

  4. Flint, Keith. Airborne Armour: Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938-50. Solihull, West Midlands, England: Helion & Co., Ltd., 2004.

  5. Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Co., 2000.

  6. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M22, Locust, Airborne Light Tank." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 25 Nov 2000. 31 Jan 2001 <http://www.shadowsfolly.com/WWII/USA/M22Locust.htm>.

  7. Zuljan, Ralph. "M22 Locust." Second World War Armor. 16 Mar 2000. 31 Jan 2001 <http://www.onwar.com/tanks/usa/fltm22.htm>. Second World War Armor

  8. TM 9-1724A Ordnance Maintenance--Engine and Engine Accessories for Light Tank T9E1. Washington, DC: War Department, 6 August 1943.



Last updated 5 Apr 2014.

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