Light Tank M24 Chaffee1-9
M24: General
Date of first acceptance April 1944 Total acceptances 4371
Manufacturers
  • Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors Corp.
  • Massey Harris Co.
Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret left rear
  • Gunner in turret left front
  • Loader in turret right rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M24: Dimensions
Combat weight 40,500lbs
18,400kg
Height over AAMG 109"
277cm
Length without gun, with sandshields 198"
503cm
Gun overhang forward 21"
53cm
Width over sandshields 118"
300cm
Tread 96"
240cm
Ground clearance 18"
46cm
Fire height 73"
185cm
Turret ring diameter 60"
150cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration with T72 tracks 11.3psi
.793kg/cm²
M24: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
75mm Gun M6 M64 in turret 48 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +15° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 440 rounds 360°
(Manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 75mm gun 3750 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +15° to -10°
(Manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
2" Mortar M3 (smoke) Fixed in turret 14 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec 35°
(fixed)
Stabilizer
Elevation only
M24: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.0"
2.5cm
60°
Lower front 1.0"
2.5cm
45°
Front sides 1.0"
2.5cm
12°
Rear sides .75"
1.9cm
12°
Upper rear .75"
1.9cm
Lower rear .75"
1.9cm
42°
Top .5"
1.3cm
77° to 90°
Front floor .5"
1.3cm
90°
Rear floor .375"
.953cm
90°
Turret
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield (cast) 1.5"
3.8cm
0° to 60°
Front (cast) 1.5"
3.8cm
0° to 60°
Right side 1.0"
2.5cm
25°
Left side 1.0"
2.5cm
20°
Rear 1.0"
2.5cm
Top .5"
1.3cm
68° to 90°
M24: Automotive
Engine Twin Cadillac Series 44T24; 16 cylinder (8/engine) 4 cycle, 90 vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 220@3400rpm
(110/engine)
Gross: 296@3200rpm
(148/engine)
Torque Net: 480 ft-lb@1200rpm
(240/engine)
Gross: 560 ft-lb@1200rpm
(280/engine)
Fuel capacity 110gal
420L
Transmission Twin Hydramatic, 8 speeds forward, 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M24: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 5 individually sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth front drive Dual compensating at rear of track On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M24: Track
T72
Center guide, single pin, rubber bushed, steel, parallel grouser
Width 16"
41cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 75 Ground contact length 112.25"
285.12cm
T85E1
Center guide, double pin, rubber bushed, rubber, chevron
Width 14"
(16.5" with extended end connectors)
36cm
(41.9cm with extended end connectors)
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 75 Ground contact length 112.25"
285.12cm
M24: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
56kph
Max trench 96"
240cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter 46'
14m
Max fording depth 40"
100cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads


One of the most prominent identifying features of the M24 Chaffee was the large steering assembly access hatch in the glacis plate. It was octagonal in shape, rimmed with bolts, and had lifting handles on either side. The 75mm gun M6 in the M24 was a tank-mounted version of the 75mm gun M5 that was fielded in the B-25H Mitchell bomber. Former M5 guns mounted in Chaffees are identifiable by a grooved collar situated close the muzzle which allowed the gun to be mounted in the B-25H's concentric recoil mechanism. This collar was deleted on late-production guns meant for tanks only. The M64 mount featured a concentric hydrospring recoil mechanism that used the cradle as the outside cylinder. This mechanism produced a very short recoil stroke, allowing the gun to be used in the confines of a light tank turret. The power train of the M24 was based on that of the light tank M5A1. The drivers' hatches were larger than on previous light tanks, and could open no matter what position the turret was in. This was surely a design feature that the drivers appreciated. M24s also featured wet ammunition stowage, and therefore the Chaffee lacked a turret basket. The turret crew's seats were attached to the turret, however. The M24 could be crewed by only four men; in this situation the assistant driver would also double as loader.

T72E1 track was also used on the Chaffee. This track was simply T72 track with three holes through each shoe to allow the installation of 28.375" (72.073cm) extended end connectors. When the M24 was running on T85E1 tracks, a new drive sprocket was required. The 2" mortar M3 was eliminated after World War II.


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References

  1. TM 9-729 Light Tank M24. Washington, DC: Dept. of the Army, May 1951.

  2. FM 17-75 Crew Drill, Service of the Piece, and Stowage, Light Tank, M24. Washington, DC: Dept. of the Army, November 1949.

  3. 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.

  4. TM 9-1729C Ordnance Maintenance--Light Tank M24 and 155-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M41 Tracks, Suspension, Hull and Turret. Washington, DC: War Department, September 1947.

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

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

  7. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M24, Chaffee Light Tank." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 5 Feb 2001. 26 Jan 2001 <http://www.shadowsfolly.com/WWII/USA/M24Chaffee.htm>.

  8. Zuljan, Ralph. "M24 Chaffee." Second World War Armor. 16 Mar 2000. 5 Feb 2001 <http://www.onwar.com/tanks/usa/fltm24.htm>. Second World War Armor

  9. Federation of American Scientists. "M24 Chaffee Light Tank." DOD 101. 7 Aug 1999. 12 Mar 2001 <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m24.htm>. DOD 101



Last updated 6 Oct 2014.

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