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M2
M2A1


Medium Tank M21-5
M2: General
Date of first acceptance 1939 Total acceptances 18
Manufacturer Rock Island Arsenal Crew 5 men
M2: Dimensions
Combat weight 38,020lbs
17,250kg
Height 112"
284cm
Length 212"
538cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 103"
262cm
Tread 81"
206cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 18.8psi
1.32kg/cm²
M2: Armament
Type Mount Traverse
37mm Gun M3 Turret 360°
(manual)
Two .30cal MGs Sponson AA mounts Manual
Four .30cal MGs Rotors in sponsons Manual
Two .30cal MGs Fixed in either bow None
M2: Armor
Assembly
Riveting
Hull
Face-hardened armor
Location Thickness
Lower front 1.125"
2.858cm
Floor .25"
.64cm
Top .375"
.953cm
M2: Automotive
Engine Wright 973; air-cooled radial gasoline
Horsepower 350 Fuel capacity 125gal
473L
Transmission Constant mesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M2: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 3 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
1 at top of each bogie
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth front drive Adjustable at rear of track None
M2: Track
Outside guide, double pin, smooth rubber
Width 13.25"
33.66cm
M2: Performance
Max level road speed 26mph
42kph


The medium tank M2 was basically a bigger version of the light tank M2, and used many components of the light tank; indeed the design of the medium's vertical volute spring suspension was based on that of the light tank M2's. The medium tank M2 had a turret with sloping sides and cooling fins on the final drive and differential housings. The sponson machine guns were mounted at the corners of the fighting compartment, and the anti-aircraft machine guns were mounted on top of either sponson.

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Medium Tank M2A11-3,5
M2A1: General
Date of first acceptance December 1940 Total acceptances 94
Manufacturers
  • Rock Island Arsenal
  • Chrysler Corp.
Crew 5 men
M2A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 41,315lbs
18,740kg
Height 108"
274cm
Length 212"
538cm
Gun overhang forward 0"
Width 103"
262cm
Tread 81"
206cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 15.3psi
1.07kg/cm²
M2A1: Armament
Type Mount Traverse
37mm Gun M3 M19 in turret 360°
(manual)
Two .30cal MGs Sponson AA mounts Manual
Four .30cal MGs Sponson mounts Manual
Two .30cal MGs Fixed in either bow None
M2A1: Armor
Assembly
Riveting
Hull
Face-hardened armor
Location Thickness
Lower front 1.125"
2.858cm
Floor .25"
.64cm
Top .375"
.953cm
All vertical surfaces 1.25"
3.18cm
M2A1: Automotive
Engine Wright R975 EC2; air-cooled radial gasoline
Horsepower Net: 340@2400rpm
Gross: 400@2400rpm
Torque Net: 800 ft-lb@1800rpm
Gross: 890f ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 125gal
473L
Transmission Constant mesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M2A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 3 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
1 at top of each bogie
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth front drive Adjustable at rear of track None
M2A1: Track
Outside guide, double pin, smooth rubber
Width 14.25"
36.20cm
M2A1: Performance
Max level road speed 26mph
42kph


M2A1 featured a new vertical-walled turret, and the turret door was moved from the turret rear to the top of the turret. The gun mount M19 added armor to the gun barrel and recoil mechanism, and bullet splash deflectors were added to the sloping hull front. The M2A1's sponson machine guns were fitted with tubular sights and rotor shields.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1994.
    Reprinted with permission from Sherman, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1994, 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. Hofmann, George F. "Army Doctrine and the Christie Tank: Failing to Exploit the Operational Level of War." Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Eds. George F. Hofmann, Donn A. Starry. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.

  5. Kirk, William. "Medium Tanks." TANKS! 18 Oct 2000. 9 Dec 2000 <http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/UnitedStates/mediumtanks/MediumTanks.html>. TANKS!



Last updated 28 Feb 2012.

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