Medium Tank M451-3
M45: General
Date of first acceptance July 1945 Total acceptances 185
Manufacturer Detroit Tank Arsenal Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M45: Dimensions
Combat weight 93,000lbs
42,000kg
Height over AAMG mount 110.9"
281.7cm
Length without howitzer, over sandshields and muffler 254.3"
645.9cm
Howitzer overhang forward 2.4"
6.1cm
Width over sandshields 138.3"
351.3cm
Tread 110"
279cm
Ground clearance 18.8"
47.8cm
Fire height 80"
200cm
Turret ring diameter 69"
175cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 13.2psi
.927kg/cm²
M45: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
105mm Howitzer M4 M71 in turret 74 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +35° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 550 rounds 360°
(Manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 105mm howitzer 5000 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +35° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
Stabilizer
Elevation only
M45: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.0"
10cm
46°
Lower front 3.0"
7.6cm
53°
Front sides 3.0"
7.6cm
Rear sides 2.0"
5.1cm
Upper rear 2.0"
5.1cm
10°
Lower rear .75"
1.9cm
62°
Top .875"
2.22cm
90°
Front floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
Rear floor .50"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Howitzer shield 8.0"
20cm
Front 5.0"
13cm
Sides 5.0" to 3.0"
13cm to 7.6cm
0° to 8°
Rear 2.5"
6.4cm
0° to 5°
Top 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M45: Automotive
Engine Ford GAF; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, 60 vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 450@2600rpm
Gross: 500@2600rpm
Torque Net: 950 ft-lb@2200rpm
Gross: 1040 ft-lb@2200rpm
Fuel capacity 183gal
693L
Transmission Torqmatic, 3 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, 3 shoe, reverse anchor
M45: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 5 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M45: Track
T80E1
Center guide, double pin, rubber and steel
Width 23"
58cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 82 Ground contact length Left side: 151.5"
Right side: 155.5"
Left side: 384.4cm
Right side: 395.0cm
T81
Center guide, single pin, steel
Width 24"
61cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 82 Ground contact length Left side: 151.5"
Right side: 155.5"
Left side: 384.4cm
Right side: 395.0cm
M45: Performance
Max level road speed 25mph sustained
30mph dash
40kph sustained
48kph dash
Max trench 96"
240cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 46"
120cm
Min turning diameter 60'
18m
Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads


The M45 medium tank was the close-support version of the M26 Pershing, fitted with a new turret and armed with a 105mm howitzer. The massive howitzer shield and increased frontal turret armor were necessary to compensate for the installation of the 105mm howitzer M4, which was lighter than the M3 90mm gun of the M26. By the time the M45 reached production, however, interest in 105mm howitzer tanks had waned, and production was cut back to less than 200 vehicles. The M45 was reclassified as a heavy tank on June 29, 1944, but changed back to a medium in May 1946.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series. Bellingham, WA: Feist Publications, Inc., 1996.

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

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




Last updated 22 Sep 2013.

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© Copyright 2001 Chris Conners