76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

"Blondie" is sporting a muzzle brake and double-pin T85E1 track, and stowage bins are welded to both sides of the turret.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

A cross-sectional view of the vehicle is shown here. Note that, in contrast to the radial-engined Sherman tanks, the propeller shaft in the M18 was lowered by the use of a rear transfer case; consequently it was able to be housed under the hull subfloor. This allowed the M18 to have shorter hull despite using the same engine and front transmission setup. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

A closer view of the access hatch in the hull front is provided here. The headlight groups and siren mountings are obvious, and a tow cable is draped across the front of the vehicle. The split hatches for both drivers are open, and the periscopes mounted in the outside hatch doors are visible.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The transmission was able to be removed from the front of the vehicle after the front cover was dismounted and a rail system was assembled and installed. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The driver steered the vehicle with two steering levers that descended from the hull roof. The accelerator pedal is visible on the floor, and the vehicle's transmission separated the two drivers.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The assistant driver was provided with an identical set of controls.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The layout of the driver's steering levers is shown here. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The rear hull deck was composed of an engine air outlet grille. The starter crank on the grille here was normally stowed on the hull rear engine access door

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

B. Hull air inlet grille. C. Oil tank filler screen door. D. Hull rear roof door. E. Hull air outlet grille left. F. Fuel tank gage cover. G. Hull air outlet grille center. H. Fuel tank cap cover. I. Hull rear upper plate. J. Hull air outlet grille right. K. Oil filter handle. L. Drain valve handle. M. Hull rear door. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The engine in the M18 was placed on rails to allow easy removal for maintenance. This same powerplant could be found in some varieties of Sherman tank. Its exhaust manifold and mufflers are among the components visible here.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The engine is shown here attached to a lifting sling. The rollers on the bottom of the assembly that allow it to be removed from the hull can be seen. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the American Armoured Foundation Tank Museum.

This vehicle is fitted with the original M18-type drive sprocket and single-pin track. Note that the track is engaged by every other sprocket tooth.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

Details of the suspension are illustrated in this image. Note the compensating link attached to the drive sprocket, the purpose of which is detailed below. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The drive sprocket, wheel spindle, final drive gear, pinion, and pinion shaft were all assembled in a wheel carrier supported by ball bearings that was able to swing the sprocket forwards and backwards as the front track wheel rose and fell, helping to compensate for varying track tension as the vehicle tackled terrain. This compensating link also had a shock absorber attached. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

One of the shock absorbers is centered in this image. Also visible are a return roller mount to the upper right and one of the track wheel support arms to the lower left.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

A view from behind the same shock absorber is provided here.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

The rear of the vehicle is shown here. The engine's hand crank starter is stowed on the hull rear door, and the right-hand fuel filler cover is open on the right side.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

Details of the assistant driver's split hatch can be seen here. The drivers each had a periscope in the outer hatch door. A guard for the fire extinguisher external handles can be seen in the upper left of the image.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

This picture is looking in through the open assistant driver's hatch. The turret slip ring that provided electrical connections to the turret is centered. Its cover featured a red arrow pointing to the hull front to help orient the turret crew. The device in the left foreground with the data plate attached is the auxiliary generator.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 at the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles.

Directly behind the assistant driver's hatch is the air outlet for the auxiliary generator engine, and its exhaust pipe is welded to the outer sponson. The red control handles for the fixed fire extinguishers can also be seen in this image.

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

A cross-section of the turret race is shown here. Before the weapons and mounts were installed, the bearings supported the 2400lb (1100kg) weight of the turret itself. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

Gunner's controls on an early-production vehicle are shown here. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

Gunner's controls on a late-production vehicle are shown here. The top row should read, "Commander's remote control handle," "Hydraulic motor (and adapter)," "Release lever," and "Brake handle." (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The elevation handwheel and floor firing switch are visible in this image. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18.

The position of the gunner's sighting devices are shown here. The telescope M72C or M76C was used for direct laying of the 76mm gun; the periscope M4A1, which contained a telescope M47A2, was used for direct laying against moving targets when firing the 76mm APC projectile M62. (Picture from TM 9-755 76-mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 and Armored Utility Vehicle M39.)

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Last updated 8 Oct 2016.
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© Copyright 2001-16 Chris Conners