The plethora of machine guns arming the medium tank M2 is well illustrated here. Each corner of the fighting compartment, each side of the bow, and the sponson roof antiaircraft mounts all featured a .30cal MG. Bullet deflector plates were installed over the rear fenders. The idea behind these curious additions was that the tank could roll over a trench, and the rear sponson machine guns could then fire onto the plates and the fire would deflect into the trench or the area directly behind the tank. (Picture from Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks.)
The turret on the M2A1 featured vertical sides to increase working room The bullet splash deflectors on the hull front slope and rotor shields and sights on the sponson machine guns are also readily visible. The M2 family featured cooling fins on the final drive housings; these were dropped when the medium tank M3 was designed. (Picture from Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks.)
A closer look at the hull machine guns is provided here. The driver's hatches are open, and the riveted construction of the tank is readily apparent.
The cooling fins on the final drive housing are highlighted in this image. Note that the rubber blocks on the tracks have been worn away on this vehicle.
The driver's hatches are open on this M2A1, and the sponson door is being used by the mannequin. The 37mm gun is lacking the characteristic armor shield usually found on the M2A1, but the sponson machine gun rotor shields are fitted. Along with the new turret, M2A1 also featured a new design for the turret pistol ports.
In this view we are looking into the fighting compartment from the starboard hull door. The port hull door is directly across, and the turret ring can be seen at the top of the image. The front and rear machine gun rotors are painted to match the outside of the tank, and the upward-aiming antiaircraft machine gun can also be seen.
The front of the fighting compartment is shown here, including the driver's position directly on top of the tank's transmission. Two closely-spaced steering levers can be seen in front of his chair, and the position of his instrument cluster is apparent. The forward machine gun rotors can be seen flanking the driver. Riveting fell by the wayside in part because the rivets could come apart and ricochet around the interior of a tank when they were struck by enemy fire. Noting the number of rivets needed to construct a tank, this would not be a trivial concern.
The crew in this display are removing the Wright R975 EC2 engine. There were also large hinged access doors in the hull rear plate for engine work. One of the mud-smeared bullet deflectors can be seen above the left taillight.
A closer view of the radial engine is shown here, as well as details of the antenna mount.
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