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76 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M18

Description

The Gun Motor Carriage, M18, popularly known as Hellcat, was designed from the start as a high-speed tank destroyer. When it was first suggested, the design called for a 37 mm tank gun. As the armor of German tanks increased, however, this was changed first for a 57 mm tank gun, and later the 76.2 mm tank gun being developed for the Medium Tank, M4.

Production of the Gun Motor Carriage, M18 started in July 1943, and it entered service in February 1944. By the time production ended in October 1944, 2507 vehicles had been produced. It served on the Western Front in both Northern Europe and Italy, where its combination of firepower and a reliable, agile chassis made it popular with its crews and feared by the Germans.

Technical Details

76 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M18
Crew
Crew
  • Commander
  • Gunners (3)
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 18.14 t
Length 6.65 m
Width 2.97 m
Height 2.57 m
Armour
Armour (range) 7-12 mm
Performance
Speed (max) 80.5 km/h
Engine
Engine Wright R-975
Net h.p. 400
Cylinders 9
Armament
Primary weapon 76 mm Gun, M1 (1)
Secondary weapon .50 cal. Browning Machine Gun (1)

Images

Right side view of a 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M18

Further Reading

Sources

  1. CHAMBERLAIN, Peter & ELLIS, Chris. British and American Tanks of World War II : The Complete Illustrated History of British, American and Commonwealth Tanks, 1939-45. Weidenfield : Cassell, 2000. 224p. ISBN: 03-0435-529-1.