TRANSPORTATION AND COMBAT VEHICLES

 
 

LIGHT TANK, M5A1
 

 

LIGHT TANK, M5A1, standardized in September 1942, and replaced the Light Tank M5, in production. It was reclassified as Substitute Standard in July 1944. Principal change was the use of an improved turret with a radio bulge at the rear. The improved turret provides more room for the turret crew members and permits desirable rearrangements in stowage. A radio antenna bracket was mounted above the bulge. A removable plate in the rear of the bulge permitted removal of the 37mm gun.

 

The antiaircraft gun mount was improved and repositioned to the right side of the turret. Dual traverse is incorporated, permitting the commander to traverse the turret while firing the antiaircraft gun.

 

Larger escape hatches, with improved positive water-sealing door latches, are provided, and there is an additional escape hatch for emergency use in the floor of the hull.

 

The improved Combination Gun Mount, M44, for the turret guns, incorporates a direct-sighting 3-power telescope. The breech guard permits hinging upward, facilitating travel from one seat to another by personnel. A new mount for the commander's periscope permits 3600 traverse. An additional periscope in the turret facilitates rear vision for the commander.

 

Pistol port doors are redesigned and relocated, and equipped with locking devices. A direction finder fastened to the turret roof ahead of the commander's periscope indicates the straight ahead position.

 

Sand shields, which extend down from the sponsons and cover the top portion of the track would be supplied when required.

 

Pilot models for Light Tank M5A1 were manufactured by the Cadillac Motor Car Division, General Motors Corporation.

 

The two "F" Companies  in respectively the 113th & 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron had each 17 of these light tanks. In December 1944 however these tanks were replaced by the LIGHT TANK M24.

 
 

75mm HOWITZER MOTOR CARRIAGE, M8

 

The 75mm HOWITZER MOTOR CARRIAGE, M8 is a highly mobile 75mm howitzer motor carriage capable of being used as assault or support artillery with full protection against small arms fire. 

 
It is similar to Light Tank, M5, but has a redesigned turret to mount a 75mm Howitzer.
 

Principal armament is a 75mm Howitzer, M2 or M3, with a rate of fire of 25 rounds per minute. Firing an H.E. shell, M48, with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 feet per second, it has a maximum range of 9,610 yards. The howitzer has an elevation of from - 200 to + 400.

 

The turret is of welded armor, open at the top except for a partial roof to support the cal. .50 HB antiaircraft machine gun ring mount. It has a traverse of 3600.

 

The hull is of armor plate and is a completely welded structure except for portions of the front, top and rear which are removable for service operations.

 

The vehicle is powered by two Cadillac engines, each of which is connected to a Hydra-Matic transmission, providing six forward speeds and one reverse speed. It is wired for radio and for an interphone system. Four periscopes are provided.

 

The pilot model was manufactured by the Cadillac Motor Car Division, General Motors Corporation.
 

The two "E" Troops  in respectively the 113th & 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron had each 6 of these 75mm Howitzers.

 
 

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LIGHT TANK, M24

 

LIGHT TANK, M24, was designed to provide an improved light tank mounting a 75mm gun, and having increased flotation and mobility and greater accessibility of all components. It was standardized in July, 1944.

 

The crew consists of four men. Principal armament consists of a 75mm Gun, M6, in a concentric recoil mechanism, mounted with a cal. .30 machine gun in Combination Gun Mount, M64. A gyrostabilizer is provided. The combination mount has an elevation from - 100 to + 150 , and can be traversed 3600 in the power-operated turret.

 

A cal. .50 machine gun is pintle mounted at the rear of the turret for antiaircraft protection. A cal. .30 machine gun is in the bow, and a 2/inch mortar in the right front turret.

 

There is no turret basket. Seats for the turret crew members are suspended from the base ring. The 75mm ammunition is stowed on the floor of the vehicle in water/protected containers.

 

Power is supplied by two 8/cylinder, 90 , V/type, liquid/cooled Cadillac engines, through two Hydra-Matic transmissions. Right and left engines are interchangeable. A manual shift transfer unit with two speeds forward and one reverse is in corporated in the gear train used to couple the two engines together.

 

A controlled differential for steering and braking is located in the front of the hull. A synchronizer incorporated in the transfer unit permits a speedy shift from the low to high range or vice versa, and allows a total of eight speeds forward in the low range with the first and second speeds in the high range. In addition, four speeds can be obtained in reserve, making possible reverse speeds up to 18 miles per hour.

 

As compared with Light Tank, M5A1, the vehicle has a 22% increase in overall low gear ratio, with correspondingly increased grade ability and pulling capacity.

 

An individually sprung, compensated torsion bar suspension, together with a single pin, rubber-bushed, center guide track, 16 inches wide, provides better ridding qualities, a more stable gun platform, and reduced ground pressures, allowing better cross-country mobility than could be obtained with Light Tank, M5A1.

 

Radiators are of larger capacity, and are so placed that they can be readily cleaned from openings in the fighting compartment bulkhead. Fans are directly in the rear of the radiators.

 

Doors for the driver and assistant driver are larger and can be opened and closed without interference of turret position. The turret doors are also larger. An escape hatch is provided in the floor of the hull.

 

Wherever possible, unit assemblies have been made so that they can be easily removed and rapidly replaced in the field. Interchangeability of components and assemblies has been applied throughout the design.

 

Three periscopes for vision, a commander's vision block cupola, a sighting periscope, and other sighting equipment are provided. The vehicle is equipped with a two-way radio and an interphone system. A quick release pintle of 69,000 pounds capacity is provided.

 
The pilot vehicle was manufactured by the Cadillac Motor Car Division, General Motors Corporation.
 

The two "F" Companies  in respectively the 113th & 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron received in December 1944 each 17 of these new type light tanks. They replaced the older Light Tank, M5A1 model.

 
 
 
 

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