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United States' M1 Combat Car, M2 Combat Car

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M1 Combat Car :
United States' M1 Combat Car

M1 Combat Car :
United States' M1 Combat Car
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M1 Combat Car :
United States' M1 Combat Car
Mark Holloway
M1 Combat Car :
United States' M1 Combat Car
Mark Holloway
M1 Combat Car :
United States' M1 Combat Car
Mark Holloway
M2 Combat Car :
United States' M2 Combat Car

Design

The 1920 Defense Act restricted tanks to the infantry. To allow the cavalry to have tanks of it's own, they were called "combat cars." In 1934-35 3 prototypes were developed. They were designated the T2, T2E1, and T2E2. The T2 was inspired by the British Vickers Armstrong 6 ton tank. The T2 was developed as an infantry tank and Rock Island Arsenal produced a similar tank for the calvary called the T5 Combat Car. It had vertical volute spring suspension instead of leave spring suspension. Modifications were made and soon it became the T5E2 which was eventually standardized as the M1 Combat Car.

It entered service with the US Army in 1937.4

In July 1940 the new Armored Force was created and it abolished the distinction between infantry and cavalry tanks. These tanks were then renamed to Light Tanks.4

The .50 cal MG fired at 2,850'/sec.5 The .30 cal MG at 2,800'/sec.5

The Combat Car M1 was the basis for all following light tanks in the United States Army until 1944.4

Hull

The hull was made from flat plates.4

Suspension

The Combat Cars used the vertical volute suspension.4 These were selected as it was much easier to maintain them than the Christie torsion bar suspension.4 Instead of a raised idler the M2 had a trailing idler wheel.6

Turret

The first 58 had a D shaped turret that had 2 machine guns installed.1 Then they had octagonal turrets which sometimes had a machine gun installed for anti-aircraft protection.1,6

Production

  • Combat Car M1:
    • Production: 19355, 1937-
    • Manufacturer: Rock Island Arsenal5
  • Combat Car M1A1: 17
  • Combat Car M2: 7

Variants

  • Combat Car M1: Two .30" machine guns and one .50" machine gun.4
  • Combat Car M1A1:
  • Combat Car M2: Used a Guiberson T1020 diesel.1,6 Two .30" machine guns and one .50" machine gun.4 Trailing idler wheel.6

Specifications

  M1
Crew Commander, turret gunner, driver, hull gunner.2
41,2,5,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19,200 lb5, 19,644 lb2
5.89 tons, 8.39 tons6
5,987 kg, 8,528 kg6
Length 13' 7"1,2,5,6
4.14 m1,6
Height 7' 9"1,2,5,6
2.3 m1, 2.36 m6
Width 7' 10"1,2,6, 8 2.5"5
2.39 m6, 2.4 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 14.5"5
Ground contact length 97"5
Ground pressure 9 psi5
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG AND 7.62 (.30 cal) mm MG.1,2
1: .50 cal MG
1: .50 cal M2 MG5
1: 12.7 mm / 0.5" MG6
Secondary  
MG - Anti-Aircraft 1: .30 cal M2 MG5
1: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG6
MG - Coaxial 1: .30 cal M2 MG5
1: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG6
MG - Hull 1: .30 cal M2 MG5
1: .30 cal MG2
1: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main .50: 1,1002, 1,505
.30: 6,0002
Secondary  
MG .30: 2,3805
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 62, 161,2,6
Hull Front, Upper 0.625"@0°5
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°5
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°5
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 0.625"@0°5
Turret Sides 0.25"@0°5
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Continental W-6701,2,6
Continental WG705
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air5
Cylinders R-75, 76
Capacity  
Net HP 2505,6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh5
5 forward, 1 reverse5
Steering Controlled differential5
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline5,6
Octane  
Quantity 54 gallons5
Road consumption 2.4 mpg5
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2,5
Speed - Road 45 mph1,2,5,6
72 kph1, 72.4 kph6
Speed - Cross Country 15-20 mph2
Range - Road 100 miles1,2,6, 130 miles5
161 km1,6
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 4' 4"2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability 26° slope5
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute2,4
Vickers Leaf-Spring.1
Vertical volute springing5
Wheels each side 2 double wheel bogie5
Return rollers each side 25
Tracks (Type) Steel, rubber pads, dry pin5
Length  
Width 11.5"2,5
Diameter  
Number of links 665
Pitch 5.5"5
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6'2, 73"5
  M1E2
Crew 43
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 19,530 lb3
Length 14' 7"3
Height 7' 5"3
Width 7' 9.75"3
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 4: MG3
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 0.5" - 5/8"3
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Continental radial3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air3
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 2503
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph3
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  5. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  6. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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