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M24 Light Tank Chaffee

M24 Light Tank Chaffee

M24 Light Tank Chaffee

Background
Development
Description
Combat
Variants
Stats

Background

The M24 Chaffee Light Tank was the best light tank to see service during the Second World War, but it arrived too late to make a significant contribution to the fighting, entering combat in small numbers late in 1944.

American troops first entered combat against the Germans after the start of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa of November 1942. The Germans rushed troops and tanks to Tunisia, and the resulting campaign lasted until May 1943. At the start of this campaign the US Armored Force had expected the M5 Light Tank to be able to operate alongside the newer medium tanks, playing a major part in the main battle. It quickly became clear that the M5 was very vulnerable to the German anti-tank weapons that accompanied their infantry. This meant that it struggled to carry out reconnaissance, as there was a real danger that the scouting tanks would be destroyed by the very troops they had been sent to find. They were hopelessly outclassed by the German tanks of 1943, and most of the senior tank commanders who fought in Tunisia wanted the M5 to be withdrawn and replaced with a more heavily armed and armoured tank. Patton and Bradley supported this idea, and wanted the M5 limited to a reconnaissance role. In the aftermath of the Tunisian campaign the US Army got rid of most of its light tank battalions, and instead created a force of mixed battalions, with three companies of medium tanks and one company of light tanks.

The expectation that the light tank would be able to act as an infantry support weapon, and take part in exploitation of breaks in the German lines played a part in the failure of the T7 Light Tank/ M7 Medium Tank. Work on the T7 began in January 1941, when it was to be 14 ton tank, armed with a 37mm gun. It soon became clear that this gun was no longer effective, and in 1942 the design was altered, first to use a 57mm gun and then a 75mm gun. By this time the tank had expanded so much that in August 1942 it was standardised as the M7 Medium Tank. A handful of M7s were completed before the project was cancelled in February 1943. The problem was this tank had been designed for a role that the light tank could no longer hope to carry out in the face of modern anti-tank weapons. In an attempt to produce a tank that could indeed survive on the battlefield of 1942 the T7 light tank had evolved into a medium tank, leaving the M5 to fight on.

An attempt was made to mount the 75mm gun on the M5 chassis. This used a modified turret from the M8 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, and underwent tests in January 1943. The basic principle was sound, but in March 1943 the Armored Force rejected the open topped turret.

A third alternative was provided by the T21 Light Tank project. This was based on the T20 Medium Tank design, and was developed in the second half of 1942. It would have carried a 76mm gun but despite fairly thin armour the T21 was expected to weigh 24 (short) tons, and was rejected by the Armored Force, who wanted their light tanks to weight 20 (short) tons or less.

Development

By March 1943 all three of the possible light tank designs had been rejected. The Ordnance Committee suggested that work should begin on a new design. This would use a 75mm gun, the successful power-train of the M5A1 light tank but with updated suspension and a three man-turret. Weight was to be kept low by only providing thin armour, and the new tank was only expected to serve in the reconnaissance role.

The new T24 programme was officially approved on 29 April 1943. The new tank was designed by General Motors, with the Chrysler and Cadillac divisions taking the lead, supported by the Ordnance Department. The basic hull design came from Cadillac, as did the twin V8 engines. The vertical volute suspension of the M3 and M5 Light Tanks was rejected and a newer torsion bar suspension system, similar to the one used on the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer, was chosen.

The biggest problem was the weight of the standard 75mm guns. A solution was provided by the USAAF, which had developed a lightweight T13E1 75mm gun for use in the B-25 Mitchell. This used a concentric recoil mechanism that took up less space and reduced the distance of the recoil. The new gun was successfully tested in the summer of 1943.

In the meantime work on the T24 progressed quickly. A wooden mock-up was completed in May 1943 and was followed by two pilots. The first of the pilots was delivered in October, but the Ordnance Committee was so confident that in September 1943 they requested production of 1,000 tanks. The chief of engineers objected to the new design on the grounds that it was too wide (it was actually wider than the M4 Sherman), but he was overruled. The only condition that was imposed was that the M24 should replace the M5A1 on existing production lines.

The first pilot began tests at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in mid October 1943. The only significant issue was a problem with the concentric recoil system, but that was fixed on the second pilot, which began its trials in December 1943. At this stage the Armored Board asked for wet ammunition storage, a vision cupola for the command and a pistol port on the turret.

The T-24 was standardised as the M24 Light Tank in July 1944. It was named the Chaffee to honour General Adna Chaffee, the first head of the US Armored Force.

In December 1943 another 800 M-24s were ordered and eventually a total of 5,000 were ordered. Production at Cadillac began late in April 1944 and between then and July 1945 they built 3,592 M-24s. Massey-Harris also switched production from the M5A1 and built 1,139 M-24s between July 1944 and June 1945. Between them the two firms built 4,731 M-24s.

The 75mm gun used in the M24 could fire the same shells as the M4 Sherman, but the shorter barrel length meant that it produced lower muzzle speeds and less armour penetration. The new gun thus wasn't particularly effective against the German tanks of 1944-45, but that wasn’t really its purpose. The M24 wasn't expected to stand up and fight if it ran into German tanks, but instead to retreat and report what it had found. The big advantage of the 75mm gun was that was far more effective against German anti-tank guns or infantry strongpoints than the 37mm gun of the M5A1, which by 1944 was far too short ranged to be useful. The projectile in the standard high explosive shell used in the 37mm gun weighed 1.51lbs, the equivalent projective for the 75mm gun weighed 14.70lbs!

Description

The M24 had torsion bar suspension with five pairs of road wheels on each side, a raised rear idler and front drive wheel. The twin Cadillac engines were at the rear, and the transmission and final drive were at the front.

The M24 was considerably bigger than the M5, in every dimension. The M5 was 14ft 2.75in long, 7ft 4.25in wide and 7ft 6.5in high. The M24 was 18ft long, 9ft 4in wide and 8ft 4in tall. The sleeker design always seems to make the M24 look lower than the M5 so it comes as something of a surprise to discover that it was nearly 10in taller.

Because the M24 was a larger vehicle than the early tanks there was no need for sponsons above the top of the tracks (used for essential storage on the M3 and M5). The hull and superstructure formed a single armoured box. The sides were simple flat armoured sheets, but they sloped inwards, so the hull was wider at the top than at the bottom. This increased the amount of space available for the turret ring and also gave the tank slightly sloped side armour.

The front of the tank was pointed, with the lower plate more steeply sloped than the top plate. The top of the superstructure was made up of a series of flat plates that were all gently sloped to give the impression of a curve with the turret at the highest point.

From above the turret had a tear-drop shape, with a circular plan to the sides and front, but extended at the back to create some storage space within the turret. The turret had sloped sides - the bottom third sloped out from the ring, and the top two thirds then sloped back in towards the roof.

The 75mm gun was protected by a mantlet that was almost rectangular when seen from the front (but with a curved top), and curved when seen from the side. The .30in machine gun was mounted in the bottom right on the mantlet (as seen from the turret), and the .50in anti-aircraft gun was on a pedestal mount at the back of the turret. The commander's cupola was at the back left of the turret. The gunner was at the front left of the turret and the loader at the front right.

The driver sat in the front-left of the fuselage. There was a .30in machine gun built into the front right of the hull, and this was operated by the fifth member of the crew, who served as hull gunner, co-driver and radio operator.

The result was a tank that even today looks sleek and modern.

The M24 had a short post-war career in the US Army - in 1951 the M41 Walter Bulldog light tank entered service and the M24 was declared surplus and the surviving tanks were sold off.

Combat

Europe

The M24 began to reach the front line late in 1944, several months later that first planned. The original plan was to send 160 tanks to Europe in August, but the tanks weren't ready.

In November the army decided to use the first M24s to equip the two remaining light tank battalions, the 744th and 759th, then to move onto the light tank companies in the 2nd and 3rd Armoured Divisions.

The first tanks reached France by 8 December and set off for the 744th. Two of them were taken over by the 740th Tank Battalion, a unit that had arrived in Europe without any tanks and was now being sent to the Ardennes to help try and stop the German advance. They managed to acquire two of the twenty M24s in this first batch, and the new tank got its combat debut on 20 December 1944. They survived this fighting and remained in use with the 740th into January 1945.

The 744th received its first M24s on 24 December, and had completely re-equipped with the new tank by mid February. The M24 was then used during Operation Grenade, the crossing of the Roer River. The M24 performed well in this first large-scale battle, and its mobility, reliability and improved crew accommodation meant it was very popular with its crews. The thin armour was still seen as a problem and there wasn't enough ammo storage for the sort of battles being fought as the US Army advanced into Germany. The 744th continued to operate the M24 to the end of the war, but it did partly convert to the M4A3(76) Sherman before the end of the fighting.

The 759th didn't fully convert to the M24. Towards the end of the war in Europe one company did receive the M24, but the rest of the battalion had to struggle on with the M5A2.

The next units to receive the M24 in Europe were the light tank troops in the cavalry reconnaissance squadrons. They had been suffering badly with the M5 and received most of the first 200 M24s to reach Europe.

The biggest users of the M24 in Europe were the last four armoured divisions to reach Europe - the 8th, 13th, 16th and 20th. These had received the M24 in the United States and thus deployed with them.

Once the reconnaissance squadrons had received their M24s the priority went to the existing armoured divisions. The independent Tank Battalions received very few M24s. At the start of May 1945 there were 1,163 M24s in use in the European Theatre - 611 with armoured divisions, 455 with cavalry reconnaissance squadrons and only 97 with independent tank battalions.

The M24 was generally popular with its users. They praised its mobility and the 75mm gun was seen as a great improvement over the 37mm gun of the M5. The thin armour was acknowledged, but there was a general feeling that the M4 Sherman's armour was no more effective.

The M24's gun couldn't penetrate the armour of the Tiger or Panther at normal combat distances, but on occasions they did achieve victories over the larger German tanks. In early March two M24s from the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron ran into two tanks reported to have been Tigers near Domagen. The faster moving M24s managed to hit the side and rear turret armour of the German tanks causing internal explosions that burnt out both tanks,

Italy

The Italian front had a lower priority, and so very few M24s found there way there. The main user was the 81st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 1st Armoured Division, which used them from March 1945. The 13th Armoured Battalion, 1st Armoured Divison, also received a number of M24s.

The M24 didn't reach the Pacific before the end of the war. The Marine Corps did test out the type but didn't accept it for service. The US Army used the M24 during the occupation of Japan as the light tank was capable of travelling on Japanese bridges that were too light for the heavier M4 Sherman.

Export

The only significant overseas user of the M24 during the Second World War was Britain, where 302 were received. They were used to replace the Stuart light tank in a number of units, including the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and the 8th Hussars, 7th Armoured Division. They were used in combat during the last phase of the war in Germany.

After the end of the war the M24 was exported to many American allies, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Taiwan, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Laos, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korean, South Vietnam, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey , Uruguay and UK

The French received the most M24s - over 1,000 eventually - and used it in Vietnam and during the Algerian War.

The South Vietnamese also used the M24 in combat, as did Pakistan during the 1965 and 1971 wars with India.

Korean War

The M24 was the only America tank in Japan at the start of the Korean War. There were four American divisions in Japan, each with their own light tank company.

The North Koreans were equipped with the T-34/85, and many of their troops were experienced veterans of the war in Europe or the Chinese Civil War. The T-34s helped the North Koreans overwhelm the South Korean army and they were soon streaming south across the country. The four M24 tank companies in Japan were quickly formed into a provisional tank battalion, with a total of fifth tanks, and were shipped to Korea. The war began on 24 June 1950, and the American tanks were in the country by early July.

On 7 July fourteen tanks from the battalion were sent north to support the 24th Division, which was fighting near Jeonju (Chonjui) on the Geum River. The 24th Division had been fighting further north, at Osan, but was forced to retreat towards the Geum. The first clash between the M24s and the T-34/85 came on 10 July just north of Geum. Neither side performed especially well during this clash. The M24 struggled to damage the T-34s, and most of their shots bounced. One T-34 was disabled. In return the North Koreans failed to knock out any of the Americans, but two M24s were lost after their gun recoil systems failed. The Americans were unable to hold the line of the river, and by 24 July the UN forces had been pushed back to the Pusan perimeter. A significant number of the M24s were lost during the retreat and the balance of power was only restored after the arrival of M4 Shermans and M26 Pershings in August. The M24 was used for reconnaissance during the rest of 1950, and by the end of the year 138 tanks had been sent to Korea. The M24 was eventually withdrawn to Japan, although the M19 Multiple Gun Carriage and M41 self propelled guns, both derived from the M24, remained in use.

Variants

The M24 was used as the basis for a number of self-propelled guns, sometimes known as the Light Combat Team. They used a modified M24 chassis with the engine in the middle and the fighting platform at the rear These included the M19 40mm Motor Gun Carriage, M41 155mm Howitzer Motor Carriage and a number of more experimental designs. It was also the basis for the T77 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage and the M37 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, both of which used a more standard M24 chassis.

M19 40mm Gun Motor Carriage

The M19 carried twin 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns on a circular platform at the back of a M24 light combat team chassis. It arrived too late for combat in the Second World War, but was used as an infantry support weapon during the Korean war.

M37 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage

The M37 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was produced to provide a lighter version of the M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage 'Priest'. The M37 was used in the Korean War.

M41 Howitzer Motor Carriage

The M41 155mm Howitzer Motor Carriage carried a long barrelled howitzer on the M24 light combat team chassis. It was used during the Korean War.

T38 Mortar Motor carriage

The T38 Mortar Motor Carriage was a version of the M37 HMC but armed with a 4.2in mortar. It was cancelled at the end of the Second World War.

T77 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage

The T77 carried a quad .50in mount in a specially designed turret, which replaced the standard M24 turret. The T77 was developed between 1943 and 1945, and reached the trials stage during 1945 but it was abandoned after the end of the Second World War.

T78 90mm Gun Motor Project

The T78 was a project to mount a 90mm gun on the M24 chassis. Very little progress was made.

T81 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage

The T81 was a design for a vehicle with a single 40mm and twin .50in calibre anti-aircraft guns, on the M24 chassis

T96 155mm Mortar Motor Carriage

The T96 155mm Mortar Motor Carriage was a design for a vehicle that would have carried a 155mm T37 mortar on the M24 chassis.

Stats
Production: 4,731
Hull Length: 18ft
Hull Width: 9ft 4in
Height: 8ft 4in
Crew: 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/ radio operator/ hull gunner)
Weight: 40,500lb
Engine: 220hp Twin Cadillac 44T24 petrol engine
Max Speed: 35mph (road), 25mph (cross-country)
Max Range: 100 miles road radius
Armament: 75mm M6 gun, two .30in machine guns, one .50in anti-aircraft machine gun
Armour: 9-25mm


For Sale: 1943 M24 Chaffee Tank

This vehicle runs and drives perfectly, both engines and transmissions are in great condition and have no issues.
This M24 has been in too many events to mention over the last several years without a hiccup.
Both engines started right up even after sitting for 5 months during the winter this year.

Since this always get asked in a question, I am highlighting it so folks don’t miss it :
GUN INFORMATION
The main gun that is installed in the tank is rigged to run Oxy-Acetyline as a gas gun.

The tank also comes with a LIVE 75mm Barrel and LIVE Registered Breech. Proper Transfer required.

To recap : I have 2 barrels, the installed 75mm barrel is a gas gun, and I have a live 75mm barrel and breech not installed in the tank.

The tank comes with a spare set of tracks that are in great condition, about 80%. See pictures.

The interior requires a full restoration if show-room quality is desired.
That being said, the tank is ready to use and run as is without any changes as long as you want.
I estimate that for 20-25k this vehicle could be put into showroom perfect condition.
I am pricing it with the understanding that to make it perfect it requires that work.

This is a turn-key tank though, you don’t have to do a thing to drive it off the trailer and use it as much as you want right away.

Additional Pics and Pictures during Painting Click Here

Visits for serious buyers highly encouraged, vehicle located in central MA, 40 minutes west of Boston Logan International Airport.

NOTE – I am a licensed US Exporter of Military Equipment and can ship World Wide.
I will assist in arranging shipping as needed but cost of shipping is sole responsibility of the buyer.

I have contacts to help with shipping within the US and outside the US.
I have references available upon request, including US, Belgium, France, Netherlands, & Hungary.


Context – Isolation: Chile’s political situation in the 1970s

In 1970, Unidad Popular (Eng: Popular Unity), a popular front electoral alliance of the major left and center-left parties, including the Partido Comunista de Chile (Eng: Communist Party of Chile) and the Partido Socialista de Chile (Eng: Socialist Party of Chile), led by Salvador Allende, won the presidential election by the slightest of margins.

In the three years that he governed Chile, Allende began a policy of nationalization without compensation of the industries and a program of the expropriation of agricultural land, while also building new schools, new hospitals and reducing rents.

Under Allende, Chile distanced itself from its former economic and military partner, the United States, whilst forging relationships with communist or socialist nations, including Cuba and the Soviet Union.

Allende’s reforms antagonized large elements of Chilean society, including powerful landlords and industrialists, and the armed forces. The USA was also not keen on Allende and had gone to great lengths to stop him from becoming president. Whilst they had been successful in the 1964 presidential election, they did not have the same success in 1970.

Allende’s opposition did not take time to take action. On June 29, 1973, the Regimiento Blindado N.º 2 [Eng. Armored Regiment No. 2], under the command of Lt. Col. Roberto Souper, took to the streets of Santiago to try and depose Allende. The coup, which has since been known as the ‘tanquetazo’ due to the large number of tanks used (one of the words in Spanish for tank is ‘tanque’), failed, but the situation was, nevertheless, still one of crisis. To calm the situation and reaffirm his position, Allende had the intention of calling for a plebiscite on his position as President of the Republic.

However, this was not to be. From August, a newly planned coup was in the works, which, unlike the tanquetazo, could count on all the branches of the armed forces. On September 7, 1973, Augusto Pinochet, the new Commander in Chief of the Army, had been convinced to join the coup by Vice Admiral José Toribo Merino and General Gustavo Leigh. Pinochet had previously been considered a loyal and apolitical officer. In the early morning of September 11, 1973, the Chilean fleet took Valparaíso. By 10 o’clock in the morning, tanks were yet again on the streets of Santiago and, just before noon, Hawker Hunters of the Chilean Air Force bombed the Palacio de la Moneda. Allende committed suicide and, by the end of the day, a military junta had taken control of the country. Whilst the exact role of the USA and Nixon administration in the September coup is unclear, what is clear is the CIA’s covert spending in Chile, US$8 million in the three years between 1970 and September 1973, with over US$3 million in 1972 alone.

Within a year and a half, Pinochet centralized all power around his figure and unleashed massive repression against those who had supported Allende. In all, conservative estimates state that during his regime, 3,000 people were murdered, alongside at least 35,000 people tortured, and 300,000 people detained.

Pinochet introduced neoliberal economic policies influenced by Milton Friedman and carried out by the Chicago Boys. In the early years of Pinochet’s rule over Chile, there were good relations with other military despots in the continent, especially with the Brazilian military junta.

Earlier, in 1975, tensions with Peru over granting Bolivia a stretch of land which would give them access to the sea almost led to a full-blown war. Peru sent its T-54s and T-55s of the 18.ª División Blindada (Eng. 18th Armored Division) to its border with Chile. A coup in Peru averted the war, but relations between the two countries would not improve.

In May 1977, the UK arbitrated a long-standing border dispute between Argentina and Chile and gave Chile sovereignty over the Picton, Nueva, and Lennox islands in the Beagle Channel. Less than a year later, in January 1978, Argentina rejected the arbitration and claimed sovereignty over the islands. The year 1978 was a tense year and both countries undertook a military build-up with the potential to boil over into war between the two nations. In December 1978, Argentina was ready to launch Operación Soberanía, which would capture the Picton, Nueva, and Lennox islands alongside a number of other islands it claimed and mount two attacks on Chile. However, an eleventh-hour Papal mediation ended the conflict just as Argentinian troops were ready to go into action.

Following a number of diplomatic embarrassments and the election of Jimmy Carter in the 1978 US Presidential Election, Chile became increasingly isolated.


The American Heritage Museum is proud to offer tank ride opportunities in the Spring, Summer, and Fall aboard the M24 Chaffee light tank used in World War II and the Korean War. The M24 Chaffee is a fast and maneuverable tank that replaced the M5 Stuart light tank during WWII and brought the harder hitting 75mm M6 cannon to the battlefield.

Tank rides on the M24 Chaffee are a donation of $595.00 for three (3) persons aboard the tank. One seat is in the hull gunner position and two standing positions are in the turret. The ride experience is 10 minutes on the tank driving grounds at the American Heritage Museum.

Ride experiences are being offered in the afternoons of select weekends. Please click the button below for schedules and online booking. Please feel free to call us at 978-562-9182 with any questions.

Gift Certificates Available

Looking to give a tank ride as a gift? We have presentation gift certificates available for gift giving to the tank enthusiast in your family! Tank Ride Gift Certificates are open ended and allow the recipient to schedule their own ride experience. Click here to learn more about and purchase an M24 Tank Ride Gift Certificate at this link.

Don’t Just Ride – DRIVE the M24 Chaffee!

Feel like doing something even more exciting? Learn to DRIVE the M24 Chaffee as part of our Tank Driving Experience Program, a one hour training and driving experience that allows you to take the controls for 20 minutes on our tank track! – Click Here to Learn more!

History of the M24 Chaffee

Seeking to replace the aging M3 and M5 Stuart series of light tanks, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department and Cadillac joined forces to create a new light tank. The new T24 pilot vehicle was delivered in October 1943 and full scale production began in 1944 as the Light Tank, M24. The Chaffee retained the M5 Stuart’s twin Cadillac V-8 powertrain, but came armed with a lightened 75mm Cannon adapted from a version used on B-25 Mitchell bombers, replacing the under whelming 37mm used on the Stuart. The Chaffee was speedy and nimble. The M24 saw use in WWII, but found a calling in the cold, mountainous environment of Korea, where it fought as a part of reconnaissance units alongside “Easy Eight” Shermans, M26 Pershings and M46 Pattons. Long after the United States replaced the M24 with newer models such as the M41 Walker-Bulldog, other countries such as Israel and France used the Chaffee well into the 1950s.

SPECIFICATIONS

Armament: 75mm M6 Cannon, one .50 cal. MG and 2x .30 cal. MGs.
Crew: 5, Commander, Gunner, Driver, Loader, Co-Driver
Engine: Cadillac Series 44T24, 220 horsepower.
Range: 100 miles

The American Heritage Museum at the Collings Foundation featuring the Jacques M. Littlefield Collection explores major conflicts ranging from the Revolutionary War until today. Visitors discover and interact with our American heritage through the history, the changing technology, and the Human Impact of America’s fight to preserve the freedom we all hold dear.

American Heritage Museum
568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749


World War II Database


ww2dbase The Light Tank M24 was an American light tank used during World War II and in postwar conflicts including the Korean War.

ww2dbase By 1942 it had become evident that the 37mm gun was inadequate for the needs of America's light tanks, and indeed as a main armament of any tank. After several failed attempts to install a 75mm Gun into the existing M5 Light Tank (which had suffered from a lack of crew space and poor cooling) work commenced in April 1943 on a completely new Cadillac Light tank design. A prototype was completed by October 1943 and production commenced in April 1944 with deliveries being commenced to the US Army in Europe later in that year. The new Tank was given the name Chaffee in honour of General Adna R. Chaffee "Father of the US Armoured Force" who had died in August 1941.

ww2dbase The M24 Chaffee was armed with a light weight high velocity (2,050 feet per second) 75mm M6 gun adapted from aircraft use in the turret. The M6 Gun had an elevation of +15 degrees and a depression of -10 degrees. 48 rounds of 75mm ammunition was carried in the tank. The turret was shared with a Coaxial 0.31-in Browning machine-gun. A 12.7mm M2 "Ma Deuce" Anti-Aircraft machine-gun with 440 rounds of ammunition was frequently mounted on the turret cupola.

ww2dbase The twin 5,720cc V-8 Cadillac petrol engine was the same powerplant as used successfully in the M.5A1 light tank (but the transmission was manual rather than automatic) and the torsion bar suspension system (with five rubber-tyred medium size road wheels per side) was that used on the M.18 Gun Motor Carriage. A crew of five was carried, of which the driver sat at the front left-hand side, with the co-driver-cum-radio operator on his right, where he controlled a ball mounted 0.31-in Browning machine-gun in the glacis plate. Separate emergency driving controls were provided for the co-driver. The commander, gunner and loader occupied the turret.

ww2dbase The M.24 saw only limited service during World War II, being employed only at the very end of the North West Europe and Pacific campaigns of 1945. Nevertheless it proved to be a fast (34.16 mph or 55 km/h), efficient reconnaissance vehicle despite being only lightly armoured (maximum 38mm). It was in the Korean War that the M.24 realised its full combat value, with its agility for reconnaissance, coupled to being well-armed for battle.

ww2dbase Between April 1944 and June 1945 some 4,070 M.24s were built, by the Cadillac Division of General Motors (3,300 vehicles) and Massey–Harris (770 built). Many were later supplied as military-aid to several countries and many of these were still in service for many decades after the War. In addition the M.24 chassis would form the basis for a number of related vehicles including the M.37 and M.41 Howitzer Motor Carriages and the M.19 Gun Motor Carriage self-propelled Anti-Aircraft Tank, although the US Army replaced the M.24 Light Tank in the early 1950s.

ww2dbase The NM116 is a Norwegian utilisation of their stock of elderly M24 Tanks. Introduced into the Norwegian army in 1976 this heavily modified version of the M24 replaced the US 75mm gun with a modern 90mm light gun and incorporated such features as infra-red night-fighting and driving equipment, laser detection system and smoke dischargers, thus permitting several more decades of useful service.

ww2dbase Sources:
Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Philip Trehitt, Dempsey-Parr, 1999)
Fighting Vehicles (Wordsworth Editions, 1993)
Tanks and other Armoured Fighting Vehicles (B.T.White, Blandford Press, 1975)
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Ian V Hogg and John Weeks, Hamlyn, 1980)

Last Major Revision: Feb 2010

MachineryTwo Cadillac Series 44T24 8-cylinder engines rated at 300hp total
SuspensionTorsion bar
Armament1x75mm Gun M6 (48 rounds), 1x12.7mm Browning M2HB machine gun, 1x7.62mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun
Armor9.5–25mm
Crew5
Length5.56 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.77 m
Weight18.4 t
Speed40 km/h off-road 56 km/h on-road
Range161 km

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Armaments

Main armament

The tank offers the 75 mm M6 gun, which only differs from the M4/M4A1 Sherman's 75 mm M3 gun with its slower reloading rate due to the smaller confines of the M24 Chaffee. The shells come in handy for certain tanks they generally penetrate armour very well. It is rare to experience a ricochet or be to unable to penetrate any armour.

75 mm M6 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 48 -10°/+15° ±180° Vertical 22.85 31.62 38.40 42.47 45.18 8.45 7.47 6.89 6.50
Realistic 14.28 16.80 20.40 22.56 24.00

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M72 shot AP 91 88 78 67 57 49
M48 shell HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
M61 shot APCBC 104 101 90 78 68 59
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
M72 shot AP 619 6.3 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
M48 shell HE 463 6.3 0 0.1 666 79° 80° 81°
M61 shot APCBC 618 6.79 1.2 14 63.7 48° 63° 71°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Screen radius
(m)
Screen deploy time
(s)
Screen hold time
(s)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
M64 381 6.9 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Machine guns

The two machine guns on the M24 Chaffee are the good old .50 cal M2HB and the 7.62 mm M1919A4. The roof-mounted .50 cal can traverse 360 degrees and has great depression & elevation, posting a big threat to any plane that is flying too close to the M24. It has an unbelievable penetration of 31mm at 10m, meaning it can easily penetrate plenty of lightly armoured vehicles and even the side of some low rank medium tanks. The 7.62mm, on the other hand, can only efficiently damage exposed crews due to its low penetration.

12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 1,000 (200) 576 -10°/+70° ±60°
7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 1,800 (250) 500 N/A N/A


Not only serving with the British and US during World War 2, the US operated the vehicle during the UN Lead Korean War where it proved susceptible to the Russian T-34 operated by the North Korean’s.

The vehicle was sold on to various other nations after it was withdrawn in the 1950’s from US service.

Austria
Belgium
Cambodia
Chile
Denmark
Ethiopia
France
Greece
Iran
Iraq
Italy
Japan
Laos
Norway – 123 entered service in the 1950s, last Chaffees were taken out of service in 1993.
Pakistan
Philippines – unknown number of Chaffees, 2 known were on static display in Lingayen, Pangasinan
Portugal
Republic of China – Taiwan
Republic of Korea- 30 Chaffees were used for Training in the early 1950s. They were later given to ROC Army.
Saudi Arabia
South Vietnam
Spain
Thailand
Turkey
United Kingdom
Uruguay
United States
Vietnam


Development and production history

Combat experience indicated several shortcomings of the Light Tank M3/M5, the most important of them being weak armament. The T7 design, which was initially seen as a replacement, evolved into a mediocre Medium Tank M7 and was eventually rejected in March 1943, which prompted the Ordnance Committee to issue a specification for a new light tank, with the same powertrain as the M5A1 but armed with a 75 mm gun. In April 1943 the Ordnance Corps together with Cadillac division of General Motors started work on the new project, designated Light Tank T24. Every effort was made to keep the weight of the vehicle under 20 tons. The armor was kept light, with the glacis plate only 25 mm thick (but sloped at 60 degrees from the vertical). A new lightweight 75 mm gun was developed, a derivative of the gun used in the B-25H Mitchell bomber. The gun had the same ballistics as the M3, but used a thinly walled barrel and different recoil mechanism. The design also featured wider (16 inch) tracks and torsion bar suspension. It had relatively low silhouette and a three-man turret. On October 15, 1943 the first pilot vehicle was delivered and production began in 1944 under the designation Light Tank M24. It was produced at two sites from April at Cadillac and from July at Massey-Harris. By the time production was stopped in August 1945, 4,731 M24s had left the assembly lines. Some of them were supplied to the British forces.


22 thoughts on &ldquo M24 Chaffee at Dien Bien Phu &rdquo

“In near future, M24 will likely suffer the fate of VK2801 and T-50-2.”

Vk2801 was great, but now it is still decent, but u need vstab for derp, and min. 3skill crew to spot properly. I have 443m viewrange in mine. I miss the 1,7s aimtime for derp the most

Let’s be honest, 1,7s aimtime is Wafflefrager or FV215-like aimtime. That was OP. I didn’t remember the VK2801 pre-nerf (had been rolling almost 1000 battles in my T-50-2 :<), but I play it now and it is my favourite scout, very fun to play.


US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by gjkennedy » 01 Dec 2008, 03:44

As I recall, the 76-mm armed Sherman wasn't available in time for the Normandy landings, and began to appear during the campaign. Now I'm familiar with the various shenanigans in British units at introducing 17-pr armed Fireflies and later Challengers to Armoured Regiments, however I'm not aware of how the US Army allocated 76-mm Sherman tanks when they became available.

Did the US try to issue a number of 76-mm equipments per Tank Battalion, or did they opt for a concentration of them in a smaller number of units? Or, least interestingly, were they simply fed into units as they became available to replace losses among the 75-mm Shermans? Did Tank Battalions within Armored Divisions have any special call over receipt of 76-mm Shermans as opposed to Independent Battalions?

And in a related topic, when the M24 Chaffee began to arrive (late 1944, early 1945 as I understand), did they go to any specific types of units? I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that Light Tank Companies in Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons had priority, as the M24 was a quite nippy and suited to recce work.

Re: US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by Michael Emrys » 02 Dec 2008, 04:00

I think Harry Yeide's book on the mechanized cavalry says something about that.

Re: US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by RichTO90 » 02 Dec 2008, 17:09

The M24 Light Tank was iintially issued to the Mechanized Cavalry Squadrons of the Cavalry Groups, but by the end of the war were also being issued to the Mechanized Cavalry Squardons of the armored divisions.

BTW, in the US Army "Sherman" and "Chaffee" are postwar nomenclature, as are all the other named vehicles (except the Jeep/Peep) they were never used in any documentation during the war and apparently only "Sherman" was occassionally used as a nickname. Similarly, "Firefly" was rarely used to designate "Sherman 17-pdr" during the war it was actually a generic code term applying to a number of 17-pdr vehicle-mounted designs including those that became known as "Achilles", "Archer", and "Challenger" as well, but only "Challenger" appears to have been used commonly during the war.

Re: US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by Steve Wilcox » 02 Dec 2008, 17:57

Re: US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by gjkennedy » 02 Dec 2008, 18:05

Thanks very much gents, and interesting details Rich.

Re: US allocation of 76-mm Shermans and M24 light tanks

Post by Harry Yeide » 03 Dec 2008, 01:19

Like many equipment upgrades, the appearance of 76mm Shermans in the separate tank battalions varied tremendously. At one extreme, the 774th Tank Battalion entered combat fully equipped with 76mm Shermans, and the 70th Tank Battalion drew 76mm Shermans on 10 August (all of which went to Company A). On 19 October 1944, the 737th Tank Battalion received a single tank with a 76mm gun, which it decided to use as an assault gun attached to Headquarters Company and shuttle among the line units as needed. The 741st Tank Battalion did not draw its first 76mm Shermans until 1 January 1945, and the 743d Tank Battalion received its first five M4A1s with 76mm guns on 2 January. It was not until February 1945 that the separate tank battalions moved to the top of the list, ahead of armored divisions, for allocation of 76mm tanks arriving in theater. The 756th Tank Battalion, for example, in January had 75mm- and 76mm-armed tanks in a ratio of 2:1, and by the end of February the proportions had reversed.

M4A3s with 76mm guns reached the 760th Tank Battalion in October and the 751st Tank Battalion by November 1944, and both outfits allocated five to each medium tank company. (Seventeen M24s arrived at the 751st Tank Battalion in March 1945, but the battalion in April had to turn those over to the 1st Armored Division, getting in exchange worn out M5 and M5A1 tanks. The 752d and 757th Tank battalions similarly drew M24s only to have them taken away.) The first M4A3s with 76mm gun arrived at the 752d and 757th Tank battalions by February 1945, and the 757th Battalion had enough to fully equip Company A in March, while the 752d Battalion re-armored all three medium tank companies.