Light Tank M2A4

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

M2A4 in the garage.

The Light Tank M2A4 is an American reserve light tank with a battle rating of 1.0. It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". The first iteration of the "Stuart" series, it is a simple design with a 37 mm tank gun and speed on its side.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The M2A4 light tank is the reserve tank for the USA. As such, it is very maneuverable and fast, being a light tank. However, it has many distinguishing features that make it a forgiving beginners tank.

The M2A4 is most comparable to a cross between a BT-5 and T-26. The M2 has slightly less mobility than the BT-5, while being a larger target and having better armour, like the T-26. The M2A4 also has a fast-firing 37mm M6 cannon that can fire M74 or M51 shot, as well as the M61 shell.

Its gun has better accuracy than the majority of tanks on its rank, and its APC ammo retains its penetration at most ranges. This ability to hit rapidly from range and still penetrate in part makes up for the somewhat anemic damage of the 37mm gun.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Like all tanks of this rank, it is lightly armoured and can be damaged or knocked out by any other vehicle from anywhere on the map. A useful tactic is to make use of its speed by engaging at range and then relocating when the fire get to heavy around you.

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fast and agile.
  • Acceptable gun.
  • Fair armour all around.
  • Machine gun secondary armament allow for flexibility in taking out exposed SPAA and Tank Destroyers.
  • Roof mounted 30.Cal is quite effective at taking out unarmoured aircraft.

Cons:

  • Uneasy handling, prone to slide at high speeds.
  • Quite flammable, even when hit from the front.
  • Terrible steering, not adequate under gear 2.
  • Driving this straight into a wall at a fast speed can result in a crew knock out.
  • Can struggle to kill larger vehicles due to lack of explosive filler. One shot kills are rare.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 37 mm Gun M5 (103 rounds)
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (3,000 rounds)
4 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (21,000 rounds, 5,250 each)

Main armament

1 x 37 mm Gun M5
  • Ammunition Capacity: 103 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 19°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 16.9°/s (Upgraded), 20.5°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), 22.7°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 24.1°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 3.77s (Stock), 3.33s (Full Crew), 3.07s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 2.9s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 37 mm Gun M5
  • Ammunition Capacity: 103 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 19°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 14.35°/s (Upgraded), 17.42°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), 19.27°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 20.5°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 3.77s (Stock), 3.33s (Full Crew), 3.07s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 2.9s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 37 mm Gun M5
  • Ammunition Capacity: 103 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -6°
  • Gun Elevation: 19°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 14.35°/s (Upgraded), 17.42°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), 19.27°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 20.5°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 3.77s (Stock), 3.33s (Full Crew), 3.07s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 2.9s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M74 shot 78 76 59 43 31 22 AP 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M51 shot 67 66 58 50 43 37 APC 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Ammo racks
Ammo rack of M2A4
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
103 69 (+34) 35 (+68) (+102) None No

Secondary armaments

1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (coaxial)
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (pintle-mount)
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (Bow machine gun)
2 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (Hull-fixed)

Crew

  • Commander/Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 4 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 25.4 mm (19°) Front plate
15.8 mm (69°) Front Glacis
25.4 mm (20°) Lower glacis
25.4 mm 25.4 mm Top
25.4 mm (18°) Bottom
6.35 mm
Turret 25.4 mm (11°) Turret front
25.4 mm (12-65°) Gun mantlet
25.4 mm 25.4 mm 6.35 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 25.4 mm 6.35 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, tracks are 10 mm thick.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 11.5 ton

Max Speed: 63 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 406 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 35.30 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 500 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 43.48 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 11.5 ton

Max Speed: 57 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 232 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 20.17 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 262 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.78 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 11.5 ton

Max Speed: 57 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 232 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 20.17 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 262 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.78 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks tank module.jpg Parts tank module.jpg Horizontaldrive tank module.jpg APCBC M51 tank module.jpg
II Suspension tank module.jpg Brakesystem tank module.jpg FPE tank module.jpg Adjustmentoffire tank module.jpg
III Filters tank module.jpg Crewreplenishment tank module.jpg Elevationmechanism tank module.jpg
IV Transmission tank module.jpg Engine tank module.jpg Artillerysupport tank module.jpg

Recommendation:

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The M2 Light Tank series was an American pre-World War II design as their answer to a fast, effective tank in a cavalry role.

The idea of light tanks started with the Defense Act of 1920, which defined tanks as an infantry support weapon, but the idea of a cavalry role for the tanks were brought up by multiple theorists, to which the British were the first to incorporate with the cruiser tanks. Limitation in American development lead to the establishment of light tanks as the combat cars. The development team soon looked at the tank prototypes T1 Light Tank and the T2 medium tank and decide to use them as the basis for the light tank design.

Modifications made onto the experimental tanks, mostly installing the new Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) that would be the main suspension in future American tank development, made the tanks into the M2A1 Light Tank. The main version used before the war was designated the M2A2, which had two turrets, both with a .50 caliber M2 Browning as its armament. However, the Spanish Civil War showed that this kind of tank is insufficient in tank warfare, so the design was revised with one turret with a 37 mm cannon and improved armour, this would become the M2A4, which would be the main light tank variant in US service before World War II broke out.

Combat usage

Although the M2 light tanks were promising in their introduction, they were soon succeeded by the M3 and M5 light tanks. The M2 light tanks were seen by armament as a stopgap solution for the dire need of tanks and a development project for tank improvements. By December 1941, the M2 light tanks were being used for training only in the US Army, but the Marine Corps used them in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific due to the lack of M3 light tanks available.

Britain ordered some M2 light tanks in early 1941 in part of the Lend-Lease Act, but only 36 were delivered before switching to the improved M3 light tanks.

A unique feature on the M2 Light tank was the number of machine guns it could house. Aside from the coaxial and the bow gunner's ball mounted one, two machine guns were fixed facing forward on the sides of the hull, fired by the driver. Another M1919 Browning machine gun could be mounted on the turret top for anti-aircraft use.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the M2A4 from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

Official War Thunder forum article: [Vehicle Profile] M2A4 Light Tank

References


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us_m2a4.png

Icon-country-usa.png M2A4
Nation USA
Type Light tank
Rank Reserve
Battle Rating
1.0
1.0
1.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
11,500 kg
25,353 lb
Number of Crew 4
Hull armour thickness
25.4/25.4/25.4/6.35 mm
1.0/1.0/1.0/0.25 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
406 hp
232 hp
232 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
500 hp
262 hp
262 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
35.30
35.87
20.17
20.50
20.17
20.50
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
43.48
44.18
22.78
23.15
22.78
23.15
Max speed
63 km/h
39 mph
57 km/h
35 mph
57 km/h
35 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 37 mm M5 Cannon
Ammo stowage 103 rounds
Vertical guidance -6°/19°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 5,250 rounds
Mount Coaxial
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Pintle mount
Vertical guidance -10°/45°
Horizontal guidance -90°/90°
3 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 15,750 rounds
Mount Hull mount
Economy
Required RP N/A
Vehicle cost N/A
Crew training cost 0 SL
Max repair cost*
0 SL
0 SL
0 SL
Free repair time (Stock) 0m
Free repair time (Upgraded) 0m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.77.2.170.