Light Tank M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.)

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General info

1st Armored Division's M2A4 in the garage.

The M2A4 (1st Arm. Div.) is a premium Rank I American light tank with a battle rating of 1.0. It is one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". It is basically a premium version of the M2A4 in the colors of the 1st Armored Division. It costs 250 Golden Eagles

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

Vehicle characteristics

The M2A4 of the 1st Armored Division differs from the regular M2A4 in the tech tree due to its more green paint coat, this gives it a more duller colour than the other and can be quite distinguishable with it. The other big note is on the front glacis where the prominent 1st Armored Division identification decal is displayed, with its nickname "Old Ironsides." While this decal placement may seem awkward in combat with its colourful display, but the M2A4 is a representation of those in service of the 1st Armored Division during their training in between 1940 and 1941 before they were requipped for battle.

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

The M2A4 front plate is mostly sloped at the front glacis, and so the shots must be targeted at the top area of the hull, which is relatively flat. Aiming at the driver's hatch area to incapacitate a good portion of the crew, as an AP round will slice through the crew member in the front and one of the turret crew members. One should aim towards the right side of the tank from the firing perspective as this penetrating round will incapacitate the driver and gunner at once, destroying the tank's mobility and firepower capacity.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fast and agile.
  • Acceptable 37 mm gun.
  • Fair armour all around.
  • 5 operational machine guns.
  • Sparse ammo rack placements, making rack detonations a rarity.
  • Tall cupola does not have commander/gunner inside, so regular AP rounds unlikely to incapacitate the crew.

Cons:

  • Uneasy handling, prone to slide at high speeds.
  • Quite flammable, even when hit from the front.
  • Roof armour is only 6.35 mm thick, which is vulnerable to most air strikes.
  • Terrible steering, not adequate under gear 2.
  • Driving high speed towards a wall can incapacitate the crew.
  • Crew compacted into little space, which can lead to a majority of the crew incapacitated in a single shot.

Specifications

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Armaments

1 x 37 mm Gun M5 (103 rounds)
2 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (24,000 rounds)

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), 20.6°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 22.8°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 24.2°/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:
As a premium tank all upgrades are already unlocked. The "Mark of distinction" can be earned, allowing for four decals without using a premium account.

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. The first units to be equipped with the M2 light tanks was the US 1st Armored Division, founded in 1940, and was the first armoured forces to be integrated with the Army that saw battle in World War II.

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 _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References


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us_m2a4_1st_armor_div.png

Icon-country-usa.png M2A4 (1st Arm. Div.)
Nation USA
Type Light tank
Rank 1
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 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 250 GE
Crew training cost 150 SL
Max repair cost*
120 SL
190 SL
170 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
8m
16m
16m
Free repair time (Upgraded)
2m
5m
5m
Warning: this sidebar is a WIP, and can be incorrect. Last updated 1.77.2.191.