Medium Tank M2

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

The M2 Medium tank in the Garage.

The M2 Medium is a Rank I American medium tank with a battle rating of 1.3. It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". It has the distinction of having the most operational machine guns on a ground vehicle with a grand total of 7 (with 2 more non-operational guns on the turret!).

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The M2 with its decent frontal armour, mobility, and firepower allows it to compete in Rank I. However, it is best to use the vehicle from a distance as it would increase the sloped armour effectiveness against enemy rounds, which would've lost most of its power due to the distance. While the 37 mm cannon can penetrate most tanks at the BR, the gun is on a slow traversing turret, requiring for careful alignment of the turret in the right direction. Flanking enemies would make this a problem so stay in an area that can narrow down enemy paths and stay alert.

Past that, the M2 can prove forgiving with its aforementioned sloped armour and large crew size of six. Though a penetrating shell could knock out a good number of the crew in the cramped interiors, it will prove unlikely to knock out every single crew member in one shot. As such, even if shot on the side, it is possible to react against the flanking enemy if the driver or commander is still alive to align the gun onto the offending target.

In short, the M2 is a good jack-of-all-trade vehicle for the American tree line, a common trait as one moves on into the Rank II and Rank III vehicles.

Vehicle characteristics

The M2 medium tank, as the first medium tank of the American line-up, has some features that would become staple of the American ground forces that would be great to be familiarized with. The first of which is sloping front armour which, despite the base thickness of only 28.5 mm, gives the total frontal effective armour of 40 mm. The second is the handling and mobility, which are quite comparable to its successors with its weight distribution and speed. As such, driving experience with the M2 would greatly benefit in later games once past Rank I.

The M2 Medium has the most machine guns on a tank in the game. There are nine visible machine guns, two on the turret, four in the hull sponsons, two fixed in the front hull, and the coaxial machine gun. Of these, seven are operational, which also makes the M2 Medium the tank with the most operational machine guns in the game. The reason for the M2 Medium's many machine guns is due to the US Army's infantry belief in the machine gun being the main weapon to support an assault, with the 37 mm gun only meant to support the tank when facing other tanks. The priority in the machine gun can be seen with the metal flaps on the rear, which would show in-game in the armour viewer as 5 mm RHA plates. These plates were meant for the rear sponson gunners to shoot the machine gun rounds to "ricochet" the bullets downwards onto trenches as the M2 Medium crosses over them. While it isn't possible to do this in the game, it is a good indication on how important the machine guns were in the M2 Medium's design.

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

As a Rank I vehicle, most enemy tanks will be easily able to penetrate through the front armour except perhaps the turret front from the gun mantlet.

Counter-tactics

With an adequate anti-tank cannon of 37 mm above, aim for the driver's hatch on the top of the frontal glacis. This is the least sloped area of the front armour and can knock out both the driver and potentially the commander as well, incapacitating the M2's mobility and firepower.

If aiming from the side and without an adequate APHE round to incapacitate a majority of the crew in one shot, try to aim between the rear 2nd and 3rd bogie suspension at the hull sides as the ammunition is stored there and a shot in this region could either remove the majority of the ammunition or blow the tank up with an rack detonation.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Reliable gun with good rate of fire.
  • 37 mm rounds have good penetration.
  • 6 crew members give a more than average crew count.
  • Has 7 machine guns modeled and functional.
  • Very effective against open top vehicles due to machine guns.
  • Can be used as a form of SPAA due to the amount of machine gun coverage. Low flying aircraft can be damaged or shotdown if enough shots hit.

Cons:

  • Tank is cramped, a shot can take out many crew members at once.
  • Turret rotation is very slow.
  • No ammunition with HE filler.
  • Large and tall, making it an easy target.
  • All the ammo are packed into neat little boxes in the bottom of hull, a shot at suspension area could set one off.
  • 7 machine guns is of questionable value against all but the lightest armoured vehicles.
  • Very thin roof armour of 9.5 mm.
  • Past the front, the overall tank surface is poorly sloped and angled.
  • Tall center of gravity, resulting in very unstable turns at high speeds, and at risk of tipping.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 37 mm Gun M3 (200 rounds)
7 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (21,000 rounds, 3,000 each)

Main armament

1 x 37 mm Gun M3
  • Ammunition Capacity: 200 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 25°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 3.27°/s (Stock), 4.5°/s (Upgraded), 5.4°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 6.0°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 6.4°/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 M3
  • Ammunition Capacity: 200 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 25°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 3.3°/s (Stock), 3.85°/s (Upgraded), 4.67°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 5.17°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 5.5°/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 M3
  • Ammunition Capacity: 200 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 25°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 3.3°/s (Stock), 3.85°/s (Upgraded), 4.67°/s (Prior + Full Crew), 5.17°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), 5.5°/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 the M2
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
200 101 (+99) 1 (+199) Keep full Yes

Secondary armaments

1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (coaxial)
2 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (Fixed hull)
4 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gun (Sponson mounts)

Crew

  • Commander/Gunner
  • Loader/Machine Gunner 1
  • Machine Gunner 2
  • Machine Gunner 3
  • Machine Gunner 4
  • Driver

Total: 6 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 28.5 mm (53°) Front glacis
28.5 mm (17-48°) Lower glacis
28.5 mm (13-16°) Driver's port
25.4 mm (16-36°) Front
25.4 mm Everywhere else
25.4 mm (1°) Hull top
25.4 mm Top engine deck
9.5 mm (12-52°) Bottom engine deck
9.5 mm
Turret 25.4 mm (10-14°) Turret front
25.4 mm (9-54°) Gun mantlet
25.4 mm (20°) 25.4 mm (19°) 9.5 mm

Note:

  • Driver vision area is a weak spot in front armour, only sloped by about 15°

Engine & mobility

Weight: 19.0 ton

Max Speed: 60 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 542 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 28.53 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 668 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 35.16 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 19.0 ton

Max Speed: 54 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 310 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 16.32 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 350 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 18.42 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 19.0 ton

Max Speed: 54 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 310 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 16.32 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 350 hp @ 2400 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 18.42 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The development of the M2 Light Tank also started a development for a new medium tank. Rock Island Arsenal took up the project and developed a vehicle known as T5. It was basically an upscaled M2 Light Tank, still using the vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS), and this modified vehicle was designated the M2 Medium Tank in June 1939. 18 units in, and the tank was upgraded with a redesigned turret and a more powerful engine, this variant was designated the M2A1 Medium Tank.

The M2 Medium Tank had a high profile, with a height of 9 ft. 3 in., and had lots of machine guns on it (nine machine guns!). On each corner of the hull had a mounted machine gun, each with a crew member to man it. In the front, the driver can fire two fixed machine guns facing forward on the glacis plate. Two machine guns could be mounted on the turret as anti-aircraft weapons. The turret mounted a 37 mm M3 gun with a coaxial machine gun. The tank had a crew of six, commander, driver, and the four machinegunners.

Production

1,000 of these tanks were ordered by the government in 1940 to be manufactured by Chrysler, but the German Blitzkreig tactics proved the M2 to be an obsolete design, so the order was changed to instead produce 1,000 M3 Lees before the M2 even started production. In this period, Rock Island Arsenal produced 94 M2A1 medium tank until August 1941. This brings the total produced tank to 112 M2 medium tanks, 18 M2s and 94 M2A1s. These M2 tanks were used for training at states for tank crew members.

Despite its obsolete status by 1940 due to the Soviet T-34 tanks and the German Panzer III tanks, it provided useful insight in the future of American medium tank designs. The M2 was one of the first American designs to incorporate sloping armour on the glacis effectively, and revealed to the American generals that an excessive amount of machine guns on tanks were useless in battle.

Screenshots and fan art

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

Videos

BenningTV Tank Talk: M2-A1





Additional information (links)

[Devblog] Steel Generals: M2 Medium Tank
[Devblog] Developers about M2

References


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us_m2_medium.png

Icon-country-usa.png M2 Medium
Nation USA
Type Medium tank
Rank 1
Battle Rating
1.3
1.3
1.3

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
19,000 kg
41,887 lb
Number of Crew 6
Hull armour thickness
28.5/25.4/25.4/9.5 mm
1.1/1.0/1.0/0.375 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
542 hp
310 hp
310 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
668 hp
350 hp
350 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
28.53
28.98
16.32
16.58
16.32
16.58
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
35.16
35.72
18.42
18.72
18.42
18.72
Max speed
60 km/h
37 mph
54 km/h
34 mph
54 km/h
34 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 37 mm M3 Cannon
Ammo stowage 200 rounds
Vertical guidance -10°/25°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Coaxial
2 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 6,000 rounds
Mount Hull mounted
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Front right sponson
Vertical guidance -20°/70°
Horizontal guidance -4°/30°
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Front left sponson
Vertical guidance -70°/20°
Horizontal guidance -4°/30°
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Rear right sponson
Vertical guidance -70°/10°
Horizontal guidance -4°/30°
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 3,000 rounds
Mount Rear left sponson
Vertical guidance -10°/70°
Horizontal guidance -4°/30°
Economy
Required RP 2,900 RP
Vehicle cost 700 SL
Crew training cost 200 SL
Max repair cost*
90 SL
140 SL
90 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
14m
28m
28m
Free repair time (Upgraded)
4m
9m
9m
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