M2

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RANK VI USSR
T-72AV (TURMS-T) PACK
This page is about the medium tank M2. For other uses, see M2 (Disambiguation).
M2
us_m2_medium.png
GarageImage M2.jpg
M2
AB RB SB
1.3 1.3 1.3
Class:
Research:2 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:700 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Medium Tank M2 is a rank I American medium tank with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals".

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. The reason for the M2 Medium's many machine guns is due to the US Army's infantry inter-war 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.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull28 / 25 / 25
Turret25 / 25 / 25
Crew6 people
Visibility110 %

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

An anti-tank weapon greater than 37 mm can often find a way through the armor. One significant weak point on the frontal glacis would be the driver's hatch, as it is lightly sloped at about 15°. Not only that, but getting hit in this location would often lead to a knock-out of both the driver and commander in the center, which would incapacitate the M2's mobility and firepower.

Though the M2 Medium seem to be cramped for six crew members, they are actual quite spaced from each other so regular AP shots would have to precisely hit each mark in a line to knock them all out. However, if an adequate APHE round penetrates from the front or side, it could incapacitate the majority of the crew in one shot. A hit 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 a rack detonation.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB60 / 8 km/h
RB and SB54 / 8 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight17.2 t
Engine power
AB668 hp
RB and SB350 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB38.8 hp/t
RB and SB20.3 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 60 8 17.2 542 668 31.51 38.84
Realistic 54 8 310 350 18.02 20.35

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB100 → 128 Sl icon.png
RB150 → 193 Sl icon.png
SB150 → 193 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 990 Rp icon.png
940 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces20 Ge icon.png
Research Aces96 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
10 / 20 / 20 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
150 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
170 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
170 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
250 Rp icon.png
Cost:
80 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
320 Rp icon.png
Cost:
100 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
320 Rp icon.png
Cost:
100 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
150 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
170 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement us.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
250 Rp icon.png
Cost:
80 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
150 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
37mm_usa_m3_APC_ammo_pack
Research:
150 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
170 Rp icon.png
Cost:
50 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
250 Rp icon.png
Cost:
80 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
320 Rp icon.png
Cost:
100 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition200 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.7 → 2.9 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 25°
Main article: M3 (37 mm)
37 mm M3 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 200 -10°/+25° ±180° N/A 5.2 7.3 8.8 9.7 10.4 3.77 3.33 3.07 2.90
Realistic 3.3 3.9 4.7 5.2 5.5

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
M74 shot AP 67 65 56 46 38 32
M51 shot APCBC 75 72 62 51 43 35
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%
M74 shot AP 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
M51 shot APCBC 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M2
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
200 101 (+99) (+199) No

Note:

  • Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.

Machine guns

Ammunition15 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min
Ammunition6 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min



Main article: M1919A4 (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Hull (left) 3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Hull (right) 3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Sponson (front left) 3,000 (250) 500 -4°/+30° -70°/+20°
Sponson (front right) 3,000 (250) 500 -4°/+30° -20°/+70°
Sponson (rear left) 3,000 (250) 500 -4°/+30° -10°/+70°
Sponson (rear right) 3,000 (250) 500 -4°/+30° -70°/+10°

Usage in battles

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-trades vehicle for the American tree line, a common trait as one moves on into the Rank II and Rank III vehicles

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Reliable 37 mm gun with good penetration and rate of fire
  • Has a higher than average crew count of 6 crew members
  • Has 7 machine guns modeled and functional, which can be effective against thin-skinned vehicles and aircraft
  • Very good top speed and power to weight ratio

Cons:

  • Cramped tank interior and large number of crew means a penetrating hit will more than likely get one
  • 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
  • Thin overall armour, can be penetrated by majority of guns at its rank, including autocannons such as on the Panzer II
  • Side armor can be penetrated by heavy machine guns at close range

History

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 machine gunners.

Production

1,000 of these tanks were ordered by the government in 1940 to be manufactured by Chrysler, but the German success in the Battle of France showed that the M2 Medium was becoming 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.

In-game description

American builders moved away from combination wheel and track vehicles to develop a new tank they termed the T5. In an attempt to save time and money, while also standardizing construction, they pulled components and units from the prototype T2 light tank (the prototype for the mass-produced M1) in addition to its layout and some chassis elements. The Rock Island Arsenal headed up the design process for the T5, which began in 1936, though the first prototype was ready for trials at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in February 1938. The experience showed that the powertrain could not cope with combat weight exceeding 15 tons and that the tank's frontal bullet-proof armor needed an upgrade. A slanted armor plate soon appeared, protecting the crew from all bullet calibers and shells up to 37-40 mm at long distances.

Later the T5 Phase II modification and its alternative powertrain appeared, and in spring of 1939 the engine was replaced with the 350 hp radial Wright R973. Other upgrades included installing the frontal hull plates at a better angle and moving a pair of machine guns to the right-hand side. The new vehicle was termed the T5 Phase III.

The T5E1 prototype and its Guiberson diesel engine was modeled after the T5. It was later employed in trials for experimental equipment and twin-mounted 37 mm cannons.

The tank headed for full-scale production and was accepted by the American army under the designation M2. The first set of 15 units got under way in August 1939 at the Rock Island Arsenal, with 18 total units featuring that particular modification eventually built.

The tank's primary drawbacks were weak armor, a riveted construction, a high profile, narrow tracks, and an under-powered engine.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Vehicles equipped with the same gun

External links


Rock Island Arsenal
Tanks 
Light Tank  Light Tank M2A2 · Light Tank M2A4
Medium Tank  Medium Tank M2

USA medium tanks
M2  M2
M3  M3 Lee · ▃Grant I
M4  M4 · Calliope · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W
M26 Pershing  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1
M46/47/48 Patton  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1
M60  M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS
MBT-70  MBT-70 · XM-803
M1 Abrams  XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams · M1A1 HC · M1A2 Abrams
Other  T95E1
Canada  M4A5
Israel  Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.2B · Merkava Mk.3D
Turkey  M60 AMBT