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Rank IV USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Tu-1 Pack
This page is about the medium tank M2. For other uses, see M2 (Disambiguation).
GarageImage M2.jpg
ArtImage M2.png
1.3 1.3 1.3
Research:2 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:700 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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On May 19, 1936, the Armaments Committee launched the Medium Tank T5 program aiming to create a medium tank for the U.S. Army. Based on the existing M2 light tanks and its components, the tank was quickly developed and put into service by 1938 as the Medium Tank, M2. One unique characteristic of the M2 medium is the four machine gun sponsons around the hull, created 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. This extends to the point that metal flaps were installed on the rear for the purpose that the rear sponson gunners can shoot the machine gun rounds to "ricochet" the bullets downwards onto trenches as the M2 Medium crosses over them. However, the M2 medium did not see any combat as its design was becoming obsolete in the face of newer tank design. That said, the M2 medium helped lay the foundation to the future M3 and M4 medium tanks

Introduced alongside the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals", the M2 medium tank is the very first medium tank that players can experience in the US tech tree. The 37 mm gun in the turret atop as enough power to punch through enemy light tanks, and the relatively large tank size means that a single penetrating shot is unlikely to completely knock the tank out in one shot. The tank has relatively mediocre armour and slow turret rotation speed, hindering quick target acquisition. Despite these drawbacks, the M2 is quite versatile and can perform well both in offensive and defensive roles.

Msg-info.png Trivia: 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.

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 armour. 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 centre, 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.


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
AB132 → 169 Sl icon.png
RB110 → 141 Sl icon.png
SB120 → 154 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 970 Rp icon.png
890 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 / 10 / 20 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
150 Rp icon.png
45 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
45 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
45 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
150 Rp icon.png
45 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
45 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement us.png
Crew Replenishment
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
150 Rp icon.png
45 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
150 Rp icon.png
45 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
45 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png


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


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M74 shot AP 79 76 65 54 45 37
M51B1 APCBC 87 84 73 60 50 41
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
M74 shot AP 883 0.87 - - - 47° 60° 65°
M51B1 APCBC 883 0.87 - - - 48° 63° 71°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M2
rack empty
rack empty
200 101 (+99) (+199) Yes


  • Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.
  • The visual discrepancy concerns the number of shells per rack: 192 shells are modelled per rack but only 100 rounds are available in either 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


  • 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


  • 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
  • Past the front, the overall tank surface is poorly sloped and angled
  • Tall centre 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 armour can be penetrated by heavy machine guns at close range



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.


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.

Archive of the 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 armour needed an upgrade. A slanted armour plate soon appeared, protecting the crew from all bullet calibres and shells up to 37-40 mm at long distance.

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 armour, a riveted construction, a high profile, narrow tracks, and an under-powered engine.



See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis

External links

Rock Island Arsenal
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 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W · M4/T26
M26 Pershing  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1
M46/47/48 Patton  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1 · T54E2
M60  M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · M728 CEV · 120S
MBT-70  MBT-70 · XM803
M1 Abrams  XM1 (Chrysler) · XM1 (GM)
  M1 Abrams · M1 KVT · IPM1
  M1A1 · M1A1 HC · M1A1 Click-Bait
  M1A2 Abrams · M1A2 SEP · M1A2 SEP V2
Other  T95E1
Australia  M1A1 AIM
Canada  M4A5
Israel  ▃Magach 3 (ERA) · ▃Merkava Mk.1 · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.3D
Turkey  M60 AMBT