M42 (Japan)

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This page is about the SPAA M42 (Japan). For other usages, see M42 (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see M42 (Family).
GarageImage M42 (Japan).jpg
ArtImage M42 (Japan).png
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The Twin 40 mm Self-Propelled Gun M42 Duster is a rank IV Japanese self-propelled anti-aircraft gun with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB) and 4.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced along with the initial Japanese Ground Forces tree in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai".

The M42 (Japan) is identical in characteristics as the American M42. Its two 40 mm Bofors gun and exposed crew make the M42 quite a mediocre anti-aircraft vehicle, with a relatively slow-firing gun that makes it hard to quickly get a hit, and low protection that any aircraft can strafe the M42 to pieces. However, this SPAA is quite fast and can relocate and get to a different position quite quickly.

The U.S. military awarded General Motors Corporation's tank division with a contract to design and build the M42 Duster, as an armoured light air-defence gun platform. Though initially developed to provide defence from air attacks, by the time the Duster was ready to be fielded in mass, the military switched gears determining that the Duster was not a useful tool against the jet aircraft which were beginning to fill the sky.

While Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft (SPAA) vehicles were initially created to counter aircraft, other uses developed in which they saw action against armoured vehicles. Compared to other contemporary SPAA vehicles (ZSU-37, Wirbelwind, Multiple Gun Motor Carriage M13, etc...) though, the M42 is typically regarded as the least effective when used against vehicles with armour protection. The penetration value of the armour-piercing rounds is considered too low to penetrate armour plating, even when not angled. The Duster, however, can be devastating against vehicles with very little to no armour, especially at 120 rounds per minute for each gun.

Being considered a light tank, the M42 does not have the armour capability to stand up directly to many of the other vehicles which it will face on the battlefield, especially against tanks which may fire high-explosive shells. The Duster will fare better against machinegun fire and potentially against some of the lighter autocannon fire which it may encounter, though not for long. Due to the M42's lightweight nature, it is best to stage where there is cover to help shield the Duster. It is also essential to only expose the vehicle when necessary to get a shot. If discovered, it is best to have a contingency location to which to fall back and regroup.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull12 / 12 / 12
Turret12 / 8 / 8
Crew6 people
Visibility109 %

Armour may as well be non-existent on the M42. Built off the chassis of the M41 Walker Bulldog, the SPAA can be penetrated by anything in the game, except for those few tanks armed with only machine guns, of course. In this tank, speed is your armour. A stationary Duster is a scrapped Duster unless you're firing on an aircraft, in which you should stop behind some cover.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 12.7 mm (33°) Front glacis
25.7 mm (39°) Bottom glacis
12.7 mm 12.7 mm Top
19 mm Bottom
12.7 mm
Turret 12.7 mm 8 mm 8 mm N/A


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB79 / 21 km/h
RB and SB73 / 19 km/h
Number of gears4 forward
2 back
Weight22.5 t
Engine power
AB954 hp
RB and SB500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB42.4 hp/t
RB and SB22.2 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 79 21 22.5 710 954 31.56 42.4
Realistic 73 19 442 500 19.64 22.22

This tank can go about 72 km/h forwards and -20 km/h backwards. Either way, it's fast. Being built with neutral steering and lighter than the M41A1. It should take no difficulty to get out of a situation in a pinch.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 640 → 5 023 Sl icon.png
RB2 950 → 4 071 Sl icon.png
SB4 120 → 5 685 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications61 700 Rp icon.png
103 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces890 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
130 / 180 / 250 % Sl icon.png
178 / 178 / 178 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
2 800 Rp icon.png
4 700 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
2 800 Rp icon.png
4 700 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
5 000 Rp icon.png
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
5 000 Rp icon.png
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
2 800 Rp icon.png
4 700 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement jp.png
Crew Replenishment
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
2 800 Rp icon.png
4 700 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
2 800 Rp icon.png
4 700 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
5 100 Rp icon.png
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
5 000 Rp icon.png
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
5 000 Rp icon.png
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png


Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

Ammunition480 rounds
Belt capacity8 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
0.6 → 0.5 s
Fire rate120 shots/min
Vertical guidance-3° / 85°

The M42 Duster is armed with two 40 mm anti-aircraft guns. They have a decent rate of fire and you will seldom have to stop and wait for a reload - more likely, you'll have to wait for the gun barrel to cool down. Against aircraft, these guns are deadly. A shot or two will be more than enough to shoot down an enemy. They are also quite deadly against lightly armoured vehicles, such as enemy SPAAs or light tanks such as the Spähpanzer Ru 251 or M41 Walker Bulldog, and you can pen the side of Panthers, too. However, they require direct hits. Against the Soviet heavy or British medium tanks you are likely to encounter, however these guns will do nothing for you. You will rarely get an opportunity to use the Bofors on another tank, as they simply lack the penetration to do so - 72 mm doesn't get you very far at Rank IV. It's part of what makes the Rank IV Japanese experience so painful. If you can get the guns to hit, you should have no trouble knocking aircraft out of the sky.

40 mm Dual Automatic Gun M2 (x2) Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 480 (8) 120 -3°/+85° ±180° N/A 35.22 48.75 59.20 65.47 69.65 0.65 0.58 0.53 0.50
Realistic 23.80 28.00 34.00 37.60 40.00


  • Default: AP-T · FI-T* - These work fine, a hit on an aircraft means instant disassembly for it and still is able to hurt ground vehicles, especially if it is side into the side of a enemy tank.
  • Mk.II: FI-T* - These mean bad news for aircraft, what should be used for AA work.
  • M81A1: AP-T - These are the worst belts against airplanes. However, they are able to hurt ground vehicles especially if shot into the side of an enemy tank. If you plan on penetrating tanks, load this and flank, since side shots are almost a necessity.
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 72 69 58 47 38 30
Mk.II 3 3 3 3 3 3
M81A1 72 69 58 47 38 30
Belt details
Belt Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Mk.II FI-T* 874 0.86 0 0.1 63 79° 80° 81°
M81A1 AP-T 874 0.88 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42 Duster.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
60 50 (+10) 38 (+22) 14 (+46) (+58) Yes

Usage in battles

This tank has no armour, but a lot of speed and guns that do nothing against anything with actual armour. Refrain from attacking enemies that can take a hit from you, unless you like getting "Hit +10SL +5RP". You can roam around the battlefield with your insane speed and act as a scout. Ironically, shooting enemies you know will bounce, you have a reason for it because it makes them show up on the mini-map for all players to see, although it will also expose you. However, you could stay with your teammates and shoot down planes that will be harassing them - they will see you, with your open-top and exposed crew, and think of you as an easy target. They know the danger of the Bofors guns but for some pilots that is a gamble, they are willing to take. A good way to lure planes toward you is the act like you don't see them - shoot off at some distant (ground) target, at which the plane will notice you are "distracted" and dive to attack you, where you can show them the error of their ways in the form of the 40mm Bofors cannon.

Pros and cons


  • 40 mm cannons are devastating to planes
  • AP rounds able to penetrate roughly 60 mm can be used against some tanks' side armour it could face, like the M4, T-34-85 or Panther A/D
  • Unsynchronized firing helps improve overall fire rate
  • Outside from default belts, the other belt options are made of a single type of shell that can be relied on
  • Relatively fast vehicle with good mobility due to the M41A1 light tank basis
  • Fast turret traverse rate helps track aircraft


  • Despite 40 mm cannons and the unsynchronized firing, the overall fire rate is still lower than its contemporaries
  • 40 mm AP rounds are not the best AP rounds to use overall due to relatively low penetration; cannot penetrate all-round protected heavy tanks like the IS-2 or Tiger H1/E
  • Open turret allows aerial attacks and machine guns to decimate the exposed crew
  • Very thin armour hull, can be penetrated by .50 cal found on the M4
  • Is hull-breakable
  • Careless driving can damage the vehicle
  • Ammo can be used up rather quickly due to the dual-gun firing, prolonged combat can find the ammo stowage run empty
  • Easily ammo-racked due to racks scattered all around the turret, aerial autocannons could set it off if hit



During late World War II and the Korean War, the US Army were using the Twin Gun Motor Carriage M19 as their main armoured forces anti-aircraft gun. However, during the Korean War, the US Army decided to phase out their M24 Chaffees and its variants, M19 included, in order to implement newer designs made in the time period. One of these newer designs was the development of the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank. The 40 mm armament on the M19 was deemed effective enough to continue usage past the M19, so the turret of the M19 with the twin 40 mm cannons was taken off the chassis and modified to fit the chassis of the M41 light tank, which had a larger turret ring than the M24 Chaffee. This instalment of the anti-aircraft armament onto the M41 light tank was designated as the M42. Production of the vehicle began in early 1952 at the General Motors Cleveland Tank Plant and entered service in 1953, replacing the many other self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles the army was fielding. Production continued from 1952 to December 1959, ending with a total number of 3,700 units. During the production, the M42 was upgraded in 1956 with a new engine and other upgrades common with the M41 light tank, this upgraded variant was the M42A1.

Japanese Service

The JGSDF purchased 22 M42's in 1960 to replace the 35 M19s which were quickly starting to become outdated. The few models purchased by the Japanese defense force is explained by the high development price of the to become Type 87 SPAAG.

Even after the Type 87 was adopted in 1987 within the JGSDF, the M42 remained in service long after until March 1994.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.

U.S. Army Ordnance Department/Corps*
Light tanks 
M3 Stuart  M3 · M3A1 · M3A1 (USMC)
M5 Stuart  M5A1 · M5A1 "Carol"
T18 Boarhound  T18E2
M24 Chaffee  M24 - Designed in collaboration with Cadillac.
Medium tanks 
M3 Lee  M3
M4 Sherman  M4 · M4A1 · M4A2
  M4A1(76)W · M4A2(76)W · M4A3(76)W
  T34 Calliope
Pershing Series  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26E1 · M26 T99
Patton Series  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47
Prototypes  T54E1 · T95E1
Heavy tanks 
M4 Sherman  M4A3E2 · M4A3E2 "Cobra King" · M4A3E2(76)W
M6  M6A1 · M6A2E1
M26  T26E1-1 · T26E5
M103  M103
Prototypes  T14 · T29 · T30 · T32 · T32E1 · T34
Tank destroyers 
M8 Scott  M8 HMC · M8A1 GMC
M10  M10 GMC
M36  M36 GMC
M56 Scorpion  M56
Prototypes  T28 · T95
Production  M19 MGMC · M42 Duster
Stuart  Stuart I · Stuart III · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ▄M3A3 · ▄M3A3 Stuart · ▃Stuart VI (5th CAD) · ␗M5A1
Lee/Grant  ▂M3 Medium · ▃Grant I · Grant I
Sherman  Sherman II · ▄M4A1 · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ▀M4 748 (a) · ▂M4A2 · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▄M4A3E2 · ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG)
  ▄M4A4 · ▄M4A4 · ▄M4 Hybrid
Pershing  M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1
Patton  mKPz M47 G · ▅M47
T48 GMC  SU-57
Scott  ␗M8 HMC
M10  ␗M10 GMC · ▄M10 GMC
M36  ␗M36 GMC · M36B1 · ▅M36B2
M19  ▅M19A1
Duster  ▅M42 · ␗M42
  *The Ordnance Department was renamed to the Ordnance Corps after the Army Reorganization Act of 1950.

Japan anti-aircraft vehicles
Ke-Ni Derivatives  Ta-Se · So-Ki
Wheeled  Type 94
Radar SPAAG  Type 87
Missile SPAA  Type 93
USA  ▅M16 MGMC · ▅M19A1 · ▅M42