|This page is about the SPAA M42 (China). For other usages, see M42 (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see M42 (Family).|
The ␗M42 Duster is a rank IV Chinese SPAA with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB) and 5.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind".
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.
Survivability and armour
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.
- 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
|Turret||12.7 mm||8 mm||8 mm||N/A|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
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
The M42 Duster is armed with two Bofors (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. If you can get the guns to hit, you should have no trouble knocking aircraft out of the sky.
|40 mm Bofors (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|
- Default: · - 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: - These mean bad news for aircraft, what should be used for AA work.
- M81A1: - 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.
|Belt||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Belt|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|60||50 (+10)||38 (+22)||14 (+46)||2 (+58)||Keep Full||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, Chi-Ri II 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
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|China anti-aircraft vehicles|