M42

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This page is about the American SPAA M42. For other versions, see M42 (Family). For other uses, see M42 (Disambiguation).
M42
us_m42_duster.png
GarageImage M42.jpg
ArtImage M42.png
M42
AB RB SB
5.3 4.3 4.7
Class:
Research:46 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:170 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Twin 40 mm Self-Propelled Gun M42 Duster is a rank III American Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft (SPAA) gun with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB), 4.3 (RB), and 4.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.47 "Big Guns". While armed with the same turret and cannons from its predecessor the M19, it has enhanced mobility by using the chassis of the light tank M41A1 Walker Bulldog.

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 SPAA vehicles were initially designed 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 machine gun 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

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 15 mm thick.

Mobility

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 have no difficulty getting out of a situation in a pinch.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 120 → 2 925 Sl icon.png
RB1 730 → 2 387 Sl icon.png
SB2 730 → 3 767 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications40 400 Rp icon.png
78 500 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training48 000 Sl icon.png
Experts170 000 Sl icon.png
Aces630 Ge icon.png
Research Aces440 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
110 / 150 / 250 % Sl icon.png
160 / 160 / 160 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
2 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 900 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 500 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 500 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 600 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 900 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 500 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement us.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 600 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
40mm_usa_M2_HE_ammo_pack
Research:
2 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 900 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 900 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
40mm_usa_M2_AP_ammo_pack
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 500 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
1 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 500 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
3 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 600 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png

Armaments

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 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 penetrate 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 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

Ammunition

  • 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 46 37 29
Mk.II 3 3 3 3 3 3
M81A1 72 69 58 46 37 29
Belt details
Belt Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mk.II FI-T* 874 0.83 0 0.1 63 79° 80° 81°
M81A1 AP-T 875 0.88 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
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, though you can roam around the battlefield with your insane speed and act as a scout. You can still shoot enemies to mark them 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 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 as they begin to dive to attack you, quickly re-aim the cannons and fire.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 40 mm cannons are devastating to planes
  • AP rounds able to penetrate roughly 60 mm can be used against most medium tank side armour it could face, like the T-34-85, Chi-Ri II, 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
  • Improved mobility, protection and ammunition count compared to M19

Cons:

  • 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
  • Relatively bad depression angles, a little worse than on the M19, which means the M42 has to expose itself to shoot over hills
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bad mobility when stock

History

Development

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 decides 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. The 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.

Combat usage

The M42 was kept in US inventory past the Korean War, however, it was sometime between then and the 1960s that the US Army came to the conclusion that ordinary anti-aircraft guns are unable to engage the new aircraft age of jets. Thus, the M42 was to be retired in 1963 and replaced by the HAWK surface-to-air missile. Though, even after their retirement, the units stationed at the Panama Canal Zone kept their M42s until the 1970s.

Then in the 1960s, with the intensity of the Vietnam War brewing up, more American soldiers get stationed in the country. Experiences with the missile showed that the HAWK missile system suppose to engage the new jet planes performed badly in low-altitude defence. In order to ensure a tight grip on the airspace, the Army began to reissue the M42s to the Army in the air defence artillery battalions which contain four M42 batteries and one headquarters battery. These M42s start arriving in the fall of 1966 in three battalions, 1/44th, 5/2nd, and the 4/60th Battalions. Though, despite their role, no dire air threat was presented from the North Vietnamese to the South, so the M42s were relegated to ground support duties in a tradition shared by its past predecessors. The M42s in this role was deployed as on-point security, convoy escorts, or a perimeter defence; it was in these roles that the M42 earned its nickname "Duster" for its lethality and effectiveness in ground support roles against the infantry.

After Vietnam, the M42 Dusters-equipped battalions were deactivated in late December 1971. These Dusters still in Vietnam were given to the ARVN forces. Training dusters at Fort Bliss were given back to the National Guard it was originally issued to, and multiple National Guard units were stationed with the M42 until it was officially retired in 1988, with the last unit retiring it be 2nd Battalion, 263 Air Defense Artillery.


Archive of the in-game description

The M42 self-propelled 40 mm anti-air mount built by General Motors (GM). It was based on the M41 light tank and was intended to replace the M19 self-propelled anti-air mount. The unofficial name "Duster" was also used for this installation. A total of 3,700 M42's were produced between 1951 and 1959.


Media

Skins

See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


USA anti-aircraft vehicles
M3 Half-track derivatives  M13 MGMC · M15 CGMC · M16 MGMC
M24 derivative  M19A1
M41 derivative  M42
Radar SPAAG  M163 · M247
Missile SPAA  LAV-AD · XM975