Light Tank M22 Locust

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General info

M22 Locust in the Garage.

The Light Tank M22 Locust is a Rank II American light tank with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB) and 2.7 (SB). It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". One of the tiniest tank in the game, the Locust is able to maneuver some of the smaller areas on the battlefield to get a clean shot on an opponent.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

Perhaps the best word to describe this tank is -- tiny -- it really is, no other tank is as small as the Locust. This is a pro and a con, which we will cover in a second. The Locust is a light tank and thus is never really meant to go up against other tanks in the game, this is emphasized by the fact that really, no other nation other than the United States even has a light tank available at this tier. This severely limits the opponents you are able to face against "fairly" in this tank as your small size also means the crew is compacted into a small area and a crew knockout is very easy to do onto you, so in order to beat the odds, some trickery has to be put into play...

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

  • Run and Gun

The Locust is really fast, and although its handling can be hard at maximum speed, this can be exploited in any terrain with sufficient cover in order to get to the enemy flanks and subdue them. The tiny size of the tank helps by presenting a smaller target to the enemy, and allows the usage of smaller cover not typically used by an average tank of the tier. With fast maneuvering and sneaky movements across terrains, you can proceed unchecked and surprise the enemy from the sides.

  • Get in Close

The riskier tactic, but it may work if done well, is to just get right up onto the enemy tank. The Locust, as stressed repeatedly, is tiny and though this makes it easier for you to be knocked out, that also means you can exploit some of the other tanks weaknesses, like say their gun depression. Get up right on that tank, point blank on the sides, you will find that (most) enemies will not be able to even move their gun down to hit you if you stay close to them. Use this opportunity to find weak points on their side or rear armour and fire away until a penetration and a subsequent knock out. Its a risky tactic, but will feel glorious and proud for your tiny tank.

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-Tactics

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Enormous hp/ton ratio, allowing fast acceleration.
  • Great speeds across flat terrain.
  • Extremely low profile; tanks without a lot of gun depression can't shoot at you at close range
  • The gun has no trouble penetrating tanks at its BR range.
  • Easy to turn a complete 180° at low speed and at a stop.

Cons

  • High acceleration and speed make tank handling rather difficult unless familiar with specs.
  • Handling becomes sluggish at higher speeds, noticeably in Gear 3.
  • Small crew of 3 confined in tiny space, no spare crew members to take over incapacitated ones, a penetrating shot can take out two of them easily.
  • Weak armour; will only stop 12.7 mm rounds, and sometimes not even.
  • Due to its low suspension, it may get stuck in soft or uneven ground.
  • Strange driving issue, in arcade, that causes the Locust to shudder, wobble, and not accelerate at a constant rate.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Armaments

1 x 37 mm Gun M6 (50 rounds)
1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (3,000 rounds)

Main armament

1 x 37 mm Gun M6
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 30°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 16.9°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 3.7s (Stock), _._s (Full Crew), _._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 37 mm Gun M6
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 30°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 14.3°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 3.7s (Stock), _._s (Full Crew), _._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 37 mm Gun M6
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 30°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 12.2°/s (Stock), 14.3°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 3.7s (Stock), _._s (Full Crew), _._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M74B1 90 89 69 50 37 27 AP 883 0.87 N/A N/A N/A -1° 43° 30° 25°
M63 Shell 2 2 2 2 2 2 HE 807 0.73 0.1 0.5 38 +0° 11° 10°
M51B1/B2 79 78 69 59 51 43 APC 883 0.87 N/A N/A N/A -1° 42° 27° 19°
Ammo racks
Ammo rack of the M22 Locust
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
50 34 (+16) 17 (+33) 1 (+49) None No

Secondary armament

1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander/Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver

Total: 3 Crew members

Armour

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 12.7 mm (64-65°) Front glacis
25.4 mm (7-62°) Lower glacis
25.4 mm (9-85°) Driver's port
9.5 mm (34-51°) Top
12.7 mm Bottom
12.7 mm (11-15°) 9.5 mm
Turret 25.4 mm (25-36°) Turret front
25.4 mm (22-53°) Gun mantlet
25.4 mm (3-6°) 25.4 mm 9.5 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, the bogies and tracks are 10 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 12.7 mm thick.

Engine & Mobility

Weight: 7.4 ton

Max Speed: 63 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 297 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 40.13 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 39°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 366 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 49.46 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 7.4 ton

Max Speed: 56 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 169 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.84 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 192 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 25.95 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 7.4 ton

Max Speed: 56 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 169 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 22.84 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 192 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 25.95 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

Aim for "Parts" and "FPE" to help with combat survivability in case you do get hit, but are not knocked out. Emphasis should be put on speed in order to maximize the Locust's utility as a light tank.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The development of this tank began in late 1941 as a request from the British military for an airmobile light tank that could travel on a glider. The British airborne forces used gliders as a mean to transport troops and equipments, and by 1941 the gliders were rated to be able to carry a tank weighing about 5.5 tons in a 300 to 350 miles flight. The British had a light tank design, the Mk. VII Tetrarch, but it was not built for the focus of airborne operations so the request was made for a purely-built airborne light tank to replace the Tetrarch, and for the tank to be made not in Britain due to constraints in industrial capacity.

The request to the Americans called for a tank weighing between 9-10 tons with a 37 mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun with a crew of three. The tank was to have a maximum speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) and could operate in a 320 km radius (200 miles). The turret and front armour thickness was to be between 40-50 mm and the sides 30 mm thick. US Ordnance Department requested three companies, General motors, J. Walter Christie, and Marmon-Herrington to design a suitable tank, of which the Marmon-Herrington design was accepted. The design was made into a prototype in late 1941 and was designated the Light Tank T9. This design had a crew of three and weighed 7.4 tons, with a 37 mm gun and coaxial machine gun, plus two more machine guns on the right side of the bow. The turret was powered and had a gun stabilizer. The tank was powered by a 162 hp six-cylinder Lycoming engine and the armour thickness was 12.5 mm on the entire hull side of the tank while the sloped area on the sides of the hull were 9.5 mm thick. The tank could go up to 40 mph (64 km/h) with the engine. The T9 was built to be mounted on a Douglas C-54 Skymaster plane, but it could still fit into a glider due to its dimensions and weight. The tank underwent a few changes, such as improvement in the tank suspension and removal of the two machine guns on the bow, the gun stabilizer, and the power traverse on the turret to reduce the weight. The result was designated the Light Tank T9E1. Production was meant to start somewhere in 1942, but issues in the design change and factories caused the production to be delayed until April 1943. The tanks were produced from then until 1945, with a total unit of 830.

The tank was specified the Light Tank M22 at some time in 1943, but this classified it as a "limited standard" equipment due to some faults discovered. Testings showed that loading the M22 tank on a C-54 plane required lots of time and complex equipments, plus the plane had to be landed on an airfield to be unloaded. The durability and reliability of the M22 was also brought into question, concerned that these factors would make it unsuitable for airborne operations and that the design was effectively obsolete. The M22 never saw service in American combat units except for training, and even with the establishment of two units with the M22s, they saw no combat due to America's lack of investment in airborne tanks. The British on the other hand believed that the M22 would be adequate at its role so adopted it as the "Locust", giving the name Light Tank M22 Locust to the tank.

Combat Usage

The British usage in World War II had the airborne light tanks used in 1st and 6th Airborne Division as the Light Tank 'C' Squadron. Although the M22 Locust started replacing the Tetrarch before the initiation of Operation Overlord, the Tetrarch was still used until October 1944, when a restructuring retired all Tetrarch and replaced them with Locusts. The 6th Airborne Division was involved in Operation Varsity in 1945, where eight Locusts were loaded onto Hamilcar gliders and flown to the battlefield on March 24. Of the eight Locusts sent, six landed intact, but two never reached their rendezvous point due to enemy action or mechanical breakdown. Of the four remaining Locusts, only two were undamaged at the rendezvous point. The tanks were deployed at a fortified area, where they engage German troops while being supported by an infantry company, the Locusts were forced to withdraw after the heavy losses in infantry denied them support. The four tanks and what is left of the infantry were finally relieved by the 44th Royal Tank Regiment and the rest of the 6th Airborne Division. Operation Varsity was the only operation the Locust would ever see action in World War II.

The M22 Locust, while serving rather well as an airborne tank, the War Office in Britain reported that the Locust design was obsolete by January 1946. New designs were to take over the Locust's role in the airborne formations. What's left of the Locusts in British inventory were given to foreign militaries. Belgium used some as command tanks in their armoured regiments. America received a few back and were converted into agricultural tractors. Egypt used the Locusts in a large number to replace their aging tank models from the interwar period, these saw service in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Today, sixteen M22 Locusts are known to have survived, though many have replica turrets. Of the batch, only three are known to be in running condition.

Ingame description

In 1941 an airmobile light tank designated the T9 entered development, with three major companies assigned the project: Christie, GMC, and Marmon-Herrington. The design provided by Marmon-Herrington proved the winner, as it satisfied practically every client requirement.

Trials of the new tank began in the fall of 1941, and in November 1942 the third T9E2 pre-production prototype was built.
Production began in March 1943 and continued through February 1944. Marmon-Herrington assembled and delivered over the space of that year 830 of the 1,800 tanks ordered. The first 26 had a box-shaped compartment for the driver, though it was removed for subsequent models. The frontal plate was then made from a single piece.
The tank was designated the M22 beginning September 1944, though the lack of heavy transport planes in the American army kept it out of the war.
The UK acquired 260 M22s via Lend-Lease, referring to them as Locusts. The British liked the tank thanks to its good mobility, small size, and reasonable weight. Its weak armament and armor, which was no thicker than 25 mm, were considered drawbacks. Some 37 mm cannons were equipped with Littlejohn adaptors, which were designed to boost initial velocity with special shells.

The M22 only saw combat in 1945. Its biggest battle was Operation Varsity, when 12 tanks were flown in using Hamilcar gliders on March 22, 1945. Some M22s may have taken part in the 1944 Normandy invasion.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References


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us_m22_locust.png
Title Light Tank M22 Locust
Country United States of America
Weight 7445 kg
Type Light tank
Rank 2
Rating 2
Engine power 192 h.p.
Max speed 54.81 km/h
Hull armour thickness 25/12/12 (mm)
Superstructure armour thickness 12/9/- (mm)
Time for free repair 1 h 39 m
Max repair cost* 470 s.l.
Cost* 22000 s.l.

*Without modifications