M24 Chaffee

Light Tank, M24
M24 Chaffee 33314 4CV pic07.JPG
A preserved M24 of the Royal Netherlands Army
TypeLight tank
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1944–1953 (U.S. Army)
Used byUnited States and 28 others; see Operators
WarsWorld War II
Korean War
First Indochina War
Ifni War
Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Algerian War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Production history
ManufacturerCadillac
Massey-Harris
Produced1944–August 1945
No. built4,731
Specifications
Weight40,500 lb (18.37 metric tons)
Length18 ft 3 in (5.56 m) including gun
16 ft 6 in (5.03 m) excluding gun
Width9 ft 10 in (3 m)
Height9 ft 1 in (2.77 m)
Crew5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, assistant driver/radio operator)

Armor0.60–1.50 in (15–38 mm)
Main
armament
75 mm Gun M6 in Mount M64
48 rounds
Secondary
armament
.50 cal Browning M2HB machine gun
440 rounds
2 × .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns
3,750 rounds
EngineTwin Cadillac Series 44T24
220 hp (164 kW) at 3,400 rpm (per engine)
Power/weight24 hp (17.9 kW) / tonne
TransmissionHydramatic
8 speeds forward, 4 reverse
SuspensionTorsion bar
Ground clearance1 ft 6 in (0.46 m)
Fuel capacity110 US gallons (420 litres)
Operational
range
100 mi (160 km)
Speed35 mph (56 km/h) on road

The M24 Chaffee (officially Light Tank, M24) is an American light tank used during the later part of World War II; it was also used in post–World War II conflicts including the Korean War, and by the French in the War in Algeria and the First Indochina War. In British service it was given the service name Chaffee after the United States Army General Adna R. Chaffee Jr., who helped develop the use of tanks in the United States armed forces. M24s were mostly removed from U.S. and NATO armies by the 1960s, but remained in service with some Third World countries.

Development and production history

British combat experience in the North African campaign identified several shortcomings of the M3 Stuart light tank, especially the performance of its 37 mm cannon. A 75 mm gun was experimentally fitted to an Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 - an M3 tank with a larger turret - and trials indicated that a 75 mm gun on the M5 light tank development of the M3 was possible. The M3/M5 design was dated though, the 75 mm gun reduced storage space, and the armor was insufficient.[1]

The T7 light tank design, which was initially seen as a replacement, grew in weight to more than 25 short tons taking it out of the light tank classification, and so was designated as the Medium Tank M7. The weight increase without increased power gave it unsatisfactory performance; the program was stopped in March 1943 to allow standardization on a single medium tank - the M4 medium.[2][1] This prompted the Ordnance Committee to issue a specification for a new light tank, with the same powertrain as the M5A1 but armed with a 75 mm gun.[3]

In April 1943, the Ordnance Corps, together with Cadillac (who manufactured the M5), started work on the new project, designated Light Tank T24. The powerplant and transmission of the M5 were used together with some aspects of the T7.[1] Efforts were made to keep the weight of the vehicle under 20 tons. The armor was kept light, with the glacis plate only 25 mm thick but sloped to maximize effectiveness. A new lightweight 75 mm gun was developed, a derivative of the gun used in the B-25H Mitchell bomber. The gun had the same ballistics as the 75 mm M3 in use by American tanks but used a thinly walled barrel and different recoil mechanism. The design featured 16 in (41 cm) tracks and torsion bar suspension, similar to the slightly earlier M18 Hellcat tank destroyer, which itself started in production in July 1943. The torsion bar system was to give a smoother ride than the vertical volute suspension used on most US armored vehicles. At the same time, the chassis was expected to be a standard used for other vehicles, such as self-propelled guns, and specialist vehicles; known together as the "Light Combat Team".[1] It had a relatively low silhouette and a three-man turret.[3]

On October 15, 1943, the first pilot vehicle was delivered. The design was judged a success and a contract for 1,000 was immediately raised by the Ordnance Department. This was subsequently increased to 5,000.[1] Production began in 1944 under the designation Light Tank M24. It was produced at two sites; from April at Cadillac and from July at Massey-Harris. By the time production was stopped in August 1945, 4,731 M24s had been produced.[4]

Other Languages
bosanski: M24
brezhoneg: M24 Chaffee
čeština: M24 Chaffee
Deutsch: M24 Chaffee
español: M24 Chaffee
français: Char M24 Chaffee
galego: M24 Chaffee
한국어: M24 채피
hrvatski: M24 Chaffee
italiano: M24 Chaffee
עברית: M24 צ'אפי
magyar: M24 Chaffee
Nederlands: M24 Chaffee
日本語: M24軽戦車
polski: M24 Chaffee
português: M24 Chaffee
русский: M24 Чаффи
slovenščina: M24 Chaffee
српски / srpski: М24 Чефи
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: M24
svenska: M24 Chaffee
Türkçe: M24 Chaffee
українська: M24 Chaffee
Tiếng Việt: M24 Chaffee