|Hobby Master 1/72 Ground Power Series
M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer
France, 1944 "USA 40145192"
|The 76 mm M18 tank destroyer was produced by General Motors Buick Division who named the
M18 the “Hellcat”. The M18 was the fastest tracked AFV of WWII reaching speeds up to 60 mph.
The speed was possible because of the lack of heavy armor. The theory was speed would be the
vehicles protection. Quite often German Panthers and Tigers would fall victim to the M18
because the German tanks turret couldn’t turn fast enough to return fire. The M18 was also
present in the war in the Pacific.
In late July 1944 the Allies moved north to capture the port of Brest, France to use it to re-supply
the Allied advance. On August 7, 1944 American troops reached Brest that was fortified with
40,000 German troops, light flak and naval guns. Company A 705th TD Battalion M18 “I Don’t
Want A” was there as part of the American artillery barrages combined with aerial bombing and
naval guns. When the Germans surrendered on September 19, 1944 Brest had been completely
destroyed and the port facilities made useless by the Germans.
Specifications for the M18 “Hellcat” Tank Destroyer
Classification - 76mm Gun Motor Carriage (T70)
Produced By - General Motors, Buick Division
Production Period - July 1943 to October 1944
Number of Units Produced – 2,507
Crew – 5
Engine - R975 Continental Radial, 973 cu. in. 9 Cylinder air-cooled, 400 HP @ 2,400 RPM
Transmission - 4 speed Torqmatic
Maximum Speed - 50 mph
Ground clearance - 14 in.
Maximum Fording Depth – 48 in.
Maximum Grade – 60 degrees @ 3 mph
Length - 21 ft. 10 in.
Width - 9 ft. 5 in.
Height - 8 ft. 5 in.
Maximum Weight - 37,557 lbs.
1 x 76 mm M1A2 main gun, 76 rounds
1 x .50 cal M2HB Machine Gun, 800 rounds
5 x MI .30 cal carbines, 450 rounds
6 x WP M50 smoke grenades
6 x Mk.II fragmentation grenades
4 x smoke pots