|Manufacturer||Rock Island Arsenal|
|Primary Role||Light Tank|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseDesignated Light Tank M2, these tanks were developed in 1935 by United States Army engineers at the Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, United States as infantry support tanks. The first 10 examples, designated M2A1, had single machine gun turrets, but M2A2 variant design soon overtook the production lines with twin machine gun turrets. In 1938, the M2A3 variant design called for improved armor and suspension. In 1940, the M2A4 variants had a single turret housing a 37-millimeter gun. In Mar 1941, prior to the American entry to WW2, production ceased with the introduction of the M3 light tanks, whose design was based on the M2. A total of 696 vehicles were built.
ww2dbaseThe United Kingdom ordered 100 M2A4 light tanks from the United States. Introduction of the M3 light tanks, however, caused the order to be canceled after only 36 examples were delivered. All British M2 light tanks were used for training purposes only.
ww2dbaseWhen the United States entered the war in Dec 1941, M2 light tanks were used in training units. When the US Marine Corps invaded Guadalcanal in Aug 1942, a few M2A4 light tanks saw action.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2010
|Machinery||One Continental W-670-9A 7-cylinder engine rated at 220hp|
|Suspension||Vertical volute spring suspension|
|Armament||1x37mm Gun M5 (103 rounds), 5x7.62mm Browning M1919A4 machine guns|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945