M2 light tank file photo [9967]


CountryUnited States
ManufacturerRock Island Arsenal
Primary RoleLight Tank


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.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2010


MachineryOne Continental W-670-9A 7-cylinder engine rated at 220hp
SuspensionVertical volute spring suspension
Armament1x37mm Gun M5 (103 rounds), 5x7.62mm Browning M1919A4 machine guns
Length4.43 m
Width2.47 m
Height2.65 m
Weight11.6 t
Speed58 km/h
Range320 km


M2A3 light tank on parade during the Army Day Parade, Washington, DC, United States, 6 Apr 1939British workers working on a M2A4 light tank that had just arrived from the United States, circa 1941US Army M2A4 light tank, 1940sBritish M2A4 light tank, 11 Mar 1942
See all 9 photographs of M2 Light Tank

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. austin says:
5 Dec 2011 10:04:39 AM

wow i did not no that Thanks for info
2. Panzer0083 says:
12 Feb 2020 08:29:39 AM

Seventh photo Should be M3 Light Tank

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M2 Light Tank Photo Gallery
M2A3 light tank on parade during the Army Day Parade, Washington, DC, United States, 6 Apr 1939
See all 9 photographs of M2 Light Tank

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