|Hobby Master 1/72 Ground Power Series
M18 Tank Destroyer 805th Tank Battalion, Italy 1944
|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.
The 805th TDB was formed in December 1941. In August 1942 the 805th sailed to the
UK and in January 1943 they deployed to North Africa and equipped with M3 GMC (Gun
Motor Carriage) tank destroyers. In February of that year the unit took part in the Battle of
the Kasserine Pass and suffered heavy losses. On March 23, 1943 the 805th received
the M10 and in October shipped to Italy. During the summer of 1944 the 805th was\
re-equipped with the M18 Hellcat that was mainly used for indirect-fire missions.
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
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
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