Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG6009 M18 Tank Destroyer 805th Tank Bttn., 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 first test of the new M18 Hellcat took place when 3 vehicles were used at Anzio, Italy with the 894th TDB in breakthrough operations. These operations soon show the M18’s design flaws which would limit its role when it landed in Normandy. In late July 1944 M18s were brought ashore and assigned to the 603d, 704th, and 705th of Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s Third Army. The three gun companies each contained three platoons of four guns, giving the entire battalion a total of thirty-six tank destroyers.

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
Performance
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
Dimensions
Length - 21 ft. 10 in. Width - 9 ft. 5 in. Height - 8 ft. 5 in.
Maximum Weight - 37,557 lbs.
Armament
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