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[Client Values; Actual values in
|800640 HP Hit Points|
|19.54/229.1/0 t Weight Limit|
- Radio Operator
|460460 hp Engine Power|
|72/20 km/h Speed Limit|
|3434 deg/s Traverse|
|23.54Expression error: Unexpected < operator. hp/t Power/Wt Ratio|
|12.7/12.7/12.7 mm Hull Armor|
|76.2/31.8/127// mm Turret Armor|
|240/240/320240/240/320 HP Damage|
|167/210/45167/210/45 mm Penetration|
|r/m 7.5 r/m 7.5 Rate of Fire|
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
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See here, here, or here for more information.
▲Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Damage Per Minute
With 50% Crew: 0.434 m
With 50% Crew: 0.434 m
|s 1.7 s 1.7 Aim time|
|2020 deg/s Turret Traverse|
|360° Gun Arc|
|-10°/+17°-10°/+17° Elevation Arc|
|3030 rounds Ammo Capacity|
|Expression error: Unexpected * operator.Expression error: Unexpected * operator. % Chance of Fire|
|m 370 m 370 View Range|
|m 570 m 570 Signal Range|
Combat actions in Europe showed that the standard 76 mm gun was not effective against modern German medium and heavy tanks of the time when firing from medium and long range. The decision was made to combine the M18 chassis with the M36 tank destroyer turret, equipped with the powerful 90 mm gun. One prototype was built that underwent trials on the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Development was discontinued due to the war's conclusion.
The Super Hellcat is gifted to all players with more than 5+ years of service record in 2019 "A Well-Deserved Reward" event.
Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables
|Rate of fire
|90 mm AT Gun M3T||167/210/45||240/240/320||7.5||0.35||1.7||81000|
|Turret||Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
|Turret Traverse Speed
|Chance of Fire on Impact
|Wright Continental R-975-C4 (858)||0||25000|
Pros and Cons
- Fastest Tier 7 in the game, 3rd quickest acceleration among Tier 7 TDs
- Good turret traverse and gun depression for a TD
- Good overall gun handling, well balanced between accuracy, aim time, and bloom control
- Crew layout matches several common mid tier American TDs
- Weak penetration values on both standard and premium rounds
- Lacking in DPM, small ammo reserve for its alpha damage
- Low health and thin armor, poor survivability
- Weak signal range due to bad radio, only average view range
The Super Hellcat is essentially a pre-nerf Hellcat, with its mobility restored and moved up a tier. While it still features its trademark speed and accuracy, being moved up a tier was not kind to the Super Hellcat. The changes to the game's meta have not helped this machine either, and as a result a different set of tactics is required compared to what people thought the Hellcat used to be capable of.
The most notable asset of the Super Hellcat is its speed. It is, without exaggeration, the fastest tier 7 vehicle in the game, and can expect to actually reach its 72 kph top speed. This speed allows it to reposition like no other tank destroyer can, and take advantage of positions that would normally only be available to light tanks. It also makes it possible to flank, which is fortunate because it absolutely needs to attack enemies from their weak flanks.
Unfortunately, this is due to the most notable weakness of the Super Hellcat: the terrible penetration values on the gun. While not the worst standard ammunition of its class, its combination of low penetration and low rate of fire causes it to suffer from truly mediocre DPM, not at all helped by its miserly ammo supply of just 30 rounds. The poor penetration values means that more of these shells will ricochet or simply not penetrate many tanks, especially the Tier 9s it can now expect to face. This shortcoming hampers its APCR shell as well, which has an underwhelming 210mm of penetration. Competitors such as the M56 Scorpion or even the non-premium T25/2 can enjoy much higher penetration on both their AP and APCR shells, and therefore stand a chance of defeating the armor of tier 8 and 9 tanks where this tank would simply struggle in vain. Therefore it is advisable to carry a good amount of HE shells along your AP(CR) ones.
All together, the Super Hellcat is sadly quite inferior for its tier, even compared to the modern standard Hellcat. While the Super Hellcat's raw stats are superior to the standard Hellcat, it can expect to see monsters such as the E-75 or the Type 4 Heavy and is asked to fight them with shells that simply lack the penetration to affect many vehicles the Super Hellcat can expect to see. Making the most of the vehicle requires heavy use of its two remaining good features--speed and camouflage.
Find good locations to spot enemies while fishing for side shots. Map awareness is crucial, as is practicing stealth sniping by either keeping two layers of concealment between yourself and the target or simply using your improved reverse speed to back away from concealment before firing. Shoot drive wheels to disable enemies and sometimes cause damage, and consider focusing on enemy medium tanks instead of heavies. Barring this, avoid well-armored heavy or superheavy tanks if at all possible. You lack the penetration, alpha damage, or DPM to attack enemy heavies directly, so finding side shots or taking on lighter targets is crucial.
As a premium vehicle, the Super Hellcat is elite in its stock configuration
In December 1941, the Ordnance Corps issued a requirement for the design of a fast tank destroyer using a Christie suspension, the Wright/Continental R-975 engine, and a 37 mm gun. In light of experience gained in North Africa, the 37 mm gun was found to be inadequate and the design was changed to use a British 57 mm gun. During the development process, the design was further upgunned to a 75 mm gun, and then finally to the 76 mm gun. The Christie suspension requirement was also dropped, and replaced with a torsion bar suspension. The design was standardized in February 1943 and production began in July 1943. As a new design, the M18 incorporated several innovative maintenance features. The Wright R-975 engine was mounted on steel rollers, which permitted it to be disconnected from the transmission, rolled out onto the lowered engine rear cover, serviced and then reconnected to the vehicle. Similarly, the transmission could be removed and rolled out onto a front deck plate to allow inspection and repairs. The T70 prototype for the M18 first saw combat at Anzio, Italy, and production versions of the M18 were used in North-West Europe and Italy from the summer of 1944 onwards. In contrast to the M10 tank destroyer, which used the chassis of the M4 Sherman, the M18 Hellcat was designed from the start to be a fast tank destroyer. As a result it was smaller, lighter, and significantly faster, but carried the same gun as the Sherman 76 mm models. The M18 carried a five-man crew as well as 45 rounds of main gun ammunition, and an M2 Browning machine gun on a flexible ring mount for use against aircraft and infantry.The main disadvantages of the M18 were its very light armor, and the inconsistent performance of its 76 mm gun against the frontal armor of later German designs such as the Tiger and Panther. The open-topped turret (a characteristic which it shared with the M10) left the crew exposed to snipers, grenades, and shell fragments. The doctrinal priority of high speed at the cost of armor protection thus led to an unbalanced design. The problem of the main gun performance was remedied with High Velocity Armor Piercing (HVAP) ammunition late in the war, which allowed the 76 mm gun to achieve greater frontal armor penetration, but this was never available in quantity.
While the M18 was capable of high road speeds this attribute was difficult to use successfully in combat, but along with the high top speed was a commensurate ability to accelerate rapidly and change direction rather quickly. Although sustained travel at road speeds was hardly ever used outside of the Allied response during the Battle of the Bulge, most Hellcat crews found the higher speeds especially useful in a sprint to flank German tanks, which had relatively slow turret traverse speeds, and such maneuvering allowed the tank destroyer crew a shot instead into the enemy's thinner side or rear armor. In general, Hellcat crews were complimentary of their vehicle's performance and capabilities, but did complain that the open top created a cold interior in the Northern European winter of 1944-45. This problem was not helped by the fact that the air-cooled engine pulled a percentage of its cooling air through the crew compartment, creating in effect, a large armour plated refrigerator. It was not designed to do so, but it proved impossible to seal off the crew compartment entirely from engine induced drafts.
The only M18 variant which was produced in significant numbers was the M39 Armored Utility Vehicle, a turretless variation used to transport personnel or cargo or as a gun tractor. This version was armed with a single M2 machine gun on a flexible mount. 650 early production M18s were converted into M39s by removing the turret and fitting seats for up to eight men in the open fighting space. M39s saw combat during the Korean War, primarily as armored personnel carriers and munitions carriers, and were finally declared obsolete on February 14, 1957. About 100 M39s were transferred to the West German Bundeswehr in 1956, where they were used to train the reestablished Panzergrenadier armored infantry units. The M18 continued in production until October 1944, when the war was nearing its end. 2,507 had been produced by that time, at a unit cost of $57,500. Though all tank destroyer units were disbanded by the U.S. after the war, surplus M18s continued to see limited service.
The attack of 1st Battalion and the M18 Hellcat tank destroyers of the 705th TD Battalion near Noville together destroyed at least 30 German tanks and inflicted 500 to 1000 casualties on the attacking forces, in what amounted to a spoiling attack. A Military Channel historian credited the M18 destroyers with 24 kills, including several Tiger tanks, and believes that in part, their ability to "shoot and scoot" at high speed and then reappear elsewhere on the battlefield and therefore appear to be another vehicle entirely played a large part in confusing and slowing the German attack, which subsequently stalled, leaving the Americans in possession of the town overnight. The Hellcat, due to its 76mm gun, had major difficulty penetrating the glacis of Panther tanks. Due to the almost absent armor of the Hellcat and its use of high flash powder the Hellcat made a relatively easy target for German tank crews. Tank destroyers, in contrast to the pre-war doctrine governing their deployment, came to attack enemy armour from long range from an ambush position, acting in essence like self-propelled anti-tank guns. The Hellcat had a gun that could penetrate roughly 88mm at 1000 m. The average combat range noted by the Americans for tank vs. tank action was around 800m to 900m. This was just enough to penetrate a Panzer IV frontally, a tank designed in 1939. If facing a Panther, a Hellcat would be facing a tank with roughly 140mm of line-of-sight armor frontally. Hypothetically, if the Soviet Union decided to invade the rest of Europe during the war, the Hellcat would face the IS-2 with a glacis of roughly 200mm line of sight armor.
Tank Destroyer Doctrine
After World War II, many M18s were given to other countries. These were rebuilt and refurbished by Brown & Root in northern Italy in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and bear data plates that indicate those rebuilds. One of the users was Yugoslavia, which kept them in reserve until the early 1990s. A number of these vehicles were later used by the Military of Serbian Krajina and Army of Republika Srpska during the Yugoslav wars. One example was used on an armored train named the Krajina Ekspres (Krajina Express). Taiwan also operated several M18s until their chassis and hulls were worn out, at which point the turrets were salvaged and installed onto surplus hulls of M42 Duster anti-aircraft vehicles to produce Type 64 light tanks.
- 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T88: M18 with the 76 mm gun replaced with a 105 mm T12 howitzer; canceled after the end of the war.
- 90 mm Cannon Motor Gun Carriage : M18 with the 76 mm gun replaced with a 90 mm Cannon; canceled after the end of the war
- 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage T86 (Amphibious): M18 with a specially-designed flotation hull, using its tracks for water propulsion.
- 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage T86E1 (Amphibious): Same as T86, but with the addition of propellers for propulsion.
- 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T87 (Amphibious): This model had the 105 mm T12 howitzer of the T88, and like the T86, used its tracks for water propulsion.
Historical Accuracy Errata
The 76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 variant of the Hellcat had an actual top speed of 92 kph, making it one of THE most mobile tanks of WW2.
- One of its historical armaments, the 105 mm T12 howitzer, is missing. This configuration was known as the 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T88.
- It actually was not equipped with a 90mm that M36 Jackson had. It was tested with 90mm though but was cancelled.
Sources and External Links
Zaloga, S.J., 2004, M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943–97, New Vanguard Series 97, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 48p, ISBN:9781841766874.
https://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=250 M18 Hellcat Gun Motor Carriage
- M18 Hellcat Photos & history.