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M18 Hellcat

M18 Hellcat

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M18_Hellcat (Stock)

950000 Price
550 Hit Points
17.34 / 17.95 kgWeight
  1. Commander
12.7/12.7/12.7Hull Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
25.4/12.7/12.7Turret Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
350 h.p.Engine Power
72 km/hSpeed Limit
30 deg/secTraverse Speed
110 Standard Shell Damage
101 mmStandard Shell Penetration
3.9 Time for Complete Loading
16 deg/secTurret Traverse Speed
370 mView Range
325 mSignal Range
M18 Hellcat
The development of the vehicle was started in 1942. In April 1943 the General Motors company produced the first prototypes. One of a few American tank destroyers manufactured on its original chassis, not on a chassis of a tank. The tank destroyer became the most high-speed armored vehicle of this type of World War II. A total of 2,507 vehicles were produced from July 1943 through October 1944.

The M18 Hellcat is a unique tank destroyer with its top speed of 72kph -- making it the fastest TD in the game (although historically it could go as fast as 92 kph). Armed with the high powered 90 mm AT Gun M3, the M18 Hellcat is a dangerous tank to fight. The Hellcat has negligible armor and an open turret so use your speed to avoid enemy fire or die quickly. The M18 Hellcat can scout and flank enemy positions to some degree but with the slow turret traverse speed, drivers will quickly learn it is not the best of roles. The Hellcat is very popular in tank companies along with the KV-1S. In tight situations the Hellcat can be used as a scout tank, although it is not highly recommended due to the traverse speed on both its hull and turret, and the paper-thin armor.

M18 Hellcat


Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret V M18 M34A1 2300 25.4/12.7/12.7 16 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun V 76 mm AT Gun M7 L/50 1450 101/157/38 110/110/175 15.38 0.41 1.7
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine IV Wright Continental R-975EC2 515 350 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis V M18 T67 4000 17.95 30
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio IV SCR 510 0 325



Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret V M18 M34A1 2300 25.4/12.7/12.7 16 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun VI 76 mm AT Gun M1A1 1567 128/177/38 115/115/185 17.14 0.39 1.7
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine IV Wright Continental R-975C1 516 400 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis V M18 T67 4000 17.95 30
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio VI SCR 610 0 420

M18 Hellcat


Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret VI M18 M1 4500 76.2/31.8/127 16 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun VI 76 mm AT Gun M1A2 1590 128/177/38 115/115/185 19.35 0.35 1.7
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine IV Wright Continental R-975C1 516 400 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis VI M18 T69 4000 21.8 30
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio VI SCR 610 0 420



Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret VI M18 M1 4500 76.2/31.8/127 16 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun VII 90 mm AT Gun M3 2050 160/243/45 240/240/320 7.5 0.35 1.7
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine V Wright Continental R-975C4 550 460 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis VI M18 T69 4000 21.8 30
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio X SCR 619 0 750

Compatible Equipment

Medium Spall Liner
Camouflage Net
Fill Tanks with CO2
Coated Optics
Enhanced Gun Laying Drive
Enhanced Torsion Bars 1 t Class
Medium-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer
Binocular Telescope
"Wet" Ammo Rack Class 1

Compatible Consumables

Automatic Fire Extinguisher
Case of Cola
100-octane Gasoline
105-octane Gasoline
Manual Fire Extinguisher
Large First Aid Kit
Large Repair Kit
Small First Aid Kit
Small Repair Kit

Player Opinion

Pros and Cons


  • Good damage, accuracy, aim time and penetration for its tier
  • Excellent gun depression
  • Very good camouflage values
  • Can passive scout if needed, thanks to good Camo values.
  • Extremely good speed; second fastest TD in the game (first is E-25)


  • Extremely weak hull armor: even HE penetrates with ease
  • Slow turret and hull traverse speed
  • Painful grind to the 90mm gun
  • Struggles to maintain top speed
  • Ammo rack and engine are prone to damage


The M18 "Hellcat" is a very effective sniper and limited scout/ light skirmisher. One of its flaws is that it cannot maintain top speed when turning or going uphill. Some of the best positioned behind front line to counter breakthroughs. The M18 "Hellcat" is very good in hull down positions. In close combat, players have to turn turret well in advance to compensate for slow turret traverse and high speed. When you are in long range combat, use its camo factor and speed to get into advance positions where the enemy would not expect a TD to usually sit, retreating before they can overwhelm or flank you. Use the turret and high speed to quickly take sniped shots from multiple positions so you don't come out at the same point twice. This tank can scout if needed at the end of the round; you'll most likely be the fastest thing out there and also the most deadly. When stuck in close quarters with a heavier tank, your gun mantlet can sometimes surprisingly bounce some shells from enemy tanks.

Do note that, like scout tanks, the Hellcat's vulnerabilities can be used as bait. Cooperate with your team to draw enemies into the line of fire, while giving your victims a nasty dose of 90mm shells too.

Early Research

  • If coming from the T49, the 76mm M1A1, top radio and top engine will carry over.
  • If coming from the M10 Wolverine, the 76mm M1A2 and 2nd engine will carry over.
  • Top engine carries over from the scout line, the Shermans and the M7 Priest.
  • Top radio also carries over from the SPGs.
  • Research priority should be M1A2 (if coming from T49) or top engine (if coming from the M10), followed by tracks, turret, 90mm gun and finally radio.

Historical Info

The 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) M18 was an American tank destroyer of World War II. The manufacturer, Buick, gave it the nickname "Hellcat" and it was the fastest tracked armored fighting vehicle during the war with a top speed up to 60 mph.[1] Hellcat crews took advantage of the vehicle's speed to protect against hits to its thin armor. Many German Panther and Tiger tanks were destroyed because they could not turn their turrets fast enough to return fire.


From the “Buick at its Battle Stations” booklet. Post-production field test.

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.
Early protoype T70

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.

Combat Performance

Company A, 637th TD Battalion at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides islands
The M18 served primarily in Western Europe, but was also present in the Pacific. Upon the American entry into the war in 1941, it had begun to supply China with AFVs including later the M18 Hellcats which along with M3 Stuarts, and M4 Shermans, trickled in through Burma and formed part of the several well-equipped, well-trained armies that the Chinese Nationalists could deploy. These units were responsible for stopping numerous Japanese attacks during the later phases of the war. However, due to the comparative rarity and poor quality of Japanese armor it was often used in a fire support role instead of as a tank destroyer. On September 19, 1944, in the Nancy Bridgehead near Arracourt, France, the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion was attached to the 4th Armored Division. Lt. Edwin Leiper led one M18 platoon of C Company to Rechicourt-la-Petite, on the way to Moncourt. He saw a German tank gun muzzle appearing out of the fog 30 feet away, and deployed his platoon. In a five minute period, five German tanks of the 113 Panzer Brigade were knocked out for the loss of one M18. The platoon remained in their position and destroyed ten more German tanks, with the loss of another two M18s. One of the platoon's M18s, commanded by Sgt Henry R. Hartman, knocked out six of these and lived to fight another day. Most of these knocked-out German tanks were Panthers. The M18 Hellcat was a key element during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. On December 19–20, the 1st Battalion of the 506th PIR, was ordered to support Team Desobry, a battalion-sized tank-infantry task force of the 10th Armored Division (United States) assigned to defend Noville located north-northeast of both Foy and of Bastogne just 4.36 miles (7 km) away. With just four M18 tank destroyers of the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion to assist, the paratroopers attacked units of the 2nd Panzer Division, whose mission was to proceed by secondary roads via Monaville (just northwest of Bastogne) to seize a key highway and capture, among other objectives, fuel dumps—for the lack of which the overall German counter-offensive faltered and failed. Worried about the threat to its left flank in Bastogne, it organized a major joint arms attack to seize Noville. Team Desobry's high speed highway journey to reach the blocking position is one of the few documented cases wherein the legendary top speed of the M18 Hellcat (55 miles per hour (89 km/h), faster than today's M1A2 Abrams) was actually used to get ahead of an enemy force as envisioned by its specifications.
Anzio, Italy, May 1944

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

Irsch, Germany
American prewar armored doctrine was based on using tanks solely in a support and exploitation role, usually in conjunction with infantry. Tank destroyers, such as the Hellcat, were to be used against tanks. To this end the Hellcat was not intended to engage in protracted combat, and had light armor and extremely high speeds to quickly respond to breakthroughs in the line by German armor. In reality, the opposite was true, as the attacks with the Sherman ran into defending German tanks far more often than intended. In Italy, TDs compensated for a shortage of 155mm artillery ammunition by using their 3 inch or 76mm guns in indirect fire role. Near the end of the war, there were so few German tanks that tank destroyers were increasingly used as self-propelled artillery in support of infantry for lack of any other targets. The Hellcat was theoretically supposed to be used independently as a sort of mobile anti-tank gun, brought up from reserves to buffer an incoming armored thrust. In practice a TD battalion was assigned nearly permanently to a division. The doctrine of the time had Shermans acting in support of infantry to break enemy defenses, and then leading the attack with infantry in support during exploitation. Prewar expectation was that all anti-tank work was supposed to be done by tank-destroyer crews, because attacking tanks could concentrate against a small part of a defending line. Independent TDs groups were to counter concentrate, to stop enemy tanks from penetrating deeply. Speed was essential in order to bring the Hellcats from the rear to destroy incoming tanks. Obviously this would make it harder for an armored force to achieve a deep breakthrough, a main objective of armor, if the enemy had tanks. It would also be easier for an opposing armored force to achieve a local breakthrough against an American tank battalion which would not have all of its anti-tank assets at the front during the beginning of any attack. Thankfully, for Sherman crews, this doctrine was not entirely used as it would create a small window of time of weakness in the armored battalion until tank destroyers moved to the front. TD battalions assigned to front line divisions often split up to companies attached to regiments, and platoons attached to infantry battalions. When so attached, defending TD units supplemented organic antitank weapons (bazookas and 57mm towed guns).
Okinawa on the Shuri Line in May 1945. Note .30 cal

Post War

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.
All work on the three amphibious models was canceled after the end of the war.

Historical Gallery

Sources and External Links

Light Tanks IT1 Cunningham IIM2 Light Tank IIT1E6-X IIT1E6-X1 IIT2 Light Tank IIT7 Combat Car IIIM22 Locust IIIM3 Stuart IIIMTLS-1G14 IVM5 Stuart VM24 Chaffee VIT21 VIT37 VIIM41 Walker Bulldog VIIT71 VIIIM41B Brazilian Bulldog VIIIT49
Medium Tanks IIT2 Medium Tank IIIM2 Medium Tank IVM3 Lee VM4A2E4 Sherman VM4A2E4 Ripper VM4 Sherman VM7 VRam II VIM4A3E8 Sherman VISherman Fury VIM4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo VIIT20 VIIT23E3 VIIIM26 Pershing VIIIT26E4 Super Pershing VIIIT26E4 Freedom VIIIT69 VIIIT95E2 IXM46 Patton IXT54E1 XM48A1 Patton
Heavy Tanks VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIT29 VIIIM6A2E1 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 IXM103 XT110E5 XT57 Heavy Tank
Tank Destroyers IIT18 IIIT82 IVM8A1 IVT40 VM10 Wolverine VT67 VIM18 Hellcat VIM36 Jackson VIIT25/2 VIIT25 AT VIIIT28 VIIIT28 Prototype IXT30 IXT95 XT110E3 XT110E4
Self-Propelled Artillery IIT57 IIIM7 Priest IIISexton I IVM37 VM41 VIM44 VIIM12 VIIIM40/M43 IXM53/M55 XT92
Tank Destroyers
USA IIT18 IIIT82 IVM8A1 IVT40 VM10 Wolverine VT67 VIM18 Hellcat VIM36 Jackson VIIT25/2 VIIT25 AT VIIIT28 VIIIT28 Prototype IXT30 IXT95 XT110E3 XT110E4
UK IIUniversal Carrier 2-pdr IIIValentine AT IVAlecto VAT 2 VIChurchill Gun Carrier VIAT 8 VIIAT 15A VIIAT 7 VIIIAT 15 IXTortoise XFV215b (183)
Germany IIPanzerjäger I IIIMarder II IVHetzer IVMarder 38T VPz.Sfl. IVc VStuG III Ausf. G VIDicker Max VIJagdpanzer IV VINashorn VIIE-25 VIIJagdpanther VIISturer Emil VIIIFerdinand VIIIJagdpanther II VIII8,8 cm PaK 43 Jagdtiger VIIIRhm.-Borsig Waffenträger IXJagdtiger IXWaffenträger auf Pz. IV XJagdpanzer E-100 XWaffenträger auf E 100
France IIRenault FT AC IIIFCM 36 PaK 40 IIIRenault UE 57 IVSomua SAu-40 VS35 CA VIARL V39 VIIAMX AC mle. 46 VIIIAMX AC mle. 48 IXAMX 50 Foch XAMX 50 Foch (155)
USSR IIAT-1 IIISU-76 IIISU-76I IVSU-85B VSU-85 VSU-85I VISU-100 VISU-100Y VIISU-152 VIISU-100M1 VIISU-122-44 VIIIISU-152 VIIISU-101 IXObject 704 IXSU-122-54 XObject 263 XObject 268
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