|17.34 / 17.95 kg중량|
|12.7/12.7/12.7차체 장갑(정면/측면/후면, mm)|
|25.4/12.7/12.7포탑 장갑(정면/측면/후면, mm)|
|350 마력엔진 출력|
|72 km/h최대 속력|
|30 도/초회전 속도|
|110 기본 포탄 공격력|
|101 mm기본 포탄 관통력|
|3.9 클립 재장전 시간|
|16 도/초포탑 회전 속도|
|370 m관측 범위|
|325 m통신 범위|
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.