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M6 Heavy Tank

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The M6 Heavy Tank was a heavy tank that was developed by the United States during World War II, but did not see mass production.

Description

The M6 had a crew of five to six men and a Wright G-2000 engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 35 km/h.[1] It had a maximum range of around 160 kilometers and 2 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission system. 

Armor thickness of the original design varied from 25 mm to 100 mm and its armament consisted of two 12.7 mm machine guns, three 7.62 mm machine guns, an additional M6 37 mm cannon, and a 76 mm main gun.[2]

Prototypes

In February 1941, four different prototypes were built, with different combinations of transmission types and hull constructions, designated T1E1 through T1E4. After testing, a cast hull version with a torque converter was standardized as the M6 Heavy, a welded hull version of that as the M6A1, and a cast hull version with electric transmission was semi-officially called the M6A2. The A2 model was the most numerous, but only a total of 40 M6 type tanks were ever built.

History

The M6 was at first designed to be a heavier counterpart to the M3 Medium Tank, with a similar armament, with a hull mounted 75 mm gun and a turret mounted 37 mm anti-tank gun. But, in 1940, that specification was recalled, and a new one was issued: a more conventional layout of a turret mounting a 76 mm anti-tank gun with a coaxial 37 mm anti-tank gun, with maximum armor protection of 5.23 inches and a speed of 22 mph. The project was cancelled when it was decided to concentrate on fewer heavy tank designs, sealing the fate of U.S. heavy tanks until the M26 finally got through the red tape.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/usa/tanks-heavy/m6.asp
  2. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=557


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