The very embodiment of the U.S. Army’s Tank Destroyer doctrine, the 76mm Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) M18 “Hellcat” gave the U.S. Army a highly mobile tank-killer. While Tank Destroyer Force (TD) was seeing success with its current vehicle 3-inch GMC M10, its commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew David Bruce, was insistent that his troops be equipped with a vehicle that was faster and lighter in order to better meet the reactionary nature of TD’s doctrine.
Trials for a new tank destroyer began in January 1942, and we will hopefully explore these many vehicles at a later date. Today however, we are focused on the Buick 76mm GMC T70, which was introduced in April 1943, which was approved for service in March 1944 as M18.
Powered by the same Wright-Continental R975C1 as the M4 and M4A1 Medium Tanks, the M18 had a top speed of around 45mph on road.
the 76mm Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) M18 “Hellcat” gave the U.S. Army a highly mobile tank-killer.
The M18 was fitted with the 76mm Gun M1A1, M1A1C, or M1A2 as its main weapon, boosting Allied anti-tank capabilities. With its standard armor piercing round, the M62 APCBC, the M18 could penetrate 88mm of armor at
Though the Panther’s frontal plate remained a difficult target to penetrate, even with the highly sought-after T4 HVAP round, the dreaded Tiger could be easily tamed from the front by the M79 AP round from 1000 yards. However, most M18 crews in the European Theater did not get a chance to fight against enemy armor. Instead many were used for indirect fire support firing high explosive rounds.
Here at the Museum of American Armor, you can see our M18, “Amaz’n Grace” take on enemy vehicles during our Armor Experience days. You’re guaranteed to pay attention when she speaks!