The M18 GMC was a response to the problem to provide the tank destroyer force with a very fast tank destroyer. The M18 was the fastest armoured vehicle in WW2, it could go 60 mph on good roads, and even for 2 decades after the war. The Hellcat was an extremely deadly tank destroyer. The M18 GMC appeared in 1944 as the epitome of United State's tank destroyer doctrine. Very fast at 55 mph, mounting a powerful 76mm gun, but it suffered from very thin armor and an open-top compartment, nevertheless it was well-liked for being able to take on the late German tanks such as the Panthers andTiger Is. The M18 served very well and became the most effective tank destroyer in US service.
M-18 GMC compensates the lack of anti-tank capability of U.S vehicles. M4, M4A1 and M4A2 are unable to deal with German Tiger, Panther D or Russian KV-1 L11, KV-1 Zis5 or KV-85 but The HellCat can. The difference between other Tank Destroyers is a 360º mobile turret, allowing you to fire faster than if you have to turn the vehicle.
These vehicles saw combat debut in the summer of 1944, where they are given the unofficial nickname "Hellcat" by the crews using them. Americans tank destroyers bet for high maneuverability for flanking enemy. Faster means lighter, and lighter means less armor. The main weak point of M-18 is its paper thin armor, so everybody can pen you and hit critical components or kill crew. This weakness is badly exploited by inexpert players by using the wrong ammo. APCR will over pen and not cause relevant damage on the M-18. So using HE or HEAT assures a kill or critical damage.
M18 "Hellcat in Bastogne, Battle of the Bulge 1944 [Via]
Overall, the M18 GMCs proved itself by having the highest kill to loss ratio to any other tanks and tank destroyer in American service, making it the most effective tank destroyer in American service. It used a crew of 5 men, weight 40,000 lbs, length 21' 10" with gun, 17'4" without gun, height 8' 5", width 9' 9"armament 76 mm high velocity gun. The M18 GMC and started production in mid-1943, which went on until ending in October 1944 with 2,507 units produced.
This is one of the most original M-18s in existence, it is very complete, the engine runs well, has good power, good oil pressure and charges properly. The transmission has no excess slippage and shifts firmly. The steering brakes are solid and responsive. The tracks, suspension, drive sprockets and road wheels are all in good shape. The lights, dash panel and gauges all work. It is a snapshot in time as it has not be restored since it was brought back to the U.S. over 30 years ago, just well maintained and kept inside in a heated and air conditioned building. Comes with one 50 Cal. top mounted machine gun as shown and has the original 76 mm cannon. It was built by Buick division of General Motors.
- More information and pics at: www.armyjeeps.net
- Price: $275,000
- Location: Central Indiana (USA)