M18 Tank Destroyer Platoon UBX10
M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer Platoon (UBX10)
The M18 was the final result of a rather long-winded development process for a fast lightweight Tank Destroyer.
Initial inception (1941) called for a GMC mounting a 37mm gun on a Christie Suspension chassis (as found on the Soviet BT5, BT7 and T-34s and some British Cruisers), but as development went on the gun got more powerful.
It transformed through the M1 57mm, M1 75mm and finally the M1 76mm. The chassis was not untouched by this process; the Christie suspension was discarded in favour of a torsion bar system.
In 1942 the final development model, the T70 GMC was accepted. It was adopted and re-designated the M18 GMC and popularly nicknamed “Hellcat” and went into production in July 1943 at the Buick factory.
It proved an agile and fast vehicle with an excellent power-to-weight ratio. The 76mm gun gave it enough punch to defeat all but the most heavily armoured Axis vehicles. Its manoeuvrability allowed it to out flank those it couldn’t take on frontally.
They saw service in both north-west Europe and Italy from 1944 utilising “hit and run” tactics with great success, losing relatively few vehicles in comparison to their kills.
The M18 had a crew of 5 (commander, driver & 3 gunners) and weighed a mere 40,000lb (16.4 US tons, 14.9 metric Tonnes). It had a maximum speed of 50mph (80kph) and could travel cross-country at 20mph (32kph).
It carried 45 rounds of 76mm ammunition as well as a further 800 rounds for its .50cal AA machine-gun.
The Hellcat in Flames of War
As you may have realised the M18 Hellcat is a fast, mobile and hard hitting Tank Destroyer, in Flames of War this is reflected in its abilities.
The vehicle can move 16”/40cm cross-country, and is armed with an M1 76mm Anti-tank gun (ROF 2, AT 12, FP 3+). Combined with its special Tank Destroyer rules which make it a lively and dangerous opponent.
So probe forward with your jeeps and M20s before revealing your M18s, try and get yourself into a position where your Hellcats can cause the most damage. Ideally you want to be able to bring as much fire to bear without exposing your self to much retaliatory fire.
The Hellcat is light and fast for a reason, it has very little armour (F2, S0, T0), so don’t expose it to too much enemy fire, remember you can always use its superior speed to pull out of range of enemy weapons.
- four M18 Hellcat GMCs
- Tank Commanders
- two Tank Destroyer Stowage sprues
- one Decal sheet
- eight Rare-earth magnets
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