- In a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree.
- In the US techtree.
- Other. (Please explain)
- I said ‘No’ in the first question.
A MTLS being used in Suriname
Starting in 1936, the Dutch East Indies army wanted to re-equip its army. The Dutch East Indies army had been neglected for nearly twenty years by now so changes had to be made. Four Vickers light tanks had been obtained and after being satisfied with the results by testing the tanks, the Dutch East Indies army placed an order for 73 light tanks armed with machine guns and 45 gun-armed command tanks (Which would take shape in the Vickers Light Command Tank), but due to the outbreak of the second world war, only 20 light tanks would be delivered before the UK stopped all export.
Being left with fewer and fewer options because of the outbreak of tha war, the Dutch East Indies army turned to the United States. The Marmon-Herrington company was one of the only options, and so a total of 628 Marmon-Herrington tanks were ordered. 200 of these were the MTLS-1G14 model. It was agreed that the complete order of various other tanks, and the MTLS-1G14 tanks, should be delivered before the 1st July 1942.
Due to Marmon-Herrington not having any experience handling an order this big, they suffered from huge production delays. Only a small number of the CTLS tanks made it to the East Indies before Java was overrun by the Japanese and all transports were canceled. The production order was taken over by the US Army and production of the 200 MTLS would be stopped by the US after 125 pieces were built.
A handfull of MTLS tanks that did manage to get shipped out to other areas of the Dutch Army. The forces in Suriname got 19 MTLS tanks. But in Suriname the forces had been neglected too, and not even all of the 19 MTLS tanks could be properly operated.
A wonderfull photo showing an MTLS (The tank in the foreground) together with a bunch of the smaller CTMS tanks. The MTLS has the name “Draak” written on the front which translated to “Dragon” in English.
The MTLS tank was an enlarged version of the CTMS tank. And the CTMS was, in turn, based on the Combat Tank Light series (CTL) designed by Marmon-Herrington. The tank had a vertical volute spring suspension, and while it was reinforced compared to the CTL tanks, it was actually not really fit to support a weight of the tank. The armor thickness varied between 38mm at the front and 13mm on the sides and roof. A Hercules gasoline engine which produced 240 horsepower was fitted to the tank, and would propell the tank forwards at a maximum speed of 40 km/h (25 mph).
The tank had a rather interesting armament which consisted of a dual 37mm gun setup in the main turret. The 37mm gun was designed by the American Armament Corporation (AAC). The twin mounting seen on this tank was also designed by AAC. Both guns would be loaded with a 5 round clip. When firing fully automatically, they could fire one-eighth of a second after one another, which at the time was quite a powerfull setup.
When it came to machine guns the designers of this tank did not hold back! A .30 cal machine-gun was mounted coaxially with the twin 37mm gun mount. Another machne gun was ball-mounted in the right front sidewall of the turret and faced forwards. Two more machine-guns could be mounted on the back of the turret and serve as anti-air guns. To top it of, two more machine-guns were mounted fixed in the hull, but on most photos only one is mounted with the other hole covered over. And just because why not, a seventh machine gun was mounted in the hull in a ball-mount, giving the hull a total of three machine guns.
The MTLS had some severe design flaws. The vehicle was pretty much an enlarged version of a vehicle weighing less than 10 US tons. The MTLS now coming in at 22 US tons should set of some alarms by now. The increased weight had a severe impact on the suspension and overall structure of the vehicle, making it very unreliable. Furthermore, the four men crew was not well taken into account and, as a result, the complete crew had to enter through just the hatch on top of the turret. Which anyone would agree is a terrible design flaw.
In the end the MTLS-1G14 was a terrible tank. Marmon-Herrington were not able to meet the huge order the Dutch had placed, so the tanks ended up being delivered very slowely and only a handfull of the MTLS tanks were finished.
The MTLS was overweight for it’s design, so it was slow and very prone to breaking down. The 37mm guns, while looking great on paper, proved to be even less reliable then the actual tank. And the guns would jam almost all the time. The US which tested a MTLS managed to fire one round after about a handfull of failed attempts which had jammed the guns.
It’s quite a long video, but I really recommend watching this! The Chieftain goes through the testing reports of the two Dutch tank designs of Marmon-Herrington and it truely shows how poor the models were that the US tested.
Length: 4.9 m
Width: 2.64 m
Height: 2.81 m
Weight: 22 long tons
Engine: 240 hp Hercules engine
Speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)
- 2 x 37mm AAC automatic cannon (5 round clip for each gun)
- Up to seven .30 cal Colt machine guns
- 38mm front
- 13mm sides and roof
In War Thunder
Luckily for us we can ignore the reliability issues when it comes to adding this in War Thunder. But the poor mobility of the tank will still remain since it’s rather underpowered.
The twin gun setup might prove to be quite usefull to quickly deal with lightly armored vehicles. The 38mm of front armour is decend, but is not something to really rely upon, even at Rank 1.
I would see this tank work really well at the 1.7 - 2.0 area. So still facing the reserve tier every now and then, but at the same time also going up against stronger light and medium tanks of the later Rank 1 area.
The thing that would make or break this tank is the gun. If we can find more information about the gun then we would be able to know exactly what BR to give this tank.
As to where this tank would be added, well I would say a Dutch/BeNeLux techtree makes the most sense.
Yes the US did test one of these tanks, but that was only a single little test where they quickly decided to get rid of the tank as fast as possible. The Dutch Army did operate these tanks, and even better it was the Dutch that ordered the design of this tank.
Another photo of a MTLS in Suriname