M2A1 Light Tank, Single Turreted M2A2

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caid’s suggestion #129

I would like to suggest a more balanced yet funny-to-play alternative reserve vehicle to the M2A4, the M2A1 Light tank

The M2A1 is a parallel development of the T5 Combat Car (which became the M1 Combat Car). Initially designed T2, it was a design made by Henry Know who competed with Walter Christie in the development of new tanks for the US during the interwar period. The recent fall of Walter Christie for having illegally sold tanks to the Soviet Union (which led to the BT-2) led the way for Henry Knox to propose his tank. The US Army wanted a tank with 7.5 tons and a top speed of 30 mph (45 km/h). The T2 was then built at the Rock Island Arsenal with that requirement and was tested in April 1934 at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds alongside the T5 Combat Car. After 114 km, the first major defect was found in the suspension which forced the tank to be sent back to the Rock Island Arsenal for improvements, which was done and the improved model renamed the T2A1. The T2A1 was rather heavy, about 1 ton heavier than the required specification. This caused some theoretical issues for the logistics but this was nothing the army was not willing to accept. The reason is the tank had exceptional performance, the speed reaching 45 mph (72.5 km/h) which was a lot more than what the army was asking for. 8 pre-production tanks were ordered and built in 1935. The tanks weren’t perfect, there were a few flaws that made the crews not like it. It was uncomfortable, the driveshaft passing in the middle of the combat compartment which made the crew have difficulty crossing it, and the gunner had to exit the tank by the commander’s cupola which was annoying and difficult (especially when the commander was there). The Army liked a twin turret version which led to the M2A2 we currently have in the game.

Compared to the M2 Combat Car. The M2 Light tank was a sidegrade. The tank is not the same, the M2 combat car was later renamed the M1 light tank in 1940 when the armored elements of the USA were merged into a newly formed Armored Corps. The M2 Combat Car was designed for the Cavalry while the M2 Light Tank was designed for the Infantry. The light tank was less comfortable, had more visibility tanks to the commander’s cupola, a slightly more protected turret with more ergonomics, much more ammunition carried and the main armament featured a shoulder stock to help aim. The average player will only see these 3 elements:

  • Different turret
  • More ammunition
  • Shoulder stabilized

They would not be wrong as those are what will affect their gameplay. A total of 9 to 18 M2 Light Tanks were built which saw relatively small service as the M2A2 was much more favored. The Spanish Civil War showed that machine-gun tanks were simply too weak for tank battles, and the US Army carried on with the development of those tanks and introduced the M2A4 in 1939 which was more armored and had a 37mm gun.


The main armament of this tank is a 12.7mm M2HB. This heavy machine gun was designed as standard anti-tank armament in the US during the 30s. naturally, this was a choice that was quickly obsolete as the armor of the tanks quickly became thicker during the 30s which made the heavy machine gun become inadequate. The high fire rate and the penetration in the 30mm at close range still make this armament capable of dealing with a lot of targets, particularly in the early WW2 vehicles. The elevation ranges from -10° to +20° which is pretty decent. The turret can turn on 360° without restriction which makes it more playable than the M2A2. A coaxial 7.62mm M1919 is placed on the side of the 12.7mm of the same name. An additional 7.62 mm M1919 is placed in the bow. The main armament has a shoulder pad which makes it much easier to aim at the enemy, especially in short stops. 1,800 rounds of the 12.7mm and 4,700 rounds of the 7.62mm are carried.

The tank would be highly mobile to the point it would be annoying for the player and easy to lose control. Mounting the Continental R-670-3-5, W-670-7 providing up to 262 hp, the tank will not lack power to move around. This engine is a pretty strong one that is also found in other M2 and M3 light tanks. But what makes this tank most interesting is the weight being about 8.5 tonnes which makes it a lot lighter than the M2A4 or M3 light tanks. This makes the tank have a much greater acceleration and also a higher top speed, capable of reaching 72.4 km/h (45 mph). It would be one of the fastest tracked tanks of the game. With a power weight of over 30 hp/tonnes, it would be pretty hard to catch even using modern MBTs. The transmission being the same as the M2A2, with 5 forward and 1 backward gears.

The protection of this tank is nothing exceptional. But it is still pretty decent compared to the other reserve tanks. With 16mm on all sides except the top and bottom, it would be capable of taking LMG fire and shrapnel without issue. The tank is fairly small and very nimble which would make it rather difficult to track and hit at long range. the crew of 4 men is disposed of the same way the M2A4 and M3 light tanks are in-game. 2 men in the turret, 2 men in the hull. The commander is manning the 12.7mm while the gunner is manning the 7.62mm. If one of them is gone, the armament will be disabled naturally.


STUART: A History of the American Light Tank Part 1

Early US Armor Tanks 1916-1940

Organization and Markings of United States Armored Units 1918-1941

Many (most) of the sources were taken from the Original topic made by ACR_1990_N64@psn which suggested this tank in the old forum. A large part of this suggestion should be credited to him.

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This would be an interesting tank to play. +1

Ngl this should just replace the normal M2A1. America’s reserve is fine.

There was also an auto loaded (5-round clip, 47mm cannon) tank destroyer? Prototyped off the M2A1’s chassis. Velocity was too low (around 400-500m/s) for the cannon, so it was dropped, but would be interesting to see ingame.


yes, i like this vehicle. it could be pretty funny to play due the high mobility and the 5-round magazine. despite the low penetration.

the velocity of the round is stated to be 457 m/sec but the source is not reliable. only I got no better. i also lack of information about the projectile. but from what I hear, it could be 40-50 mm at a short distance.

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