T24E1 light tank: a better Chaffee

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Just as the M24 was entering production in early 1944, a new prototype of the Chaffee was authorized. Named the T24E1, it was rebuilt off the original T24 prototype by the American Car & Foundry Company, starting on 15 March 1944. After work was completed, it was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for testing on 10 October.

Compared to the production M24, the T24E1 lacked a commander cupola and had a removable double baffle muzzle brake, but the main feature that set the T24E1 apart was its new powertrain: a Continental R975-C4 engine (same as the one used on the M18 Hellcat) and a Spicer automatic transmission.

This modification greatly improved the T24E1’s mobility, bringing its power-to-weight ratio to over 20 hp/t. The maximum speed attainable (at highest gear) was 48 mph (77 km/h), compared to the 35 mph (56 km/h) top speed of the T24/M24. However, the transmission was found to be unreliable. Testing at Aberdeen continued until November 1945, when the war ended and plans to create a production version of the T24E1 were shelved.

Specifications

Specifications other than powertrain were identical to the T24, which in turn were fairly similar to the production M24.
Number built: 1 pilot vehicle
Crew: 5
Armor: same as T24/M24
Armament:

  • 75 mm gun T13E1/M5 (parent of the M6 used on production Chaffees), vertical guidance -10°/15°, vertical stabilizer, 50 rounds of ammunition
  • .50 HMG HB M2 on AA mount, 600 rounds
  • .30 hull mounted MG M1919A4
  • .30 coaxial MG M1919A4
  • 2 inch smoke mortar, 15 smoke bombs

Max speed: 77 km/h
Mass: fully loaded, 17.2 tons (38000 lbs, per AGF BOARD) or 18.1 tons (40000 lbs, per Hunnicutt)
Engine: Continental R975-C4, 460 horsepower at 2400 rpm

More pictures

Left rear view; notice the larger engine compartment

T24E1_with_muzzle_brake

Side view with muzzle brake attached

Top view at the American car & Foundry Company

R975-C4 engine mounted in the T24E1

Sources

This is my first vehicle suggestion, so feel free to add any information and sources that I’ve missed. Thanks for reading!

9 Likes

For a first suggestion, this is very well made! I like the tank, and it would be fun to have as a light tank after the M24. +1

3 Likes

More mobile chaffie, sounds like a great machine. Approved!

+1 for fat Chaffee, good Event vehicle.

Hell yes! Add it with the muzzle brake to help set it apart from the standard. Or maybe even add it as a mod, either way I want this!

3 Likes

+1 The Chaffee is great fun and this is even better

I like this!!!

But is there a picture of it with an AA MG?

1 Like

Of the T24E1 itself, unfortunately no. Images of the T24 (from which the T24E1 was converted from) do show the .50 MG.

Spoiler


Screenshot of Hunnicutt

Presumably the MG was removed during conversion. However, the images of the T24E1 still show the tripod mount at the back of the turret, so in theory it could carry an .50 cal like the regular Chaffees.

Ahh okay. So we might trade a .50 for more mobility? I think I can live with that. But I’d rather have both 😂

You can see the .50 mount at the rear of the turret. During testing the vehicle would only have carried the armament necessary for the test being performed (eg. for automotive testing the coaxial MG would also likely not have been present).

As a soldier if you intend to fit an MG to a vehicle for a test day you have to sign the MG out in the morning, and clean it before signing it back in at the end of the period. Even without firing, tanks create dirt and MGs love it, and will require thorough cleaning.

By keeping the weapon stored, under cover, or not signing it out in the first place (unless actually required for testing) you save yourself the cleaning time, and can use that time for actually testing the vehicle (or getting home earlier).

image

1 Like

Ahhhh okay. I missed that looking at the photos last night

+1 would be a good vehicle to fill in the massive gap between the M24 and M18, at around 4.3 BR