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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Carlisle in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

They Called Them “Hellcats”

The M18 Tank Destroyer

 
 
They Called Them “Hellcats” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 7, 2014
1. They Called Them “Hellcats” Marker
Inscription. Officially known as the M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage, the M18 was hardly comparable to the horse and buggy. It was actually the jaguar of heavy armor during World War II. Nicknamed the “Hellcat” by the men who served in them, the M18 could reach speed of 50 mph on the open plain. It also carried quite a punch with a 76mm gun capable of firing a variety of ammunition and the close range ability to knock out most tanks. The M18 Tank Destroyer gained the reputation among the Anti-Tank battalions as an effective “Tank Killer”, infantry support weapon, and mid-range mobile artillery. The role of infantry support was unintended and often created problems of mobility. The Hellcat lost its advantage of speed when it had to support a slogging Infantry.

The Hellcat only had three deficiencies. The open turret was susceptible to ground and aircraft fire. In order to achieve its incredible speed, it sacrificed armor plating with as little as one inch as compared to the Sherman Tank’s four inches. Finally, the M18 used a smaller Continental nine cylinder gasoline engine as compared to larger and more powerful diesels that were coming into service. The M36 tank destroyer was the diesel-driven replacement for the M18. All of the Hellcats were built by Buick Motors Division.
 
Erected by

M18 Tank Destroyer image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
2. M18 Tank Destroyer
U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
 
Location. 40° 12.367′ N, 77° 9.508′ W. Marker is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Cumberland County. Marker can be reached from Army Heritage Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carlisle PA 17013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Trenches (within shouting distance of this marker); Meet Private Donald D. Kyler (within shouting distance of this marker); Post of Command (within shouting distance of this marker); Sergeant Frederick A. Counsel (within shouting distance of this marker); Splinter Proof (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mortar Pit (within shouting distance of this marker); Sniper's Nest (within shouting distance of this marker); No Man's Land (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carlisle.
 
More about this marker. The marker is unaccountably in the vicinity of the World War I Trench System Exhibit.
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesWar, World II
 
M18 Tank Destroyer image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
3. M18 Tank Destroyer
Insert - M18 characteristics image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 7, 2014
4. Insert - M18 characteristics
Insert - M18 in the field image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 7, 2014
5. Insert - M18 in the field
Insert - M18 in the field image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, April 7, 2014
6. Insert - M18 in the field
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 3, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 3, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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