M18 Hellcat

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M18 Hellcat
Second Wave Unit Img 031.png
M18 hellcat us.png
General data
TypeAnti-tank
Nation
Deployment cost100
Weapons
Canon m1a1 76mml hellcat.png
M1A1 (76.2mm)
Accuracy: 6/10
Rate of fire: 7 r/m
Armor Piercing: 13
High Explosive: 3
Range: 1200m


Weap browning m2hb.png
M2HB (12.7mm)
Accuracy: 5/10
Rate of fire: 176 r/m
High Explosive: 6
Range: 800m

Ammunition35-10/800
Survivability
Armor
2
2
Top m18 hellcat us.png
4
2
Top: Open
Mobility and detection
Speed50 km/h (100 km/h on roads)
StealthVery bad
OpticsLow
For the Steel Division: Normandy 44 unit see M18 Hellcat (SD2)

M18 Hellcat is a United States Tank destroyer/hunter unit. It is exclusive to the 4th Armored division and available in all phases (with increasing availability). Incredibly fast, the thinly armoured M18 Hellcat packs an enormous punch with its 13 AP anti-tank gun and is especially effective in phase A and phase B against German armour.

Mode d'employ[edit | edit source]

  • Available in all phases, the M18 Hellcat shines with its 1200m firing range, AT power and especially with its speed!
  • Hellcats carry only 35 AP rounds!
    • No every shot it a hit and not every hit is a kill! You might want to shoot low value targets with something else, e.g. 57mm AT gun!
    • Increase the Chance to Hit by shooting from within Leader aura and/or getting as close as 74% (= 888m) or 49% of maximum range (= 588m) whenever possible!
  • Hellcats carry only 10 HE rounds!
    • Keep in mind, the the physical and suppression damage done by the 76.2mm HE rounds are limited.
    • Use only a minimum of these 10 rounds to suppress AT guns and then finish them off with your M8 Scott at range.
    • Field the solitary B-26 CAS Marauder in Ⓐ and use it to eliminate opponent AT guns before AA is fielded. If enemy dogfighter could be called in, position own AA in time.
    • Simply use the Ⓐ-phase M21 MMC to deal with AT guns.
  • Its incredible speed often allows it to shoot and then drive out of danger before the enemy can successfully fire a shot. But you can only rely on doing this if the situation allows for such elaborate micromanagement.
  • Hellcats have only 4 frontal armor and only ⑬ AP value!
    • When attacking opponent 1200m-range-tanks (StuG IV, Panther, Tiger I, Tiger II) over the open field over the full range, attack with the M4A1(76) first because these have 9 frontal armor, then attack their flanks with your Hellcats! Hellcats can do 50km/h on rough terrain to make this flanking possible! Avoid to attack the frontal armor with all units. It is highly inadvisable to attack with only one unit.
    • You might want to risk getting very close to the target unit behind cover and then trying a first shot from very close range.
  • 4th Armored
    • The 4th Armored has the option to field one GMC Supply truck in phase Ⓐ and some M30 Cargo in phase Ⓒ. In conjunction with the M7 HMC and M12 GMC artillery, you are very likely to suffer supply shortages.

Historical background[edit | edit source]

In 1941, the Army Ordnance Department called for the design of a fast tank destroyer armed with the 37mm gun, in accordance with US tank destroyer doctrine. This was later changed to the British 6-pdr gun and after that to the 76mm M1 Gun. Production started in July 1943 and ceased in October 1944, with around 2500 Hellcats manufactured in total.

To attain the Hellcat's legendary speed, armor had to be sacrificed and this made the tank destroyer vulnerable to most German AT weapons. Its open-top compartment (also found in the Wolverine design and other US tank destroyers) further added to its vulnerability. While its speed was not often used in combat, Hellcat crews did have a tactical advantage as they could outflank heavy tanks and land a flank or rear shot. Its 76mm gun struggled against the front of Tiger and Panther tanks unless it used the rare HVAP ammunition.

Despite all these flaws, the M18 Hellcat was the most effective American tank destroyer of World War II and had a higher kill to loss ratio than any tank or tank destroyer fielded by American forces in World War II. Prototypes of the tank first saw battle in Italy, but they mainly gained lasting fame for their combat performance in the Northwest Europe theatre.

In the 4th Armored the M18 Hellcats were part of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

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