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M24 Chaffee
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"Chaffee! Let's have an exhilarating duel!!"
―Rosehip

The Light Tank M24 is an American light tank developed during the later part of World War II.

History

British combat experience in the North African campaign identified several shortcomings of the M3 Stuart light tank, especially the performance of its 37mm cannon. A 75mm gun was experimentally fitted to a Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 - an M3 tank with a larger turret - and trials indicated that a 75 mm gun on the M5 light tank development of the M3 was possible. The M3/M5 design was dated though, the 75 mm gun reduced storage space, and the armor was insufficient.

The T7 light tank design, which was initially seen as a replacement, grew in weight to more than 25 short tons taking it out of the light tank classification and so was designated as the Medium Tank M7. The weight increase without increased power gave it unsatisfactory performance; the program was stopped in March 1943 to allow standardization on a single medium tank - the M4 medium. This prompted the Ordnance Committee to issue a specification for a new light tank, with the same powertrain as the M5A1 but armed with a 75 mm gun.

On October 15, 1943 the first pilot vehicle was delivered. The design was judged a success and a contract for 1,000 was immediately raised by the Ordnance Department. This was subsequently increased to 5,000.

Production began in 1944 under the designation Light Tank M24. By the time production was stopped in August 1945, 4,731 M24s had left the assembly lines.

While it was intended to replace aging M5 Stuarts, many of them weren't received until the end of hostilities as the were slow in reaching the front-line combat units. Reports from the armored divisions that received them prior to the end of hostilities were generally positive. The contribution of the M24 to winning the war in Europe was insignificant, as too few arrived too late to replace the worn-out M5s of the armored divisions.

The Chaffee saw a more active American service during the Korean War and the French Army used it during the Indochina War and Algerian War. Uruguay is the only country that still using an upgraded form of the Chaffee.

In Girls und Panzer

Der Film

The All-Stars University Team fielded three Chaffee tanks during the match against the Ooarai Compound Team. These spent the first half of the match being used as recon tanks.

When the battle moved into the theme park, a Chaffee tank was used to spread a smoke screen simulating the main force at the southern main gate. The same Chaffee was suddenly left alone when its support was knocked out by Kuromorimine and Pravda tanks. The Chaffee fled into the theme park and took its opponents on a long chase through the streets with the aim of distracting them from the main battle. Eventually Maho Nishizumi saw through to its intentions and broke off the pursuit.

One Chaffee was amongst the tanks that chased the Panzer IV into a hedge maze. When the All-Stars University Team tanks tried to surround the Ooarai tank, it evaded them, and the Chaffee nearly hit an allied M26 Pershing (crewed by its commanding officer, Rumi) with friendly fire.

When the girls from Anzio were spotted sitting high on the roller coaster tracks, Rumi sent two Chaffees onto the tracks to take it out. The Chaffees travelled through the course in opposite directions and eventually boxed in the CV.33 from both sides, but before they could take it out both tanks were themselves hit and immobilised by Rabbit Team's M3 Lee.

The last Chaffee fought a high speed duel with Rosehip's Crusader in the latter stages of the match. Neither tank was able to hit the other, until Rosehip removed the speed limiter on her Crusader and launched her tank at the Chaffee through the air. The Chaffee was knocked out by a shot moments before the Crusader itself crashed into a wall.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Waffle Academy is known to owns a turretless Chaffee.

Viking Fisheries High School intend to purchase one or more Chaffee.

Trivia

  • Its British service name "Chaffee", comes from the US Army General Adna R. Chaffee Jr, nickname the "Father of the Armored Force" for his role in developing the U.S. Army's tank forces.

Gallery

Main article: M24 Chaffee/Gallery
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Light Tanks and Tankettes Poland7TPFranceAMR-35FinlandBT-42UKCrusaderItalyCV L3/33FranceFT-17UKHarry HopkinsUnited StatesM22 LocustUnited StatesM24 ChaffeeUKMark VIGermanyPanzerkampfwagen IICzechoslovakiaPanzer 38(t)FranceR35SovietT-70UKTetrarchPolandTK TanketteJapan2Type 95 Ha-GoJapan2Type 97 Te-Ke
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Main Battle Tank Japan2Type 10