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M24 Chaffee light tank


Developed during WW2 as a replacement for the out-gunned Stuart Light Tanks, it was designed ito carry a heavier 75mm gun to take on the German armour. Although it actually saw little service other than the the later stages of the war in NW Europe, it's major theatre was during the Korean War where it performed well.

It was supplied to many other allied forces as military aid, including the French Union forces in Indo-China. Armoured platoons from Vinh Yen and An Khe to Dien Bien Phu fought gallant but ultimately hopeless actions against waves of Viet-Minh infantry. The tanks (called Bisons by the French) provided essential fire support for the out-numbered French Colonial troops in a very harsh enviroment for a heavy vehicle.

As to specifics, it had a crew of 5, was armed with the 75mm main gun, plus .30 caliber MG mounted coaxially with the 75mm, and a further .30 cal in the front hull alongside the driver. It could reach 30mph (48 km/hr), with a range of 100 miles (160 km) and was named after General Adna R Chaffee Jr. who was instrumental in developing the US armoured forces before WW2 and had died of cancer on 1941.


The Wheels and Wings 2006 event, Yorkshire Air Museum, York, UK. May 2006.

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