Saturday, August 27, 2011

The T-70 Tank Prototype

That is the Buick main office along Hamilton avenue in the background. In this photo you can see where the old bridge to factory #01 used to be connected before the remodeling of #01 done in 1934This open area was the location of the original south section old factory #01. "This area would be rebuilt after WW II". The army ordered two test models of this design. They were needed at that time (in 1942) for the British army in Libya. This first model with a 57mm cannon was completed in July of 1942. the second revised model with a 75mm cannon was completed in October 1942. This cannon would eventually become 76mm in size which required a complete rework of the tank. The army also requested that a machine gun be added. This first model had a Buick engine installed. Due to the increased weight factor they eventually used a radial air craft engine to power it. A line worker at Buick dubbed the tank "HELLCAT" and the name just stuck. The first of the tanks now known as the M-18 were completed on April 15, 1943. And the rest is history.

The T-70 under power. This is the same location as shown below.

This view of the T-70 prototype shows factory #01 at the right with factory #01's original west section in the background. This open area was created during the 1934 remodel of this factory.

Trying out the T-70 at the north Buick site.

The T-70 tank in front of the not yet finished aluminum factory #20. This factory would become factory #10 transmission plant after the war. This view is facing west near the Pere Marquette rail line and Stewart street.

Testing the T-70 tank at Buick in Flint, Michigan. The T-70 was still a far cry from the finished product. Notice the coil spring suspension. Torsion bar suspension was one of the main attributes of the M-18 and is still in use today on our modern tanks.

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