The M5 was first used in the invasion of Casablanca in French North Africa. By 1943, during the invasion of Sicily, the M5A1 was becoming the standard light tank of the US. Because of their limited fire-power, the M5A1 eventually took on reconnaissance and escort duties in Italy, it was used all over the European and Pacific theatres of operation. The M5A1 was quite effective against most Japanese armour used in the Pacific theatre. The 37 mm main gun, although obsolete in Europe, was found to be effective against Japanese targets.
Two Cadillac flat head V8 engines which used the General Motors Hydramatic transmission making gear change easy. The engine and transmission were nearly unaltered from the automotive applications, which were usually found in the Cadillac LaSalle and other top General Motors civilian vehicles. The Cadillac engines operated reliably but were underpowered. The petrol fueled V8′s ran very quietly unlike the noisy radial aircraft engines in previous models.
Source – – http://devblog.warthunder.com/2014/12/11/steel-generals-m5a1/?hl=en
War Thunder Steel Generals M5A1
The M5 was a USA light tank, that replaced the old M3. The main feature of M5 was the Hydramatic transmission with twin Cadillac V8 engine power plant. The main problems were the complexity of Hydramatic transmission, that prevent field repairs, and the necessity of maintance procedures and supply of spare parts. In August 1942 for the first time the M5 was tested for 3370 miles and this vehicle was superior in performance and efficiency to any other light tank in service. A new turret was developed from design of M3A3 turret. On it a M6 37mm gun was mounted togheter an SCR 508 radio and a .30mm AA machine gun. Another improved turret was built with a shield on the right side and the two side pistol ports were eliminated completely. An escape hatch was located o the floor of the hull, behind the assistant driver’s seat. This improved tank was designated, on September 1942, as M5A1 (17 tons). The production of this vehicle started in December and 6810 M5A1 tanks were built until June 1944. They also were allocated under Lend Lease program to Great Britain (1131), 5 to Soviet Union, 226 to French in North Africa.
Reference – R.P. Hunnicutt, Stuart. History of American Light Tank, vol. I, pp. 175-198.
L’M5 fu per la prima volta usato durante l’invasione di Casablanca, nel Nord Africa Francese. Dal 1943, durante l’invasione della sicilia, l’M5A1 lo standard tra i carri leggeri USA. A causa della potenza di fuoco limitata, l’M5A1 prese il compito di carro ricognizione e scorta. Venne usato anche nei teatri di guerra del Pacifico, dive il 37mm si rivelò efficace contro i corazzati giapponesi. L’M5 era alimentato da un motore v8 cadillac e si muoveva grazie ad una trasmissione General Motors Hydramatic, che consentiva un cambio marcia agevole. In sostanza questo sistema venne facilmente adattato, senza troppe modifiche, anche alle automobili e in generale ai mezzi civili, come la Cadillac LaSalle. A quanto pare i motori Cadillac giravano bene ma erano sottopotenziati, tuttavia il V8 sull’M5 andava bene a differenza di quello radiale montato sugli aerei, abbastanza rumoroso.