M24 Chaffee Tank – on display in Bolton Arms car park
The M24 Chafee Tank is an American designed vehicle that 1st came into service with British forces shortly after D-Day.
Intended to replace the ageing and obsolete Light Tank M5 (Stuart), which was used in supplementary roles, they were slow in reaching the front-line combat units.
Crews liked the improved off-road performance and reliability, but were most appreciative of the 75 mm main gun, which was a vast improvement over the 37 mm. The M24 was still inferior to German tanks – as The M24’s light armor made it vulnerable to virtually all German tanks, anti-tank guns, and hand-held anti-tank weapons – but the bigger gun at least gave its crews a much better chance to fight back when it was required.
Many of the M24’s – like this one – were lightly armoured and used mainly as reconnaissance vehicles.
The turret of the vehicle on display was restored by Simon Taylor in Leeds, while the tanks hull was rebuilt in – no honestly – Hull!
Finally, the whole vehicle was lovingly restored and brought into working order by Malcolm Dawson – using additional components gathered from a number of vehicles spread across Europe.
If you’d like to know more, then take the opportunity to have a chat with Malcolm and his colleagues over the weekend…