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Apr 7, 2013

M18 Hellcat's Top Speed

Author: Priory_of_Sion

The top speed of the M18 Hellcat has been a point of conversation ever since it was implemented. WG has set the top speed of the M18 as 72 km/h as of today. This however is lower than historical top speed and since the introduction of the Panzer I ausf. C speeds higher than 72 km/h are possible. The Hellcat deserves some more speed IMO. Many people want the speed to be 97 km/h, this speed however is only attainable is short spurts in perfect circumstances and still causes damage to the engine and transmission, lets not have that. According to US Ordnance Corps the M18's official maximum speed is 80 km/h. This 80 km/h mark is much more comfortable and reasonable top speed than the 97 km/h that isn't sustainable and isn't backed by US Ordnance Corps records.

Also in WoT the M18 can mount the M36 turret and the M3 90 mm gun, in this configuration the M18 goes from having ~23.6 hp/t to ~21 hp/t. I would expect that the top speed to decrease along with the hp/t ratio, so the speed in WoT of 72 km/h should be fairly accurate in describing the M18 with the M36 turret/90 mm.

I didn't want this post to be pic-less, so look at the 90 mm Hellcat.

In WoT it would be accurate and not game-breaking IMO to increase the top speed for the M18 Hellcat to ~80 km/h for the configuration with the stock turret and top engine. The top speed for the elite M18 is fine IMO. Just my 2 cents.

M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943-97 by Steven J. Zaloga

Stuart: History of the American Light Tank Vol 1 by R. P. Hunnicutt

British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945 by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis


  1. IF they wold just make it easier to hit that top speed i'd be happy.

  2. This clarifies a lot for Kitty, but what about traverse??

    1. Traverse wasn't the greatest. The turret was manually traversed. The chassis had a larger turning radius than most M4 Sherman variants, I am not sure what #s WG has for it though.

  3. Speed is fine, however since the new physics, the acceleration of the M18 is lower then normal and some terrains are very slow to manouvre on.

    I rather have a better acceleration to go to top speed.
    1700+ battles in my Hell Kitty btw.

    1. Btw: Thanks for the link about the book !!! I just ordered it :-D

  4. I love my hellcat, but also feel that it is slightly OP. buffing it in any way would probably increase its tier. Even though the Hellcat in its current form is not historical, I think it should stay where it is.

    Also, since in game it has issues reaching its top speed over medium and soft flat ground. Buffing the top speed would be like the upcoming change to the IS-7, the number is getting changed but the tank won't preform any different

    1. 80 km/h would only be accessible if you don't have the 90 mm. The speed buff won't effect the elite M18. I don't see how that is a superbuff that makes the M18 a tier 7 level vehicle.

  5. As if the Hellcat wasn't good enough...

    I'd prefer they buffed the Jackson instead.

  6. It is the only tank ingame with the RL turret traverse, and probably real hull traverse.

    Its just the rest of the tanks outside the MAUS etc have super high turret traverse and turning etc.

    If they would make all the WW2 tanks manually brake then the Hellcat would seem very fast indeed and its turret traverse would be great.

    Honestly it needs more traverse speed.

  7. Hellcat had electrical traverse, 24deg/s.
    RL max traverse rates (for 360deg):
    Pz-III - 3deg/s
    Pz-IV - 12deg/s (except Ausf J, which was manually cranked at 3deg/s)
    Panther D - 6deg/s
    Panther A - 24deg/s
    Panther G - 20deg/s
    Tiger - 6deg/s
    Tiger II - 6deg/s

    T-28 - 24deg/s
    T-34 - 24deg/s
    T-34-85 - 20deg/s
    KV-1 - 12deg/s
    KV-2 - 6deg/s
    IS-2 - 18deg/s

    Most US tanks had it at 24deg/s except:
    Early M3 Stuarts - manual @ 3-4deg/s
    M4(105) - manual, 3deg/s
    T1/M6 - 18deg/s
    M103 - 18deg/s
    M10 - 3deg/s for later, 1.5-2deg/s for early turret models w/o rear counterweight.
    I lack source for data for Brits ATM, but IIRC it was:
    Cromwell - 24deg/s
    Matilda - 12deg/s
    Churchill - 9deg/s

    1. You sure the Hellcat had an electrical traverse? Can I get a source? Hunnicutt says max traverse is 15 deg/s.
      fast forward to 1:29, the same crank is shown in Zaloga's book as the turret traverse, that isn't electrical.

    2. If anything the max traverse of 15 deg/s is attained by a hydraulic system. Nothing in the books point towards a electrical traverse of 24 deg/s.

    3. Sorry, hydraulic not electric.
      Brice, Hunnicutt*, Stuart - History of American Light Tank, Volume 1 says:

      M18 - 15sec for 360deg (that makes it 24deg/s), hydraulic.
      Check it again if you wish, you probably mixed 15deg/s and 15sec/360deg.

      *Aka The Bible of US tanks.
      I trust Hunnicutt over anything but documents directly from archives.

  8. Regarding the speed. Where would we ever get a long enough run of paved road to worry about it being anything other than a "short burst"?

    The terrain already limits top speeds well enough IMO, we don't need to worry about burning the engine out, etc. Besides, they have made it clear that all tanks are operating at peak designed/intended effectiveness. Per Zaloga (assuming Wikipedia got it's source and quote correct) it had a 60 mph (96.56 kmh) top speed. Just as the M1 is not allowed to go it's actual top speed I'm sure the Ordinance documentation was a suggested limit, not a physical one.

    Now, if the math limits it due to the power to weight ratios for the upgrades, that's different. But now that the upper limit is gone (or higher) they need to revist the tanks that were previously artificially limited to 72 kph.

    And fix the acceleration while at it.

  9. i would love to see this buff on hellcat, but IMO that is not going to happen, simply because hellcat is already too strong in good hand and strong enough in any other hands :) hellcat win percentage is top among tier 6 TD's. i hear they are planing to buff a lot of mid tier tanks, but i think hellcat and kv-1s wont be one of them


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