Battle Pass vehicles: M64

The M64 is a Chinese light tank developed during the mid 1970s by combining the hull of the M42 Duster SPAAG with the turret of previously decommissioned M18 Hellcat tank destroyers. The heavily armed yet nimble M64 will become available as one of the main prizes awaiting players in the upcoming War Thunder battle pass!

Briefly: A hybrid Chinese tank design, combining the turret of the M18 Hellcat with the hull of the M42 Duster tank.

M64, light tank, China, III rank. Premium

Features

  • Excellent mobility
  • Powerful 76mm cannon
  • Light armor protection
  • Exposed fighting compartment
History

In the early 1950s, armed forces on Taiwan obtained a large number of armored fighting vehicles from the U.S. and South Korea, mainly consisting of M18 Hellcat and M24 Chaffee tanks as well as a few dozen Shermans. In October 1958, they also managed to obtain a number of American M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks. However, despite more advanced vehicles becoming available, the military retained even the older vehicles in active service, leading to some vehicles even exceeding the service life of their original design. By 1969 however, the military decommissioned and scrapped several dozen M18 Hellcats. This in turn, created a gap in the fighting strength and a stopgap solution had to be formulated.

The solution came in the form of the M64 light tank, developed in 1975. It was conceived on the basis of the M42 Duster chassis which were obtained alongside the M41 Walker Bulldogs in the late 1950s. Engineers then combined the chassis with the turret of the previously decommissioned M18 Hellcats to form a new highly mobile light tank, designated the M64. Entering service in 1975, around 53 M64 light tanks were built. These vehicles didn’t see any combat use and were retired from active service in 1981.

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The M64 will be one of the main prizes awaiting War Thunder players in the new Battle Pass season, launching in the upcoming days. Being built from components of the American M41 Walker Bulldog and M18 Hellcat tanks, the M64 expectedly fuses the features of both vehicles and combines them into a new design. Tankers who have experience with both of the vehicles may expect a highly capable hybrid and they won’t be mistaken.

The M64 is armed with a 76mm M1 cannon, which will make seasoned American tankers feel right at home with the new tank. Unlike the M18 Hellcat on the other hand, the M64 does feature an additional 7.62mm machine gun, mounted coaxially in the turret. This small addition may prove itself handy when the heavier .50 cal roof-mounted MG is unavailable after the commander gets knocked out.

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Being based on the M42 Duster chassis, tankers can rightfully expect the M64 to be highly mobile. In fact, thanks to its very capable 500 horsepower engine, the vehicle can reach a top speed of up to 72 km/h on paved roads, while also remaining quite agile in less accommodating terrain. However, as neither of the two vehicles the M64 is made out of is exactly renowned for superb armor protection, it too unfortunately can’t boast great protection. 

In fact, the M64 only features up to 25.4mm or armor plating on its front portions of the hull, meaning that the tank can only effectively withstand damage from machine gun fire and shrapnel. On top of this, the open fighting compartment also exposes the crew and modules in the turret to strafing runs by aircraft. Therefore, tankers ought to best use the vehicle’s excellent mobility to dodge enemy fire, both the one coming from other ground vehicles as well as from aircraft!

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Be sure to add the unique and powerful M64 to your in-game collection by completing tasks and leveling up your Battle Pass. More information about other prizes and conditions of the upcoming Battle Pass season will follow soon, so stay tuned to the news. Until then, good hunting tankers!

 

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