In 1941, the war ordinance dept. issued a requirement for a fast tank destroyer. The M18 was a ground-up new design. It had on open top, a 76mm gun, thin armor to allow speed and a new torsion bar suspension. The faster speed allowed it to flank enemy armor quicker than it could traverse its turret. This became typical M18 practice. The 76 mm gun had mediocre performance until High Velocity ammo became available towards the end of the war. There were 2,500 produced from 1943 to 1945.
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