We can say that story The MTLS-1G14 tank begins in 1940, when the Royal Dutch East Indies (KNIL: Koninklijk Nederlans Indisch Leger) launched an extensive modernization program for their own army. KNIL belonged to the Dutch armed forces, which were designed to protect the oil wealth of the Dutch East Indies (today part of Indonesia). At the same time, KNIL was separated from the rest of the Dutch army, most often it acquired various weapons for itself. After the war in the Pacific became inevitable, KNIL decided to carry out a serious reorganization of the existing troops. It was supposed to reformat the 4 of the existing mechanized brigades, and later to bring their number to 6. New combat units required a significant amount of equipment and weapons, a large number of vehicles, including tractors, trucks and, of course, tanks.
At the same time, the Netherlands could never independently install such a number of vehicles, especially tanks. Moreover, the war unfolded in Europe did not leave the possibility of delivering military equipment from the Old World. The United States remained the only source of supplies, but the US factories, especially the tank ones, were busy executing contracts for the supply of equipment to the American army, as well as the first lend-lease contracts for the supply of weapons. Therefore, the army of the Royal Dutch East Indies was forced to seek the services of those companies that were not contractual obligations with the US Army. For these purposes, the company Marmon-Herrington was ideally suited, which was ready to ensure the release of the entire range of vehicles, as well as the necessary equipment for Dutch customers.
At the same time, the first tanks ordered from Marmon-Herrington never arrived in the East Indies before the start of the war with Japan. As early as January 1942, Japan began an invasion of the oil-rich areas of the Dutch East Indies, quickly breaking down the Allied forces in the region. Initially, the Dutch order provided for the supply of 200 medium tanks MTLS-1G14 to the beginning of 1943 of the year, but already in June of 1942 of the year it was reduced to 185 machines, and then to 125 tanks. On account of the reduced tanks, the Dutch military had to receive the required number of spare parts, which they had forgotten when signing the contract.
The last of the 125 tanks ordered by the Dutch was ready for 4 March 1942. But they did not have time to take part in hostilities on the territory of the Dutch East Indies. By that time, the only still unoccupied Dutch territories were the possessions located in South America. In May, the 1942 of the year in Dutch Guiana (today - Suriname) began the formation of a mixed motorized brigade, for which the company Marmon-Herrington began to ship the equipment produced by the Dutch order. True, by that time the Dutch needed only 20 MTLS-1G14 tanks, they simply refused the rest.
MTLS-1G14 was a classic-style tank, the main feature of which was armament. The main armament of the tank - twin installation 37-mm automatic guns with a barrel length 44 caliber. Artillery weapons supplemented by a huge number of machine guns. On the tank, it was planned to install 5-6 machine guns right away. Two 7,62-mm machine guns Colt-Browning M1919A4 were located in the forehead of the body, one was paired with 37-mm guns, another was located in the right cheekbone of the tower. One or two machine guns could be mounted on top of the turret, they could be used as anti-aircraft guns. The crew consisting of 4 man should manage this weapon.
The hull and turret of the tank, which had a hexagon shape, were riveted, which was difficult to attribute to advanced solutions. The thickness of the armor ranged from 13 to 38 mm. The 38-mm reservation had a hull forehead, as well as a forehead, sides and aft turret. By 1943, such a reservation for a medium tank was clearly not enough. At the same time, the tanks were planned to be used in the Dutch East Indies, where Japanese tanks, which also at that time did not differ in manufacturability and good combat characteristics, were to become their main opponents. Against them, MTLS-1G14 looked quite organically.
The chassis of the MTLS-1G14 medium tank was similar to the one that Marmon-Herrington engineers used on their CTMS-1 TBI light tank - on each side four rubberized road wheels, which were interlocked in pairs in two trucks; two supporting skating rinks; front-wheel drive with removable toothed rims (pinching engagement) and steering wheel. At the same time, American engineers used the suspension on vertical buffer springs.
The Hercules HXE air-cooled 6-cylinder carburetor engine was used as a power plant. He developed maximum power 240 HP. at 2300 rpm. The engine had enough power to disperse a tank with a combat mass of more than 16 tons up to the speed of 42 km / h when driving on the highway.
After Holland refused to buy parts of armored vehicles built for them. The US Armed Forces Supply Department has sent one light tank CTMS-1TBI and two medium tanks MTLS-1G14 to the Aberdeen Proving Ground to conduct comprehensive tests. Tests of combat vehicles were held here from February to May 1943. In the report, which remained after these tests, these tanks were designated “completely unreliable with structural and mechanical defects, low-powered and equipped with weak armament”. For service in the US Army, they were declared unfit. In general, at that time, the MTLS-1G14 could already be called obsolete. The archaic nature of the tank was not only in riveted armor and an outdated undercarriage with rollers interlocked in carts, but in the absence of radio on board the radio, the tanks were not provided with a contract.
It is worth noting that in the American army, some of the Marmon-Herrington tanks were used. We are talking about light tanks CTLS-4TAY and CTLS-4TAC, which were considered fit for limited use and entered the US Army under the designations T-14 and T-16, respectively. The Americans used these tanks mainly in Alaska. The US Army Supply Management Report of November 1942 contains information that every single tank broke during the first 100 hours of operation. At the same time, parts of these accidents could be easily avoided by using trained tank crews, while these combat vehicles were operated by “first-hand” personnel. This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that the Dutch and Australians, who also received these tanks, considered them satisfactory, and the Dutch exploited them in the jungles of Suriname for almost three years.
Marmon-Herrington tanks: М22 Locust light tank and MTLS-1G14 medium tank
Since the MTLS-1G14 medium tanks did not meet the standards of the American army, which already had more efficient medium tanks in service, and received low marks from specialists during tests at the Aberdir training ground, it was decided to write off all existing tanks with their subsequent demolition. However, the implementation of this decision in May 1943 of the year was suspended for 6 months. All this time, the Americans were trying to find a buyer for their equipment, offering MTLS-1G14 to various allies. However, all such attempts failed and in 1944, all 105 tanks of this type, which remained with the Americans, were divided into scrap metal.
Performance characteristics of MTLS-1G14:
Overall dimensions: body length - 4572 mm, width - 2642 mm, height - 2565 mm, clearance - 457 mm.
Combat weight - 16,3 tons.
The power plant is a Hercules HXE 6 carbureted carburetor engine with power up to 240 hp.
Maximum speed - 42 km / h (on the highway).
Armament - two 37-mm automatic guns AAC Type F, 5-6x7,62-mm machine guns Colt-Browning M1919A4.
Crew - 4 person.
Baryatinsky M. B. Tanks of the Second World War / - Moscow: Eksmo, 2009. - 480 with.
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