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History of Tanks - M22 Locust

The M22 Locust, British-ordered and American-made.

Beginning development in 1941, the M22 Locust was a direct result of the British War Office requesting a specific build of tank that could be transported onto the battlefield by gliders. The American government was approached for this task and as such, selected the American-based manufacturer Marmon-Herrington to design and create a prototype.

In World of Tanks, the M22 Locust is a Tier 3 American Light tank and one of the lowest tiered Premium tanks available. As such, the M22 Locust benefits from all the advantages that Premium tanks have to offer, such as increased earnings from battles and accelerated crew training. Before plunging in and making the purchase, it’s important to know how to use the M22 Locust.

The M22 Locust was designed to replace the Tetrarch, a tank unsuitable for hotter climates.
The M22 Locust was designed to replace the Tetrarch, a tank unsuitable for hotter climates.

The British requested that the new tank be a replacement for the Tetrarch, an armored vehicle that was now considered obsolete. Part of this was due to the numerous faults of the Tetrarch. These faults included the Tetrarch wasn’t originally designed to be transported via glider, it had a capacity problem thus limiting the amount of crew available to operate the tank, and it had a faulty cooling system which made it unviable for use in hotter areas, like the Middle East and North Africa.

Due to the lack of production capacity, Britain chose to have the new tank designed and built overseas. Harmon-Herrington came back with designs that would end up being the M22 Locust. These designs were to meet the requirements set forth by the British Air Commission which required the tank weigh between 9 and 10 tonne, come equipped with a 37mm primary armament, achieve a maximum speed of 64 km/h, and be operable by a crew of three. This prototype was designated the Light Tank T9 (Airborne).

While the Locust's 37 mm gun can battle with similarly tiered tanks, it will struggle to penetration higher tiers.
While the Locust's 37 mm gun can battle with similarly tiered tanks, it will struggle to penetration higher tiers.

The World of Tank’s variant comes equipped with the 37mm Gun M6 and can even reach the aforementioned top speed of 64 km/h with relative ease. With decent penetration for its tier, the 37mm can spit out damage rather quickly. However, it will struggle to penetrate the higher tiered tanks. Another similarity to its real-world equivalent is that the Locust utilizes a crew of three, a Commander who doubles as the Radio Operator, the Gunner who acts as Loader, and the Driver.

Only 830 T9s were ever produced, with a mere eight units seeing action with the British airborne forces. This lack of action is likely due to the M22 Locust being unable to stand up to the German armor currently in use. However, the eight Locusts that did see action were involved in Operation Varsity in March of 1945.

Only eight Locusts ever saw combat, and of these eight, only four were part of a force that withheld a German attack.
Only eight Locusts ever saw combat, and of these eight, only four were part of a force that withheld a German attack.

What started out as clear skies and ideal weather, quickly turned south when the Hamilcar gliders attempted to land. Three of the gliders came under fire from German anti-aircraft fire, causing them to crash. Despite this, six of the original eight Locusts survived the landing whereby one went to aid paratroopers, another broke down, and the last four grouped up with a small force and managed to repeat several German attacks.

After Operation Varsity the British Army no longer used the M22 Locust, instead opting to transfer it to foreign militaries. The Belgian Army used them as command tanks for their M4 Sherman regiments while the United States used the Locust as tractors. Thankfully, the M22 Locust continues to live on and fulfill its purpose as a tank in World of Tanks. What do you think of the M22 Locust, is it a worthwhile Premium tank?

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Sam Chandler

Sam loves all things shooters, whether it's a cheeky chicken dinner in PUBG or diving into a raid in Destiny, he'll be there.