M50 War Thunder

Posted on by admin

Ok so I like playing the Ontos (M50) The only thing is the US line up at 6.7 is so good and in my set it competes with the M56 and the T92 which are both great and more fun to play. That said the Ontos (we called it that up until something like a yr ago) can be absolutely devastating if played carefully and to its strengths You can pen pretty. In War Thunder, the M4A4 Sherman, equipped with the 75mm SA-50 cannon, will offer a different experience from the well-known Sherman formula that many players are familiar with. Israeli engineers made only minor changes to the initial design of the Sherman, and the hull, suspension, tracks, engine and transmission remained the same.The most.

Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50 'Ontos'
Ontos M50A1, the 50-cal spotting rifles can be seen on the upper guns
TypeTank destroyer
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1956–69
Used byUnited States
WarsVietnam War
Dominican Civil War
Production history
No. built297
Mass8,600 kg (19,000 lb)
Length3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)
Width2.59 m (8 ft 6 in)
Height2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)
Crew3 (driver, gunner and loader)
6 × M40A1C recoilless rifles
1 × .30 (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine gun
EngineGM 6-cylinder inline 302 cu in (4.95 l) gasoline engine
145 hp (108 kW)
185 km (115 mi)
Maximum speed 48 km/h (30 mph)

Ontos, officially the Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50, was a U.S. light armored tracked anti-tank vehicle developed in the 1950s.

It mounted six 106 mm manually loaded M40 recoilless rifles as its main armament, which could be fired in rapid succession against single targets to guarantee a kill. Although the actual caliber of the main guns was 105 mm it was designated 106 mm to prevent confusion with the ammunition for the 105 mm M27 recoilless rifle, which the M40 replaced.

It was produced in limited numbers for the U.S. Marines after the U.S. Army cancelled the project. The Marines consistently reported excellent results when they used the Ontos for direct fire support against infantry in numerous battles and operations during the Vietnam War. The American stock of Ontos was largely expended towards the end of the conflict and the Ontos was removed from service in 1969.

M50 20mm cannon


The Ontos (Greek for 'thing'[1]) project was created to be an air transportable tank destroyer capable of being lifted by the cargo aircraft of the 1950s. This limited the vehicle to a weight between 10 and 20 metric tons. The Ontos also had to use the six-cylinder engine then widely used in the Army's GMC trucks. Allis-Chalmers was awarded a contract on August 12, 1955, for 297 vehicles.

Allis-Chalmers' first vehicle, completed in 1952, was based on the running gear of the M56 Scorpion light anti-tank vehicle. The vehicle mounted a cast steel turret with two arms holding three rifles each. This early model could traverse the turret only about 15 degrees. A second prototype used a new suspension system, new tracks, and a newer turret with about 40 degrees traverse. The vehicle could carry only eighteen rounds for the main guns inside the vehicle due to limited space. Four of the recoilless rifles also had .50 BAT (12.7x77mm) M8C spotting rifles attached, each of which fired a tracer round with the same trajectory as the 106 mm round, and that gave off a flash and puff of white smoke on impact. The spotting rifles were used to line up the 106 mm recoilless rifles with the target. The Ontos also carried a single .30 caliber (7.62 mm) M1919A4 machine gun for anti-infantry use.

The vehicle was taken to the Aberdeen Proving Ground where single rifles had been tested earlier. When all six weapons were fired at once, the back blast from the firing knocked bricks out of a nearby building and knocked the rear windows out of several cars. The prototype and testing stage was completed by 1955, at which point the Army canceled its order.

As an anti-tank vehicle the Ontos had several problems, including a small ammunition load, a very high profile for such a small vehicle, and the need for the crew to exit the vehicle in order to reload the guns, exposing them to enemy fire. Although the Army canceled their order, the Marine Corps were desperate for any anti-tank vehicles they could get, and ordered 297. Production ran from 1955 through 1957. The Marine Corps accepted its first vehicle on 31 October 1956.

Variants and upgrades[edit]

Several variants were also studied. The Utility Vehicle, Tracked, Infantry, T55 was a light Armored personnel carrier (APC), but only two versions of the prototype were built. It proved impractical due to the limited room inside, carrying only five infantry and forcing the driver to lie prone. A 'stretched' version known as the Utility Vehicle, Tracked, Infantry, T56 was also built, and while it held a complete eight-man team, their equipment had to be carried on the outside. Neither was considered very useful.

In 1960 there was a brief study made to replace the Ontos's 106 mm rifles with a new 105 mm design that included a revolver-style autoloader. This project was not accepted.

Another proposed upgrade was replacing the GMC engine with a newer Chrysler 361 cu in (5.92 l) V8 engine. This upgrade was implemented and the variant was named Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50A1. However of the 297 vehicles initially accepted by the Marines, only 176 were converted between 1963 and 1965 to this standard.



While the M50 was designed as a tank destroyer, during the Vietnam War most M50s did not engage enemy armor as the North Vietnamese Army deployed few tanks. The Ontos was therefore more widely used by the US Marines for direct fire support for the infantry in combat, a role that was never emphasized in training or doctrine. Its light armor was effective against small arms but vulnerable to mines and rocket-propelled grenades. Consequently, many Ontos were deployed in static defense positions.

The relatively light weight of the M50 made it exceptionally mobile for the amount of firepower it carried. In one operation, the Ontos was the only tracked vehicle light enough to cross a pontoon bridge. In the Battle of Hue, Colonel Stanley S. Hughes felt the Ontos was the most effective of all Marine supporting arms. At ranges of 300 to 500 yards (270 to 460 m), its recoilless rifles could knock holes in or completely knock down walls. The appearance of an Ontos was sometimes enough to make the enemy break and run, and anecdotal accounts describe the enemy fleeing occupied buildings when an Ontos's spotting round entered a window. In Operation Desoto, the introduction of the large CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter made possible moving a platoon 25 miles (40 km) south of Quan Ngai City carrying Ontos in slings underneath the aircraft.[2]

The Ontos units were deactivated in May 1969, and some of the vehicles were handed over to an Army light infantry brigade. They used them until they ran out of spare parts, and then removed the turrets and used them as fixed fortifications. Both these and the rest of the vehicles returned from Vietnam in 1970 and were cut up for scrap, with some of the chassis being sold off to be converted into construction vehicles. Some of the Ontos that were sold to construction companies were later acquired by collectors for restoration.

The Ontos did see use as an anti-tank weapon during the American involvement in the Dominican Civil War: on 29 April 1965 an M50 Ontos and an M48 Patton of the 6th MEU engaged and destroyed two rebel L/60L light tanks, each destroying one. In another instance, an Ontos destroyed an AMX-13.[3]

Preserved vehicles on display[edit]

M50 Ontos on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
M50 War Thunder

There are Ontos on display at the following US locations:

  • The Patton Museum of Cavalry & Armor in Fort Knox, Kentucky[4] (no longer on display, may have moved with the Armor school to FT Benning).[citation needed]
  • The Rock Island Arsenal Museum in Rock Island, Illinois.[citation needed]
  • Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana.[citation needed]
  • The American Military Museum, in El Monte, California has an M50 that is missing its six recoilless rifles.[citation needed]
  • The Aberdeen Proving Ground's Museum in Aberdeen, Maryland has a T165E2, the 19th prototype, though it is not currently on display. The vehicle is currently[when?] undergoing a cosmetic restoration.[citation needed]
  • Mr. Fred Ropkey, owner of the Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana owns the first prototype T165, a later model Ontos, and a parts machine.[citation needed]
  • The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia has completed the restoration of an M50A1 Ontos.
  • The Museum of The Marine in Jacksonville, North Carolina has an operational M50A1 Ontos which is not on public display.[citation needed]
  • There is an M50A1 Ontos on outside display at the Navy Facility at China Lake, California.[citation needed]
  • The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California has an M50A1 Ontos on outside display.[citation needed]
  • The Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, California has a T165E1 prototype with the original GM 302ci engine which is currently undergoing a complete operational restoration, and a second prototype T165E2 Ontos.[citation needed]
  • The U.S. Army Artillery Museum at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.[citation needed]
  • The Marine Corps Mechanized Museum, Camp Pendleton, displays a M50A1 Ontos that took part in the Battle of Hue.[5]
  • There is an M50 Ontos on display outside of the Nation Museum of Military Vehicles, in Dubois, WY[6]
  • Russell Military Museum in Zion, IL.[7]

See also[edit]

  • G-numbers (SNL G288)
Similar vehicles


  1. ^Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles – 2nd Edition p. 376
  2. ^'Ontos-a mean thing feared by Viet Cong Sgt. T.D. Stephens' Newspaper clipping
  3. ^Roblin, Sebastien (22 June 2016). 'In 1965, U.S. and Dominican Tanks Fought Brief, Violent Skirmishes'. War is boring.
  4. ^Estes 2016, p. 47.
  5. ^Estes 2016, p. 36.
  6. ^https://www.facebook.com/NMMVWY/posts/collection-feature-m50-ontos-from-the-vietnam-war-era/302937320417683/
  7. ^'Russell Military Museum'. www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-11-26.


  • Estes, Kenneth W (2016). M50 Ontos and M56 Scorpion 1956–70: US Tank Destroyers of the Vietnam War. New Vanguard 240. Osprey Publishing. ISBN9781472814739.
  • Kutta, Timothy J., 'ONTOS: The USMC's Most Famous Anti-Tank Weapon', Modern War magazine, Bakersfield, California: Strategy & Tactics Press (Decision Games) (#14 November/December 2014), pp. 72–75
  • McNab, Chris (2003). Military Vehicles. Hoo, Kent, UK: Grange Books. p. 56. ISBN1-84013-539-5.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to M50 Ontos.
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=M50_Ontos&oldid=1015462354'
Super Sherman
Place of originIsrael
Service history
Used byIsrael Defense Forces
Production history
VariantsM-50 Continental and M-50 Cummins
EngineContinental R-975
M-51 Super Sherman at Yad La-Shiryon.

Ontos M50

The Sherman M-50 and the Sherman M-51, both often referred to abroad as the Super Sherman, were modified versions of the AmericanM4 Shermantank that served with the Israel Defense Forces from the mid-1950s to early 1980s. The M-51 was also referred to as the Isherman (i.e. Israeli Sherman). However, the designations 'Super Sherman' and 'Isherman' were never used by the Israeli Defense Forces.


In 1953, an Israeli military delegation visited France to examine the then-new AMX-13/75 light tank, which was armed with the high-velocity CN 75-50 75 mm tank gun. While the tank's main gun was considered satisfactory, its armor was deemed to be too light. Eventually, Israel did purchase the AMX-13, but, in a similar parallel development, it was decided that the 75mm main guns of the AMX-13s Israel bought would be grafted to the more-familiar and the better-armored hull of the American M4 Sherman medium tank, which was the standard tank of the IDF's armored units (a large quantity of post-WWII Sherman tanks ended up under Israeli military service from 1948 onwards) during the period of the early 1950s.[1]

This project started in 1954 and in 1955, a prototype turret was sent from France to Israel.[2] In March 1956, Israeli Ordnance Corps military facilities began to convert (up-gun) their Sherman tanks with 75mm tank guns of AMX-13s bought and received from France.[3] The 75mm tank gun was known in Israel as the M-50 and, as a result, the up-gunned Sherman was designated as the Sherman M-50.[2] The M-50 was similar to the WWII-era British Sherman Firefly tank in that it possessed the original smaller type of Sherman tank turret (as used by US Shermans which carry the original 75mm M3 tank gun) which was fitted with a large counterweight at the turret's rear end to balance the weight of a longer and heavier tank gun.

The first 50 units were based on M4A4 hulls, had a Continental R-975gasoline engine and VVSS suspension. However, the increased weight of the vehicle combined with narrow tracks led to poor off-road mobility. It was also putting too much strain on the engine, resulting in frequent mechanical failures. Consequently, for the rest of the conversions, hulls fitted with HVSS suspension and Cummins V-8 460 horsepower (340 kW) diesel engine were adopted.[4] These subvariants were sometimes referred to as the M-50 Continental and M-50 Cummins. Diesel engines were also preferred since diesel fuel is less flammable than gasoline, which factors into battlefield survivability.[5] In total, about 300 M-50s were built by 1964 (though it's possible that this number includes 120 155 mm self-propelled guns on Sherman chassis, also designated M-50).[3]

This same gun was also fitted to a number of M10 tank destroyers.[6]

In the 1960s, 180 Sherman tanks received the even more powerful French 105 mm Modèle F1 gun, shortened into the CN-105-57. The barrel length of the gun was reduced from 56 caliber to 44 and it was equipped with a unique double-baffle muzzle brake; ammunition was altered to use a smaller cartridge. In Israel the gun was designated M-51 and the tank the Sherman M-51. M4A1 hulls and the larger T23 turrets (from 76 mm armed Shermans) were used for the conversion. All tanks were fitted with Cummins diesel engines and HVSS suspension. The tank was displayed to the public for the first time during the Independence Day ceremony in 1965.[7]

Abroad the M-50 was known as Super Sherman (the 'Continental' variant as Mark I and the 'Cummins' variant as Mark II) and the M-51 as either Super Sherman, Isherman (i.e. Israeli Sherman) or M4A1 Revalorise. These designations were never used in Israel. The only tank model designated Super Sherman by the IDF was the M4A1 with 76 mm M1 gun and HVSS suspension, which was named Super Sherman M-1.[3]

Service history[edit]

Captured Egyptian M4A4 with FL-10 Turret.

The first 25 M-50s were finished just in time for Operation Kadesh – the Israeli 29 October 1956 invasion of the Sinai – against the Egyptian Army[3] (which also employed its own up-gunned version of the M-4 Sherman, fitted with the French AMX-13 turret, making it equal to the M-50 in firepower).

In 1964, Israel neared completion of its National Water Carrier to divert water from the Sea of Galilee as allocated in the multinational 1955 Unified (Johnston) Plan. The Arab nations were in uproar, and Syria began a project to divert water into Jordan (the Headwater Diversion Plan). Maj General Israel Tal had trained Israeli tank gunners to shoot beyond 1,500 metres (1,600 yd) and, on March 6, 1965, an M-50, commanded by Tal, engaged a Syrian recoilless rifle that had killed an Israeli tractor driver; Tal personally destroyed the recoilless rifle at long range. A few days later, General Tal, with an M-50 and a Centurion Mk III tank, was waiting for a chance to fire upon the Syrian water diverting project. When Syrian gunners fired on a border patrol, Tal's M-50 and the Centurion fired on eight tractors 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) away, and destroyed them all in two minutes with 10 shots – Tal destroyed 5 tractors with his M-50's 75 mm gun, and the Centurion destroyed the remainder.[8]

Both the M-50 and M-51 saw combat in the Six-Day War that left the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Sinai peninsula in Israeli hands, often fighting against SovietWorld War II-era armor like the T-34-85 (for example at the Battle of Abu-Ageila). Both were also employed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War alongside and against much more modern tanks. The use of such seemingly obsolete tanks was necessary given the desperate nature of the fighting.

In combat against the Arab armies, the M-51 proved itself capable of fighting newer, heavier tanks like the Soviet-built T-54/55/T-62. The M-51's 105 mm gun could penetrate these adversaries using HEAT ammunition. The M-51 served well during its time, and is regarded as an excellent example of how an obsolete tank (the Sherman) can be upgraded beyond the limits of its original capabilities.[9]

M-50 Super Sherman at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum.

The M-50 Continentals were retired by 1972. The M-50 Cummins and M-51 were gradually phased out in late 1970s to early 1980s. During the Lebanese Civil War, some 75[clarification needed] M-50s were given as aid to the Israeli-supported Lebanese Christian militias – Kataeb Regulatory Forces (19), Tigers Militia (20), Guardians of the Cedars (1), the Lebanese Forces (40), and the South Lebanon Army (35) – in 1976; two tanks were later captured by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which employed them in the defense of West Beirut during the June 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.[10]

About 100 of the remaining tanks of this model were sold to Chile in the late 1980s. Some of those were fitted with the IMI-OTO 60 mm Hyper Velocity Medium Support (HVMS) gun, and were often referred to as M-60. This variant was never used by the IDF.[3] Chile used its Shermans until 1999, when they were replaced by the Leopard 1. The few M-51s that Israel retained were converted into engineer vehicles and self-propelled artillery.[9]


  • Chile – ≈50 M-50 upgraded with the 60 mm IMI-OTO HVMS gun, ≈150 M 51
  • Israel – M-50, M-51
  • Lebanese militias – M-50 (Kataeb Regulatory Forces, Lebanese Forces, Tigers Militia, Guardians of the Cedars, South Lebanon Army)
  • Palestine Liberation Organization – two captured M-50s in Lebanon

See also[edit]


  1. ^Givati, p. 82-85.
  2. ^ abGivati, pp. 83-84.
  3. ^ abcdeGranovskiy, Names, Designations and Service Figures of IDF Armored Vehicles.
  4. ^Givati, p. 105-108
  5. ^Givati, p.45
  6. ^Givati, p.106
  7. ^Givati, pp. 109-110, p.123.
  8. ^George Forty, Tank Action, pp. 249–250, ISBN0-7509-0479-8
  9. ^ abGelbart, p.45
  10. ^Photos of two derelict M-50 Shermans at the Beirut Stadium being inspected by French paratroopers from the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF), September 1982.

M50 Ontos War Thunder

  • Gelbart, Marsh (1996). Tanks: Main battle and light tanks. London: Brassey's. ISBN1-85753-168-X.
  • Givati, Moshe - The Armor Craftsmen - The History of the 7100 Restoration and Maintenance Center, MoD 1998 ( ISBN965-05-0902-X, 1998, משה גבעתי - בידיהם חושלה הפלדה - סיפורו של מרכז שיקום ואחזקה 7100, משרד הבטחון הוצאה לאור ).
  • Moustafa El-Assad, Blue Steel IV: M-50 Shermans and M-50 APCs in South Lebanon, Blue Steel books, Sidon 2007.
  • Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003. ISBN9953-0-0705-5
  • Samer Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon 1975-1981, Trebia Publishing, Chyah 2012. ISBN978-9953-0-2372-4
  • Oleg Granovskiy, Names, Designations and Service Figures of IDF Armored Vehicles (Олег Грановский - Названия, обозначения и количества бронетанковой техники АОИ) at Waronline.org(in Russian)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to M50/51 Super Sherman tanks and M4 Sherman variants.
  • Sherman at Israeli-weapons.com:

War Thunder M50 Reddit

Sherman family
M-50 (Supersherman)
M-51 (Isherman)
A restoration of an original M50 at Eden Camp Museum

M50 War Thunder

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