The M22 Light Tank, or M22 Locust was an aerial assault tank that was designed in the United States during World War II.


The M22 had a crew of three and was powered by the air cooled Lycoming O-435 gasoline engine.[1] The M22 also weighed about 16,400 pounds and was about 13 feet long. The armor of the M22 was about 0.5 inches in most places and 1 inch in others.[2]

The purpose of this tank is to support airborne troops once landed. It had a 37 mm main gun and had a top speed of approximately 40 mph. The M22 could also have a .30 machine gun mounted. The M22 had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission and it had a SCR 510 radio.

The Locust also was capable of carrying 57 gallons of fuel and around 2,500 machine gun rounds. Along with the machine gun rounds; the M22 could also carry around fifty 37 mm rounds.[3]There were no variants of the M22 Light Tank itself, besides the original production model. However, one example was rebuilt as the prototype of the T10 Light Tractor (airborne). Designed to carry five men, the project was suspended in 1943.[4]


The M22 was originally designated the T9 and later the T9E1. It began to ship out to the front lines in 1943 and around 830 Locusts were produced by war's end. The M22 was named the Locust because of a nickname given by the British.

It was transported by the United States in two parts, the hull and the turret. This was caused because the only US glider large enough to fit the tank wasn't large enough to fit it all together. British forces however solved this problem by using large Hamilcar Gliders. One notable use of the M22 Light Tank was during Operation Varsity where several M22 Locusts were used.

However many of them were destroyed because of a number of different reasons including the gliders being destroyed and German forces using tanks or anti-tank weapons. The M22 was used throughout World War II and temporarily after World War II even as simply farm vehicles only they had no armament. Others were used by some armies, but didn't really see combat.


  4. Forty, George. WW1 and WW2 Tanks. Southwater Books (Anness Publishing Ltd). 2012. ISBN 1 78019 190 1 Page92

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