Forces of Valor 80048 US M24 Chaffee Light Tank - 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mecz), "Operation Nordwind", Alsace and Lorraine, France, January 1945 (1:32 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
The M24 Chaffee - arguably the best light tank of World War II - was a fast, lightly armored vehicle with the ability to deliver relatively large caliber direct fire thanks to its excellent 75 mm M6 gun. More than 4,000 vehicles were produced by Cadillac and Massey-Harris from 1943-45. The first vehicles reached Europe in late 1944, where they proved very effective and highly reliable. At the outset of the Korean War, however, American forces equipped with the M24 Chaffees performed poorly against the enemy's T-34/85s, and these US units were soon augmented with M26 Pershings and M46 Pattons, along with M4A3E8 Shermans armed with the long 76mm gun. The Chaffee remained in American service until 1953, at which time it was eventually replaced by the M41 Bulldog.
After 1945, the M24 Chaffee was used by many American allies. The French army used them in Indo-China, including at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Though obsolete by the mid-1960's, it remains in service in some client nations.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a US M24 Chaffee Light Tank that was attached to the 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, then deployed to France during early 1945.
Length: 7 inches
Width: 3 inches
Release Date: February 2012
Historical Account: "Horse-Mechanized Cavalry" - From August 9th, 1921 through November 16th, 1940, the 102nd Cavalry had been a unit of the 21st Cavalry Division. In November of 1940, after two years of experimenting in a search for a highly mobile ground reconnaissance force, the War Department selected seven National Guard and two Regular Army Cavalry Regiments to be reorganized as "Horse-Mechanized Cavalry". With a new National Emergency in sight, and mobilization already under way, the "Essex Troop" was honored to be one of those selected. So it was that on November 16th, 1940, the 102nd was reorganized as the 102nd Cavalry Horse/Mechanized and relieved from assignment to the 21st Cavalry Division. It was from the 102nd Cavalry Regiment that the 117th would later be created.