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Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159)

Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck

United States | 1940

"The Diamond T 980 and 981 trucks making up the M19 system were heavy haulers serving the U.S. Army and Allies during the fighting of World War II."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/15/2024 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The 12-ton M19 Tank Transporter was a non-standard heavy-hauler of the United States Army during the World War II period (1939-1945). The vehicle was initially developed by Diamond T as a tank transporter for the British Army and taken on in number by the Americans for similar duty. The truck held its engine in the bow with the driving cab directly behind. Behind the cab was installed a powered winch and a ballast box was seated over the rear. Powered by a diesel engine which drove a 6x4 wheeled arrangement, the M19 was fielded concurrently by the U.S. Army with the new M25 Tank Transporter designed by Knuckey, built by Pacific Car & Foundry, and coupled to a Fruehauf Trailer Corp trailer unit. Similarly, the M19 encompassed the "M20" Diamond T 980/981 series tractor with a 12-wheeled "M9" Fruehauf trailer component.

M20 trucks entered production in 1940 and this ran into 1945 to the tune of 6,554 total examples though the line fell out of favor when pitted against the M25 series - though it soldiered on in other roles for its part in the war. The French and Soviets both also utilized the M19 system.

The M20 truck was powered by a Hercules DFXE diesel-fueled engine of 6-cylinder arrangement and 185 horsepower at 1,600rpm mated to a Fuller 4-speed transmission with 3-speed backup gearbox. Despite the inherent power of the fit, the truck was limited to under-25mph speeds on road. The front wheels were steerable and the two rear axles double-wheeled. The ballast box could be filled with content to help weigh the vehicle down and improved traction. The Gar Wood 5M723B series winch was rated up to 40,000lb and could be used to both tow heavy vehicles or pull the M20 itself out of a tough spot. Initial Model 980 trucks had a winch length of 300 feet while this was increased to 500 feet in the subsequent Model 981 type.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Diamond T Model 980 Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck.
1 x Hercules DXFE diesel-fueled engine developing 185 horsepower to 6x4 all-wheeled arrangement.
Installed Power
23 mph
37 kph
Road Speed
298 miles
480 km
The physical qualities of the Diamond T Model 980 Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck.
23.3 ft
7.11 meters
O/A Length
8.5 ft
2.6 meters
O/A Width
8.4 ft
2.57 meters
O/A Height
26,676 lb
12,100 kg | 13.3 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159) Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck.
1 x 0.50 (12.7mm) Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) on trainable mounting over hull roof.

Also any personal weapons carried by the crew.
Dependent upon armament fitted.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159) family line.
M19 Tank Transporter - Base Series Designation.
G159 - U.S. Army catalog designation.
Model 980 - British / U.S. Army model designation; 300ft winch length.
Model 981 - British / U.S. Army model designation 500ft winch length among other refinements.
M20 - Tractor / truck designation.
M9 - Trailer component designation.
Diamond T Tractor 6x4 for 40-ton Trailer - British Army longform designation for tractor/truck component.
"40-ton Trailer British Mk.1 (Crane)" - British Army trailer designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 6,554 Units

Contractor(s): Diamond T (tractor) / Fruehauf Trailer Corporation; Winter-Weis; Rodgers (trailer) - USA
National flag of France National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States

[ France; Soviet Union; United Kingdom; United States ]
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Image of the Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159)
Image from the Public Domain.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159) Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck.
Going Further...
The Diamond T 980/981 (M19/G159) Tank Transporter / Heavy Military Truck appears in the following collections:
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