World's WORST Military Vehicles - Page 5

April 2nd, 2004  
OK, getting back to vehicles, here is a new entry:

M114 Armored Command and Reconnaissance Carrier. This unlamented cousin to the very successful M113 series vehicles. Manufactured by Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors, the M114 was first accepted for service in 1962 and somewhat visually resembled the M113 APC, but was, boxy, smaller and performed a different task, namely recon.

However, the front hull of the M114 extended in front of the tracks, which made crossing ditches or climbing out of streams very difficult. This and other cross-country limitations, such as a very poor track design, made it slower and less maneuverable that the tanks it was designed to scout for. This caused the US Army to initiate retirement of the M114 in 1973, with the last vehicles leaving the inventory in the early 1980s.

The M114's 4 man crew (Commander, Driver, Observer and Passenger (probably a scout for dismounted recon operations) had two vehicle mounted machine guns available to them an M2HB and an M60, in addition to their personal weapons.

There was also an M114A1, which was armed with a new commander's weapon station, and the M2HB MG could be aimed and fired from within the vehicle. The new weapon station was lower than the M114's external machine gun mount, and M114A1 also featured a reinforced trim vane. In 1969 the Hispano-Suiza HS-820 20mm gun (designated in US service as the M139) replaced the .50cal MG on some M114A1s; these were designated M114A1E1, and later called M114A2.

None of these worked out any better than the M114. The weapons improvements failed to fix the performance problems inherent in the M114 design and the vehicle was retired (no loss).