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The Holt Gas-Electric Tank was an early U.S. produced tank built in a collaboration between the Holt Manufacturing Company (now Caterpillar Inc.) and the U.S. General Electric Company. It was the first real tank to be constructed in the USA.
The prototype was constructed during 1917 and finished early in 1918. It used a lengthened and modified version of the suspension of the Holt tractors, with pivoting track frames. There were ten road wheels at each side. The tank had a height of 7 feet 9.5 inches, a length of 16 feet 6 inches and a width of 9 feet 1 inch.
The vehicle had a Holt 90 hp, 4-cylinder engine fitted with a GEC generator driving an electric motor for each track; a comparable petro-electric system had earlier been used for the French St Chamond that also was fitted with a lengthened Holt suspension. To prevent overheating of the transmission — a constant problem with electrical types — a complicated water cooling system had been installed. Like the French tank, the Holt Gas-Electric had a 75 mm gun in the nose; it had a sponson with a removable 0.30 inch machine gun at each side and a ball-mount for one in the front. The engine and transmission were at the back, next to a corridor leading to the only door. The crew number is often given as six, on the assumption there would be two machine gunners, a gunner and loader for the main gun, a driver and a commander.
Only one was built as tests showed its climbing performance was unsatisfactory and the type proved to be much heavier than originally envisaged: about 25 short tons.