In contrast to the M10 tank destroyer, which used the chassis of the M4 Sherman, the M18 Hellcat was designed from the start to be a fast tank destroyer. The main disadvantages of the M18 were its very light armor, and the inconsistent performance of its 76 mm gun against the frontal armor of later German designs such as the Tiger and Panther. Likewise, the awkward interior layout of the M18’s turret made reloading the main gun cumbersome and slow in combat situations. One of the platoon's M18s commanded by Sgt Henry R. Hartman knocked out six of the German tanks, most of which were the much-feared Panthers. After US entry into World War II and the formation of the Tank Destroyer Force, a suitable vehicle was needed to equip the new battalions. The functional durability of each tank varies in combat, depending on its component layout and armor thickness[note]. U.S. doctrine originally called for the Hellcat to be held in reserves so that it could block an incoming armored thrust. Two battalions of tank destroyers did see service in the invasion of the Philippines using Hellcats. [4] About 100 M39s were transferred to the West German Bundeswehr in 1956, where they were used to train the reestablished Panzergrenadier armored infantry units.[5]. Despite the Hellcat’s success around Arracourt, units equipped with M18s continued to engage in what FM 18-5 described as “secondary missions.”  As a result, the M18 was typically deployed in company size strength amidst infantry and combined combat elements. Far too often, M18 crews were forced to use their 76mm cannon against enemy infantry targets, depleting crucial ammunition for use in anti-armor purposes. The M18 served primarily in Western Europe, but was also present in the Pacific. However, due to the comparative rarity and poor quality of Japanese armor the M18 was often used in a fire support role instead of as a tank destroyer. Evans himself manned the gun of a disabled M18 and was able to knock out two panzers, earning the Distinguished Service Cross in the process. The Hellcat had a gun that could penetrate roughly 88mm of armor at 2000 m. This was enough to penetrate a Panzer IV (a tank originally designed in the 1930s) frontally, but not enough to deal with the newer Panther or Tiger from the front. While the M18 was capable of high road speeds this attribute was difficult to use successfully in combat, but along with the high top speed was a commensurate ability to accelerate rapidly and change direction rather quickly. Taking advantage of the fog to sneak up on the more heavily armed and armored Panthers, four Hellcats engaged a company of tanks from the 113th around Bezange-la-Petite, firing from a slight depression and knocking out seven Panthers before dawn. Of course, the M18 also required unique tests of its ability to ford six feet of water, climb small walls, and ram through structures. [6], The M18 Hellcat was a key element during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. The introduction of heavier German tanks, such as the Mk V Panther and Mk VI Tiger, presented additional problems. No ISBN number, "Tank Action" by George Forty P195.ISBN 0-7509-0479-8, "Tank Tactics: From Normandy to Lorraine" by Roman Jarymowycz, Ch. Even the Hellcat logo on the M18’s front corner and patches worn by its crew was designed by Earl’s staff. The M18 Hellcat was produced by Buick and it was meant to be a more armored tank destroyer rather than the M10 Tank Destroyer or the M36 Tank Destroyerwhich was produced to la… Despite flaws in its doctrine and weapons developed to counter the panzer threat, the Army was well on its way toward developing its Tank Destroyer Force and several tank destroyer systems, including the M18 Hellcat, by the time the United States entered World War II. By June 1943, Buick was already rushing T70 models into production, and by the time the M18 was standardized in March 1944, the nickname “Hellcat” was already being used for promotional purposes. The tank destroyer became the fastest armored vehicle, of this type, of World War II. As defined by revised Field Manual (FM) 18-5 issued in July 1944, the three gun companies each contained three platoons of four guns, giving the entire battalion a total of thirty-six tank destroyers. The M18s of the 705th were integral in the defense of Bastogne. Very few reached the field in time for the war, but some saw action in Korea. However, as German panzers tracked further into Eastern Europe, refinement of the tactics and development of the vehicles with which to blunt the new method of warfare still lagged. The M6 design, which featured a 37mm anti-tank gun attached to a modified light truck, was woefully ineffective during initial use in the North African campaign, as was the M3, a half-track armed with a low-velocity 75mm gun. Its power came from a nine-cylinder, 450-horsepower radial-type aircraft engine paired with a three-speed Hydramatic transmission. In the shooting that followed, the three platoons of Company C knocked out four German tanks before pulling pack, only to give chase once the German panzers and panzer grenadiers retreated. A total of 2,507 vehicles were produced from July 1943 through October 1944. M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer's national animal is the Hellcat. The next prototype was the T67 GMC and it featured a 75 mm main gun. These, along with M3 Stuarts and M4 Shermans, trickled in through Burma and formed part of the several well-equipped, well-trained armies that the Chinese Nationalists deployed. It was the fastest U.S. armored fighting vehicle on the road. Within a year, the conclusion that mobile, massed anti-armor operations should be employed to counter armored attacks had been adopted after doctrinal endorsement from Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall. Hellcat tank destroyer commanders surveyed the ground from open cockpit. Hellcat crews took advantage of the vehicle's speed to minimize the enemy's ability to pierce its thin armor. Fighting in the Ardennes convinced the Army of the need to reequip its towed tank destroyer battalions in favor of self-propelled systems like the M18. Flanked by the words “Seek, Strike, Destroy,” it depicts a wildcat biting down on crushed treads, signifying the Hellcat’s mission of targeting enemy tanks. Obviously this would make it harder for an armored force to achieve a deep breakthrough, a main objective of armor, if the enemy had tanks. The Hellcat had very little armor, and the use of high flash powder made the Hellcat a highly visible and vulnerable target for German tank crews. With just four[2] M18 tank destroyers of the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion to assist, the paratroopers attacked units of the 2nd Panzer Division, whose mission was to proceed by secondary roads via Monaville (just northwest of Bastogne) to seize a key highway and capture, among other objectives, fuel dumps—for the lack of which the overall German counter-offensive faltered and failed. The M18’s service in combat began as it was still being standardized, with five of the new T70 models being sent to the Italian campaign that same spring. On September 19, 1944, in the Nancy Bridgehead near Arracourt, France, the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion was attached to the 4th Armored Division. Tank destroyers were often deployed to attack enemy armor at long range from an ambush position, taking on the role of self-propelled anti-tank guns. Although by 1945, the preference was to reequip units with the newer M36, which packed a 90mm gun capable of destroying a Panther at longer ranges than the 76mm gun of the M18. M18 Hellcat of the 824th Tank Destroyer Battalion in action at Wiesloch, Germany, April 1945. The Hellcat would have one more opportunity to prove itself against the heavy panzers of the Wehrmacht when the Germans launched their last-ditch offensive through the Ardennes in December 1944. in 1941, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Davis Bruce envisioned the units being equipped with something faster than a tank, with a better gun but less armor to allow for speed. Along with the light armor and lack of penetration power of the main gun, these flaws remained enduring weaknesses of the M18 and underscored the contradictory nature of tank destroyer doctrine. The transmission could also easily be removed and rolled out onto a front deck plate to facilitate quick inspection and repairs. Un « Hellcat » du 827th Tank Destroyer Battalion, ayant récement rejoint la 12th Armored Division au moment de la prise de cette photo à Sarrebourg (France) le 13 décembre 1944. The platoon continued to fire and destroyed ten more German tanks while losing another two M18s. On that day, M18s were credited with destroying  twenty-seven German tanks, with only six M18s lost. M18 Hellcat tank destroyer - WWII American tanks - The M18 Hellcat was the last version of tank destroyer accepted in the U.S. Army. In December 1941, the Ordnance Corps issued a requirement for the design of a fast tank destroyer using a Christie suspension, the Wright/Continental R-975 engine, and a 37 mm gun. The tank destroyers were attached in platoon size units to American Infantry Divisions. Members of the Medium Tank Destroyer Category have their HP values split into two groups; The Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer, SU-76M and M18 Hellcat share an HP value of 1200.1 The StuG III Ausf. Armed with a 76 mm cannon, the vehicle was the fastest tracked, armored fighting vehicle during World War II with a top speed up to 60 mph (92kph),[1] and Buick nicknamed it the Hellcat. With only thirteen millimeters on the front hull, the M18’s armor was less than that of the M8 armored car, and much less than the two inches of frontal armor on the M4A1 Sherman or 1.5-inch armor plate on the M10. The M18 continued in production until October 1944, when the war was nearing its end. Our funding helps to acquire and conserve Army historical art and artifacts, support Army history educational programs, research, and publication of historical materials on the American Soldier, and provide support and counsel to private and governmental organizations committed to the same goals. The M18 Hellcat was an American tank destroyer of World War II. Independent tank destroyer groups were to counter concentrate, to stop enemy tanks from penetrating deeply. When so attached, defending tank destroyer units supplemented organic antitank weapons (bazookas and 57mm towed guns).[8]. He saw a German tank gun muzzle appearing out of the fog 30 feet away, and deployed his platoon. We were established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. [2] During fighting in North Africa, the vehicle's original 37 mm gun was inadequate and the design was upgraded with a British 57 mm gun. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. The tank destroyer played a key role in the battlefields of France, Belgium, and Germany in 1944. Similarly, American armored attacks would be delivered at a time and place of friendly forces choosing against an enemy defense. Of the nineteen tank destroyer battalions allocated for the invasion of. Bruce, a respected planner from the War Department’s G-3 section, immediately set out to develop a vehicle fast enough to maneuver around the flanks of enemy columns to attack from the rear, and with enough killing power to distinguish it from the infantry support oriented tanks like the M4 Sherman. A total of 2,507 vehicles were produced from July 1943 through October 1944. However the 76mm gun could knock out the Panther with relative ease from the flanks and rear as the turret and side armor was weak and the quality of German armor plate declined in the last two years of the war. Even the Hellcat logo on the M18’s front corner and patches worn by its crew was designed by Earl’s staff. As a curious note, the M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer was the fastest American armored vehicle until the turbine-powered M1 Abrams main battle tank appeared decades later. Serving as an infantry support weapon and used extensively in clearing pillboxes and fortified enemy positions within towns, the M18, like the M10 before it, was seldom ever concentrated in the massed battalion formation designed for anti-armor operations. The M18 Hellcat was an American tank destroyer of World War II, also used in the Korean War. Due to the differences in the doctrine of the use of armored vehicles by the Americans from Germany and the USSR, it does not look like its “classmates”. It was not designed to do so, but it proved impossible to seal off the crew compartment entirely from engine induced drafts. It was much easier to scan the horizon targets, looking out over the side of the turret than being battened down inside a normal tank turret, and looking An unknown number of these vehicles were modernized by a Yugoslavian firm in 1991. U.S. combined arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the role of forcing a breakthrough into enemy rear areas. The Army Historical Foundation is the designated official fundraising organization for the National Museum of the United States Army. [citation needed]. The fastest armored fighting vehicle employed by any side during the war, the M18 nevertheless suffered from a main gun that lacked the ability to consistently serve its main purpose—killing German tanks. This version was armed with a single M2 machine gun on a flexible mount. The M18 GMC appeared in 1944 as the epitome of United State's tank destroyer doctrine. In general, Hellcat crews were complimentary of their vehicle's performance and capabilities, but did complain that the open top created a cold interior in the Northern European winter of 1944-45. Nevertheless, in a war won through the training and adaptability of U.S. service members, the M18 proved it could fill a variety of tasks on the battlefield, and lives on as one of the vehicles used in the Allies’ victory in World War II. The T70 prototype for the M18 first saw combat at Anzio, Italy, and production versions of the M18 were used in North-West Europe and Italy from the summer of 1944 onwards. As a result it was smaller, lighter, and significantly faster, but carried the same gun as the Sherman 76 mm models. The 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 was an United States tank destroyer of World War II. Due at least somewhat to a lack of a concerted German panzer counteroffensive immediately after D-Day, the delay in the M18’s meeting with the Panther and Tiger tanks of the Wehrmacht may have been for the best. The project was so secretive that a story about the “new” tank destroyer ran in newspapers just a month before production We were established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. M18 or the M18 Hellcat is a reward vehicle for Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, replacing the M10 Tank Destroyer. In fact, the only variant to catch on would be the M39 Armored Utility Vehicle. The last and final prototype was the T70 GMC and it featured a 76.2 mm main gun. The Military of the Republic of China also operated several M18s until their chassis and hulls were worn out, at which point the turrets were salvaged and installed onto surplus hulls of M42 Duster anti-aircraft vehicles to produce Type 64 light tanks. Even before Nazi Germany’s declaration of war on America on 11 December 1941, the U.S. Army was coming to terms with the need to adapt its arsenal and operational doctrines to the evolving European battlefield. “M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer” is a typical Osprey New vanguard publication with 48 numbered pages - of which 3 are devoted to publishing information, the table of contents, and the index. Amazon配送商品ならM18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943-97 (New Vanguard)が通常配送無料。更にAmazonならポイント還元本が多数。Zaloga, Steven, Laurier, Jim作品ほか、お急ぎ便対象商品は当日お … Separate GHQ tank battalions supported infantry in destroying fixed enemy defenses, and armored divisions then exploited the breakthrough to rush into the enemy's vulnerable rear areas. The 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage (G.M.C.) This doctrine was not entirely used as it would create a small window of time of weakness in the armored battalion until tank destroyers moved to the front. 2,507 had been produced by that time, at a unit cost of $57,500. Between October 1944 and March 1945, 640 M18s earmarked for production were modified for this purpose. While FM 18-5 called for an aggressive spirit of action aimed against the flanks of advancing enemy armored formations with the entire battalion force, the initial breakout from Normandy during Operation COBRA saw the M18 serving less as a tank hunter and more in convoy protection and infantry support roles. [7] On December 19–20, the 1st Battalion of the 506th PIR was ordered to support Team Desobry, a battalion-sized tank-infantry task force of the 10th Armored Division (United States) assigned to defend Noville[3] located north-northeast of both Foy and of Bastogne just 4.36 miles (7 km) away. One of the users was Yugoslavia, which kept them in reserve until the early 1990s. While ordnance tests back in the States concluded the 76mm gun could pierce the frontal armor of a Tiger at ranges up to 2,000 yards, the tests were marred by flaws which underscored the overmatched firepower of the M18. Capable of top road speeds in excess of fifty miles per hour, the twenty-ton, second generation tank destroyer packed a high-velocity 76mm main gun with the same stopping power as the M10’s 3-inch gun. 650 early production M18s were converted into M39s by removing the turret and fitting seats for up to eight men in the open fighting space. Starting with Anzio in Italy, M18s saw action in Italy and Northwest Europe. "M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943-97" by Steven J Zaloga PP11-12.ISBN 1-84176-687-9, "M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943-97" by Steven J Zaloga P43.ISBN 1-84176-687-9, Tankograd Militarfahrzeug Spezial No 5002 "Die Anfangsjahre des Heeres 1956-1966 (The Early Years of the Modern German Army)" by Peter Blume PP48-49. During the development process, the design was further upgraded to a utilize a 75 mm gun, and then finally to the 76 mm gun. "M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer 1943-97" by Steven J Zaloga P14.ISBN 1-84176-687-9. We seek to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this Nation. It was first accepted in 1943 and it appeared on the battlefield in 1944. M18 Hellcat Esercito Italiano (Italian Army 1946-now) Italy Military Academy 18 VIII 29526 EI: 107102 Italy Military Academy olive drab US Army (1784-now) 1944 World War 2 - Pacific olive drab 643 Tank Destroyer Bn. Team Desobry's high speed highway journey to reach the blocking position is one of the few documented cases[2] wherein the legendary top speed of the M18 Hellcat (55 miles per hour (89 km/h), faster than today's M1A2 Abrams) was actually used to get ahead of an enemy force. Tank destroyers, such as the Hellcat, were to be used against tanks that had already penetrated the front lines. A-15 1944 Outgunned as they were, Hellcat crews managed to destroy a significant number of enemy tanks, and were effective in blunting German panzer attacks when given the opportunity. Speed was essential in order to bring the Hellcats from the rear to destroy incoming tanks. Although sustained travel at road speeds was hardly ever used outside of the Allied response during the Battle of the Bulge,[2] most Hellcat crews found the higher speeds especially useful in a sprint to flank German tanks, which had relatively slow turret traverse speeds, and such maneuvering allowed the tank destroyer crew a shot instead into the enemy's thinner side or rear armor. We seek to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this Nation. It was often given the nickname Hellcat and is recorded as being the fastest tracked armored fighting vehicle during the war, and for a while after that. The M18 originated in the design studio of Harley Earl from the Buick motor company division of General Motors, whose team also worked extensively on early camouflage paint. Military Channel, Program "Tank Overhaul" 22:51, Wednesday 13 August 2008 (UTC) "Current hour EDST," mixed documentary with interviews of WW-II veterans. Near the end of the war, there were so few German tanks that tank destroyers were increasingly used as self-propelled artillery in support of infantry for lack of any other targets. While deployed in Italy, initial use of the T70 revealed design flaws which would come to limit the M18’s usefulness as a tank killer later in the drive across Europe. On 19 September, Company C , 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, attached to the 4th Armored Division’s Combat Command A, helped defend the town of Arracourt when attacked by elements of the 113th Panzer Brigade. Three of these vehicles were deployed in the reconnaissance company of the 894th Tank Destroyer Battalion, participating in breakthrough operations at Anzio in late May. The Hellcat was not intended to engage in protracted combat but to quickly respond to breakthroughs in the line by enemy armor. Like its fellow tank destroyer the M10, the M18 suffered from flaws in a doctrine that was never fully defined. The speed was attained by keeping armor to a minimum, no more than 1" thick. Having witnessed the rapid advances of armored and mechanized forces in the German Blitzkrieg across Poland, the Low Countries, and France, War Department planners, including the future commander of Army Ground Forces (AGF), Lesley J. McNair, set out to amend a strategy based around static and localized anti-armor defense beginning in the latter stages of 1940. While Panthers in defense were formidable, Panthers in the attack had great difficulty not exposing their vulnerable large side profiles. The fact that only seven Hellcats were destroyed or disabled speaks not only to the tactical flaws of German armor advancing without proper reconnaissance, but also to the proficiency and adaptability of the M18 crews. American prewar armored doctrine was based on the assumption that enemy armored attacks would be delivered at a time and place of the enemy's choosing against an American defense. After World War II, many M18s were sold to other countries. The solution was the Gun Motor Carriage (GMC), although the first few models developed by the Army were anything but effective. Lt. Edwin Leiper led one M18 platoon of C Company to Rechicourt-la-Petite, on the way to Moncourt. The open-topped turret — a characteristic which it shared with nearly all fully tracked American tank destroyers — left the crew exposed to snipers, grenades, and shell fragments. When the 15th Panzer Division attacked positions held by the 101st Airborne Division on Christmas Day, the 705th and its M18s helped hold the Germans at bay. To aid these purposes, it was designed with light armor and extremely high speeds. A Military Channel historian credited the M18 destroyers with 24 kills, including several Tiger tanks, and believes that in part, their ability to "shoot and scoot" at high speed and then reappear elsewhere on the battlefield, confused and slowed the German attack, which finally stalled, leaving the Americans in control of the town overnight.[2]. In a five-minute period, five German tanks of the 113 Panzer Brigade were knocked out for the loss of one M18. While effective in these secondary operations, the new role of the M18 came at a cost. The M18 was the fastest armoured vehicle in WW2, it could go 60 mph on good roads, and even for 2 decades after the war. The majority of Hellcats may have been used like their cousin the Sherman, but unlike the venerable M4, the Hellcat did not undergo substantial changes throughout the war, although designers did experiment with variants and mission-specific designs. The M-18 Tank Destroyer, nicknamed the "Hellcat" by the Soldiers who crewed them, earned a reputation of being one of the most effective tank killers in the Army during World War II. A number of panzers were knocked out by these means when Hitler finally ordered an armored counteroffensive against Patton’s Third Army in September 1944. These concerns were fresh in the minds of those in Lieutenant General Omar Bradley’s staff during the lead-up to Operation Overlord, so much so that the First Army commander resisted the option of converting tank destroyer battalions under his command to the M18. The 603d, 704th, and 705th of Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s Third Army all came ashore in Normandy by late July 1944. Later in the day, the 113th pressed its attack in the direction of Réchicourt -la-Petite, but was met once again by Company C, which blunted an assault on 4th Armored Division’s command post. Once developed, the Hellcat was tested in the same manner as millions of Buick passenger cars before and after it, at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground. Other experiments included an attempt in the autumn of 1944 to adopt the design for use as a self-propelled howitzer, but this and other tests were abandoned with the ending of World War II. Hellcat tank destroyer turned out to be a very unusual piece of weaponry. Worried about the threat to its left flank in Bastogne, it organized a major joint arms attack to seize Noville. The M18 carried a five-man crew as well as 45 rounds of main gun ammunition, and an M2 Browning machine gun on a flexible ring mount for use against aircraft and infantry. During the battle for Italy, tank destroyers compensated for a shortage of 155mm artillery ammunition by using their 3 inch or 76mm guns in indirect fire role. Buick engineers brought the Hellcat to life from the design team’s sketches and developed an innovative torsion bar suspension that provided a steady ride. Prewar expectation was that all anti-tank work was supposed to be done by tank-destroyer crews, because attacking tanks could concentrate against a small part of a defending line. The Hellcat’s speed and ability to get into firing position were admired by M18 crews, but the lack of killing power of the 76mm gun and minimal protection offered to the crew made commanders tread carefully in converting whole battalions over from the M10. The Wright R-975 engine was mounted on steel rollers that allowed maintenance crews to disconnect it easily from the transmission, roll it out onto the lowered engine rear cover, service it, and then reconnect it to the transmission. When the fighting ended a few days later, the victorious American Hellcats accounted for thirty-nine panzers destroyed or disabled. AFV Club 1/35 scale M18 Hellcat tank destroyer 0 FROM THE March 1998 ISSUE AFV Club 1/35 scale M18 Hellcat tank destroyer By Ron Poniatowski | March 1, 1998 Kit: No. [ About online shopping pre-order sales ] Releases … For this, the U.S. envisioned using tanks in the attack solely in a support and exploitation role, usually in conjunction with infantry. Our shop retails 1/35 M18 Hellcat GMC Tank Destroyer (Plastic model) Airfix X1371 Military Model on the Web. An M18 from the 603d Tank Destroyer Battalion, Combat Command B, 6th Armored Division, guards an intersection in Luneville, France, 22 September 1944. [2], The attack of 1st Battalion and the M18 Hellcat tank destroyers of the 705th TD Battalion near Noville together destroyed at least 30 German tanks and inflicted 500 to 1000 casualties on the attacking forces, in what amounted to a spoiling attack. These units were instrumental in stopping numerous Japanese attacks during the later phases of the war. Tank destroyer battalions assigned to front line divisions often split up to companies attached to regiments, and platoons attached to infantry battalions. M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer is ranked 52,323 rd in the world and 49 th in Resuscitation for Most Extreme, scoring 26.67 on the Paul-Nader Subjective Decentrality Index. High quality Hellcat Tank Destroyer gifts and merchandise. All orders are custom made and most ship The doctrine of the time had Shermans acting in support of infantry to break enemy defenses (Infantry leads, tanks follow or support by fire), and then exploiting the attack (Tanks lead, infantry follows) with infantry in support during exploitation. Though it weighed about 20 tons – the same as almost nine modern day Buick Enclaves – the Hellcat was designed to be one of fastest tanks on the battlefield and was capable of traveling upwards of 60 mph. Even before the T70 had been standardized as the M18, the 76mm GMC was already serving as a prototype for an amphibious version that would eventually be designated the T-86. The Army Historical Foundation is the designated official fundraising organization for the National Museum of the United States Army. T67 GMC and it featured a 76.2 mm main gun cumbersome and slow in combat, on. Rolled out onto a front deck plate to facilitate quick inspection and.... 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