|For other light tank, see Light tank.|
Light / Medium
The Light Tank is the smallest and quickest tank in the game; its footprint and speed allows it to dodge enemy tank shells if directed properly. It is among the fastest armored tracked vehicles in the game, only beaten by the APC, and the Minelayers (AT and AP). Like other armored tracked vehicles, it can run over infantry and it is well suited to this due to its speed.
The light tank's sole weapon is a 75mm gun, which fires a HEAT projectile against hostile targets. Compared to the main guns of other tanks, while a single shot from the 75mm gun causes the least damage, the 75mm gun also has the fastest reload and this gives the Light tank the highest damage output rate.
However, the Light tank's relatively weak armour means that it cannot match Soviet tanks in one-on-one duels without extreme micromanagement to avoid return fire. A Light tank can also be destroyed by a full discharge from a Soviet Tesla Coil. Allied commanders often combine medium and light tanks, using medium tanks to absorb enemy damage, prolonging survivability of the light tank to exploit its higher rate of fire.
The light tank's firepower, speed, low price and fast production often make this tank a weapon of choice of many Allied commanders.
Light tanks are cheap and quick to produce, allowing Allied commanders to have numerical superiority in armor vs armor engagements.
The high speed of light tanks makes them useful as scouts or raiders. Light tanks can use their speed to dodge enemy tank fire and other projectiles with ease. This is often the case especially when fighting against Heavy tanks and Mammoth Tanks.
Light tanks cannot withstand too much punishment, as they can be destroyed by base defenses like the Soviet Tesla coil.
Red Alert Universe
Behind the Scenes
The light tank is depicted by two different vehicles.
In cinematic cutscenes, it bears some resemblance to the M41 Walker Bulldog scout tank, which is indeed a light tank with a marginally-effective anti-armour ordnance of 76mm caliber and just enough protection against small arms fire. Other possibilities include M24 Chaffee, an even lighter vehicle. Some European tanks which would also fit this role are the British Cromwell tank , which was a very fast tank at its time and also lightly armored with a 75 mm gun, the Comet tank which had a much more effective 76.2 mm gun, and the French AMX-13 with a 75 mm auto-loading gun. It would make much more sense for the Light tank to be depicted as a World War II tank, as the M2 Bradley and similar Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) were only developed in the late 1960s.
The sidebar image is that of the M2 Bradley IFV, probably to show continuity with the Nod light tank. The M2 Bradley's main weapon is a 25 mm chain gun; there is also a co-axial machine gun next to it and a pintle-mounted .50 caliber M2HB Browning machine gun by the commander's hatch, giving it a limited anti infantry capability. IFVs are much less heavily armed and protected than main battle tanks, nonetheless when equipped with larger cannons or anti-tank guided missiles they can pose a significant threat to all but the heaviest armoured fighting vehicles. However, IFVs are not suppose to go into battle against enemy tanks, in contrast to in-game where the Allies initially only have light tanks to go toe-to-toe with Soviet heavy tanks.
The game designers' choice in giving heavy tanks to the Soviets and light tanks to the Allies may have had historical precedent in the Western European theater of 1944-45; the American M4 Sherman medium tank had weaker armament and protection than the German Tiger I heavy tank, however the the Allies used the M4's numerical superiority and speed to make up for this shortcoming.