T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage

T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage


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T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage

The T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage was the first attempt to fit a 3in gun on the chassis of the M3 light tank. The T56 was based on the final production version of the M3, the M3A3, which had a greatly enlarged superstructure that almost reached the front of the tank. On the T56 the turret was removed and the engine moved forward to the centre of vehicle. The heavy 3in gun was mounted at the back of the vehicle. The rear panel of the superstructure hinged down and back to form a platform for the gun crews.

A limited amount of protection was provided by a boxy shield that covered the gun mounting, and provided limited top and side protection. Work on the T56 began in September 1942, and a prototype was built quickly. The M3 wasn't really suited to this sort of conversion and the weight of the gun meant that performance was poor. An attempt was made to improve the design with the designation T57 3in Gun Motor Carriage, but this was also unsuccessful and both programmes were cancelled in February 1943


[Soldiers in Gun Motor Carriage]

Photograph of a U.S. Army gun motor carriage bearing soldiers over a dirt road. The carriage is linked to another vehicle to the left.

Physical Description

1 photograph : b&w 7 x 10 cm.

Creation Information

Context

This photograph is part of the collection entitled: World War Two Collection and was provided by the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 36 times. More information about this photograph can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this photograph or its content.

Creator

Audiences

Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this photograph as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this photograph useful in their work.

Provided By

The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum

This Museum is located in Abilene and serves as a display and teaching museum for the study of World War II and its impact on the American people. It primarily contains 12th Armored Division World War II archives, memorabilia, and oral histories, along with selected equipment and material loaned or donated by others.


Author: Nicholas Moran (aka ‘The Chieftain’)
Language: English
Pages: 228
Photos: 100s
Physical: Hardcover, 285x220mm, portrait

37mm Gun Motor Carriage T2
37mm Gun Motor Carriage T2E1
37mm Gun Motor Carriage T8
37mm Gun Motor Carriage T21 (M6)
37mm Gun Motor Carriages T13, T14
37mm Gun Motor Carriage T33
37mm Gun Motor Carriages T22, T23, T22E1, T23E1
37mm Gun Motor Carriage T43
Scout Car M3A1E3 with 37mm Gun
57mm Gun Motor Carriage T44
75mm Gun Motor Carriage T27
75mm Gun Motor Carriage T66
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T15
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T7
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T55/T55E1

75mm Gun Motor Carriage T12 (M3)
75mm Gun Motor Carriage T73
57mm Gun Motor Carriage T48

37mm Gun Motor CarriageT42
57mm Gun Motor Carriage T49
75mm Gun Motor Carriage T29
75mm Gun Motor Carriage T67
75mm Gun M3 on 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 Chassis
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T1 (M5)
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T20
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T24
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage T40 (M9)
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriages T56 and T57
3-Inch Gun Motor Carriages T35, T35E1 (M10)
76mm Gun Motor Carriage T70 (M18)
76mm Amphibian Motor Carriage T86/T86E1
76mm Gun Motor Carriage T72
90mm Gun Motor Carriage T53/T53E1
90mm Gun Motor Carriage T71 (M36)
M18 with 90mm GMC M36 Turret
90mm Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun M56
105mm Gun Motor Carriage T95


T56/T57 3-in Gun Motor Carriage - M3a3 Stuart hull with a 76mm gun on top.

In my opinion, this project had a pretty cool idea behind it - copying the Germans' Panzerjäger series - but it's also totally redundant, seeing as we already had multiple models of fully turreted, 76mm and 90mm-armed tankbusters in service or in development at the time.

I dont know if you've read the book Can Openers, but the reason why this tank was developed was due to the Tank Destroyer branch's search for a proper tank destroyer. Really what they seemed to want was an AT gun on tracks -- yet they rejected every design that was basically that.

Development of the T56/57 started in September of 1942, with the first prototypes reaching Aberdeen in November. The 3-inch Gun Motor Carrage M10 started development November of 1941, with pilot models completed in april of 1942. M10 entered production around September of 1942. Finally in February of 1943 the T56/57 projects were canceled. Effectively what seems to have happened is that the Tank Destroyer branch wanted a vehicle which was not reasonable for the technology of the time (a 3-inch gun with 40+ rounds of ammunition, front & side armor for the crew against small arms fire, short height, and speed greater than the M4 medium) and canceled it like many of the other concepts until ordinance accepted the M10 as a stop-gap even though id didnt meet most of their criteria. Finally, the 76mm-Gun Motor Carrage M18 wasnt in development until 1942, with standardization in 1944.

I dont see any note of this being based on German tanks -- which makes sense because the Marder series didnt start development until May of 1942. The Panzerjäger I was in service starting in the 1940's but is a fairly different design.


The M3 37 mm gun


M6 GMC, 601st TD batallion, Tunisia, November 1942.

Camouflaged M6 GMC, Tunisia, winter 1942-43.
Nice photo of a brush mud-painted M6 GMC in Tunisia using cactus to camouflage. There were extra rear stowage racks and the shield protection was somewhat augmented by the addition of the crew's latched stores - Photo: Zaloga, US TDs in combat


Video of a 37 mm GMC life fire demo by Forgottenweapons.com


M12 Gun Motor Carriage

When the United States committed its vast resources and manufacturing prowess to world war in December of 1941, it found itself with lacking in war-winning goods of all kinds - small arms, aircraft, warships, combat vehicles and the like. 1942 therefore gave rise to many internal programs in an effort to develop weapons of war to help counter the firepower of the Axis forces in North Africa, the Pacific and in Europe. One such project became the "M12 Gun Motor Carriage", a tracked, self-propelled gun (SPG) platform mounting a massive 155mm gun barrel and mated to the chassis of the existing M3 General Grant/General Lee Medium Tank.

The M3 Medium Tank (forerunner to the more famous M4 Sherman series) was designed throughout the latter half of 1940, ultimately entering production in August of 1941 and wrapping up in December of 1942 to the tune of 6,258 vehicles delivered. The type was a functional beast for its time, mounting a capable 75mm main gun alongside a turreted 37mm cannon while being defensed by up to four .30 caliber machine guns. Power was served through a Continental Motors R975 EC2 engine of 400 horsepower (a Wright R-975 Whirlwind built under license) mated to a synchromesh transmission system. Maximum road speed was 26 miles per hour across ideal surfaces while range fell short of 120 miles.

In practice, the M3 proved serviceable for the burgeoning American war effort and saw extensive combat service at the hands of several nations beyond the United States including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union (Lend-Lease ensured it found its way across both oceans). However, the design lacked in several key areas, principally in the mounting of its 75mm main gun in a limited-traverse side sponson, most times requiring the entire vehicle to be turned into the face of the enemy when engaging - a cumbersome and time-consuming process to say the least. Additionally, the M3 proved slow when going cross-country and its high profile (due to its compound turret design) made it cannon fodder to enemy gunners at range along the horizon. As such, the M3 fell to history with the arrival of the M4 when numbers allowed.

Regardless, the available and proven chassis of the M3 was now selected to serve in other battlefield roles, making it a logistically-friendly war time solution since automotive parts could be shared along production lines as well as when undergoing repairs in-the-field. The M3's basic hull design was completely rewritten for the role, incorporating an all-new superstructure intended to protect against small arms fire and artillery spray. However, only the driver was completely encased in steel armor while the gunnery crew resided in a rear, open-air compartment with the main gun armament (necessitated by the large gun breech and room to maneuver the large 155mm shells). A canvas tarp could be affixed across several support arms over the breech but little else protected the gunnery crew form the dangers of the modern battlefield. The crew of six included the driver, vehicle commander, several gunners and several ammunition handlers. A dozer blade was added to the rear of the hull and lowered when firing to help counter the inherently violent recoil effects of the main gun.

Key to the design of the new SPG gun platform was the selection of the M1917 series 155mm field gun. The M1917 was a proven commodity and the US Army held stocks of the weapon from its days participating in World War 1. The M1917 was essentially the French 155mm GPF which gave excellent service during its heyday in the Great War and it made logistical sense once again to couple an existing weapon with an existing chassis. The gun was available in the "M1917" and "M1917A1" flavors and also appeared in an "M1918 M1" form. Depending on existing gun stocks of these gun barrels, the new SPG vehicle could make use of any three as available - all firing a large 155mm high-explosive shell. The recoil mounting mechanism supported the weapon atop the chassis just aft of the vehicle's center. While traversal was limited, elevation was possible to an extent. Born as an indirect-fire field gun (and not a direct-fire weapon such as an anti-tank gun), the M1917/M1918 series guns were proven weapons at lobbing explosive devices against target areas. Self-defense was through a single .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine gun - suitable for engaging light-armored vehicles, infantry and low-flying aircraft. Since such SPG platforms would be operating behind the main line of advance, this defense was deemed sufficient. Additionally, any personal weapons carried by the crew could be brought to bear. The new SPG vehicle was designated in the US Army inventory as the "M12".

The M12 weighed in at 26 tons and was powered by a Continental R975 EC2 gasoline engine as in the M3 Grant/Lee series tanks. Maximum speed was approximately 23 miles per hour on ideal surfaces with an operational range of 135 miles though performance dropped off considerably when off-road. The chassis sat atop a Vertical Volute Suspension System (VVSS) common to American tracked vehicles of the period and this automotive arrangement allowed the vehicle to keep pace with other mechanized army forces as needed.

In service, M12 production was extremely limited for more capable SPG solutions arrived in time. As such, approximately 100 vehicles were only ever produced and many were initially utilized for training of new gunnery, driver and command crews in the fine art of battlefield management while other systems went unused in storage. However, for the mid-1944 D-Day landings in Northern France, some 74 M12 vehicles were prepared for action with additional equipment and these systems ultimately found their way into Europe with the advancing US Army on their march across France. The M12 proved its worth in engaging specific target areas with their 155mm ordnance while also being called upon to lay waste to complete structures occupied by the enemy. By this time, the "M30 Cargo Carrier" - a similar M3 Grant/Lee-minded conversion though lacking the 155mm artillery gun - was fielded alongside M12 gun carriers as dedicated ammunition carriers for the M12 hull was limited to carrying just 10 x 155mm projectiles aboard. The M30 ammunition carrier added a further 40 x 155mm projectiles to each pair of M12 gun systems fielded.

Only a single M12 example survives today (2013), this under the care of Fort Sill in the United States. The M12 was given the formal US Army designation of "155mm Gun Motor Carriage" in keeping with US Army military nomenclature of the time. Similarly, the M30 carrier was known as the "Cargo Carrier M30".


M3 Stuart

The M3 Stuart, officially Light Tank, M3, was an American light tank of World War II. An improved version entered service as M5. It was supplied to British and other Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war. Thereafter, it was used by U.S. and Allied forces until the end of the war.

The British service name "Stuart" came from the American Civil War Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart and was used for both the M3 and the derivative M5 Light Tank. In U.S. use, the tanks were officially known as "Light Tank M3" and "Light Tank M5".

Stuarts were first used in combat in the North African campaign about 170 were used by the British forces in Operation Crusader (18 November – 30 December 1941). Stuarts were the first American-crewed tanks in World War II to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat when used in the Philippines in December 1941 against the Japanese. [3] [4] Outside of the Pacific War, in later years of WWII the M3 was used for reconnaissance and screening.

Development

Observing events in Europe and Asia during World War II, American tank designers realized that the Light Tank M2 was becoming obsolete and set about improving it. The upgraded design, with thicker armor, modified suspension and new gun recoil system was called "Light Tank M3". Production of the vehicle started in March 1941 and continued until October 1943. Like its direct predecessor, the M2A4, the M3 was initially armed with a 37 mm M5 gun and five .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns: coaxial with the gun, on top of the turret in an M20 anti-aircraft mount, in a ball mount in right bow, and in the right and left hull sponsons. Later, the gun was replaced with the slightly longer M6, and the sponson machine guns were removed. For a light tank, the Stuart was fairly heavily armored. It had 38 mm of armor on the upper front hull, 44 mm on the lower front hull, 51 mm on the gun mantlet, 38 mm on the turret sides, 25 mm on the hull sides, and 25 mm on the hull rear. [5]

The M3 and M3A1 variants were powered by an air-cooled radial engine, either a gasoline-fueled 7-cylinder Continental W-670 (8,936 built) or a 9-cylinder Guiberson T-1020 diesel (1,496 built). [6] Both of these powerplants were originally developed as aircraft engines. Internally, the radial engine was at the rear and the transmission at the front of the tank's hull. The propeller shaft connecting the engine and transmission ran through the middle of the fighting compartment. The radial engine's crankshaft was positioned high off the hull bottom and contributed to the tank's relatively tall profile. [7] When a revolving turret floor was introduced in the M3 hybrid and M3A1, the crew had less room. A further 3,427 M3A3 variants were built with modified hull (similar to the M5), new turret and the Continental W-670 gasoline engine. [8] In contrast to the M2A4, all M3/M5 series tanks had a trailing rear idler wheel for increased ground contact.

M5 Stuart

To relieve wartime demand for the radial aero-engines used in the M3, a new version was developed using twin Cadillac V8 automobile engines and twin Hydra-Matic transmissions operating through a transfer case. This version of the tank was quieter, cooler and roomier the automatic transmission also simplified crew training. The new model (initially called M4 but redesignated M5 to avoid confusion with the M4 Sherman [9] ) featured a redesigned hull with a raised rear deck over the engine compartment, sloped glacis plate and driver's hatches moved to the top. Although the main criticism from units using the Stuarts was that it lacked firepower, the improved M5 series kept the same 37 mm gun. The M5 gradually replaced the M3 in production from 1942 and, after the M7 project proved unsatisfactory, was succeeded by the Light Tank M24 in 1944. Total M5 and M5A1 tank production was 8,885 an additional 1,778 M8 75 mm howitzer motor carriages based on the M5 chassis with an open-top turret were produced.

Combat history

War in North Africa and Europe

British and other Commonwealth armies were the first to use the Light Tank M3, as the "Stuart", in combat. [11] From mid-November 1941 to the end of the year, about 170 Stuarts (in a total force of over 700 tanks) took part in Operation Crusader during the North Africa Campaign, with poor results. This is despite the fact that the M3 was superior or comparable in most regards [ citation needed ] to most of the tanks used by the Axis forces. The most numerous German tank, the Panzer III Ausf G, had nearly identical armor and speed to the M3, [note 1] and both tanks' guns could penetrate the other tank's front armor from beyond 1,000 m (3,300 ft). [12] The most numerous Italian tank (and second most numerous Axis tank overall), the Fiat M13/40, was much slower than the Stuart, had slightly weaker armor all around, and could not penetrate the Stuart's front hull or turret armor at 1,000 meters, whereas the Stuart's gun could penetrate any spot on the M13/40. Although the high losses suffered by Stuart-equipped units during the operation had more to do with the better tactics and training of the Afrika Korps than the apparent superiority of German armored fighting vehicles used in the North African campaign, [13] the operation revealed that the M3 had several technical faults. Mentioned in the British complaints were the 37 mm M5 gun and poor internal layout. The two-man turret crew was a significant weakness, and some British units tried to fight with three-man turret crews. The Stuart also had a limited range, which was a severe problem in the highly mobile desert warfare as units often outpaced their supplies and were stranded when they ran out of fuel. On the positive side, crews liked its relatively high speed and mechanical reliability, especially compared to the Crusader tank, [14] [15] which comprised a large portion of the British tank force in Africa up until 1942. The Crusader had similar armament and armor to the Stuart while being slower, less reliable, and several tons heavier. The Stuart also had the advantage of a gun that could deliver high-explosive shells HE shells were not available for the 40 mm QF 2-pdr gun mounted by most Crusaders, severely limiting their use against emplaced anti-tank guns or infantry. [16] [note 2] The main drawback of the Stuart was its low fuel capacity and range its operational range was only 75 mi (121 km) cross country, [5] roughly half that of the Crusader.

In the summer of 1942, the British usually kept Stuarts out of tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance. The turret was removed from some examples to save weight and improve speed and range. These became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers known as the "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted into command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command". M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war, but British units had a smaller proportion of these light tanks than U.S. units. [ citation needed ]

The other major Lend-Lease recipient of the M3, the Soviet Union, was less happy with the tank, considering it under-gunned, under-armored, likely to catch fire, and too sensitive to fuel quality. The M3's radial aircraft engine required high-octane fuel, which complicated Soviet logistics as most of their tanks used diesel or low-octane fuel. High fuel consumption led to a poor range characteristic, especially sensitive for use as a reconnaissance vehicle. Also, compared to Soviet tanks, the M3's narrower tracks resulted in a higher ground pressure, getting them more easily stuck in the Rasputitsa muddy conditions of spring and autumn and winter snow conditions on the Eastern Front. In 1943, the Red Army tried out the M5 and decided that the upgraded design was not much better than the M3. Being less desperate than in 1941, the Soviets turned down an American offer to supply the M5. M3s continued in Red Army service at least until 1944. [ citation needed ]

One of the more successful uses of the M5 in combat came during the Battle of Anzio when breaking through German forces surrounding the beachhead. The tactics called for an initial breakthrough by a medium tank company to destroy the heavier defenses, followed by an infantry battalion who would attack the German troops who were being left behind the medium tanks. Since many hidden fortifications and positions would have survived the initial medium tank assault, the infantry would then be confronted by any remaining fortified German troops. Behind the infantry came the M5s of a light tank company, who would attack these positions when directed to by the Infantry, usually by the use of green Smoke grenade. [17]

Pacific and Asia

The U.S. Army initially deployed 108 Stuart light tanks to the Philippines in September 1941, equipping the U.S. Army's 194th and 192nd Tank Battalions. The first U.S. tank versus tank combat to occur in World War II, began on 22 December 1941, when a platoon of five M3s led by Lieutenant Ben R. Morin engaged the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 4th Tank Regiment's Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks north of Damortis. Lt. Morin, with his 37mm cannon locked in recoil maneuvered his M3 off the road, but took a direct hit while doing so, and his tank began to burn. The other four M3s were also hit, but managed to leave the field under their own power. Lt. Morin was wounded, and he and his crew were captured by the enemy. [18] M3s of the 194th and 192nd Tank Battalions continued to skirmish with the 4th Tank Regiment's tanks as they continued their retreat down the Bataan Peninsula, with the last tank versus tank combat occurring on 7 April 1942. [19] [20]

Due to the naval nature of the Pacific campaign, steel for warship production took precedence over tanks for the IJA, [21] creating by default an IJA light tank that performed admirably in the jungle terrain of the South Pacific. By the same measure, although the US was not hampered by industrial restrictions, the U.S. M3 light tank proved to be an effective armored vehicle for fighting in jungle environments. [22] At least one was captured in the Philippines. [23]

With the IJA's drive toward India within the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, the United Kingdom hastily withdrew their 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and 7th Hussars Stuart tank units (which also contained some M2A4 light tanks [24] ) from North Africa, and deployed them against the Japanese 14th Tank Regiment. By the time the Japanese had been stopped at Imphal, only one British Stuart remained operational. [25] When the U.S. entered the war in 1941, it began to supply China with AFVs, including M3 Stuarts, and later M4 Sherman medium tanks and M18 Hellcat tank destroyers, which trickled in through Burma.

Although the U.S. light tanks had proven effective in jungle warfare, by late 1943, U.S. Marine Corps tank battalions were transitioning from their M3/M5 light tanks to M4 medium tanks, mostly for the much greater high-explosive blast effect of the M4's 75mm gun, which fired a much larger shell with a heavier explosive payload. [26]

Usage

When the U.S. Army joined the North African Campaign in late 1942, Stuart units still formed a large part of its armor strength. After the disastrous Battle of Kasserine Pass, the U.S. quickly followed the British in disbanding most of their light tank battalions and subordinating the Stuarts to medium tank battalions performing the traditional cavalry missions of scouting and screening. For the rest of the war, most U.S. tank battalions had three companies of M4 Shermans and one company of M3s or M5/M5A1s. [27]

In Europe, Allied light tanks had to be given cavalry and infantry fire support roles since their main cannon armament could not compete with heavier enemy armored fighting vehicles. However, the Stuart was still effective in combat in the Pacific Theater, as Japanese tanks were both relatively rare and were lighter in armor than even Allied light tanks. [28] [29] Japanese infantrymen were not well equipped with anti-tank weapons, and as such had to use close assault tactics. In this environment, the Stuart was only moderately more vulnerable than medium tanks.

Though the Stuart was to be completely replaced by the newer M24 Chaffee, the number of M3s/M5s produced was so great (over 25,000 including the 75mm HMC M8) that the tank remained in service until the end of the war, and well after. In addition to the U.S, UK and Soviet Union, who were the primary users, it was also used by France (M3A3 and M5A1), China (M3A3s and, immediately post-war, M5A1s) and Josip Broz Tito's Partisans in Yugoslavia (M3A3s and few M3A1).

With the limitations of both the main gun (see below) and armor, the Stuart's combat role in Western Europe was severely hampered. Light tank companies were often paired with cavalry reconnaissance units, or else used for guarding or screening, and even used in supply or messengers roles for medium tank units. [note 3]

On 9 December 1944, the 759th Tank Battalion advanced on a hill near Bogheim but was subjected to a counter-attack by German forces, including a heavy self-propelled assault gun, which took "over 100 direct hits" at ranges as low as 75 yd (69 m) with "no appreciable damage". [30]

In January 1945, a report to General Eisenhower concluded that the Stuart was "obsolete in every respect as a fighting tank" and that it would not "turn the German fire or the 37mm gun damage the German tanks or SP guns". [31]


1. Description

The 37 mm Gun Motor Carriage GMC M6 was a modified 3/4-ton 4x4 Dodge WC52 truck with a rear-facing 37 mm M3 gun mounted in its bed portee and designated WC55. The gun was normally fired to the rear - it could not be fully depressed when pointed to the front of the vehicle due to blast effects on the crew and vehicle windshield. The gun fired M74 Armor Piercing AP Shot that could penetrate 1.4 in 3.6 cm of armor at 500 yd 460 m. Other ammunition carried throughout its service life included the Armor Piercing Capped APC M51 Projectile which could penetrate 2.4 in 6.1 cm of armor at 500 yd), and the High Explosive HE M63 Projectile. Eighty rounds of 37 mm ammunition were carried aboard.

The crew-members were equipped with personal weapons for self-defense.


Analitzant la situació a Europa, els dissenyadors van considerar obsolet el tanc lleuger M-2 i van construir un prototip amb el blindatge millorat, la suspensió modificada i un nou sistema de recuperació del canó. Aquest nou tanc va ser denominat "Tanc Lleuger M-3". La producció va començar al març de 1941 i va durar fins a l'octubre de 1943. Com el seu antecessor, el M-2A4, el M-3 posseïa un canó de 35 mm i 5 metralladores: una coaxial al canó, una en la torreta, una en el davant i dos als costats.

L'Exèrcit Britànic va ser el primer a utilitzar el M-3 Stuart en combat. Al novembre de 1941, 170 Stuarts van participar en l'Operació Crusader. Els resultats van ser, en general, decebedors. A pesar que les altes pèrdues sofertes per les unitats Stuart durant l'operació estaven més relacionades amb les tàctiques utilitzades i l'entrenament de les Afrika Kops que amb la superioritat dels vehicles alemanys, l'operació va demostrar que el M3 era inferior als tancs enemics. Entre les queixes sorgides estava el canó de 37 mm, poc eficaç per a l'època, i la pobra disposició interna. La tripulació de dos soldats i un tercer per a la torreta era una debilitat important, i algunes unitats britàniques van intentar lluitar amb tripulacions de tres operaris i una cambra encarregada de la torreta. En el costat positiu, a les tripulacions els va agradar la rapidesa i la fiabilitat mecànica, que van donar lloc al seu altre sobrenom, Honey. L'alta velocitat i fiabilitat van distingir al Stuart d'altres carros de combat britàniques de l'època. A partir de l'estiu de 1942, quan es van rebre bastants tancs dels Estats Units, l'Exèrcit Britànic va mantenir amb freqüència als Stuart fos del principal front de batalla, usant-los principalment en tasques de reconeixement. La torreta es va eliminar d'alguns tancs per a alleugerar pes i millorar així la velocitat i l'autonomia. Aquests vehicles es van conèixer com a Stuart Recce. Uns altres es van convertir en transports blindats per al personal i vehicles de comandància. M3, M3A3 i M5 van seguir usant-se pel servei britànic fins al final de la guerra, si bé les unitats blindades britàniques eren molt menors en proporció respecte a les unitats nord-americanes.

La Unió Soviètica, l'altra principal receptora del M3, va estar fins i tot més descontenta amb el tanc, considerant-ho poc armat, poc blindat, propens a ser abatut i massa sensible a la qualitat del combustible. El motor radial utilitzat en el M3 requeria combustible d'alt octanatge. No obstant això, el M3 era superior als tancs lleugers soviètics anteriors a la guerra, com el T-60. El 1943, l'Exèrcit Roig va provar el M5 i va decidir que el disseny actualitzat no era molt millor que el M3. Menys necessitats que el 1941, els soviètics van rebutjar l'oferta nord-americana de subministrar el nou model. Els M3 van romandre en servei amb l'Exèrcit Roig fins al 1944.

En l'Exèrcit dels Estats Units, el M3 va aparèixer en combat per primera vegada a les Filipines. Un reduït nombre va lluitar en la Campanya de la península de Batan. Quan l'Exèrcit dels Estats Units es va unir a la Campanya del Nord d'Àfrica a la fi de 1942, les unitats Stuart formaven una important part de la seva força blindada. Després de la desastrosa Batalla del pas de Kasserine, on els M3 i M5 es van enfrontar als Panzer IV i Tiger alemanys, els Estats Units van seguir el pla britànic i van desfer la majoria de batallons de tancs lleugers, dedicant els Stuart a labors de reconeixement i exploració.

En el front europeu, els tancs lleugers van rebre un paper secundari, ja que no podien sobreviure davant la majoria de vehicles blindats enemics. L'únic lloc en què el Stuart seguia sent útil era el front del Pacífic, ja que rarament es trobaven tancs japonesos. I quan això succeïa, resultaven ser molt febles tant en blindatge com en armament. La infanteria japonesa no disposava d'armament antitanc i tendia a atacar els mateixos amb tàctiques d'assalt. En aquesta situació, el Stuart tan només era una mica més vulnerable que els tancs majors.

No obstant això, el nombre de M3 i M5 produïts va ser tan gran (més de 25.000 unitats incloent el M8 HMC) que va romandre en servei fins al final de la guerra. A més dels Estats Units, Gran Bretanya i la Unió Soviètica, també va ser utilitzat per França, la Xina i Iugoslàvia (M3A3 i algun M3A1).

Després de la guerra, alguns països van equipar els seus exèrcits amb els barats i fiables Stuarts. El M5 va jugar un important paper en la Primera Guerra Kashmir entre l'Índia i Pakistan el 1947. El vehicle es va mantenir en servei en diversos països sud-americans fins al 1996.

Durant els anys 1960 i 1970, l'Exèrcit Portuguès també va usar alguns Stuart en la guerra d'Angola, on la seva capacitat totterreny (comparada amb altres vehicles de rodes) i potència de foc van ser bastant apreciades.

  • M-3 (Disseny Britànic "Stuart I"). 5,811 produïts
    • Alguns M-3 els va ser canviat el motor per un Guiberson dièsel i reanomenats "Stuart II" per Anglaterra.
    • Últims M-3 els van ser canviades les torretes".
    • Nous anells en la torreta, li van retirar la cúpula, els van ser retirades les metralladores.
    • M-3A1 amb motor diesel Guiberson dièsel denominats a Anglaterra com Stuart IV".
    • Es va canviar l'antiga torreta per una amb més abast i rang.
    • motors Cadillac bessons. Es va redissenyar la carrosseria similar a la del M-3A3, però ara els motors estan superposats. La torreta és la mateixa del M-3A1.
    • M5 amb torreta del M-3A3 aquesta és la versió més popular en els Estats Units en 1943.
    • Basat en el M-5. El canó va ser reemplaçat per un 75 mm M2/M3 howitzer.
    • Vehicle d'artilleria de 105 mm basat en el M-5A1. Cancel·lat en 1945.
    • Variant del T56 Amb motor continental del M-3 Lee Construïts al febrer de 1943.
    • M5-A1 li va ser instal·lat un morter de 81 mm. També portava una .50. El projecte va ser abandonat per inadequat per a la tripulació.
    • Flame llançaflames instal·lat en el canó principal. 20 tancs van ser convertits per als marines en 1943.
    • llançaflames instal·lat en el pedestal de la .30.
    • M5 amb removedor. No va entrar en producció
    • T39 amb 20 coets 7.2". No va entrar en producció.
    • llançaflames instal·lat en el canó principal.
    • Prototip.
    • Kangaroo APC Stuart Kangaroo.
        Construït pel Regne Unit, se li van agregar seients extres
      • Vehicle de reconeixement basat en la barcassa del Stuart
      • Kangaroo amb sistema de ràdio extra

      En 1970 La companyia Bernardini va construir vehicles amb llicència per a l'exèrcit de Brasil, basats en el Stuart.


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