Light Tank M3 »Stuart«, 2nd production series|
Though produced exclusively by American Car and Foundry Co. from March 1941 on, the famous M3 started his combat career on North African and Russian soil.
While 1,336 vehicles left Western ports in late 1941 and 1942, some 400 M3 fell prey to German forces on their way, so roughly 900 arrived in the northern Russian ports, 50 alone through convoy »PQ-14« in spring 1942.
Being notoriously short in armour by this time, the Russians instantly deployed the archaic looking tanks to their tank units where single vehicles could be seen in combat as late as 1944.
Though probably not a tanker's dream, the M3 Light was fast, reliable and well armoured for its time.
His 37mm M5 gun compared favourable with the domestic 45mm tank guns and, together with no less than four cal .30 Browning machine guns, gave the tank a good firepower.
The M3 went through several improvement stages, the vehicle shown being of the second production series, characterized by
Note : It's a common misconception that all, most are even any M3s delivered to the USSR were diesel powered, as the two photos at the page bottom indicate.
- the riveted body,
- the welded octogonal turret (type »D38976«) and
- the riveted copula.
Special Thanks to Mr. Claude Gillono, France, for providing precious information.