M3 "General Stuart" light tank

M3 "General Stuart" in action. Eastern Front. Autumn 1942.

The M3 "General Stuart" light tank was one of the first American tank that was reached Soviet beaches as the part of Lend-Lease agreement.

The M3 was considered as one of the best light tank of World War II. It had an excellent characteristics: the "Continental" engine provided it with 250 h.p., so the 12-ton tank was able to run fast. It was very maneurable tank, indeed. Unfortunately, from 1942 its 37 mm gun wasn't match to war conditions. All attempts to set up more powerful gun failed because it turret was too small. 37 mm gun had an equal ballistic data as the Soviet 45 mm AT-gun.

This vehicle was in production until 1943, when the more modern M5 modification has introduced. The M3 "General Stuart" served in Africa, Burma, on islands of the Pacific Ocean, in Europe and become the most popular american light tank: 13 859 units were build including the 711 tanks with "Giberson" diesel engine.

During 1942-1943 Red Army received 1 665 of M3A1 "General Stuart" tanks. This tank was an equal to the Soviet T-60 and T-70 light tanks, but some imperfection were detected: its engine was too sensitive to the gas (petrol) quality and the tank silhouette was too big for the light tank. However it was most mass tank of the World War Two: 22 734 units were build.

Parameter Value
Crew, men 4
Weight, kg 12 940
Armament 37 mm M6 gun,
3x7.62 "Browning" TMG
Ammo 37 mm - 116 rounds,
7.62 mm - 6400 rounds
Engine W670-9A "Continental" petrol, 250 h.p.
Max. speed, km/h 58
Range, km 113


This page belongs to The Russian Battlefield