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M3 Stuart -ligtenk gaan by El Himeimat, 1942 verby

M3 Stuart -ligtenk gaan by El Himeimat, 1942 verby


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M3 Stuart -ligtenk gaan by El Himeimat, 1942 verby

Hier sien ons 'n M3 Stuart -ligtenk (beskryf as 'heuning' in die onderskrif), verby die berg El Himeimat, die hoogste punt op die El Alamein -slagveld.


Beskrywing

Die American Car & amp Foundry het in 1941 met die vervaardiging van die M3 begin. Dit is ontwerp om die ouer M2 Light Tank wat verouderd was, te vervang. Dit het die bygewerkte 37 mm -hoofgeweer. Die M3 het 'n petrolaangedrewe 262 pk, lugverkoelde Continental W-670-9A-enjin van 250 pk en 'n bemanning van vier. Ώ ]

Die maksimum spoed was 54,7 km/h en die maksimum bereik was ongeveer 140 kilometer. Die M3 se bewapening het bestaan ​​uit sy 37 mm -hoofgeweer en drie 7,62 mm Browning M1919A4 -masjiengewere wat regdeur die tenk geplaas is. Die gewig van die M3 was ongeveer 12 700 kg. Dit het ook 'n lengte van 4,53 meter gehad en dit was 2,23 meter breed.

Die pantser het 'n dikte van ongeveer 38 mm aan die voorkant, 25 mm aan die kante en 25 mm aan die agterkant. ΐ ] Soos die meeste tenks, was die swakste gebied van die M3 die bokant, met slegs 13 mm pantser. Dit het ook 'n brandstofvermoë van ongeveer 151 liter en 'n ammunisie -inhoud van 103 rondes 37 mm ammunisie. Die M3 is na verskeie lande gestuur en is veral gewysig deur Groot -Brittanje, waar dit die Stuart I genoem is.


M3 Stuart (Light Tank, M3)

Geskryf deur: Dan Alex | Laaste wysiging: 17/10/2018 | Inhoud en kopie www.MilitaryFactory.com | Die volgende teks is eksklusief vir hierdie webwerf.

Die M3 "Stuart" Light Tank het die primêre ligte tenkvoertuig geword vir die Amerikaanse weermag in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog (1939-1944). Die ontwerp van die voertuig is beïnvloed deur die voorafgaande M2 ​​Light Tank-produk en die behoud van sommige van die gevestigde eienskappe, waaronder die gebruik van 'n 37 mm-hoofgeweer, 'n vierman-bemanning en padspoed. Gedurende die oorlogsdiens het dit goed gevaar tydens die vroeë reis toe dit as 'n infanterieondersteuningsvoertuig of 'n vinnige verkenner gebruik is, maar dit was in 'n kort rukkie heeltemal deur middelklas tenks oortref. Die M5 "Stuart" (elders op hierdie webwerf uiteengesit) het 'n meer ontwikkelde M3 geword met sy gepaarde Cadillac -enjins en nuwe rewolwer. Terwyl die M3 -vorm uiteindelik in 1942 opgegee is, het die M5 die nalatenskap van Stuart voortgesit totdat dit ook vervang is deur die M244 "Chaffee" -ligtenk.

Die M3 Stuart is moontlik gemaak deur werk wat gedurende die 1-jaar na die Eerste Wêreldoorlog uitgevoer is. Dit het gelei tot die ontwikkeling van klein, aktiewe gevegstelsels vir gebruik in infanterie -ondersteuningsaksies met behulp van 'n onderstel met 'n masjiengeweer. Dit het aanleiding gegee tot die "M1 Combat Car" wat daarna deur die kanonbewapende M2 ​​in diens geneem is. Beide ontwerpe verskyn gedurende die dertigerjare. Dit was slegs die vinnige uitbreiding van die Duitse grondmagte tydens hul oorname van Europa gedurende 1939-1940 dat daar ernstig besin is oor 'n opvolger van die M2, aangesien dit nou 'n verouderde masjien was. Hierdie werk het toe die M3 ontstaan, wat verbeterde beskerming beloof het (ten koste van spoed) en groter wapenbeskerming. 'N Nuwe opskortingsreëling het die lys met gesogte eienskappe afgerond.

Na 'n tydperk van toetsing en evaluering, het die Amerikaanse weermag die 'Light Tank, M3' aangeneem. Toe hulle deur die wanhopige Britse leër onder Lend-Lease aanvaar is, het hulle dit die naam "Stuart" toegeken na die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog se Konfederasie-generaal J.E.B. Stuart. Op hierdie manier het die M3 Medium Tank die "Lee" (generaal Robert E. Lee) of "Grant" (generaal Ulysses S. Grant) geword en die klassieke M4 Medium Tank was die "Sherman" (generaal William Tecumseh Sherman). American Car and Foundry was verantwoordelik vir die vervaardiging van die M3 Light Tank en dit het in Maart 1941 ernstig begin.

Teen hierdie tyd het Europa meestal onder die mag van die as -magte geval toe Brittanje probeer het om die volledige uitskakeling van sy groot empiriese besittings te voorkom. Lend-Lease het Amerikaanse steun aan sy bondgenote in die buiteland toegelaat deur oorlogsmakende goedere te lewer sonder om amptelik oorlog teen enige vyand te verklaar. As sodanig het die eerste gevegsgebruik van Stuarts by die Britte plaasgevind in November 1941 tydens Operation Crusader. Uit hierdie aksies is gevind dat die M3 'n taamlik swak hoofgeweer besit, maar die betroubaarheid daarvan in woestynomstandighede is opgemerk, net soos die maneuverbaarheid daarvan. Die Amerikaners het hul M3's eers in die geveg gedwing tot die Filippynse veldtog van 1942.

Die M3 word aangedryf deur die Continental W-670-9A, 'n petrolaangedrewe, lugverkoelde radiale aero-enjin van 7-silinders wat 250 perdekrag lewer. Hierdie motorpak was in 'n agterste kompartement weg van die bemanning. Die vering kom van die Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) -stelsel, wat, tesame met die rompontwerp en enjinaanpassing, die voertuig 'n topsnelheid van 18 myl op die pad en die werkafstand tot 75 myl toegelaat het. Die bemanning van vier bestaan ​​uit die bestuurder, bevelvoerder, skutter en boogmasjienskutter/radiooperateur. Die toestande was beslis beknop, aangesien die interne volume ook deur die nodige toerusting en ammunisievoorrade opgeneem is. Bewapening gesentreer rondom die 37 mm M5 (later M6) hoofgeweer met 'n koaksiale M1919A4 Browning -masjiengeweer van 0,30 kaliber. Vier ekstra masjiengewere van 0,30 kaliber is geïnstalleer, waaronder een oor die rewolwer, een aan die regterkant van die romp (kogelmontage) en die oorblywende paar in individuele syborde langs die voorste boonste paneel. Die hoofgeweer was bo -op 'n unieke houer waarin die geweer ongeveer 20 grade na weerskante kon beweeg, afgesien van die rewolwer - dit het die skutter 'n mate van buigsaamheid gebied sonder dat die hele rewolwer gedraai moes word. Die rewolwer is op middelskepe geplaas, met die bestuurder wat links voor die romp sit, die boogskutter aan sy regterkant en die oorblywende twee bemanning in/onder die rewolwer. Die rompbemanning het skarniervisieslote gebruik vir situasiebewustheid, alhoewel hul voorpaneel byna vertikaal was vir die vyand se vuur. Die spoor-oor-wiel-rangskikking het vier padwiele gesien wat gebruik is met 'n voorwielaangedrewe tandwiel en 'n agterspoor. Oor die algemeen was die M3 'n klassieke ontwerp vir ligte tenke van die tydperk, met baie gevestigde ontwerpkenmerke wat in mededingende ontwerpe elders voorkom.

Die vervaardiging van oorspronklike M3 -tenks (ook die Britse leër "Stuart I") het tot Oktober 1942 vervaardig en 'n voorraad van 4,526 eenhede opgelewer. Sowat 1 285 voorbeelde het gevolg met 'n Guiberson T-1020-reeks, maar het nie 'n ander benaming gekry nie. In plaas daarvan is hulle bloot as "Light Tank, M3, (Diesel)" genoem om hul verskil aan te dui. Die Britse leër het dit as die "Stuart II" aangewys. Die M3A1 - "Stuart III" - is in Mei 1942 aanlyn gebring en het 'n geweerstabilisator, 'n aangedrewe deurkruising van die rewolwer en 'n rewolwermandjie bygevoeg. Dit het nie 'n toringkoepel gehad nie. 211 is vervaardig met dieselenjins ("Stuart IV") van die totaal van 4,621 vervaardiging.

Die definitiewe M3 van die gesin het die M3A3 geword wat in September 1942 in produksie gekom het. Dit het 'n splinternuwe skuins romp met verbeterde en natuurlike ballistiese beskermingskwaliteite op die tweemotorige M5 Stuarts bekendgestel. Die rewolwer is ook hersien om oorhang (gewoel) vir die SCR-508-radiostel te bevat, terwyl weinig anders verander is. Dit het die "Stuart V" vir die Britte geword en 'n totaal van 3.427 produksie -eenhede. Trouens, baie M3A3 -eenhede het saam met buitelandse magte in die buiteland gedien, in teenstelling met Amerikaanse eenhede.

Die einde van die frontdiens vir die M3/M3A1 -modelle kom in Julie 1943 toe die lyn amptelik deur die weermagowerhede as verouderd verklaar is. In die plek daarvan kom die M5 wat daarin geslaag het om die Stuart -verhaal nog 'n bietjie te verleng. Boonop bestaan ​​daar baie variante gebaseer op die M3 -onderstel, insluitend 'n beveltenk, houwitser, geweerdraer, 'n voorgestelde mynontploffingsvoertuig en vlamtenk wat 'n vlamgeweer in plaas van 'n masjiengeweer monteer.

Operateurs het baie bewys en het gewissel van Australië en België tot Venezuela en Joegoslavië. 'N Paar voorbeelde is deur die Japannese leër in die Stille Oseaan-teater bedryf en gebruik tydens die Slag van Imphal (Maart-Julie 1944). As gevolg van die Chinese burgeroorlog het M3's na Chinese magte geval. Danksy Lend-Lease was die Sowjetunie, net soos die Verenigde Koninkryk, die ontvanger van M3 Stuarts. Die M3 was 'n goeie pasmaat vir die Sowjet-taktiek en 'n verbetering vir die destydse ligte tenks wat hy gehad het.

Dit is die moeite werd om die evolusie van die M3-lyn op te let, ondanks die taamlik kort lewensduur. Oorspronklike torings het die algemene konstruksiepraktyk van vasgeklemde paneeldele gebruik, wat alle swakpunte by hul toebehore vertoon het. Boonop het 'n direkte vyand wat op die wapenrusting geskiet is, 'n nare neiging om die klinknaels in die beknopte gevegshut af te vuur - tot nadeel van die bemanning daarbinne. Sowat 279 torings is daarna voltooi met 'gesig -geharde' gelaste pantserpanele, terwyl laaste voorbeelde homogene gelaste pantsers bevat - wat die veiligheid en beskerming van die bemanning aansienlik verbeter het. Buiten die rewolwer was die eerste 3,212 M3 tenks almal modelle met klinknaels met al die inherente gevare en swakhede. Sweiswerk het in latere produksievorme duidelik geword. Vroeë modelle het ook nie 'n rewolwervloer gehad nie.

Hieruit was die M3 werklik 'n ontwikkelde ontwerp wat groter vermoëns bied as die voorafgaande M2 ​​-lyn, hoewel verouderd deur die daaropvolgende M5 en uit die klas van die nuwer M24. Die klein tenk het in elk geval behoorlike diens verleen aan 'n nasie wat net toegewyd was aan die wêreldoorlog teen meer ervare magte as homself. Mettertyd sou Amerikaanse industriële krag en vasberadenheid help om die verloop van die geskiedenis te herskryf om die plaag van die as van alle eindes van die aarde te verwyder.

Die produksie van M3 Stuarts het 22 744 voorbeelde bereik (sommige bronne noem so hoog as 25 000). In vergelyking daarmee het die M5 -produksie "slegs" 8 884 bestuur.


Operasie fakkel


Operation Torch was die Geallieerde inval in Frans -Noord -Afrika. Die operasie was 'n drieledige aanval op Casablanca, Oran en Algiers, daarna 'n vinnige opmars na Tunisië. Die 1ste bataljon van die 1ste gepantserde regiment en die 1ste en 2de bataljons van die 13de gepantserde regiment van gevegskommando B (CCB) is aangestel om by Oran in Algerië te land en D-Day is op 8 November 1942 ingestel. Die weer was kommerwekkend omdat Tunisië jaarliks ​​16 duim reën ontvang en uitsluitlik tussen November en Maart val. Swaar reën sal die voertuig- en troepebewegings belemmer en lugondersteuning op die grond plaasvind.

M3A1 Stuarts gelaai in 'n landingsvaartuig berei hom voor vir die inval.


Op D-Day beland CCB op twee strande wes en oos van die hawe van Oran. Die doelwitte van die CCB was om die infanterie -aanval wyd in die wiele te ry, toegangsweë uit die suide, suidweste en suidooste te blokkeer, en die infanterie te help om Oran te verower deur 'n aanval uit die suide op die stad. Die vliegvelde by La Sénia en Tafaraoui wat deur die wapenstilstandlugmag gebruik is (Frans: Armée de l ’Air de Vichy) moes so gou as moontlik gevang word om te keer dat Franse vliegtuie die invalsvloot aanval.


CCB is verdeel in twee afsonderlike gepantserde taakgroepe (TF). TF Green beland op Strand X naby Cap Figalo ongeveer 48 myl wes van die hawe van Oran. TF Red beland op Strand Z naby St. Leu ongeveer 45 kilometer oos van die hawe van Oran. Die Stuart -tenks is om 0800 uur afgelaai nadat die strand deur die Amerikaanse 1ste Infanteriedivisie “Big Red One ” beveilig is. Die M3 Lee medium tenks, wat groter en swaarder was, moes in die ruimte van vervoerskepe vervoer word. Hulle kon nie afgelaai word voordat die Oran -hawe verower is nie. CCB se hoofkwartier kom om 0930 uur aan wal en vestig sy Command Post (CP) in St. Leu.

TF Red bestaan ​​uit:

  • CCB HQ en HQ Company
  • 1st Bn, 1st Armoured Regiment
  • 2de Bn, 13de Pantserregiment
  • 2de Bn, 6de Pantserinfanterieregiment
  • Maatskappy B, 701st Tank Destroyer (TD) Bn

TF Green bestaan ​​uit:

  • 13de Armoured Regiment HQ and HQ Company
  • 1ste Bn, 13de Pantserregiment
  • 1ste Bn, 6de Gepantserde Infanterieregiment
  • Maatskappy C, 701st Tank Destroyer Bn


701ste Tank Destroyer Bataljon:


Elke geselskap is georganiseer volgens die standaardlyne van 'n Amerikaanse tenkvernietiger in 1942. Dit bevat drie peloton, elk met twee afdelings van twee TD's elk, vir 'n totaal van vier per peloton en 12 per kompanie. Twee peloton was toegerus met die M3 halfbaan Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) wat 'n 75 mm M1897A4 geweer met 'n geweerskerm gemonteer het. Die derde peloton was toegerus met die M6 37mm GMC, ook bekend as M6 Fargo, gebaseer op die WC-55 (aangepaste Dodge WC-52 ligte vragmotor). Die M6 GMC was slegs bedoel vir opleiding, maar die bevele was te laat vir die eenhede om dit met die M3 GMC te vervang voor die inval.

Die Assault Platoon verbonde aan die Battalion ’s HQ Company het drie T30 M3 halfbaan Howitzer -motorwaens (HMC) wat 'n kort vat van 75 mm (3,0 in) M1 -pak Howitzer gemonteer het. Hierdie T30 met die naam “Frances ” het 'n paar enjinprobleme op die landingstrand gehad. Let op die getal 104 wat op die enjinkap (enjinkap) getrek is en die verbleikte nommer 104 aan die rompkant regs van die ster.


Afsluiting

El Salvador het moontlik die eerste ronde -kwalifiseringswedstryd vir Honduras verloor, maar hy het ook die herhaling en 'n derde beslissende wedstryd gewen, wat vir die eerste keer in sy geskiedenis vir die Wêreldbeker -sokkertoernooi kwalifiseer. Nie net dit nie, maar dit het bewys dat dit nie omgedring sal word of die mishandeling van Salvadorane oor die grens in Honduras sal duld nie. Die oorlog was egter, soos so baie, nutteloos, aangevuur deur ontstoke nasionalistiese retoriek in die binnelandse media aan beide kante. Duisende mense is dood en nog meer mense is onteien, en albei ekonomieë het swaargekry. El Salvador het 'n waardevolle les geleer, maar die wapenrusting was verouderd. Die krag wat goed gevaar het, was 'n ligte gepantserde geïmproviseerde, dit was om Salvador se denke vir 'n generasie te vorm in terme van ligte gepantserde en mobiele voertuie, hoewel die tenkrol uiteindelik vervang is met die Franse AML 60/90 gepantserde motors. Die M3 Stuarts wat oorgebly het, is uiteindelik na 'n doel vertoon, nadat hulle in een van die duisterste oorloë van die twintigste eeu geveg het.

Ouer beeld van die M3A1 by Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' met 'n ander kamoefleringpatroon. Bron: Flickr

Dit is nie bekend hoeveel van die oorspronklike agt M3A1 Stuart -tenks wat El Salvador tydens die oorlog met Honduras verloor het nie, maar ten minste twee is na bewering uitgeskakel. Minstens drie oorleef nog, een by die Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' en twee as hekwagte by die Ciudad Arce -basis van die Regimiento de Caballería (Kavalerieregiment). Beide voertuie buite hierdie militêre basis is geverf in 'n driekleurige groen, grys en bruin kleur, hoewel al die wiele en veringskomponente wit geverf is. Die tenk by die Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' is geverf in 'n gewaagde driekleur, donkergrys, bruin en heldergroen met die onderste rande, wiele en veringskomponente almal swart geverf. Ouer beelde toon dat dit ten minste twee keer geverf is sedert dit in die museum was, en voorheen 'n donkergroen kleur met bruin en swart spatsels gehad het, alhoewel die onderste romp en die onderdele nog swart was. 'N Laaste opmerking met die Stuarts in El Salvador is dat daar tydens die probleme van die 1980's 'n bietjie beplanning gedoen is oor hoe om dit te moderniseer, maar wat dit behels, is onbekend. Die plan is na bewering deur Amerikaanse militêre adviseurs vasgemaak, maar wat hierdie planne vir hierdie tenks inhou, is miskien eendag bekend.

Poortwagter van die Regimiento de Caballería, Arce, El Salvador. Bron: Himura Kingy via Flickr


El Salvadoraanse M3A1 Stuart. Illustrasie deur Tank Encyclopedia se eie David Bocquelet


Die Amerikaanse weermag het in April 1917, sonder hul eie tenks, die Eerste Wêreldoorlog aan die kant van die Entente -magte betree. Die daaropvolgende maand, in die lig van 'n verslag oor Britse en Franse teorieë oor tenkbedrywighede, het die opperbevelhebber van die Amerikaanse ekspedisie, generaal John Pershing, besluit dat beide ligte en swaar tenks noodsaaklik is vir die uitvoering van die oorlog en dat so gou as moontlik verkry word. [1] 'n Gesamentlike Anglo-Amerikaanse program is van stapel gestuur vir die ontwikkeling van 'n nuwe swaar tenk, soortgelyk aan die Britse Mark IV-tenk, hoewel daar verwag is dat voldoende hoeveelhede tenks eers in April 1918 beskikbaar sou wees. Die Inter-Allied Tank Die kommissie het besluit dat die vinnigste manier om wapens aan die Amerikaanse magte te voorsien, as gevolg van die oorlogstydse eise aan die Franse nywerheid, deur die vervaardiging van die Renault FT -ligtenk in die Verenigde State was. Sommige swaar tenks word ook deur Groot -Brittanje verskaf.

Kaptein Dwight Eisenhower het in Februarie 1918 na Camp Meade, Maryland, gegaan met die 65ste Ingenieurregiment, wat geaktiveer is om die organisatoriese grondslag te bied vir die skepping van die eerste swaar tenkbataljon van die weermag. In Maart is die 1ste Bataljon, Heavy Tank Service (soos dit destyds bekend was) beveel om voor te berei op die buitelandse beweging, en Eisenhower is saam met die voorafgaande party na New York om die besonderhede van aanvang en versending met hawe -owerhede uit te werk. Die bataljon het die nag van 26 Maart uitgestuur, maar Eisenhower het nie by hulle aangesluit nie. Hy het goed presteer as administrateur, en met sy terugkeer na Camp Meade, is hy meegedeel dat hy in die Verenigde State sou bly, waar sy talent vir logistiek gebruik sou word by die vestiging van die leër se primêre tenkopleidingsentrum in Camp Colt in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Eisenhower het die nommer 3 -leier van die nuwe tenkkorps geword en het tot die tydelike rang van luitenant -kolonel in die Nasionale Weermag gestyg en tenkspanne opgelei by "Camp Colt" - sy eerste bevel - op grond van "Pickett's Charge" op die Gettysburg, Slagveld van die burgeroorlog in Pennsylvania. Die Amerikaanse leër in Frankryk het kaptein George S. Patton as die eerste offisier gehad om die bemanning op te lei. Terwyl tenks soos die Mark V- en FT17 -tenks uit Frankryk en Brittanje gestuur is vir opleiding, het Eisenhower sy eenhede opgelei met vragmotors wat masjiengewere vasgebout het. Toe die tenks aankom, moes Eisenhower eers leer hoe om een ​​te gebruik voordat hy sy manne dit kon laat gebruik. [ aanhaling nodig ]

Die M1917 was die eerste massa-vervaardigde tenk van die VSA, [2] 'n bykopie van die Franse Renault FT, 'n lisensiegeboude. [2] Die Amerikaanse weermag het tussen 1918 en 1919 ongeveer 4,440 M1917's bestel en ongeveer 950 ontvang voordat die kontrak gekanselleer is. 'N Vereiste van 1 200 is besluit, later verhoog tot 4 400, en 'n paar Renault -tenks, planne en verskillende onderdele is na die VS gestuur vir studie. Die ontwerp sou uitgevoer word deur die Ordnance Department, onder die posnaam "Six-ton ​​Special Tractor", en bestellings vir die voertuie wat by private vervaardigers geplaas is. Die projek het egter probleme ondervind: die Franse spesifikasies was in metrieke en dus onversoenbaar met die koördinering van die Amerikaanse masjinerie tussen militêre departemente, verskaffers en vervaardigers, swak burokratiese traagheid, gebrek aan samewerking van militêre departemente en moontlike gevestigde belange het alle vordering vertraag .

Die weermag in Frankryk het teen April 1918 die eerste 300 M1917's verwag, maar teen Junie moes die produksie nog begin, wat die VSA genoop het om 144 Renault FT's van die Franse aan te skaf. Die produksie van die M1917 het eers in die herfs begin, en die eerste voltooide voertuie het in Oktober verskyn. Twee het op 20 November, nege dae na die wapenstilstand met Duitsland, in Frankryk aangekom en nog 'n agt in Desember.

Die Ford 3-Ton M1918 was een van die eerste ligte tenkontwerpe deur die VSA. Dit was 'n klein tweeman-tenk met een geweer, gewapen met 'n M1919 Browning-masjiengeweer en 'n maksimum snelheid van 8 km / h. Die ontwerp van die tenk van 3 ton het middel 1918 begin. Die 3-Ton was 'n tweeman-tenk wat ontwerp is sodat Amerikaanse magte behalwe die Renault FT nog 'n tenk kon gebruik. Die twee model T Ford-enjins word beheer deur die bestuurder (voor), terwyl die skutter langs hom sit en 'n .30-06-masjiengeweer (óf die M1917 Marlin óf M1919 Browning) op 'n beperkte dwarsbalk beheer.

'N Kontrak vir 15 000 van hierdie voertuie is toegeken, maar volgens die U.S. Tank Corps voldoen die ontwerp nie aan hul vereistes nie. Die kontrak vir die 15 000 tenks is beëindig na die wapenstilstand, toe slegs vyftien vervaardig is.

Na die einde van die konflik is die Amerikaanse weermag gereorganiseer. In 1919 het Pershing aan 'n gesamentlike sitting van die senaat en huiskomitee oor militêre sake aanbeveel dat die tenk aan die infanterie ondergeskik was. [3] [4] As gevolg hiervan het die National Defense Act van 1920 die Amerikaanse Tank Corps ontbind en sy tenks weer aan die infanterietak toegewys, met slegs twee swaar tenkbataljons en vier ligte tenkbataljons wat na-oorlogse demobilisasie ontsnap het. [4] [5]

Die tenks van M1917 het te laat gekom en het tydens die oorlog nie aan 'n geveg deelgeneem nie. Daarna het vyf egter die Amerikaanse mariene ekspedisiemag in April 1927 onder leiding van generaal Smedley Butler na Tianjin vergesel. Hulle het laat in 1928 na die VSA teruggekeer. [6] Nadat die Tank Corps as 'n aparte tak afgeskaf is en die beheer van tenks aan die infanterie oorhandig is, het die aantal tenke eenhede geleidelik verminder en die voertuie gestamp of geskrap.

Die Tank Mark VIII (of "Liberty", na sy enjin) was 'n Anglo-Amerikaanse tenkontwerp van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, 'n gesamentlike poging om Frankryk, die Verenigde Koninkryk en die VSA toe te rus met 'n enkele swaar tenkontwerp wat in Frankryk gebou is vir 'n offensief in 1919. Die toets van die ontwerp is eers na die oorlog voltooi, en daar is besluit om 100 voertuie in die VSA te bou, wat in 1919 en 1920 gebou is. Die tenks van die American Liberty het 'n enkele eenheid toegerus: die 67ste infanterie (tenk) ) Regiment, gebaseer in Aberdeen, Maryland. Die eienaardige benaming van die eenheid het sy oorsprong in die feit dat alle tenks sedert 1922 volgens die wet deel van die infanterie moes wees. Sommige tenks van Liberty is toegewys aan die 301ste tenkbataljon (Heavy), wat later die 17de tenkbataljon (Heavy) herontwerp is. Gedurende die grootste deel van 1921–1922 het majoor Dwight D. Eisenhower hierdie eenheid beveel.

Alhoewel die tenk van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog stadig, lomp, moeilik beheerbaar en meganies onbetroubaar was, is die waarde daarvan as 'n wapen duidelik aangetoon. Benewens die ligte en swaar kategorieë van tenks wat in Amerika uit die Eerste Wêreldoorlog vervaardig is, het 'n derde klassifikasie, die medium, in 1919 aandag gekry. Die betekenis van die terme lig, medium en swaar tenks het tussen die oorloë verander. Tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en onmiddellik daarna is die ligte tenk tot 10 ton beskou, die medium (vervaardig deur die Britte) was ongeveer tussen 10 en 25 ton en die swaar was meer as 25 ton. Later, tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, het verhoogde gewigte gelei tot ligte tenkontwerpe wat dikwels meer as 20 ton weeg, medium tenkontwerpe wat meer as 30 ton weeg en swaar tenkontwerpe wat meer as 60 ton weeg.

Patton en Eisenhower was steeds betrokke by die ontwikkeling van die gepantserde arm, wat onder Rockenbach se bevel 'n tydelike tuiste by Camp Meade gevind het. Die twee manne het veral teorie en leerstellings geformuleer vir die gebruik van tenks in massaformasies om deurbrake te bereik en om flankaanvalle uit te voer. Hulle is sterk gekant teen hul idees van senior weermagoffisiere, wat die gebruik van wapenrusting ten gunste van die infanterie bevoordeel het, nie as 'n aparte arm wat onafhanklike operasies uitvoer nie. Die kongres was ook van mening dat die wetgewing van 1920 wat die Tank Corps ontbind het as 'n aparte entiteit uitgevaardig is.

Die National Defense Act van 1920 het die Tank Corps onder die Infanterie geplaas. Patton het vir 'n onafhanklike Tank Corps aangevoer en het besef dat tenks wat met Kavalerie werk, mobiliteit sal beklemtoon, terwyl tenks wat aan die Infanterie vasgemaak is, vuurkrag beklemtoon. Die verskaffing van stadige tenks uit die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en die ondergeskiktheid van tenks aan die tak van die infanterie belemmer egter die ontwikkeling van enige ander rol as direkte ondersteuning van infanterie, sodat die Verenigde State stadig beweeg het in die ontwikkeling van gepantserde en gemeganiseerde magte, wat gelei het tot 'n aansienlike besnoeiing in die befondsing vir tenknavorsing en -ontwikkeling. Patton, wat oortuig was dat daar geen toekoms in tenks was nie, het aansoek gedoen en in September 1920 na die kavallerie oorgeplaas. Eisenhower het twee jaar later, in Januarie 1922, uitgeklim toe hy by die personeel van 'n infanteriebrigade in Panama aangestel is.

Die Amerikaanse oorlogsdepartement was van mening dat twee soorte tenks, die lig en die medium, alle missies moet vervul. Die ligte tenk moes per vragmotor vervoer word en nie meer as 5 ton bruto gewig wees nie. Die medium tenk mag nie 15 ton oorskry nie, om dit binne die gewigskapasiteit van spoorwegwaens te plaas. Alhoewel 'n eksperimentele tenk van 15 ton, die M1924, die bespottingstadium bereik het, was hierdie en ander pogings om aan die oorlogsdepartement en infanteriespesifikasies te voldoen, onbevredigend. In werklikheid was dit eenvoudig onmoontlik om 'n voertuig van 15 ton te bou wat aan die oorlogsdepartement en die infanterievereistes voldoen.

In 1926 het die algemene personeel onwillig ingestem tot die ontwikkeling van 'n tenk van 23 ton, hoewel dit duidelik gemaak het dat die pogings om die vervaardiging van 'n bevredigende voertuig van 15 ton voort te sit, voortgesit word. Die infanterie was dit eens dat 'n ligte tenk, wat per vragmotor vervoer kon word, die beste aan hul vereistes voldoen. Die netto effek van die bemoeienis van die infanterie met ligte tenks en die beperkte geld beskikbaar vir tenkontwikkeling in die algemeen, was om die ontwikkeling van swaarder voertuie te vertraag en uiteindelik by te dra tot die ernstige tekort aan medium tenks tydens die uitbreek van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog .

Die werklike begin van die Pantsermag was in 1928, twaalf jaar voordat dit amptelik vasgestel is, toe oorlogsekretaris Dwight F. Davisd opdrag gegee het dat 'n tenkmag in die weermag ontwikkel moet word, nadat hy die maneuvers deur die Britse eksperimentele gepantserde mag waargeneem het. Davis se richtlijn van 1928 vir die ontwikkeling van 'n tenkmag het gelei tot die samestelling en kamp van 'n eksperimentele gemeganiseerde mag van Camp Meade, Maryland, van 1 Julie tot 20 September 1928. Die gekombineerde wapenspan het bestaan ​​uit elemente wat deur infanterie (insluitend tenks) , Kavalerie, Veldartillerie, die Lugkorps, Ingenieurskorps, Afdeling Ordnansie, Chemiese Oorlogvoering en Mediese Korps. 'N Poging om die eksperiment in 1929 voort te sit, is verslaan deur onvoldoende fondse en verouderde toerusting, maar die oefening van 1928 het vrugte afgewerp, aangesien die meganisasieraad van die oorlogsdepartement, wat aangestel is om die resultate van die eksperiment te bestudeer, die permanente oprigting van 'n gemeganiseerde mag aanbeveel.

Ondanks onvoldoende befondsing het die Ordnance Department daarin geslaag om verskeie eksperimentele ligte en medium tenks te ontwikkel, en het ook saam met motoringenieur J. Walter Christie saamgewerk om 'n Christie -ontwerpmodel teen 1929 te toets. Nie een van hierdie tenks is aanvaar nie, gewoonlik omdat elkeen van hulle die standaarde oortref het deur ander weermag takke. Patton werk later nou saam met Christie om die silhoeët, vering, krag en bewapening van die tenks te verbeter. Christie se idees het 'n groot impak gehad op tenk taktiek en eenheidsorganisasie in baie lande en uiteindelik ook op die Amerikaanse weermag.

Op 21 November 1930 word Douglas MacArthur as stafhoof aangestel, met die rang van generaal. [7] As stafhoof van 1930 tot 1935 wou Douglas MacArthur motorisering en meganisasie deur die hele leër bevorder. Aan die einde van 1931 is alle wapens en dienste daarop gemik om meganisasie en motorisering aan te neem, en is toegelaat om navorsing te doen en te eksperimenteer indien nodig. Die Kavalerie het die taak gekry om gevegsvoertuie te ontwikkel wat sy rol van verkenning, teenverkenning, flankaksie en strewe sal verbeter.

Met die wet aangeneem het tenks tot die infanterietak behoort, sodat die kavallerie geleidelik 'n groep gevegswaens gekoop het, ligte gepantserde en gewapende tenks wat dikwels nie onderskei kon word van die nuwer infanterie "tenks" nie. In 1933 het MacArthur die weg gebaan vir die volledige meganisasie van die kavallerie en verklaar: "Die perd het nie 'n hoër mobiliteitsgraad as wat hy duisend jaar gelede gehad het nie. Die tyd het dus aangebreek dat die Kavalerie -arm die perd moet vervang of bystaan. as vervoermiddel, of andersins in die limbo van weggegooide militêre formasies. " [8]


Geskiedenis

Ontwikkeling

Ontwerp

Die M3 Stuart was 'n uitgebreide opgradering van die vorige M2 -ligtenk. Dit beskik oor 'n nuwe Continental -petrolenjin - kragtiger as die vorige M2, 'n nuwe vertikale volute veringstelsel (VVSS), 'n M5 37 mm -hoofgeweer (later vervang deur die M6 37 mm -geweer) met 'n nuwe terugslagstelsel. Die sekondêre bewapening het bestaan ​​uit tot 5,30 cal (7,62 mm) M1919 -masjiengewere. Die een was koaksiaal teenoor die hoofgeweer, die een was aan die voorkant van die romp vasgekeer, twee in borge in die romp en een op 'n vliegtuig wat op die rewolwer gemonteer was. Die twee masjiengewere wat deur die spons aangebring is, word dikwels deur die bemanning verwyder om ruimte te bespaar en gewig te verminder. Die M3 is beman deur 'n bemanning van vier: bestuurder, medebestuurder, bevelvoerder en skutter.

Die belangrikste wapenrustingsamestelling was van gesig-geharde, gerolde homogene pantser. Die sye en agterkant van die romp en rewolwer was 25,4 mm dik. Die voorkant van die rewolwer was 38,1 mm dik, en die geweermantel ook. Die onderste gletsers van die romp was 44,4 mm dik, en die hoek van die boonste gletsers was 15,8 mm dik en op 'n hoek van 70 grade. Die boonste voorplaat was 38,1 mm dik en skuins teen 18 grade. Die rewolwer en romp se dakke was 12,7 mm dik.

M3 Stuart (Stuart Mk I/II)

Die M3 was die eerste produksiemodel van die reeks, en dit is in Maart 1941 bekendgestel. 5811 M3 Stuarts is gebou en hulle is in Britse diens die Stuart Mk I genoem. 1285 daarvan is met Guiberson -dieselenjins gebou en is deur die Britte aangewys as Stuart Mk II. Die dieselenjin Stuarts is volgens Britse spesifikasies gebou, nie vir Amerikaanse diens nie. Die Britte het dikwels na die Stuarts as die heuningtenk verwys, omdat die rit glad was. 'N Toringmandjie is bygevoeg vir die bevelvoerder en die kanonnier om in te sit. Baie van die oorspronklike M3 Stuarts is ingevolge die Lend-Lease Act na Brittanje gestuur.

M3A1 Stuart (Stuart Mk III/IV)

Die M3A1, wat in 1942 bekendgestel is, het 'n verbeterde rewolwer. Die nuwe rewolwer het 'n rewolwermandjie en 'n ander AA -masjiengeweerhouer. Boonop is al die masjiengewere wat op die spons aangebring is, verwyder op die M3A1-weergawe. Dit het slegs drie .30 cal (7,62 mm) masjiengewere gelaat: een romp, een AA gemonteer en een koaksiaal. Boonop is die vertikale stabiliseerder vir die geweer verbeter. 4621 M3A1 Stuarts is vervaardig, en die produksie eindig in Februarie 1943. Die M3A1 is na die Britte uitgevoer as die Stuart Mk III, en die dieselweergawe is in Britse diens die Stuart Mk IV genoem.

M3A3 Stuart (Stuart Mk V)

Die M3A3 -variant het skuins frontale wapenrusting wat baie ooreenstem met die van die M5 Stuart. Die nuwe wapenrusting was makliker om te vervaardig en bied ook 'n beter beskerming. As 'n newe -effek was die M3A3 -romp swaarder as die vorige weergawe, die romp het ook 'n groter volume, wat meer brandstof en ammunisie kon stoor. Die M3A3 het ook 'n verbeterde rewolwer bekendgestel met 'n groter gewoel aan die agterkant vir die berging van 'n SCR 508 -radio. As gevolg van die groter ruimte binne -in die romp, is die ammunisie -berging vergroot tot 174 37 mm rondes en 7500 7,62 mm rondes. 3427 M3A3's is vervaardig, met produksie wat in Oktober 1943 geëindig het. In Britse diens is hulle Stuart Mk V.

Diens

13,800 M3 Stuarts were used in all the theaters of World War 2 with a number of different nations.

Variante

The M3 Stuart, the first production series, was not intended for fighting other tanks but instead was meant to fight infantry units. With an armament of five .30 cal machine guns and one 37 mm gun the M3 was quite capable of its job. The standard livery was khaki-olive paint with US identification markings. The turret was often painted with a white or yellow horizontal band, and some units also added unit markings. Extra tracks and fuel were often stored on the exterior of the tank, and the sponson machine guns were often removed to save space and weight.

The M3A1 was an improved version which was produced until 1942, when the M3A3 and M5 Stuart were introduced. During Operation Torch in 1942 the M3A1 was often painted olive drab with the standard US identification markings. The M3A1s were painted very similarly to the M3s, and American identification markings were made very large, as the French (who held West North Africa during Operation Torch) held no anti-American sentiment. Additionally, the M20 anti-aircraft mounting for a .30 cal machine gun became common during this campaign. Extra tracks and fuel were mounted just the same as on the M3. The M3 was heavily used by the British, and British Stuarts were often covered in extra supplies and equipment. British Stuarts were painted in straight line blue-sand livery, with pale green upper surfaces.

The M3A2 was an experimental design that was not produced.

The M3A3 was the final design of the series, as the M3 series was replaced by the M5 series. The M3A3 was built with the intention to simplify production without reducing the performance. The M3A3 featured a single sloped upper glacis and new turret. The M3 series was mostly replaced by the M24 Chaffee in the European Theater after the North African campaign, but they were used heavily in the Pacific theater as the Japanese tanks were easier to deal with.

Britain and the Commonwealth

The British found the Stuart to be much more reliable than the Crusader tanks they were also operating at the time. The Stuarts were put to good use in the North African campaign, but the protection was found to be lacking against contemporary German tanks and anti-tank guns. As such, the Stuart was not heavily used by the British in the European theater, but was instead shifted to the India-Burma theater in British and Australian units. The Japanese tanks they faced their were much easier targets for the Stuarts as they were much less armored and had less firepower. The British and Australians often converted their Stuarts to non-combat roles.

Verenigde State

In North Africa, the M3 Stuart was proven to be vulnerable to enemy anti-tank weapons whilst having an Armament that was seen as insufficient. As such, the Stuart was relegated to non-combat roles such as rearguard and reconnaissance. The M3 Stuart was mostly replaced by the M24 Chaffee in the European theater, but they saw significant service in the Pacific. In the European theater they were only used to support the more capable M4 Shermans and the crews of M3 Stuarts made sure to avoid frontal engagement of enemy armour.

The M3s in the Pacific did not see much armoured opposition and there was only one anti-tank gun that posed a major threat, the 45 mm gun of the Chi-Ha and its variants. The Japanese tanks they did face were mostly less capable than the M3, with less armor and firepower. The first tank on tank combat the M3 saw in the Pacific was in the Philippines in December of 1941. There, the 192nd and 194th Light Tank Battalions saw combat mostly against Japanese Ha-Go tanks.

Soviet Unie

The Soviet Union received 1000 M3 Stuarts along with M3 Lees and M3 Half-tracks through the Lend-Lease Act. The M3 Stuarts delivered to the USSR were of differing variants. The USSR did not like the M3 Stuart. They believed the armor and firepower was inadequate, the tracks were not suited to Russian winters, and the fuel was too flammable. As such, the USSR turned down American proposals for the delivery of M5 Stuarts, and sent their M3s to the Manchurian front where they would face less armored opposition.


M3 Lee / M3 Grant (Medium Tank, M3)

Geskryf deur: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/17/2018 | Inhoud en kopie www.MilitaryFactory.com | Die volgende teks is eksklusief vir hierdie webwerf.

The M3 medium tank series appeared at a time when Allied armor (in respects to both armor protection and armament) was generally inferior to their German counterparts in Europe and North Africa. The M3 evolved from the M2 medium tank foray and served as essentially an interim solution until the arrival of the fabled M4 Shermans into the fray. As it stood, the M3 was an adequate solution not without its flaws but served the Allies well in returning control of North Africa back in their favor. Though often written off despite her contributions, the M3 played a pivotal role in the early-to-middle years of World War 2.

By the time of the German invasion of Poland, the United States had little in the way of an effective armor corps thanks primarily to a lack of vision and a lack of funding from the US Congress. Much dedication during the inter-war years following World War 1 placed a greater emphasis on light tank designs, seeing that these systems would benefit the standard infantryman more than medium tanks. The M2 light tank was such a development, but come 1936, the US Army sought a newer and more powerful medium-class tank based on the successful suspension system of the light-class M2's.

The T5 was developed as a five-man system with a primary armament of a 37mm main gun in a fully-traversable turret. One derivative of the T5 became the T5E2 and sported a 75mm main gun, though this was fitted to a World War 1-style side sponson that offered limited traverse. The T5E2 did feature a turret, however this had accommodations for one crew member and the armament was nothing more than an anti-infantry .30 caliber machine gun.

The T5 itself was an impressive design considering the times. It featured a broad and sharply-angled glacis plate with a hull sporting straight-faced sides. The turret fitted the 37mm main gun with 360-degree rotation as well as 2 x .30 caliber machine guns. There were four machine gun sponsons with limited traverse fitted to the four corners of the superstructure - two facing forward and two facing aft. The glacis plate sported an additional pair of .30 caliber machine guns emerging from the upper hull. The profile was admittedly high, nearly one and one-half times the height of an average man. The vehicle's sides were characterized by the three sets of road wheels with two wheel bogies to a set. Vision slots were afforded the driver, superstructure occupants and the turret operator. The T5 graduated to a production designation of M2 Medium Tank.

As the conflict in Europe continually unfolded, the idea of a medium tank in the United States evolved. The M2 was revised into the improved M2A1 Medium Tank. Despite its impressive appearance, the M2 was still little more than a mobile machine gun platform with a main gun capable of engaging light armored vehicles at best. It would have made for an excellent design in World War 1 but the speed at which the German invasions of Poland, and now France, had made the M2A1 immediately obsolete. With the fall of Paris, the US Congress prepared for war and authorized funding for the modernization of the American military. 94 M2A1 tanks were produced solely for training purposes.

By August of 1940, a new medium tank design was called for, this sporting improved performance, better armor allocation as it pertained to the most potent German anti-tank gun at the time and a more potent main gun armament. The design, based on the T5E2 mentioned earlier, was ready by the beginning of 1941 as the aptly-designated "M3".

The design of the M3 was peculiar to say the least, sort of a tank caught between two eras of warfare. Though the new design fitted a more potent 75mm main gun, this was placed in a limited traverse turret offset to the right of the superstructure. This was essentially a requirement for the time for now proven turret system was available for immediate service in the United States. Rather than spend critical time and funds in developing a useful turret, it was seen that the M3 should hit the production lines in the shortest amount of time possible. Likewise, the powerplant - an aircraft-based Wright air-cooled engine - proved lacking but there was little time to waste in fielding the M3. A full-traverse turret was in fact utilized on the M3, though this fielded the less-than-adequate primary armament of a 37mm main gun. Atop this turret was still another smaller turret housing a .30 caliber machine gun.

The M3 was a tall design, peaking at over 10 feet in height. As anyone who knows armored warfare, they would know the dangers of fielding a tall tank. The turret-on-turret layout did not help matters in keeping the M3's profile at an acceptable height. To make matters worse, the superstructure itself was of a relatively tall design. This was necessitated by how high the engine sat in its rear hull mounting. This height forced the propeller shaft, running from rear to front toward the gearbox, to achieve a downward position. This angled shaft forced the crew cabin to be placed higher in the design than one would have liked in a tank. This further forced the main turret to be raised and the additional cupola system did not help matters much. The original M3 order called for a crew of seven personnel. This was later whittled down to six and ultimately five crewmembers when the radio operator's position was consolidated.

As it was, the US Army - and the free world for that matter - needed a tank that was somewhat capable, ready for full-scale production and available in quantity. The M3 proved to be the order of the day. The US Army committed to the M3 with a first-run production of 4,924 units beginning in the middle of 1941 despite some reservations by Army personnel as to the effectiveness of the vehicle in regards to performance. The M3 was no speedster and the engines allotted to the design was vastly under-powered for what was to be expected of this medium tank. Nonetheless, the M3 was a much-needed medium tank addition and the dwindling supply of British tanks in North Africa sped up production. A second batch of 1,334 vehicles soon followed and made up a variety of marks based on configuration. These became the M3A1 (Lee II), M3A2 (Lee 3), M3A3 (Lee IV/Lee V), M3A4 (Lee VI) and the M3A5 (Grant II) series marks. When in service with the British Army, the M3 took on the names of "General Lee" and "General Grant" (or simply "Lee" and "Grant"). The British Army had a tradition of naming US-produced tanks in their service on American Civil War generals, with the two in question being Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. This was also apparent in the M3/M5 "Stuart" light tank series as well as the soon-to-arrive M4 "Sherman" series. British M3's were also refitted to utilized a lower-profile "British Friendly" turret that incorporated a rear-mounted bustle for radio equipment, in effect deleting one of the crewmember positions.

At its core, the base M3 was powered by a Wright (later Continental) R975 EC2 series engine of up to 400 horsepower. This powerplant was mated to a synchromesh, 5-speed (featuring a single reverse speed) transmission and a Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) system. Top speed was limited to 24.8 miles-per-hour on road and drastically reduced to 16.15 miles-per-hour off-road. Range peaked at just under 120 miles.

Primary armament consisted of a 1 x 75mm Gun M2/M3 with 46 projectiles onboard. The main gun of the M3 was key in that it could fire both armor piercing (AP) projectiles and high-explosive (HEAT) projectiles equally (earlier tank systems required the use of two separate guns/turrets for this cause). This was augmented by the 1 x 37mm M5/M6 fitting in the turret with 178 projectiles in tow. Anti-infantry defense was handled by up to 4 x .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns with 9,200 rounds of ammunition.

The base M3 (Lee I / Grant I)) featured a riveted hull and a gasoline-fueled engine. These were followed into service by the M3A1 which sported a cast rounded upper hull. 300 of this type were produced. The M2A2 came online next featuring a welded, straight-edged hull, and only saw 12 or so produced. The M2A3 was a twin-engined GM-powered 6-71 diesel derivative mated to a welded hull. The side doors consistent to the earlier M3's were eliminated as a ballistics weak spot. 322 of this type were produced.

The M3A4 featured a longer hull made of riveted construction. This variant is of particular note due to its fitting of the Chrysler A-57 "Multibank" engine. The Multibank combined five complete engines in a star pattern formation and was a tank mechanic's worst nightmare. This layout also necessitated a longer hull. 109 of the M3A4 series were produced in whole.

The M3A5 sported twin GM 6-71 diesel engines (a departure from the previous gasoline-fueled powerplants). The tank featured a riveted hull and up to 591 examples were produced.

Beyond its various combat forms, the M3 appeared in capable battlefield implements as well. This included the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle (Grant ARV I), the similar M31B1 and M31B2 and the M33 "Prime Mover", the latter an artillery tractor derivative. The chassis was also utilized in the development of the 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, M7, commonly known as the "Priest". Additionally, the M3 chassis made up the 155 Gun Motor Carriage M12.

Likewise, the British evolved the M3 into their own dedicated battlefield roles that included the Grant ARV, Grand Command, Grant Scorpion III (fitted with a mine-clearing flail), Grant Scorpion IV (similar to Scorpion III but with extra engine power) and the Grant CDL. The Canadian "Cruiser Tank Ram" utilized the M3 chassis and fitted a conventional full-traverse turret but would never see combat action.

First contact by any M3 occurred in North Africa come 1942, first by the British and then later joined by a contingent of American-piloted M3's. Results were mixed with the British maintaining a better initial performance record. By the time of American involvement, German armor, experience and tactics had all improved and delivered a baptism of fire for M3 crews. At the very least, the M3 was on par with the German-fielded units and offered up a level playing field for the Allies for the first time in the war. The M3 proved to be a reliable machine and her 75mm was good for the moment. Her armor was highly regarded for it matched up well against the German weapons of the time. Limitations were its inherent flaws such as its slow off-road performance, limited traverse main gun and its high profile - making for somewhat easy pickings by enemy tanks with full traverse turrets or mobile anti-tank teams.

In the Pacific, M3's appeared in limited numbers and, as such, their reach in the region was restricted. It did, however, prove handy against the lightly-armored Japanese tanks. Future tank engagements in the region played out equally well for the Americans thanks to the arrival of the M4 Sherman series.

The Soviets had poor experiences from their M3's delivered via Lend-Lease. The system fared in a generally unfavorable way against the more mobile German armored tanks. Where the Soviets were looking for a tank capable of outgunning other tanks, the M3 proved a sorrowful disappointment and forced the Russians to look elsewhere.

In all, some 6,258 M3's were produced for all parties involved. Operators were led by the United States, Britain (via Lend-Lease or direct purchase), Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and the Soviet Union (via Lend-Lease). Production for all M3's ran from August of 1941 through December of 1942. The arrival of the capable M4 Sherman - and the Soviet T-34, German Panther and 75mm-armed Panzer IV for that matter - decreased all M3 combat roles substantially, effectively ending the type's reign in the war.


Meet the M3 37mm Antitank Gun: A World War II Weapon With Mixed Results

Despite lacks of modern features and firepower, the 37mm cannon still served throughout the World War II.

Key Point: The 37mm played only a very small part in the "Arsenal of Democracy."

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. It was 9 am on November 8, 1942. The platoon had been ordered to man a roadblock near the town of El Ancor, protecting the flank of the 26th Regiment during its landing as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa.

It was a tense moment Smith’s orders were not to fire unless fired upon. Would these French soldiers fight or not? The question was soon answered when a burst of machine-gun fire stuttered from one of the armored cars. The American return fire was instant. Two of the 37mm guns started banging away, hitting the lead armored car. All three French vehicles fired their own cannon and machine guns at the telltale muzzle flashes of the American guns. Another hit on the leading car set it afire, and moments later a skillful shot from an American 37mm some 1,800 yards away hit the rear armored car, setting it alight and trapping the middle vehicle.

The crews of the burning vehicles abandoned them, taking cover in a drainage ditch. Unable to move, the crew of the middle car did the same. This took the will to fight out of the Vichy troops, who surrendered. The gun crews and their 37mm cannon had just been introduced to combat in North Africa.

The M3 37mm antitank gun was one of the main antitank weapons of the United States in the early years of World War II. It was produced in larger numbers than any other American antitank gun and served through the entire war. This extensive service record comes despite the fact that the 37mm was effectively obsolescent as soon as America entered the war in December 1941.

America’s 18,702 M3s

The cannon’s story begins in the late 1930s as the United States began searching for a more powerful tank-killing weapon. At the time the antitank companies of U.S. infantry regiments were equipped with .50-caliber machine guns, admittedly quite effective against the thinly armored light tanks that were the standard for armored vehicles at the time. Experience gained during the Spanish Civil War forced an evolution in tank design, bringing heavier medium tanks to the forefront. As the United States watched from the sidelines, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, each supporting a different Spanish faction, upgraded their own weapons. The Germans adopted the PAK 36 37mm cannon this drew increased American interest, and the Army acquired one for testing in early 1937.

In May of that year representatives from the artillery, infantry, and cavalry branches came together at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to discuss their respective needs for the weapon. The infantry favored a lighter weapon that could be operated by one soldier while the artillerymen favored crew-served cannon. Prototypes were authorized by September 1937, and testing continued through 1938 as the various problems normal to weapons development were overcome.

Several different gun designs and carriages were tested, with the winner being accepted on December 15, 1938, as the M3 37mm cannon mounted on the M4 carriage. It is normal to classify guns and carriages separately as over time a carriage may be used as a platform for more than one type of cannon. When mated together, the complete weapon will generally be referred to by the model number of the gun.

As with many American weapons developed in the sparse fiscal environment of the late 1930s, the M3 did not enter actual production until the end of 1940 as war clouds began to loom and belated preparations were put into motion. Manufacture began slowly, with only 340 guns made in 1940 and 2,252 the year after. America was rearming, but at a snail’s pace. The attack on Pearl Harbor would change that.

With the war against the Axis under way, production was vastly expanded. Quotas were set for all manner of war material. For antitank guns the goal was set at 18,900 weapons by the end of 1943. In actuality, the factories far exceeded this goal. During 1942 and 1943, some 27,343 antitank guns were built with 37mm cannon accounting for 16,110 of this number. Total production of M3s would reach 18,702.

25 Rounds Per Minute

The M3 37mm cannon was a 53.5-caliber weapon, meaning the length of the bore was 53.5 times its diameter. Overall length was 154.5 inches with a width of 63.5 inches and a height of 37.8 inches. It weighed 912 pounds, light enough to be manhandled by its four man crew for short distances. A set of towing straps was provided to make it easier for the soldiers to pull the gun and carriage. The cannon could be traversed 30 degrees to either side of center and could be depressed 10 degrees or elevated up to 15 degrees.

The M3 could fire 25 rounds per minute of a variety of ammunition types. There were two types of armor-piercing rounds. The initial solid steel shot could penetrate 36mm of armor at 500 yards while the improved ballistic-capped round pierced 61mm at the same distance. High explosive and canister rounds were also available. The canister round was for anti-personnel use and functioned like a large shotgun shell, firing 122 3/8-inch steel balls to an effective range of 250 yards.

The new weapon saw use from the beginning of the war. It was issued both as an antitank gun and a tank cannon. The M2 “combat cars” used early in the war—the light M3/M5 Stuart tank series, and the medium M3 Grant/Lee tanks as well as the M8 armored car—all carried 37mm guns, and those 37mm cannon produced as tank guns were augmented by the numbers noted above that were produced for carriage mounts.

For infantry use, the 37mm equipped the antitank platoons of each battalion in an infantry regiment, three guns each. There was also a regimental antitank company with nine guns, for a total of 18 guns per regiment. The Army’s Tank Destroyer Branch made limited use of the 37mm in a self-propelled mounting called the M6. This was a ¾-ton Dodge truck mounting the 37mm on the rear bed. Intended as a stopgap vehicle until dedicated tank destroyer designs could be fielded, a handful of M6s saw service in North Africa in tank destroyer battalions. These units mixed their companies with a platoon of M6s and two platoons of M3 gun motor carriages, a half-track carrying a 75mm weapon.

The M6 had a relatively high silhouette for the diminutive caliber of its gun, and it had no protection for the crew other than a gun shield. It was almost suicidal to use them in modern combat against the Germans, and most company commanders quickly learned to keep their M6s at the rear of their columns. They were replaced at the end of the Tunisian campaign.

The M3’s Baptism of Fire

In its towed version, the 37mm was first used in combat in the Pacific where some were deployed during the Philippine fighting of early 1942. When the Marines went to Guadalcanal, they brought their M3s with them they proved invaluable against not only Japanese tanks but in breaking up infantry attacks with explosive and canister rounds. At the Battle of the Tenaru River on August 21, 1942, a Japanese force commanded by Colonel Kiyono Ichiki attacked Marines defending along the line of the Ilu River (the Marine’s maps had mislabeled the Ilu as the Tenaru). Just after midnight the Marine pickets heard the approaching Japanese infantry and fell back across the river to warn their comrades. Among the Marine firepower were several 37mm guns that the crews loaded with canister rounds. The Japanese launched their attack with mortar fire and an infantry charge.

The Marines responded, their M3s discharging blasts of steel balls that cut through jungle foliage and human flesh alike. The fighting was hand to hand in some places. After an initial repulse, Ichiki sent in a second attack that bogged down in barbed wire. Small arms and cannon fire poured down on the hapless Japanese, slaughtering them. A Marine counterattack finished the night’s bloody work, leaving nearly 800 Japanese dead. Colonel Ichiki committed suicide.

Two months later, the Americans again used their 37mm guns in action against an attack by the Japanese Sendai Division. Due to a communications error, the Japanese launched their attack a day too soon, hitting the western side of the Marine perimeter. This attack included nine Japanese tanks positioned along a coastal road with infantry behind them, all ready to advance over a sandbar separating the two antagonists.


M3 Stuart light tank passes El Himeimat, 1942 - History

By Christopher Miskimon

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. It was 9 am on November 8, 1942. The platoon had been ordered to man a roadblock near the town of El Ancor, protecting the flank of the 26th Regiment during its landing as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa.
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It was a tense moment Smith’s orders were not to fire unless fired upon. Would these French soldiers fight or not? The question was soon answered when a burst of machine-gun fire stuttered from one of the armored cars. The American return fire was instant. Two of the 37mm guns started banging away, hitting the lead armored car. All three French vehicles fired their own cannon and machine guns at the telltale muzzle flashes of the American guns. Another hit on the leading car set it afire, and moments later a skillful shot from an American 37mm some 1,800 yards away hit the rear armored car, setting it alight and trapping the middle vehicle.

The crews of the burning vehicles abandoned them, taking cover in a drainage ditch. Unable to move, the crew of the middle car did the same. This took the will to fight out of the Vichy troops, who surrendered. The gun crews and their 37mm cannon had just been introduced to combat in North Africa.

The M3 37mm antitank gun was one of the main antitank weapons of the United States in the early years of World War II. It was produced in larger numbers than any other American antitank gun and served through the entire war. This extensive service record comes despite the fact that the 37mm was effectively obsolescent as soon as America entered the war in December 1941.

America’s 18,702 M3s

The cannon’s story begins in the late 1930s as the United States began searching for a more powerful tank-killing weapon. At the time the antitank companies of U.S. infantry regiments were equipped with .50-caliber machine guns, admittedly quite effective against the thinly armored light tanks that were the standard for armored vehicles at the time. Experience gained during the Spanish Civil War forced an evolution in tank design, bringing heavier medium tanks to the forefront. As the United States watched from the sidelines, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, each supporting a different Spanish faction, upgraded their own weapons. The Germans adopted the PAK 36 37mm cannon this drew increased American interest, and the Army acquired one for testing in early 1937.

In May of that year representatives from the artillery, infantry, and cavalry branches came together at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to discuss their respective needs for the weapon. The infantry favored a lighter weapon that could be operated by one soldier while the artillerymen favored crew-served cannon. Prototypes were authorized by September 1937, and testing continued through 1938 as the various problems normal to weapons development were overcome.

Several different gun designs and carriages were tested, with the winner being accepted on December 15, 1938, as the M3 37mm cannon mounted on the M4 carriage. It is normal to classify guns and carriages separately as over time a carriage may be used as a platform for more than one type of cannon. When mated together, the complete weapon will generally be referred to by the model number of the gun.

As with many American weapons developed in the sparse fiscal environment of the late 1930s, the M3 did not enter actual production until the end of 1940 as war clouds began to loom and belated preparations were put into motion. Manufacture began slowly, with only 340 guns made in 1940 and 2,252 the year after. America was rearming, but at a snail’s pace. The attack on Pearl Harbor would change that.

With the war against the Axis under way, production was vastly expanded. Quotas were set for all manner of war material. For antitank guns the goal was set at 18,900 weapons by the end of 1943. In actuality, the factories far exceeded this goal. During 1942 and 1943, some 27,343 antitank guns were built with 37mm cannon accounting for 16,110 of this number. Total production of M3s would reach 18,702.

Marines on Saipan fire a 37mm gun at Japanese positions. The 37mm provided enough firepower to destroy Japanese machine-gun nests and to decimate infantry concentrations.

25 Rounds Per Minute

The M3 37mm cannon was a 53.5-caliber weapon, meaning the length of the bore was 53.5 times its diameter. Overall length was 154.5 inches with a width of 63.5 inches and a height of 37.8 inches. It weighed 912 pounds, light enough to be manhandled by its four man crew for short distances. A set of towing straps was provided to make it easier for the soldiers to pull the gun and carriage. The cannon could be traversed 30 degrees to either side of center and could be depressed 10 degrees or elevated up to 15 degrees.

The M3 could fire 25 rounds per minute of a variety of ammunition types. There were two types of armor-piercing rounds. The initial solid steel shot could penetrate 36mm of armor at 500 yards while the improved ballistic-capped round pierced 61mm at the same distance. High explosive and canister rounds were also available. The canister round was for anti-personnel use and functioned like a large shotgun shell, firing 122 3 /8-inch steel balls to an effective range of 250 yards.

The new weapon saw use from the beginning of the war. It was issued both as an antitank gun and a tank cannon. The M2 “combat cars” used early in the war—the light M3/M5 Stuart tank series, and the medium M3 Grant/Lee tanks as well as the M8 armored car—all carried 37mm guns, and those 37mm cannon produced as tank guns were augmented by the numbers noted above that were produced for carriage mounts.

For infantry use, the 37mm equipped the antitank platoons of each battalion in an infantry regiment, three guns each. There was also a regimental antitank company with nine guns, for a total of 18 guns per regiment. The Army’s Tank Destroyer Branch made limited use of the 37mm in a self-propelled mounting called the M6. This was a ¾-ton Dodge truck mounting the 37mm on the rear bed. Intended as a stopgap vehicle until dedicated tank destroyer designs could be fielded, a handful of M6s saw service in North Africa in tank destroyer battalions. These units mixed their companies with a platoon of M6s and two platoons of M3 gun motor carriages, a half-track carrying a 75mm weapon.

The M6 had a relatively high silhouette for the diminutive caliber of its gun, and it had no protection for the crew other than a gun shield. It was almost suicidal to use them in modern combat against the Germans, and most company commanders quickly learned to keep their M6s at the rear of their columns. They were replaced at the end of the Tunisian campaign.

The M3’s Baptism of Fire

In its towed version, the 37mm was first used in combat in the Pacific where some were deployed during the Philippine fighting of early 1942. When the Marines went to Guadalcanal, they brought their M3s with them they proved invaluable against not only Japanese tanks but in breaking up infantry attacks with explosive and canister rounds. At the Battle of the Tenaru River on August 21, 1942, a Japanese force commanded by Colonel Kiyono Ichiki attacked Marines defending along the line of the Ilu River (the Marine’s maps had mislabeled the Ilu as the Tenaru). Just after midnight the Marine pickets heard the approaching Japanese infantry and fell back across the river to warn their comrades. Among the Marine firepower were several 37mm guns that the crews loaded with canister rounds. The Japanese launched their attack with mortar fire and an infantry charge.

Although the M3 Stuart light tank was outclassed by German armor in Europe, it remained highly effective against the Japanese, taking on the light enemy tanks and pillboxes with its 37mm cannon.

The Marines responded, their M3s discharging blasts of steel balls that cut through jungle foliage and human flesh alike. The fighting was hand to hand in some places. After an initial repulse, Ichiki sent in a second attack that bogged down in barbed wire. Small arms and cannon fire poured down on the hapless Japanese, slaughtering them. A Marine counterattack finished the night’s bloody work, leaving nearly 800 Japanese dead. Colonel Ichiki committed suicide.

Two months later, the Americans again used their 37mm guns in action against an attack by the Japanese Sendai Division. Due to a communications error, the Japanese launched their attack a day too soon, hitting the western side of the Marine perimeter. This attack included nine Japanese tanks positioned along a coastal road with infantry behind them, all ready to advance over a sandbar separating the two antagonists.

When the attack began, it was met by the combined fire of U.S. antitank guns, artillery, and small arms. The 37mm cannon barked at the approaching tanks, whose thin armor proved no match for their fire. Only one tank even made it over the sandbar the rest lay wrecked or burning. The last vehicle, disabled by a Marine who shoved a grenade into its tracks, was picked off shortly afterward. With the armored threat eliminated, the antitank guns shifted their fire to the enemy infantry, leaving some 600 dead on the field at the battle’s end.

Mixed Results in North Africa

After proving itself in the Pacific, U.S. forces next took the 37mm with them to North Africa during Operation Torch. This theater of operations was very different from the Pacific, however. The German Army could field a force of modern tanks along with a well-developed doctrine for their use. The improved models of the German Mark III and IV tanks had thicker armor that the 37mm could only reliably penetrate at close ranges. This fact was not fully appreciated at the time of the landings. The U.S. Army would have to learn through the harsh instruction of battlefield experience.

In the initial phase of Torch, the 37mm performed well enough against the lightly armored vehicles of the Vichy French, but as soon as the Germans were encountered the M3’s inadequacy came to the forefront. Gun crews watched in frustration as their well-aimed shots bounced harmlessly off the armor of attacking panzers. Word went back to the Army Ground Forces (AGF), a stateside command that monitored weapons used in combat to seek improvement. It sent observers to gain first-hand information.

Not surprisingly, the frontline soldiers using the 37mm wanted it replaced quickly, while a number of the observers said the troops were not using the weapon properly. Critics stated the troops expected the gun to work at “excessive ranges” and that it had to be sighted properly to achieve hits on the enemy’s flanks. These critics apparently did not take into consideration that a towed antitank gun unit, once emplaced, cannot dictate the terms of an engagement and must be able to engage an enemy frontally. Guns cannot always be sited where the terrain will be to their advantage.

The prime movers of the 37mm, the jeep or ¾-ton Dodge truck, were unarmored. Bringing them forward under fire to move a gun carried a great risk of losing the vehicle. While these limitations apply to any towed cannon, the M3’s inability to knock out enemy armor only exacerbated the problem.

Criticism of the 37mm continued despite the excuses of some AGF observers, and by mid-1943 the newer 57mm gun was authorized to replace the 37mm on a one-for-one basis. Reequipping took time, so the divisions that went ashore at Sicily in July 1943 were still using many M3s with mixed effect. A high point came during a now famous engagement between U.S. Rangers under Colonel William Darby and an attacking Italian force using captured French Renault R35 tanks. The Italian tanks attacked the Rangers at the town of Gela. Lightly equipped, the Rangers first used bazookas and grenades to resist the enemy assault.

During the fighting, Colonel Darby drove to the beachhead and found a 37mm gun. He towed it back to Gela and set it up, hurriedly chopping open the ammunition box with an axe. Manning the weapon personally, he knocked out one of the R35s and helped fend off the attack. His bravery at Gela resulted in his second award of the Distinguished Service Cross.

Weaknesses of the 37mm Against the Germans

A corresponding low point came when a battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, was attacked by the Hermann Göring Panzer Division, which included heavy Tiger tanks. The American 37mm guns were totally ineffective during the attack the battalion commander was killed while manning one of the guns himself.

Shown on maneuvers in Tennessee in 1943, this M6 antitank vehicle is armed with a 37mm antitank gun mounted in the bed and a .50-caliber machine gun for antipersonnel or anti-aircraft use.

Soon afterward, more 57mm guns began arriving, and the 37mm was essentially finished as a dedicated antitank weapon in the European Theater. It continued there only as the primary armament of the M5 light tanks and M8 armored cars. There is a report of an M8 actually knocking out a German Panther tank with a shot from its 37mm. It is believed this would only have been possible by a chance ricochet off the tank’s mantlet down through the thinner roof armor or perhaps a round that landed short, ricocheted off the ground, and bounced up through the belly armor. Such a lucky hit could not be counted on, and units using light tanks or armored cars generally avoided action against German armor.

An Effective Gun in the Pacific

It was a different story in the Pacific, where both the Army and Marine Corps used the 37mm until the war ended. Conditions in the Pacific Theater were more favorable. Much of the fighting occurred in jungle or heavily forested areas that were mostly wild and undeveloped, lacking extensive road networks or built-up areas. Large tracts were wet and marshy with soft ground difficult for vehicles to traverse. The 37mm gun was light enough to be moved by its own crew and manhandled into firing positions. Many of the enemy bunkers and defensive positions were constructed from locally available logs and soil rather than concrete, leaving them vulnerable to the M3’s fire.

The gun was effective against Japanese tanks, which saw no real improvements in armor protection over the course of the conflict. Japanese tanks were thinly armored and vulnerable to the full range of U.S. antitank weapons, including the 37mm gun, though the weapon probably saw much more use in the fire support role. The Japanese did not use very large numbers of tanks and rarely massed their armor, often using what they had in the infantry support role or even dug in as pillboxes.

Rather than engaging Japanese tanks on a regular basis, the 37mm more often used explosive and canister ammunition against infantry or defensive positions. The canister round was found to be very effective at shredding away the foliage that concealed bunkers, revealing their positions for destruction by pinpoint fire. Often, armor-piercing rounds would follow, aimed at the log supports to crack and weaken them. High explosive rounds would finish the job, blowing the bunker apart.

A Small Part of the “Arsenal of Democracy”

During the war the United States gained the moniker of “Arsenal of Democracy” due to its vast exports of weapons and supplies. However, the 37mm played only a very small part in this. The major powers the United States supplied, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, each had adequate supplies of their own light antitank guns, the 2-pounder and 45mm, respectively, and had little need for the comparable American weapon. These nations used 37mm guns as mounted on American armored vehicles supplied via Lend-Lease but did not need them as towed weapons. The vast majority of towed M3s exported went to the Chinese Army since they were fighting the Japanese, the M3 was a useful addition.

The 37mm had no substantial postwar use outside of a few Third World armies. Today it is relegated to museums and the occasional private collector. Its legacy is that of a weapon obsolete before it entered combat. Nevertheless, it served with both notable success and failure and earned its place in history.

Kommentaar

I have a 37 mm casing dated 1941, lot 712-46. Is there a way that I can trace what region it was sent to and if it was used in a battle and stuff like that? Please advise. I’ve just started researching this as of September 2020.