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United States' M3A1 light tank, Stuart Mk III

Photos

M3A1 light tank6:
United States' M3A1 Light Tank
The American Arsenal

M3A1 Light Tank with a diesel engine:
United States' M3A1 Light Tank with a diesel engine
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3A1 Light Tank drawing
United States' M3A1 Light Tank drawing
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3A1 light tank's turret basket6:
United States' M3A1 light tank's turret basket
The American Arsenal

Design

The M3A1 was standardized in August 1941.6 Started production in April 1942.7 The M3A1 was declared obsolete in July 1944.6

Had gyrostabilizer installed and a turret basket10 with seats for the commander and gunner.7 Cupola was removed from new turret design.1,6,7,10 A periscope with 360° traverse was installed in the turret roof.6

Riveted hulls in early production and then replaced by welded hulls.10,11

The US Marine Corps requested the tanks have diesel engines installed and approximately 500 had radial air-cooled engines installed.

An improved radio and interphone system was installed.

Armament

Sponson machine guns removed.1,7,10,11 This allowed for more ammunition storage.7

The Combination Gun Mount, M23, was installed and it had a periscopic sight.6

The muzzle velocity of the 37 mm gun AP ammunition was 2,600'/sec and weighed 1.9 lb.9

Variants

  • M3A1 Diesel: The 37 mm gun fired a 1.91 lb round at a muzzle velocity of 2,600'/sec.9

Specifications

  M3A1 (Stuart III), M3A1 light tank
Crew Commander, gunner, driver, co-driver.3
41,2,3,4,5,6,9,10,11
Radio SCR-5086
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 28,500 lb3,6,10
12.2 tons8, 12.7 tons1,4,11, 14.3 tons9
12,400 kg8, 12,904 kg11, 12,927 kg1,5,10
Length 14.8'9, 14' 10"1,4,11, 14' 10 3/8"6, 14' 10.75"3,5,10
4.52 m11, 4.54 m1,5,10
Height 7.5'9, 7' 6"4, 7' 6.5"3,5,6,10, 7' 7"1,11
2.299 m10, 2.3 m1,5, 2.31 m11
Width 7.3'9, 7' 4"1,3,4,5,6,10,11
2.22 m1, 2.235 m10, 2.24 m5,11
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15"9, 16.5"6
0.42 m2
Ground contact length 116"9, 117"
Ground pressure 10.56 psi6, 10.6 psi9
Turret ring diameter 46.75"6
Armament  
Main 1: 37 mm M5 or M6 L/561
1: 37 mm L/562
1: 37 mm M53,6
1: 37 mm4,5,10
1: 37 mm QF M6 L/53 9
1: 37 mm / 1.46" M611
OR 1: 37 mm M63,6
Secondary  
MG 4: MG4,10
3: 7.62 mm MG1
3: .30 cal Browning MGs3
2: .30 cal MG9
3: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG11
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
1: .30 cal Browning MG6
1: 7.62 mm MG5
MG - hull 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
1: .30 cal Browning MG6
1: 7.62 mm MG5
MG - sponson 2: 7.62 mm MG5
MG - antiaircraft 1: .30 cal Browning MG6
1: 7.62 mm MG5
Side arms 1: .30 cal M2 tripod mount6
1: .45 cal submachine gun6
Hand grenades6
Quantity  
Main 1139, 1163,6,10
Secondary  
MG 5,1509, 6,4006, 6,400-8,2703, 8,27010
Side arms .45: 500 - 540, 5106
Grenades: 12 (4: Fragmentation Mk II, 2: Offensive Mk IIIA2, 4: Smoke WP M15, 2: Thermite Incendiary)6
Armor Thickness (mm) 15 - 435, 103, 513,11
Front: 1.5"9,10
Front: 3810
Side: 1"9,10
Side: 25.410
Hull Front, Upper 1.5"6, 1" - 1.5"4
38.12
Hull Front, Lower 5/8" - 1.75"6
Hull Sides, Upper 1"6, 1"@0°
25.42
Hull Sides, Lower 1"6
Hull Rear 1"6, 1"@0°
25.42
Hull Top 3/8"6
9.52
Hull Bottom 3/8" - 0.5"6
6.4 - 12.72
Turret Front 1.5"6,9,10
Mantlet: 1"9
3810, 38.12
Turret Sides 1.25"@0°, 1.25"6,9
25.42
Turret Rear 1.25"6, 1.25"@0°
25.42
Turret Top 0.5"6, 0.5"@90°
9.52
Engine (Make / Model) Continental W-6701, Continental Wright2, Continental W-6703,11, Continental W-970-9A5, Continental4, Continental W670-9a9, Continental W670-9A6
OR Guiberson T10203, Guiberson T1020-41,6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air2,4,6,9
Cylinders Continental: 72, Radial4, Radial 75,6,9,11
Guiberson: Radial 96
Capacity  
Net HP 250@2,400 rpm2,9
2504,5,10,11
Continental: 250@2,400 rpm6
Guiberson: 220@2,200 rpm6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh9
5 forward, 1 reverse2,9
Gear ratios - 1st gear 5.37:16
- 2nd gear 2.82:16
- 3rd gear 1.72:16
- 4th gear 1.09:16
- 5th gear 0.738:16
- reverse 6.19:16
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system 12 volt6
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,5
Continental: Gasoline6,11
Guiberson: Diesel6
Octane  
Quantity 54 gallons9, 56 gallons6, 50 gallons jettisonable tank6
151 liters2
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°3, hydraulic6, hand6,9
Speed - Road 34 mph4,9, 36 mph1,3,5,6,10,11
58 kph1,5,11, 60 kph10
Speed - Cross Country 15 - 20 mph4,9, 20 mph3,10
32 kph10
Range - Road 70 miles1,3,5,6,11, 124 miles9
112.6 km5,10, 113 km1,11
Range - Cross Country 100 miles9
Turning radius 21'6
13 m2
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
Fording depth 3'3,5,6, 42"9
0.9 m2, 0.91 m5
Trench crossing 6'3,5,6
1.83 m5
Vertical obstacle 2'3,5,6
0.61 m5
Climbing ability 26° (50%) slope9, 60%6
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute and trailing idler.3
Volute Springs2,6
Vertical volute spring, 2 double wheel bogies9
Wheels each side 42
Wheel size 20x66
Return rollers each side 29, 3
Tracks (Type) Rubber block6
Length  
Width 11 5/8"6,10, 11.6"9
0.295 m2,10
Diameter  
Number of links 132 or 1346
Pitch 5.5"6
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.1'9, 6' 1"10
1.854 m10
  M3A1 (Diesel) (Stuart IV)
Crew 49
Radio  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14.3 tons9
Length w/gun 14.6'9
Height 7.7'9
Width 7.3'9
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 16.5"9
Ground contact length 116"9
Ground pressure 10.6 psi9
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 37 mm9
Secondary  
MG .30 cal M1919A59
2: .30 cal M1919A49
Side arms .45 1928A1 Submachine gun9
Quantity  
Main 1069
Secondary  
MG 7,2209
Side arms 3509
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 1.5"9
Side: 1"9
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 1.5"9
Mantlet: 1"9
Turret Sides 1.25"9
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Guiberson Buda T-1020 Series 49
Bore / stroke 4-cycle9
Cooling Air9
Cylinders R-99
Capacity  
Net HP 22010
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh9
5 forward, 1 reverse9
Gear ratios  
Steering Controlled differential9
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric9
Electrical system 12-volt9
Ignition Injection9
Fuel (Type) Diesel9
Octane  
Quantity 50 gallons9
Road consumption 1.5 mpg9
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse Oilgear hydraulic9
Speed - Road 37 mph9
Speed - Cross Country 15-20 mph9
Range - Road 84 miles9
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 42"9
Trench crossing 6'9
Vertical obstacle 24"9
Climbing ability 26° (50%) slope9
Suspension (Type) Bogies bolted to the hull, support the vehicle on vertical volute springs9
Wheels each side 49
Wheel size  
Return rollers each side 39
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 11.5"9
Diameter  
Number of links 679
Pitch 5.5"9
Tire tread Rubber9
Track centers/tread 6.1'9

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  3. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. The American Arsenal, 1996
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Battle Winning Tanks, Aircraft & Warships of World War II, David Miller, 2000
  9. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  10. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  11. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site