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United States' M3A3 light tank, Stuart Mk V

Photos

M3A3 Light Tank:
United States' M3A3 Light Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3A3 light tank:
United States' M3A3 Light Tank
The American Arsenal
M3A3 light tank drawing:
United States' M3A3 Light Tank drawing
The American Arsenal

Design

The M3A3 was standardized in August 1942, and classified as Limited Standard in April 1943.

Had an improved turret with a bulge in the rear for the radio installed. Three additional periscopes are installed.

The 37 mm gun fired a 1.9 lb AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,900'/sec. The .30 cal MG fired at 2,800'/sec.

The hull was redesigned with all welded one piece hull front. The front plate was extended which allowed for more room for storage and improved the safety for the driver and assistant driver. The driver's hatches are moved to the top of the hull. Periscopes are installed to provide vision for the driver and assistant driver. The sponsons were extended to the rear and this allowed for more gasoline and ammunition storage. A storage box is added at the rear of the hull.

A sand shield is extended over the top of the suspension.

Additional improvements included easier steering, improved fire protection and ventilation, detachable head lamps, and a detachable windshield. A Combination Gun Mount, M44, with a telescope was installed.

Production

Phased out of production in 1943.

Specifications

  M3A3 (Stuart V), M3A3 light tank
Crew Commander, gunner, driver, co-driver.
4
Radio SCR-245
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12.3 tons
29,700 lb, 31,752 lb
Length w/gun 14' 10", 16' 6"
4.53 m
Height 7' 6.5", 8' 8"
Width 7' 4", 8' 3"
2.46 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 16.5"
0.42 m
Ground contact length 116", 117"
Ground pressure 10.4 psi, 10.47 psi
Turret ring diameter 46.75"
Armament  
Main 37 mm M5 or M6 L/56
37 mm L/56
37 mm M5
37 mm
37 mm M6, gyrostabilized
OR 37 mm M6
Secondary  
MG 3: MG
3: .30 cal Browning MGs
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
1: .30 cal Browning MG
MG - hull 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
1: .30 cal Browning MG
MG - antiaircraft 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
1: .30 cal Browning MG
Side arms 1" .30 cal M2 tripod mount
1" .45 cal submachine gun
12: Hand grenades
Quantity  
Main 174
Secondary  
MG 7,500, 6,400-8,270
Side arms .45: 500 - 540, 540
Grenades: 12 (4: Fragmentation Mk II, 2: Offensive Mk IIIA2, 4: Smoke WP M15, 2: Thermite Incendiary)
Armor Thickness (mm) 10, 51
Hull Front, Upper 1.5", 1.5"@0°, 1" - 1.5"
38.1
Hull Front, Lower 5/8" - 1.75"
Hull Sides, Upper 1", 1"@0°
25.4
Hull Sides, Lower 1"
Hull Rear 1", 1"@0°
25.4
Hull Top 3/8"
9.5
Hull Bottom 3/8" - 0.5"
6.4 - 12.7
Turret Front 1.5", 1.5"@0°
38.1 m
Turret Sides 1.25", 1.25"@0°
25.4
Turret Rear 1.25", 1.25"@0°
25.4
Turret Top 0.5", 0.5"@90°
9.5
Engine (Make / Model) Continental Wright, Continental W-670, Continental, Continental W670-A
OR Guiberson T1020, Guiberson T1020-4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Continental: Air
Guiberson: Air
Cylinders Radial, 7
Continental: Radial 7
Guiberson: Radial 9
Capacity  
Net HP 250@2,400 rpm, 250
Continental: 250, 250@2,400 rpm
Guiberson: 185 , 220@2,200 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh
5 forward, 1 reverse
Gear ratios - 1st gear 5.37:1
- 2nd gear 2.82:1
- 3rd gear 1.72:1
- 4th gear 1.09:1
- 5th gear 0.738:1
- reverse 6.19:1
Steering Controlled differential
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system 12 volt
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Guiberson: Diesel
Continental: Gasoline
Octane 80
Cetane 50
Quantity 54 gallons, 102 gallons
151 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Manual and hydraulic
Speed - Road 31 mph, 34 mph, 36 mph
57.9 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 - 20 mph, 20 mph
Range - Road 70 miles, 125 miles, 135 miles
120 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 21'
13 m
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
Fording depth 3', 3' 4"
0.9 m
Trench crossing 6', 7'
Vertical obstacle 2'
Climbing ability 30° slope, 60%
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute and trailing idler.
Volute Springs
Vertical volute springing
Wheels each side 4
2 double wheeled bogies
Wheel size 20x6
Return rollers each side 2, 3
Tracks (Type)  
Length Steel, rubber blocks and rubber bushed track pins, Rubber block
Width 11 5/8"
295 mm
Diameter  
Number of links 66, 132 or 134
Pitch 5.5"
Tire tread Rubber
Track centers/tread 6' 1"

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 American Arsenal, 1996
  6. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  7. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site