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United States' M3A1 medium tank

Photos

M3A1 Medium Tank:
United States' M3A1 Medium Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3A1 Medium Tank:
United States' M3 Medium TankU.S. Ordnance Dept.

Design

  Shell Type Weight Muzzle velocity
75 mm M2 AP 14.4 lb 1,290'/sec, 1,850'/sec
37 mm M6 AP 1.9 lb 2,600'/sec, 2,900'/sec
.30 Cal MG     2,800'/sec

Cast hull. Cast upper hull. Late models had escape hatch in hull floor instead of side doors.

Diesel version

Had Guiberson diesel engine.

Production

Produced by American Locomotive Company.

Usage

Was first model to be used by British against the Germans at Sidi Rezeg, Libya in November 1941.

Specifications

  M3A1 medium tank, Lee II
Crew Commander, driver, loaders(2), gunners(2).
6, 7
Radio SCR-508
Radio - command SCR-506
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 32 tons
60,000 lb, 63,880 lb
27,900 kg
Length 18' 6"
5.64-6.12 m
Height 10' 3", 10.25'
Width 8.95', 8' 11"
Ground clearance 17 1/8", 17.1"
Ground contact length 147"
Ground pressure 12.9 psi, 13.25 psi, 13.36 psi, 13.5 psi
Turret ring diameter 57"
Armament  
Main 75 mm M2
75 mm
75 mm M2, L/31
75 mm M2, gyrostabilized
OR 75 mm M3
Secondary 37 mm M5
37 mm
37 mm M6, L/53
37 mm M6
OR 37 mm M6
MG 3-4: .30 cal Browning MGs
3: MG
3: .30 cal M1919A4 and M1919A5, coaxial, hull, cupola
MG - cupola 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
1: .30 cal M1919A4 Browning MG
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
1: .30 cal M1919A4 Browning MG
MG - hull 1: .30 cal M1919A4 Browning MG
2: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
Side arms Hand grenades
.45 cal submachine gun
Quantity  
Main 46, 50
Secondary 178
MG 9,200
Side arms Grenades: 12
.45: 1,900
Armor Thickness (mm) 12, 37, 1.5" - 2"
Front: 2"
Side: 1.5"
Hull Front, Upper 2", 2"@0°
Hull Front, Lower 1.5"
Hull Sides, Upper 1.5", 1.5"@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 1.5"
Hull Rear 1.5", 1.5"@0°
Hull Top 0.5"
Hull Bottom 0.5" - 1"
Turret Front 2", 2.25", 2.25"@0°
Turret Sides 2", 2.25", 2.25"@0°
Turret Rear 2.25"
Turret Top 7/8"
Engine (Make / Model) Continental R-975-EC2, Continental R-975-C1, Continental R-975, Guiberson Diesel, Wright Whirlwind (gasoline), Continental R975-EC1, Guiberson T-1400
OR Continental R-975-EC1
Cooling Air
Cylinders 9, R-9
Wright: R-9
Net HP 340, 340@2,400 rpm
Diesel: 345, 350@2,400 rpm
Gasoline: 340
Wright: 420@2,000 rpm
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh
5 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential
Starter Electric
Electrical system 24-volts
Ignition Diesel: Injection
Gasoline: Magneto
Gear ratio - 1st gear 7.56:1
- 2nd gear 3.11:1
- 3rd gear 1.78:1
- 4th gear 1.11:1
- 5th gear 0.73:1
- Reverse gear 5.65:1
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Diesel
Octane 80
OR 92
Capacity 175 gallons
796 liters
Gasoline: 185 gallons
Diesel: 175 gallons
Fuel consumption - Road Gasoline: 0.6 mpg
Diesel: 0.8 mpg
Fuel consumption - Cross country  
Power to Weight Ratio  
Performance  
Traverse 37 mm: 360°, power or manual
75 mm: 15° left, 15° right
Hydraulic or hand
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph
34 kph
Speed - Cross Country 4-20 mph, 16 mph
Range - Road 120 miles
193 km
Gasoline: 120 miles
Diesel: 140 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning Radius 37'
18.9 m
Elevation Limits 75 mm: -9° to +20°
37 mm: -7° to +60°
Fording depth 3' 4", 42"
Trench crossing 6.2', 6' 2", 6' 3", 7.6'
Vertical Obstacle 2'
Climbing ability 30° slope, 31° (60%) slope, 60%
Suspension (Type) 3: Vertical Volute bogies
Vertical volute springing
Wheels each side 3x2, 3 two wheeled bogies
Wheel size 20" x 9"
Wheel size - idler 22" x 9"
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Rubber block or rubber bushed, double pin shoe
Steel blocks with rubber pads, rubber bushed track pins
Length  
Width 16", 16.5", 16 9/16"
Number of Links 79
Pitch 6"
Tire Tread Rubber
Track centers/tread 81", 6' 11", 6.9'

Sources:

  1. The American Arsenal, 1996
  2. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  3. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  4. 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
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. AFV 11: M3 Medium (Lee/Grant), Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site