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United States' M3, M3A1 Gun Motor Carriage:

Photos

M3 Gun Motor Carriage
United States' M3 Gun Motor Carriage
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

The British and American armies wanted a half track that would carry an anti tank gun. An M3 half track was adapted in 1941 by adding M1897A 75 mm gun.

Alterations

The M3 75 mm Gun Motor Carriage had the fuel tanks moved towards the rear to make room for the 75 mm gun.

Main Armament

The 75 mm M1897A was a copy of a French gun used in World War I.

Initially the gun shield was the full height version, but this caused the silhouette to be too high, so it was reduced.

Gun would fire at velocity of 2,000 ft/sec and penetrate 3 inches at 1,000 yards. Detachable canvas top. The APC shell weighed 18 lbs.

Production

Standardized in November 1941. It was classified as Limited Standard in March 1944, and declared obsolete in September 1944.

  • M3:
    • Production: 1941
    • Manufacturer: Autocar
  • M3, M3A1: 2,200
  • M3A1: 324
  • Total: 2,202
    • Converted by: Autocar

Variants

  • M3: Used M2A3 gun mount.
  • M3A1: Used M2A2 gun mount.
  • 75 mm SP Autocar: Name used by British.
  • T-12 GMC: The Marines converted M3s by adding a 75 mm pack howitzer or the 105 mm howitzer. Had crew of 5 and was used extensively in the Pacific.
  • T-19: An order was placed in March 1942. Declared obsolete in 1944. Had 105 mm gun installed. Used in North Africa.
  • 75 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage T30: Converted M3 half tracks and 500 built with 75 mm Howitzer M1A1. Elevation of 25° and traverse 21° left and 23° right. Used by HQ companies of medium tank battalions until replaced by M8 in 1943.

Usage

First vehicles sent to Philippines in late 1941. There were 50 that were shipped.

Used in Tunisia.

Used by British in Italy.

Specifications

  M3 Gun Motor Carriages
Crew Commander, driver, gunner, gun 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 18,085 lb
10 tons
10,160 kg
Length 20' 3", 20' 5.5"
6.14 m
Height 7' 5", 8' 2 5/8"
2.26 m
Width 7' 1", 7' 3"
2.22 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16"
Ground contact length 46.75"
Ground pressure 12 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2.95" M1897 A4
75 mm M1897A4
Secondary  
MG 0.3" MG
7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 59
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 0.5"
12.7 mm
Hull Front, Upper 0.5"@0°
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Shield Front 0.625"@0°
Shield Sides 0.25"@0°
Shield Rear  
Shield Top  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160 AX
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 128, 147
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Dual range synchromesh
8 forward, 2 reverse
Steering Cam and lever, front wheels only
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline, Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 60 gallons
Road consumption 3.5 mpg
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 19° left, 21° right
Hand
Speed - Road 45 mph
64 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 200 miles
280 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 30'
Elevation limits -10° to +29°
Fording depth 2' 8"
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'
Climbing ability 30° slope
Suspension (Type) Front wheels: Semi elliptic spring
Rear tracks: Vertical volute springing
Wheels each side Articulated dual wheel, four wheel bogies
Return rollers each side 1
Tracks (Type) Endless band
Length  
Width 1'
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 63 3/16", 64.5"
Tire size 8.25 x 20
Wheel base 135.5"
  M3 Gun Motor Carriages,
M3A1 Gun Motor Carriages
Crew Commander, driver, gun crew (3)
6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 20,000 lb
8.9 tons
9,071 kg
Length 20' 5.5", 20' 3"
6.2 m
Height 8' 2 5/8", 7' 5"2.28 m
Width 7' 1", 7' 4"
2.24 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16"
Ground contact length 3' 10.75"
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 75 mm M1897A4 gun
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms M1903 .30 Rifle
4: M1 .30 carbines
Grenades
Quantity  
Main 59
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms Grenades: 22
Armor Thickness (mm) 13
Hull Front, Upper 6
Hull Front, Lower 6
Hull Sides, Upper 6
Hull Sides, Lower 6
Hull Rear 6
Hull Top 6
Hull Bottom 6
Shield Front  
Shield Sides  
Shield Rear  
Shield Top  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160 AX
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 60 gallons
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph
72 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 200 miles, 180 miles
290 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 30'
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 8"
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side 1
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
Tire size  
Wheel base  
  T-19 Gun Motor Carriages
Crew 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 9.2 tons
9,298 kg
Length 20' 3"
6.2 m
Height 7' 5"
2.28 m
Width 7' 4"
2.24 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 105 mm M2 howitzer
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 8
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 13
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Shield Front  
Shield Sides  
Shield Rear  
Shield Top  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160 AX
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph
72 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 180 miles
290 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
Tire size  
Wheel base  

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. -
  3. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site