Open main menu

Wikimedia Commons β

Stuart tank

1940s light tank of American origin
English: The Stuart was an American light tank of World War II used by both U.S. and British forces, among others. The "Stuart" name, coined by the British, comes from the Civil War general Jeb Stuart and was used for both the M3 and M5 light tanks. To the U.S. Army the tanks were officially known as Light Tank, M3 and Light Tank, M5.

English: The M3 Stuart, introduced in 1941, was the earliest Stuart version. The British called it the Stuart I or Stuart II, depending on whether it had a gasoline or diesel engine. The M3 was developed from the preceding M2A4 light tank by thickening the armor, redesigning the main gun's recoil compensator so that it no longer protruded from the turret, and altering the suspension so that the rear idler wheel rested on the ground, reducing the tank's ground pressure. Unlike later Stuart versions, the M3 had a turret with a cupola for the commander, and its side sponsons held machine guns that were aimed and fired by the tank's driver. (Some late M3s had a newer turret without a cupola which was also used on the M3A1.)
English: The M3A1 Stuart, introduced in 1942, was the successor to the M3. The British called the gasoline-engined version the Stuart III and the diesel one the Stuart IV. The M3A1 had a new turret without a cupola; unlike the M3's turret, which was traversed by hand, that of the M3A1 had power traverse. The sponson machine guns were eliminated from the M3A1.
English: The M3A3 Stuart, introduced later in 1942, was the last model of the M3 line. The British called it the Stuart V. The M3A3 had a greatly modified hull, much like that of the M5 Stuart (see below) which had been introduced slightly earlier. Previous M3 versions had a hull with a low front, the superstructure beginning just underneath the turret. The new hull for the M5 and M3A3 rose more steeply in front, providing more internal space. On the M3A3 the hull had inward sloping sides and a flat rear deck. The M3A3 also had a lengthened turret with a rear extension for a radio compartment. This M3 version was not used by U.S. forces, instead being supplied to U.S. allies.
English: The M5 Stuart, introduced in early 1942 and dubbed Stuart VI by the British, was a new Stuart version powered by twin V8 automobile engines. M3 series Stuarts had used radial airplane engines, and war demands made these engines hard to obtain. The M5's hull was also redesigned, with a uniformly sloping front, flat sides, and an elevated rear deck to make room for the new engines. (This also formed the basis for the M3A3's hull.) The original M5 had a relative short turret, which would be extended in the later M5A1 (see below).
English: The M5A1 Stuart, introduced in late 1942, was the final Stuart version. (The British used their Stuart VI designation for this version as well, not distinguishing it from the original M5.) The M5A1 was a modified M5 with the same extended turret as on the M3A3. This turret had an anti-aircraft machine-gun mount on its right side, rather than on the rear as on previous Stuarts. On late versions of the M5A1 there is a curved shield covering this mount.