|This page is about the light tank M3A3 (Italy). For other versions, see M3 Stuart (Family).|
The Carro leggero M3A3 is a rank II Italian light tank with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".
Survivability and armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 25 mm (46-49°) Front Glacis - upper plate
20 mm (spherical) MG port
50 mm (24-27°) Front Glacis - joint plate
50 mm (44-46°) Front Glacis - lower plate
44.4 mm (25-43°) Lower Glacis
|25.4 mm|| 25.4 mm (1-26°) Upper part
25.4 mm (21°) Lower part
|Turret|| 38.1 mm (12-14°) Turret front
50.8 mm Gun mantlet
| 31.75 mm
15 mm Add-on tracks
|31.75 mm||12.7 mm|
- Suspension wheels, tracks and bogies are 15 mm thick.
- Mudguards and rear storage box are 4 mm thick
The frontal armour on the ▄M3A3 is pretty tough for a light tank with 25 mm on the front & sides of the hull, and a large, 50 mm thick gun mantlet covering up most of its frontal turret. When angled correctly it can bounce off quite a few shots. However it can still be easily penetrated by average guns on its BR. From the front the 4 crews are sitting pretty close together, thus making it highly possible to get one-shot by shells with explosives like the Soviet 45 mm AP or the German short 75 mm APHE. The transmission and the engine are all quite small and low, and the ammoracks are also small, reducing the chance of being immobile or ammoracked. There is also an empty area under the turret crews and in front of the driving compartment, which will absorb those shells with weak damage.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
One of the best aspects of the M3A3 (Italy) is its superior mobility. It has a top speed of 58 km/h and doesn't lose too much speed on soft terrains as it's tracked, making it one of the fastest tanks at the BR alongside with the famous BT series tanks. The turning ability is also amazing, since the hull is short and wide enough, allowing it to turn agilely. However, when trying to stop the tank while it is travelling at full speed, the brakes tend to be inefficient, giving it a long braking distance and making it very sluggish when stopping.
Modifications and economy
The ▄M3A3 is armed with a 37 mm cannon as its main armament. While its high BR makes it face tougher opponents, the gun still packs a fierce punch if aiming at the correct area and firing at the correct distance. It is a small calibre fast-firing gun with a maximum penetration of 84 mm at 100 m (M51B1/B2 shell), being able to penetrate most of the opponents it will face. The penetration power and gun accuracy drop a lot beyond 500 m and become unreliable past 700 m. The gun is equipped with a vertical stabiliser, giving the ▄M3A3 a huge advantage in some cases as you can fire precisely while moving, but keep in mind that it activates only when the tank is driving under 10 km/h.
While it lacks the post-penetration damage to disable most enemies in one shot, it can quickly finish them off with its fast reload. However, the gun can overheat from shooting several shots without interruption and cause a loss of accuracy noticeable even at 200 m distance. A short pause between shots will prevent this from happening.
|37 mm M6||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|174||131 (+43)||87 (+87)||44 (+130)||1 (+173)||Yes|
- Only 144 shells are modeled in the racks 1 to 4.
- The 1st rack contains 13 shells but empties after having fired 43 shells.
- The 2nd rack contains 52 shells but empties after having fired 44 shells.
- The 3rd rack contains 24 shells but empties after having fired 43 shells.
- The 4th rack contains 55 shells but empties after having fired 44 shells.
- To go into battle with the turret and the flanks empty of ammo, pack 44 (+130) shells (racks 1 to 3 emptied).
The M3A3 has two 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine guns, one being coaxial to the main gun and the other roof-mounted. The two machine guns can quickly incapacitate the exposed crews on some vehicles or do some serious damage to those low-passing planes. The machine gun is only enough to destroy poorly protected vehicles such as AS 42, FlakPz I and GAZ-AAA. The penetration of around 10 mm is not enough to go through the frontal armour of those not-so-weakly-armoured tanks like SU-5-1, Panzerjager 1 or 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl. If you are skilled the two machine gun can effectively damage low-flying biplanes.
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M3A3 Stuart is best used as a point-capper and a hit-n-run tank. Its extreme mobility gives the player uncountable ways to play with the enemy. At the start of a battle, it can quickly cap a nearby point first, but note that some wheeled vehicles, like the Sd.Kfz.234 series in a mixed battle can still outrun the M3A3 on-road, therefore posing a great threat. Or it can get to an ambush position near the point and wait until the prey comes. With its reliable gun, the M3A3 should be able to destroy the first wave of enemies easily and quickly.
In the middle stages of a battle, the M3A3 can utilise its excellent mobility and get to wherever needs help while carefully looking around. If the M3A3 unexpectedly encounter an enemy in its path, don't panic! Circle around the enemy and try to force it to turn, this way it usually cannot aim at the M3A3 accurately, then reduce the M3A3's speed down under 10 km/h and keep moving. Now the M3A3's stabiliser will give the tank a great chance to hit while on the move as it stabilises the gun when the tank is under 10 km/h, making it easier time to put the gun on target while moving compared to the enemy.
The frontal armour of this tank is also quite good at a distance. Find a building or a big rock as cover and angle the hull for about 40 degrees. When ready to fire, go out of cover and stop once the 37 mm gun is exposed, don't go out too much or the thin side armour will be exposed to be hit. Keep in mind that with this tactic the player should only engage the low-penetrating enemies at more than 400 m, as their penetration will drop significantly at that distance while the M3A3 can still penetrate 73 mm of armour, which is enough to go through most of its opponents like the T-50, SU-76M or Crusader Mk III.
Enemies worth noting:
Specific enemy vehicles that bear mentioning are firstly any Germans with the 20 mm KwK/FlaK38 cannon, this gun might be small but can have up to 64 mm of penetration, which is enough to go through the M3A3 almost anywhere. These guns can also fire 10 rounds at 280 rounds/min before having to reload the clip, meaning that they will very easily take out your crew before you have a chance to respond. To counter, the best chance you have is to angle your frontal armour which can make it difficult for the PzGr 40 rounds to penetrate. The Russian T-50 and T-126 are vehicles you will also see commonly, these have fairly thick and angled frontal armour that will prevent you from easily getting through. These tanks can also carry an APHEBC round that will destroy you in one shot with little difficulty, to counter you should use your speed to attempt to get a side shot into either the turret or engine. If the T-50 cannot move you can outrun its turret and finish it without much difficulty.
It is likely that the M3A3 will encounter some rough heavies, like the Matilda III and the B1 bis. The best tactic against these types of targets is to use the M3A3's fast speed, get within 200 m from them and attack, with shooting at point-blank range being the most effective way. Before conducting an attack, check the M3A3's and the enemy's surroundings to make sure no one will ambush the M3A3. While charging, use the M3A3's quick turns to suddenly change direction to avoid being shot if they are aiming and firing at the M3A3. Once the tank is at the ideal distance, manoeuvre so that the gun is perpendicular to their armour. Do not shoot if the enemy is angling! The small calibre 37 mm gun is very likely to bounce off or not penetrate against sloped armour.
For the Matilda III, shoot at the middle of the near-vertical frontal plate to knock out the driver first, since the 37 mm shell is not enough to knock out the gunner after penetrating. Once it is immobile, go to its side and finish it by shooting its hull sides. Or, shoot the right side of the gun mantlet to disable its gunner. For the best chance of penetration, do not shoot its turret side.
For the B1, either aim for the near-vertical frontal armour plate at the right side of the hull, or the turret ring to incapacitate the commander/gunner, or simply move to its side and knock out the crews one by one by hitting its flat side armour.
Pros and cons
- Great firepower: cannon has good penetration, excellent rate of fire and gun depression of -10 degrees, allowing the M3 to manoeuvre to any terrain and adapt to it well
- Excellent acceleration, top speed and turning ability on all terrains; easily outruns common opponents like the Pz.III and Crusader
- Access to a vertical stabiliser which most tanks don't have, giving it an advantage in a sudden encounter
- Respectable sloped armour that, if angled, might bounce some shells from a distance, such as the 37 mm M6 on other M3 Stuarts
- Small turret profile makes it harder to get hit
- Weak armour against high-penetration shells like the 76 mm F-34/ZIS-5
- Its shells do not have explosive filler, severely limiting the post-penetration effect especially against spacious tanks like the LVT(A)(1)
- Inefficient brakes when trying to stop the tank at full speed
- Hull is fairly tall for a light tank and the crews are closely packed, reducing its survivability
- While fast, it is still slower than the Sd.Kfz.234 series on the road
After World War II, Italy joined NATO. As part of the military aid program, the United States supplied Italy with a diverse set of vehicles, including the M3A3 Stuart, which was designated the Carro Leggero M3 in Italian service.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|Italy light tanks|
|L6/40 · AB 41 · AB 43 · Toldi IIA · AUBL/74 · AUBL/74 HVG · FIAT 6614 · R3 T106 FA|
|Centauro I 105 · Centauro I 105 R · Centauro I 120 · Dardo|
|Foreign||▄M3A3 · ▄M24 · ▄M18|