M3A3 Stuart (China)
7 km/h back58 km/h forward
6 km/h backSpeed
|This page is about the light tank M3A3 Stuart (China). For other uses, see M3 (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see M3 Stuart (Family).|
The ␗Light Tank M3A3 Stuart is a rank I Chinese light tank with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
Survivability and armour
The frontal armor on the M3A3 is pretty tough for a light tank with 25mm on the front & sides of the hull, and a large, 50mm 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-shotted by shells with explosives like the Soviet 45mm AP or the German short 75mm 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.
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One of the best aspect of the M3A3 Stuart (China) 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.
The M3A3 is armed with an 37 mm M6 cannon as its main armament, the same gun as the preceding M8. While being 1.3 BR higher than the M8, the M3A3's gun still packs a fierce punch if aiming at the correct area and firing at the correct distance. It is a small caliber fast-firing gun with a maximum penetration of 84mm at 100m (M51B1/B2 shell), being able to penetrate most of the opponents it will face. While it lacks the post-penetration damage to one-shot most enemy, it can quickly finish them off with its fast reload. The penetration and trajectory drops a lot beyond 500m. Note that the gun has a vertical stabiliser, giving the player a huge advantage in some cases, but keep in mind that the stabiliser only works when the tank is slower than 10 km/h.
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. However it lacks the ability to effectively damage lightly armored vehicles due to its low penetration of only 10mm.
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, can still outrun the M3 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 M3 should be able to destroy the first wave of enemies easily and quickly.
In the middle stages of a battle, the M3 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 M3 can still penetrate 73 mm of armour, which is enough to go through most of its opponents like the Pz.IIIs.
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 pen, 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 M3 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 vertical 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 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.
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|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism|
Pros and cons
- Great cannon with good penetration, excellent rate of fire and gun depression; it can effectively penetrate common opponents like the Pz.II and Chi-Ha, as well as heavy targets like the B1 bis or Matilda III
- Excellent acceleration, top speed and turning ability on all terrains; easily outruns slower opponents like the Pz.III
- Access to a vertical stabiliser which most tanks don't have, it is an advantage in close quarter encounters
- Respectable frontal armour that, if angled, might bounce some shells from a distance (eg. Japanese 37 mm/German 20 mm)
- Small turret profile makes it harder to get hit when hull-down
- Empty space below the turret crew can absorb poorly aimed shots, they tend to not do much damage
- Weak armour against high-penetration shells like 50 mm Kwk 39 or 76 mm F-34
- 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
The M3A3 Stuart was a substantially exported tank from the United States. Due to its proven capabilities in all theatres of the Second World War, it found itself on the battlefields of Eastern Asia. The Republic of China were supplied with over one thousand M3A3 Stuarts, making them a prolific user of the Stuart. Some tanks during the late war use were retrofitted with light up-armour packages to further protect the front and sides of the tank thus extending its service life. By 1946, the Kuomintang Armoured Corps were still operating at least 116 Stuart light tanks.
The use of this tank would continue post-war into the Chinese civil war. M3A3 Stuarts served with both Kuomintang and Communist Party forces until at least 1949 when the Civil war concluded in Communist Party victory. The Kuomintang were able to transport tanks over the East China Sea as they escaped to Taiwan. Some of these tanks remain today in museums in both China and Taiwan.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|China light tanks|
|Type 63-I · Type 62 · ZBD86|
|American||␗M8 LAC · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M5A1 · ␗M24|
|Soviet||␗T-26 · T-26 No.531 · ␗PT-76|