M5A1 (5th Arm.Div.)

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M5A1 Stuart (5th Canadian Armored Division)
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
79 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
28 / 28 / 25Hull
50 / 32 / 32Turret
15.6 tWeight
565 hp296 hpEngine power
36.2 hp/t19 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
63 km/h forward
17 km/h back
57 km/h forward
15 km/h back
37 mm M6 cannonMain weapon
147 roundsAmmunition
2.9 / 3.7 sReload
-12° / 20°Vertical guidance
3000 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
3000 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
Sl icon.png1200/1300/670Repair
2300 Sl icon.pngCrew training
15000 Sl icon.pngExperts
110 Ge icon.pngAces
112 × 2 Talisman.png % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
50 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png40 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png30 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American premium tank M5A1 (5th arm.div.). For other uses, see M5 (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see M5 Stuart (Family).


GarageImage M5A1(5th arm.div.).jpg

The M5A1 Stuart (5th Canadian Armored Division) is a gift rank II American light tank with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.70.1945 "Weapons of Victory". Essentially a gift version of the M5A1 Stuart, its cost was $9.99 in the Gaijin Store, but has since been removed and is no longer obtainable.

With the fast reloading 37 mm cannon, the M5A1 Stuart can deliver some good-hitting rounds if shooting at the flank at the enemies. A frontal engagement is possible but detrimental as Stuart's thin armour makes any incoming shot lethal. If coming up to heavily armoured vehicles like the KV-1, load the M74B1 AP round for maximum penetration. In the case the M5A1 does come across a KV-1, the recommended course of action to take it out is to get in a point-blank range and fire at the turret ring or engine rear, otherwise, there is no way for the Stuart's 37 mm to penetrate the armour.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Lower glacis)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 28.5 mm (49°) Front glacis
63.5 mm (33-37°) Lower glacis
28.5 mm 28.5 mm (46°) Top
25.4 mm (1°) Middle
25.4 mm (20°) Bottom
12.7 mm
Turret 44.4 mm (11-13°) Turret front
50.8 mm (2-43°) Gun mantlet
31.75 mm (1°) 31.75 mm (1°) 12.7 mm


  • Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are 15 mm thick.
  • Tracks are placed on the turret side and rear that can provide about 10 mm of extra armour.
  • An extra 12.7 mm RHA metal plate is present on the right side of the turret near the pintle 7.62 mm machine gun.
  • A 5 mm Structural steel box is present, mounted on the vehicle rear.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 63 17 15.6 459 565 29.42 36.22
Realistic 57 15 262 296 16.79 18.97


Main armament

Main article: M6 (37 mm)
The M5A1 Stuart is armed with a 37 mm cannon as its main armament, the same gun as the preceding M3A3. While being at 2.3, 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 M5A1 Stuart 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. Knowledge of enemy vehicle layouts is essential with ammunition lacking post-penetration explosive damage. Make sure to target modules and crew positions to maximise the damage. Disabling the enemy gunner on your first shot will be critical to win engagements as you'll most likely need several shots to destroy an enemy vehicle.

37 mm M6
Capacity Vertical
147 -12°/+20° ±180° Vertical
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 22.85 31.62 38.40 42.47 45.18
Realistic 14.28 16.80 20.4 22.60 24.00
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
3.77 3.33 3.07 2.90
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
M74B1 AP 90 89 69 50 37 27
M63 Shell HE 2 2 2 2 2 2
M51B1/B2 APC 79 78 69 59 51 43
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
M74B1 AP 883 0.87 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M63 Shell HE 807 0.73 0.1 0.5 38 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M51B1/B2 APC 883 0.87 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Ammo racks
Ammo rack of the M5A1 Stuart.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
147 111 (+36) 74 (+73) 37 (+110) 1 (+146) No

Machine guns

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)
The M5A1 Stuart has two 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine guns, one being coaxial to the main gun and the other roof mounted on the right side of the turret. 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 even lightly armoured vehicles due to its low penetration of only 10 mm.
7.62 mm M1919A4
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Pintle mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
600 (200) 577 -10°/+70° ±60°

Usage in battles

Like all early American tanks in early ranks, this tank works best from a distance where its armour can shine and its gun can provide fast covering fire. However, this tank also works well in tight spaces if the armour is angled correctly, thanks to is the ability to bounce shots and snipe enemy crew with its AP ammunition.

When fighting against 1.3 to 2.3 BR tanks, use your tank offensively. Push to the cap and hold it, peak out and aim for gunners, then finish them off. the biggest threat to you in this bracket is the SPAA and Tank Destroyers, as both can quickly destroy you. When fighting SPAA, peak and knock out their gunner as fast as possible. Do not wait for him to come to you, get him when he isn't expecting it. Tank destroyers are similar, if you can get a shot when he can't aim at you, take it.

There are always times when you get up-tiered to 3.3 and start facing the long 75mm guns of Germany and Japan. Don't let that stop you from topping the leader board. Use your superior speed to get to the cap before anyone else and take it. Be mindful of artillery but don't expose yourself just to get out of its range. Remain in or close to the cap until you can see the enemy tanks approaching. On maps like Novorossiysk where you can hide in the park's capture point without being seen, watch for the enemy mediums to leave the urban area. That is your chance, peak and aim for gunners. if there is more than one, change your position and cripple as many as you can, then finish off anyone who hasn't retreated. By now your mediums will have arrived, so you can play more aggressively. Flank them hard and hit them from behind. Be sure not to be surprised by SPAA, because at this BR they will cripple and destroy you in a heartbeat.

In battle matches, it's best to flank them. Head around as far away from the usual battle sites as possible and then hit them from behind. A good surprise attack from the rear could get you as much as 4-5 destroyed tanks in less than a minute.

Always remember that your armour can bounce low-velocity shots, but don't rely on it. most tanks can and will penetrate your upper glacis.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive M51B1/B2
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Airstrike
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support Improved optics
This is a premium vehicle: all modifications are unlocked on purchase

Pros and cons


  • High top speed, good acceleration
  • Better handling than it's predecessors
  • Armour is mediocre but is good
  • Good rate of fire
  • Gun can penetrate most tanks it faces
  • Fast turning speeds
  • Can rotate quickly while not in motion
  • Accelerates fast on flat terrain


  • Crew of 4, only 1 spare crew member
  • Exposed fuel tank and engine
  • Prone to fires
  • As with the American 37 mm cannons, AP shots have no HE filler
  • AP Shots often fail to fragment when penetrating other vehicles



The American light tank design prior to World War II, the M2 light tank, was seen as obsolete after observing Germany's Panzer forces tear through Europe. The design was to be upgraded with more armour, a better suspension, and a new gun recoil system. The revised version was designated the Light Tank M3, and given the name "General Stuart" by the British. At its basis, the light tank had a 37 mm cannon with a similar layout as the M2 light tank, with the radial engine at the rear and the transmission on the front, though the radial engine was in high demand so the Guiberson diesel T-1210 were fitted in some models to substitute the engine. The design used the VVSS bogie system seen on previous American tank designs. The tank had a crew of four: driver, assistant driver, gunner, and commander, who doubled as the loader.

The first variant of the M3 Stuart light tank was very similar to the M2 light tanks. It had five machine gun armaments scattered around like the M2 but featured better armour and a better cannon with the 37 mm M6 cannon. The design did not have a turret basket for the crew and it was constructed out of rivets, which increased the chance of spalling in the tank. Nevertheless, the first variant M3 saw about 5,811 units produced. The second variant, the Light Tank M3A1 Stuart, featured a new turret with no cupola on it, plus an added gun stabilizer. The machine guns on the hull sides were removed, so now the total machine guns were reduced from five to three. The design also featured a welded armour design to remove the weakness of riveted armour. 4,621 of this variant was produced from May 1942 to February 1943. The most used variant, the Light Tank M5A1 Stuart, had a completely redesigned hull and turret, with the hull most notably having a full sloping frontal armour than the previous designs. This variant had about 6,810 units produced. All in all, the Stuart light tank design and its variants were produced in massive quantities from March 1941 to October 1943 with a total of 25,000 units produced.

The M5A1 model proper, unlike the M3 and M3A1, was not Lend-Leased to the British. Instead, the Commonwealth countries received the functionally identical M3A3 model, which they called the "Stuart V", however. In total, 3,427 M3A3s were built, seeing service with the British and Canadians in Europe beginning in 1944, as well as with the Yugoslav partisans and the Chinese army in Burma. With the British and Canadians they were used in the recce troops of armoured regiments, tank battalions, and armoured recce regiments, starting in 1944.

Combat usage

The British were the first to use the M3 Stuart in Africa in 1941, using it in Operation Crusader. However, the result ended with heavy losses, due to the better training the German Afrika Korps had compared to the British tank doctrine. The encounter also pointed out many flaws in the Stuart, mainly the cramped interior and limited operational range, but was praised for its high mobility and reliability when compared to the British contemporary designs. In 1942, the Stuarts were generally kept as recon units rather than combat units, and some were even modified to improve speed and range by removing the turret, and others were converted to armoured personnel carriers and command vehicles. Though the British used it extensively, it was still in small proportion compared to American usage. The Soviet Union was also another user of the Stuart tanks but found it unfavourable due to their own logistics, plus it was not made to withstand the Russian Rasputitsa or even the winter. The Soviet eventually turned down any more offers for the Stuart by 1943. The Canadians also used it in their armoured force, such as in the 5th Canadian Armoured Division. Stuarts also served with British and Chinese forces in Asia against the Japanese Army, and Yugoslavian partisans

The Americans used it widely in both operational theatres. In the Pacific, the Stuarts were the first tanks America used in a tank vs. tank operation against the Imperial Japanese Army, where five M3s fought Type 95 Ha-Gos in the Phillippines. Though the Stuarts were newer than the Japanese tank designs by about five years, they were seen as equal in performance and firepower. The Stuarts served in the Pacific slightly better than its heavier counterparts such as the M4 Shermans due to its lighter weight and manoeuvrability in the poor jungle terrain, but the Stuarts in the Pacific were gradually replaced by M4 Shermans. In Europe, the Stuarts formed a large part of the American tank battalions, though increasingly following the British path by sidelining the Stuarts from combat duties after heavy losses and to serve alongside Shermans as scouting units. A typical tank battalion for the US Army consisted of three companies of Shermans and one of the Stuarts. The Stuarts, other than scouting, were also used in cavalry roles and infantry support since their cannon are unable to compete with the German tank designs. Despite their dwindling capabilities in battle, the Stuart was kept in service up until the end of the war.

After World War II, the Stuarts were given out as cheap surplus, countries such as China, India, and Pakistan picked up a few and used them in their conflicts. Portuguese also picked up a few Stuarts for the war in Angola, and the South African Corps continued using the Stuarts until 1955, where some were still kept in service until 1968 due to available parts. Today, Paraguay is still a user of the Stuart light tanks, though as the only tracked armour used in the country.

The Stuart light tank design was also quite versatile that it was made into different variants for different roles on the battlefield. It served as an infantry support vehicle as to the 75mm GMC M8 and experiments were also taken to see if it could be adapted to an anti-aircraft gun and a flamethrower as well. However, the Stuarts were becoming an aging design with inferior armour, cramped interior layout, and a small 37 mm gun, so a program to replace the light tank began in 1943 and became the M24 Chaffee, which would eventually replace the Stuarts beginning toward the end of World War II.

In-game description

In November 1942 the M5 Stuart light tank was outfitted with an M3A3 turret, resulting in the Stuart series' final modification. The bulwark was made standard, different from the M5, and a safety hatch was added to the hull floor in addition to a new periscope in the turret. The tank commander got a second turret rotator and the ability to control the turret separately from the gunner. Late model M5A1s were characterized by armored cover for the anti-aircraft gun emplacement and an equipment case on the back of the hull. In addition, stamped weight-bearing rollers began to be used in the running gear.

M5A1s were produced by Cadillac and American Car & Foundry (beginning in September 1943). By June 1944 a total of 6,810 had been made, making the M5A1 modification the most popular.

At the time of the Normandy invasion the US army primarily used M5A1s, though it was difficult for them to get through the Normandy hedges. Even equipped with special hedge-clearing equipment, light tanks often got stuck due to their under-powered engines, making them easy prey for German anti-tank guns. Thinner than on medium tanks, their armor made them especially vulnerable to panzerfausts. The battles of summer 1944 saw heavy losses in light tank companies. The casualty rate decreased during the fall somewhat, primarily because they played a lesser role and division commanders tried to keep them out of battles where they might face stronger opponents. In contrast to the Americans, the British used M3A3s and even M3A1s in addition to the M5A1 in Europe. They predominantly played a reconnaissance and command role.

Shown as a tank from the Canadian Fifth Armored Division.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

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.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
  • other literature.

USA light tanks
  M8 · M22 · T18E2
LVT  LVT(A)(1) · LVT(A)(4)
M2  M2A2 · M2A4 · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.)
Stuart  M3 Stuart · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC) · M5A1 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.)
M24  M24 · M24 (TL)
Post-war  M41A1 · T92 · M551 · M3 Bradley · HSTV-L

USA premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  LVT(A)(4) · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.) · M3A1 (USMC) · M8 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.) · T18E2
Medium tanks  Grant I · M4A5 · Calliope · T20 · M26 T99 · M26E1 · M46 "Tiger" · Magach 3 · XM-1 (GM) · XM-1 (Chrysler) · T54E1
Heavy tanks  T14 · Cobra King · T29 · T30
Tank destroyers  M8A1 · M18 "Black Cat" · Super Hellcat · T28 · T114