M5 Stuart (Family)

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The Light Tank, M5 Stuart is a later iteration of the M3 Stuart, with an redesigned hull and a better engine.

The designation M5 was chosen to not be confused with the Medium Tank M4 Sherman.


Rank II

Vehicles Based on the M5

Main Article: M8 Scott (Family)

Development and Design



M5 Stuart

M5A1 Stuart

The second variant of the M5 Stuart series, the main difference of the M5A1 was the improved M3A3 turret. The M3A3 turret had a bustle on the rear, which was used to house the SCR 508 radio with the antenna protruding from the rear roof of the turret. The pintle mount for the .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919A4 machine gun was moved to the right side of the turret, and the commander could fire it while partially inside the tank. The pistol ports were removed on this turret, and the M5A1 also had an escape hatch under the assistant driver's position. Additionally, the tank was sealed better to prevent any leakage of water.

The M5A1 was the first tank in the series to feature fenders and sand guards for the upper tracks. Lower sideskirts could be attached to the bogie leg hooks for additional protection, but most M5A1s were not equipped with this portion. Additionally, many M5A1s did not have rear mudguards, some did not have front fenders, and sometimes they didn't have any parts of the kit. A stowage basket was added to the rear of the tank, an armored shield was added to the .30 cal pintle mount, and a roof-mounted spotlight was added. Brackets/rails were provided for mounting of tracks in groups of four on the turret. On later models the amount of rails for track storage was increased and late in production the road wheels were replaced by cast models, rather than the original spoked road wheels.


Production of the M5 was approved in February 1942, and production began on 30 April 1942. At the Cadillac division of the GMC plant in Detroit, 1470 M5s were built, with production ending in December 1942. Starting in August M5s were also produced at the Southgate California plant and Massey Harris Company plant, with 354 and 250 tanks built respectively; most of these M5s were exported. Production ended in December because the improved M5A1 was then introduced.

Production of the M5A1 was approved on 24 September 1942 and began in November at the Cadillac Detroit plant, with a production total of 1196 units delivered. The Southgate and Massey Harris plants began production in December, with 3530 total units produced. American Cars and Foundry began producing the M5A1 in October of 1943, with 1000 units delivered. The total production of M5A1 tanks was 6,810 units produced, with production ending in June 1944. Three times as many M5A1s were produced as M5s as the M5A1 was introduced relatively early in production. Additionally, American Cars and Foundry refitted early M5A1s to the late production standard between November 1944 and June 1945, with the rear stowage basket and other minor improvements.





M5 Stuart

M5 Stuart

M5A1 Stuart

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