Difference between revisions of "M3 Stuart"

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{{Specs-Card|code=us_m3_stuart}}
 
{{Specs-Card|code=us_m3_stuart}}
 
+
{{About
 +
| about = American light tank '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
 +
|other
 +
|usage-1 = other uses
 +
|link-1 = M3 (Disambiguation)
 +
|usage-2 = other vehicles of the family
 +
|link-2 = M3 Stuart (Family)
 +
}}
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
<!--''In the description, the first part needs to be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert the screenshot of the vehicle. If the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, they will immediately understand what kind of vehicle it is talking about.''-->
+
<!-- ''In the description, the first part should be about the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle, as well as its key features. In the second part, tell the reader about the ground vehicle in the game. Insert a screenshot of the vehicle, so that if the novice player does not remember the vehicle by name, he will immediately understand what kind of vehicle the article is talking about.'' -->
 
[[File:GarageImage_M3Stuart.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
[[File:GarageImage_M3Stuart.jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
{{break}}
+
{{Break}}
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a Rank {{Specs|rank}} American light tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in [[Update 1.45 "Steel Generals"]]. With a better engine and transmission system than the [[M2A4|M2 light tanks]], the M3 ''Stuart'' is more able to maneuver the battlefield as a dependable light tank.
+
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} American light tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in [[Update 1.45 "Steel Generals"]]. With a better engine and transmission system than the [[M2A4|M2 light tanks]], the M3 ''Stuart'' is more able to manoeuvre the battlefield as a dependable light tank.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 +
[[File:M3 Stuart Screenshot 3.jpg|thumb|M3 Stuart driving in the Snow ([[Frozen Pass (Ground Forces)|Frozen Pass]])]]
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
<!--''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat?''
+
<!-- ''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat? If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.'' -->
 +
 
 +
Being a light tank the M3 Stuart has fairly thin armour, it can generally protect against most machine guns but will usually not stand up against the main weapons of most enemy tanks at its battle rating. The inside of the tank is fairly cramped with the two turret members standing, this means that the likelihood of a crew member being hit is fairly high.
  
''If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''-->
 
 
'''Armour type:'''
 
'''Armour type:'''
  
 
* Rolled homogeneous armour
 
* Rolled homogeneous armour
 +
* Cast homogeneous armour (lower frontal plate)
  
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
|-
! Armour !! Front !! Sides !! Rear !! Roof  
+
! Armour !! Front !! Sides !! Rear !! Roof
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Hull || 38.1 mm (18°) ''Driver Port'' <br> 15.8 mm (69°) ''Front Glacis'' || 25.4 mm || 25.4 mm || 12.7 mm
 
| Hull || 38.1 mm (18°) ''Driver Port'' <br> 15.8 mm (69°) ''Front Glacis'' || 25.4 mm || 25.4 mm || 12.7 mm
Line 27: Line 37:
  
 
* Suspension wheels and bogies are 15 mm thick, tracks are 10 mm thick.
 
* Suspension wheels and bogies are 15 mm thick, tracks are 10 mm thick.
 +
 +
[[File:M3 Stuart turning updated.gif|thumb|426x426px|M3 Stuart Turning Demo at Slow and Fast speeds]]
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
<!--''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability as well as the maximum speed forward and backward.''-->
+
<!-- ''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability, as well as the maximum speed forwards and backwards.'' -->
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
+
 
|-
+
{{tankMobility|abMinHp= 406|rbMinHp= 232}}
! colspan="3" | Mobility characteristic
+
 
|-
+
The M3 Stuart can reach a speed of 49 km/h off-road and up to 50 km/h on road. It can feel sluggish while turning at a lower speed as it lacks neutral steer, but when moving forward the turning is much smoother and quicker. The vehicle reverses at up to 5 km/h which while somewhat slow, is still usable in most situations on the battlefield.
! Weight (tons)
 
! colspan="1" | Add-on Armor<br>weight (tons)
 
! colspan="1" | Max speed (km/h)
 
|-
 
| rowspan="2" | 12.6 || colspan="1" rowspan="2" | N/A || colspan="1" | 56 (AB)
 
|-
 
|50 (RB/SB)
 
|-
 
! colspan="3" | Engine power (horsepower)
 
|-
 
! colspan="1" | Mode
 
!Stock
 
!Upgraded
 
|-
 
|''Arcade''
 
|406
 
|500
 
|-
 
|''Realistic/Simulator''
 
|232
 
|262
 
|-
 
! colspan="3" | Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
 
|-
 
! colspan="1" | Mode
 
!Stock
 
!Upgraded
 
|-
 
|''Arcade''
 
|32.22
 
|39.68
 
|-
 
|''Realistic/Simulator''
 
|18.41
 
|20.79
 
|-
 
|}
 
  
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 
=== Main armament ===
 
=== Main armament ===
<!--''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''-->
+
<!-- ''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.'' -->
 
{{main|M5 (37 mm)}}
 
{{main|M5 (37 mm)}}
  
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
+
The main gun of the M3 Stuart is a 37 mm M5 cannon, this gun is also featured on the [[M2A4]] and [[M3 Lee]], On the M3 Stuart the M5 can use 2 round types, either M74 (AP) or M51 (APCBC) with the latter being a Tier 1 modification.
 +
 
 +
The overall firepower is decent. The main cannon has an adequate penetration of about 60 mm which is more than enough to go through most tanks below 2.0, for example, T-26, Pz.III and Pz.35t. Although the available ammunition is all solid shells, they still make quite a bit shrapnel when penetrated which is enough to one-shot compact tanks like T-26 and Pz.35t. For larger tanks like the LVT(A), accurate shots pinpointing the crew are required which might be a little hard for new players. The cannon has enough accuracy to precisely knock out the enemy's crew within 500m. If one shot misses, the reload time of around 3.5 seconds allows quick following shots.
 +
 
 +
There is a nice stabiliser for the cannon which is a big advantage when exchanging fire, as it allows you to move out of cover and fire (usually before the enemy) without having to wait for your tank to stop wobbling. The stabiliser should be utilised to maximise your chance of surviving and killing. Note that it only works below 10 kph, so remember to slow down or it will not stabilise the gun.
 +
 
 +
Targets like the 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl or M3 GMC (mixed battle) can be quite hard to destroy, as their armour is thin enough to create little shrapnel, but are also thick enough to stop MG bullets. Against them, you can only rely on you fire rate, accuracy and of course your knowledge of their crew position to knock out their crew one by one. Always go for the gunners or drivers first, if you failed then they can always fight back and one-shot you.
 +
 
 +
The main cannon is only effective in close-quarter combat (usually within 200m) or against weakly armoured targets since the penetration drops drastically as the range increases, plus the small calibre makes the shells easy to ricochet. When encountering fairly well armoured tanks like the M13/40 or H.35, try and break their gun barrels first or track them. If they are too far away, pin them on the map and call teammates to help.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="6" | [[M5 (37 mm)|37 mm M5]]
+
! colspan="5" | [[M5 (37 mm)|37 mm M5]] || colspan="5" | Turret rotation speed (°/s) || colspan="4" | Reloading rate (seconds)
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="3" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity
+
! Mode !! Capacity !! Vertical !! Horizontal !! Stabilizer
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
+
! Stock !! Upgraded !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
+
! Stock !! Full !! Expert !! Aced
! rowspan="1" | Stabilizer
 
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="3" | 103 || -10°/+20° || ±180° || Vertical
+
! ''Arcade''
 +
| rowspan="2" | 103 || rowspan="2" | -10°/+20° || rowspan="2" | ±180° || rowspan="2" | Vertical || 19.04 || 26.35 || 32.00 || 35.00 || 37.65 || rowspan="2" | 3.77 || rowspan="2" | 3.33 || rowspan="2" | 3.07 || rowspan="2" | 2.90
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="6" | Turret rotation speed (°/s)
+
! ''Realistic''
|-
+
| 11.90 || 14.00 || 17.00 || 18.80 || 20.00
! style="width:4em" |Mode
 
! style="width:4em" |Stock
 
! style="width:4em" |Upgraded
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Full crew
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Expert qualif.
 
! style="width:4em" |Prior + Ace qualif.
 
|-
 
| ''Arcade'' || 19.04 || 26.35 || 32.00 || __.__ || 37.65
 
|-
 
| ''Realistic'' || 11.90 || 14.00 || 17.00 || 18.80 || 20.00
 
|-
 
! colspan="4" | Reloading rate (seconds)
 
|-
 
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Stock
 
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Full crew
 
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Expert qualif.
 
! colspan="1" style="width:4em" |Prior + Ace qualif.
 
|-
 
| 3.77 || 3.33 || 3.07 || 2.90
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
===== Ammunition =====
+
==== Ammunition ====
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
 
! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
 
|-
 
|-
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
! rowspan="2" class="unsortable" | Type of <br /> warhead
+
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
! colspan="6" | '''Penetration''' '''''in mm''''' '''@ 0° Angle of Attack'''
+
! colspan="6" | '''Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)'''
 +
|-
 +
! 10 m !! 100 m !! 500 m !! 1,000 m !! 1,500 m !! 2,000 m
 
|-
 
|-
! 10m
+
| M74 shot || AP || 67 || 65 || 56 || 46 || 38 || 32
! 100m
 
! 500m
 
! 1000m
 
! 1500m
 
! 2000m
 
 
|-
 
|-
| M74 shot || AP || 66 || 65 || 55 || 46 || 38 || 31
+
| M51 shot || APCBC || 75 || 72 || 62 || 51 || 43 || 35
 
|-
 
|-
| M51 shot || APC || 66 || 65 || 55 || 46 || 38 || 31
 
|-
 
 
|}
 
|}
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
Line 136: Line 97:
 
|-
 
|-
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
! rowspan="2" |Velocity <br /> in m/s
+
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
! rowspan="2" |Projectile<br />Mass in kg
+
! rowspan="2" | Velocity<br>(m/s)
! rowspan="2" | ''Fuse delay''
+
! rowspan="2" | Projectile<br>Mass (kg)
''in m:''
+
! rowspan="2" | Fuse delay<br>(m)
! rowspan="2" | ''Fuse sensitivity''
+
! rowspan="2" | Fuse sensitivity<br>(mm)
''in mm:''
+
! rowspan="2" | Explosive Mass<br>(TNT equivalent) (g)
! rowspan="2" | ''Explosive Mass in g<br /> (TNT equivalent):''
+
! colspan="3" | Ricochet
! rowspan="2" | ''Normalization At 30° <br> from horizontal:''
+
|-
! colspan="3" | ''Ricochet:''
+
! 0% !! 50% !! 100%
 
|-
 
|-
! 0%
+
| M74 shot || AP || 792 || 0.87 || N/A || N/A || N/A || 47° || 60° || 65°
! 50%
 
! 100%
 
 
|-
 
|-
| M74 shot || 792 || 0.87 || N/A || N/A || N/A || -1° || 47° || 60° || 65°
+
| M51 shot || APCBC || 792 || 0.87 || N/A || N/A || N/A || 48° || 63° || 71°
 
|-
 
|-
| M51 shot || 792 || 0.87 || N/A || N/A || N/A || +4° || 48° || 63° || 71°
 
|-
 
 
|}
 
|}
  
===== [[Ammo racks|Ammo racks]] =====
+
==== [[Ammo racks]] ====
[[File:Ammoracks M2A4.png|right|thumbnail|[[Ammo racks|Ammo rack]] of M2A4|300px]]
+
[[File:Ammoracks_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg|right|thumb|x250px|[[Ammo racks]] of the {{PAGENAME}}]]
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center"
+
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! class="wikitable unsortable" |Full<br /> ammo
+
! Full<br>ammo
! class="wikitable unsortable" |1st<br /> rack empty
+
! 1st<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |2nd<br /> rack empty
+
! 2nd<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |3rd<br /> rack empty
+
! 3rd<br>rack empty
! class="wikitable unsortable" |Visual<br /> discrepancy
+
! Visual<br>discrepancy
 
|-
 
|-
|| '''103''' || 69&nbsp;''(+34)'' || 35&nbsp;''(+68)'' || 1&nbsp;''(+102)'' || style="text-align:center" | No  
+
| '''103''' || 69&nbsp;''(+34)'' || 35&nbsp;''(+68)'' || 1&nbsp;''(+102)'' || No
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
=== Machine guns ===
 
=== Machine guns ===
<!--''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft, but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''-->
+
<!-- ''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.'' -->
{{main|Browning (7.62 mm)}}
+
{{main|M1919A4 (7.62 mm)}}
 +
 
 +
Alongside the main gun, the M3 has 4 additional [[M1919A4 (7.62 mm)|7.62 mm M1919A4]] machine guns. The first machine gun noted is in a coaxial mount aligned with the gun, second is mounted on the turret top in a pintle mount and the last two are mounted on the hull sides in a fixed firing position. The M3 does also have a hull front machine gun, however, this machine gun cannot be fired.
 +
 
 +
The machine gun is only powerful 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 guns can effectively damage low-flying biplanes.
  
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="7" | [[Browning (7.62 mm)|7.62 mm M1919A4]]
+
! colspan="5" | [[M1919A4 (7.62 mm)|7.62 mm M1919A4]]
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="7" | ''Coaxial mount''
+
! Mount
 +
! Capacity<br>(Belt capacity)
 +
! Rate of fire<br>(shots/minute)
 +
! Vertical<br>guidance
 +
! Horizontal<br>guidance
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity (Belt capacity)
+
| Pintle || 3,000 (250) || 500 || -10°/+70° || ±60°
! rowspan="1" | Fire rate <br> (shots/minute)
 
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
 
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="4" | 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A
+
| Coaxial || 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="7" | ''Pintle mount''
+
| Hull || 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity (Belt capacity)
+
| Hull || 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A
! rowspan="1" | Fire rate <br> (shots/minute)
 
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
 
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="4" | 3,000 (250) || 500 || -10°/+70° || ±60°
+
|}
 +
 
 +
== Usage in battles ==
 +
<!-- ''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).'' -->
 +
When driving the M3 Stuart it is best to maintain some distance from enemy vehicles, this is advisable due to the somewhat thin armour and closely packed crew that you have to work with. If you are on a smaller map where keeping distance from enemy vehicles is not possible then it would be a good idea to use buildings and landscape features for cover and to keep your vehicle concealed.
 +
 
 +
In the majority of cases, you will be able to go through the frontal armour of enemy tanks (best pen is 75 mm) although some vehicles with heavily angled front armour may be able to stop your round being effective, a consistently effective tactic is to flank an enemy vehicle and fire into the side of the crew compartment, aiming near the turret to disable their ability to fire is a good way to use your first shot. Thanks to the quick (at best 2.9s) reload of the M3 you can then put second and third shots into the enemy if needed to finish off their crew.
 +
 
 +
Another aspect worth mentioning here is the mobility of the M3. While not the fastest vehicle at its BR it certainly still has competitive mobility that will allow it to reach capture points quickly or get to a good camping or flanking position before most enemy or friendly vehicles.
 +
 
 +
'''Enemies worth noting:'''
 +
 
 +
Specific enemy vehicles that bear mentioning are firstly any Germans with the [[KwK38 (20 mm)|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 M3 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 M3'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 M3's and the enemy's surroundings to make sure no one will ambush the M3. While charging, use the M3's quick turns to suddenly change direction to avoid being shot if they are aiming and firing at the M3. 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.
 +
 
 +
=== Modules ===
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
! Tier
 +
! colspan="2" | Mobility
 +
! Protection
 +
! colspan="2" | Firepower
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="7" | ''Hull mount (#1)''
+
| I
! colspan="7" | ''Hull mount (#2)''
+
| Tracks
 +
|
 +
| Parts
 +
| Horizontal Drive
 +
| M51 shot
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="4" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity (Belt capacity)
+
| II
! rowspan="1" | Fire rate <br> (shots/minute)
+
| Suspension
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
+
| Brake System
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
+
| FPE
! colspan="4" rowspan="1" style="width:5em" |Capacity (Belt capacity)
+
| Adjustment of Fire
! rowspan="1" | Fire rate <br> (shots/minute)
+
|
! rowspan="1" | Vertical <br> guidance
 
! rowspan="1" | Horizontal <br> guidance
 
 
|-
 
|-
| colspan="4" | 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A || colspan="4" | 3,200 (250) || 500 || N/A || N/A
+
| III
 +
| Filters
 +
|
 +
| Crew Replenishment
 +
| Elevation Mechanism
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| IV
 +
| Transmission
 +
| Engine
 +
|
 +
| Artillery Support
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
 +
[[File:M3 Stuart Screenshot 2.jpg|thumb|An M3 Stuart attacking a [[BT-7]]]]
  
== Usage in battles ==
+
=== Pros and cons ===
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''-->
+
<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
The M3 ''Stuart'' 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 its ability to bounce shots and destroy the enemy with its AP ammunition.
 
  
=== Pros and cons ===
+
'''Pros:'''
<!--''Summarize and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in a bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - they have a substitution in the form of softer "inadequate", "effective".''-->
 
'''Pros:'''  
 
  
* Good front armour.
+
* Great cannon with good penetration, excellent rate of fire and gun depression; it can effectively penetrate common opponents like the [[Pz.II (Disambiguation)|Pz.II]] and [[Chi-Ha (Family)|Chi-Ha]], as well as heavy targets like the [[B1 bis]] or [[Matilda III]]
* Fast and agile.
+
* Excellent acceleration, top speed and turning ability on all terrains; easily outruns slower opponents like the [[Pz.III (Disambiguation)|Pz.III]]
* Reliable gun with good rate of fire.
+
* 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
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
  
* Tank is cramped, one shot can knock out most crew members.
+
* Weak armour against high-penetration shells like 50 mm Kwk 39 or 76 mm F-34
* Braking System unresponsive.
+
* Its shells do not have explosive filler, severely limiting the post-penetration effect especially against spacious tanks like the [[LVT(A)(1)]]
* Backwards Traverse is slow.
+
* Inefficient brakes when trying to stop the tank at full speed
* Turning can be hit or miss.
+
* Hull is fairly tall for a light tank and the crews are closely packed, reducing its survivability
* No ammunition with HE filler.
 
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
<!--''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article.''-->
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<!-- ''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
 
===Development===
 
===Development===
The American light tank design prior to World War II, the [[M2A4|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''', which the British named the ''Stuart''. 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 American light tank design prior to World War II, the [[M2A4|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''', which the British named the ''Stuart''. 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 '''[[M3A1 Stuart|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 was 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 '''[[M5A1|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 M3 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 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 '''[[M3A1 Stuart|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 '''[[M5A1|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 M3 light tank design and all its later variants were produced in massive quantities from March 1941 to October 1943 with a total of 25,000 units produced.
  
 
===Combat usage===
 
===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 M3, 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 the American usage. The Soviet Union was also another user of the M3, but found it unfavorable 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 M3s also supported the British and Chinese forces in Asia against the Japanese Army, and also France and Yugoslavia in Europe against the German Wehrmacht.
+
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 M3, 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 M3 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 M3s also supported the British and Chinese forces in Asia against the Japanese Army, and also France and Yugoslavia in Europe against the German Wehrmacht.
  
The Americans used it widely in both operational theaters. In the Pacific, the M3s were the first tanks America used in a tank vs. tank operation against the Imperial Japanese Army, where five M3s fought [[Ha-Go|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, but the M3 benefited by the support of the American industry arm. The ''Stuarts'' served in the Pacific slightly better than its heavier counterparts such as the [[M4|M4 ''Shermans'']] due to its lighter weight and maneuverability in the poor jungle terrain, but the M3 ''Stuarts'' in the Pacific were gradually replaced by M4 ''Shermans'' due to heavy losses from its thinner armour. The M3 were also some of the first US tanks to be converted into flamethrower tanks, named as the ''"Satan"''. The Satan tanks provided favorable results to the concept of a flamethrower tank, and were replaced by flamethrower-equipped M4 ''Shermans'' in 1945.
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The Americans used it widely in both operational theatres. In the Pacific, the M3s were the first tanks America used in a tank vs. tank operation against the Imperial Japanese Army, where five M3s fought [[Ha-Go|Type 95 Ha-Gos]] in a well-known action in the Phillippines. In total 108 M3s served with the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions, also known as the 1st Provisional Tank Group, in the 1941 U.S. defence of the Phillippines, despite having no HE ammo issued. More than 30 were captured by the Japanese, who equipped their 7th Tank Regiment with them, who used them to defend the Philippines again, against the US in 1944. M3s were also used by Company B of the 1st Marine Tank Battalion at Guadalcanal in 1942. Though the ''Stuarts'' were newer than the Japanese tank designs by about five years, they were seen as equal in performance and firepower, but the M3 benefited by the support of the American industry arm. The ''Stuarts'' served in the Pacific slightly better than its heavier counterparts such as the [[M4|M4 ''Shermans'']] due to its lighter weight and manoeuvrability in the poor jungle terrain, but the M3 ''Stuarts'' in the Pacific were gradually replaced by M4 ''Shermans'' due to heavy losses from its thinner armour. The M3 was also some of the first US tanks to be converted into flamethrower tanks, named as the ''"Satan"''. The Satan tanks provided favourable results to the concept of a flamethrower tank and were replaced by flamethrower-equipped M4 ''Shermans'' in 1945.
  
 
In Europe, the M3 formed a large part of the American tank battalions, though 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 ''Stuarts''. Other than scouting, the M3s 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 M3 was kept in service up until the end of the war due to the large production numbers.
 
In Europe, the M3 formed a large part of the American tank battalions, though 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 ''Stuarts''. Other than scouting, the M3s 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 M3 was kept in service up until the end of the war due to the large production numbers.
Line 248: Line 246:
 
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 M3s 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 M3 light tanks, though as the only tracked armour used in the country.
 
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 M3s 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 M3 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 the ''[[M8 Scott|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 M3 was 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|M24 ''Chaffee'']], which would eventually replace the M3 Light Tank mostly after World War II.
+
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 ''[[M8 Scott|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 M3 was becoming an ageing 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|M24 ''Chaffee'']], which would eventually replace the M3 Light Tank mostly after World War II.
 +
 
 +
=== In-game description ===
 +
At the beginning of 1940 the Ordnance Department put together technical requirements for a new tank, the need for which was clear at the beginning of World War II. The first prototype was refashioned after the M2A4 at the Rock Island Arsenal. The tank had a riveted turret with few viewing slits, and the new M22 mantlet had thicker armor. The hull's frontal armor was also thickened to 45 mm and the turret to 38 mm. The tank hull was assembled from rolled armor plates on a frame made from angle sections and flat bars using rivets, though later releases were partially welded. From the end of 1941 to the beginning of 1942 a lack of standard gas-powered Continental aircraft engines forced some tanks to be outfitted with 265 hp Guiberson T-1020-4 diesel-powered, nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines capable of reaching 2,250 rpm. The diesel tanks could be recognized by their Vortex air filters and were generally designated M3 diesels. At the end of 1941 the tanks with carburetor engines were equipped with two cylindrically-shaped external fuel tanks, each with a capacity of 102 liters, that were connected to the engine supply system. After being exhausted, the external tanks could be jettisoned by the crew without leaving the tank. Adding the new tanks doubled the M3's range.
 +
 
 +
On July 5, 1940, the new light tank was standardized and released under the M3 designation. It was more widely known by the moniker General Stuart, given it by the British, who received a significant number of them in 1941 and 1942 via Lend-Lease.
 +
 
 +
Production of the M3 began in March 1941 at the American Car & Foundry factory. March 1941 through August 1942 saw 5,811 built, 1,285 of which were equipped with the Guiberson T-1020-4 engine.
 +
 
 +
M3 Stuart light tanks were also delivered to the Red Army and the UK via Lend-Lease to be used on all fronts in World War II beginning in 1941.
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
<!--''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''-->
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<!-- ''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.'' -->
[http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23m3_stuart Skins and camouflages for the M3 Stuart from live.warthunder.com.]
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;Skins
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* [http://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?q=%23m3_stuart Skins and camouflages for the {{PAGENAME}} from live.warthunder.com.]
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
<!--''Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:''
+
<!-- ''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;''
 
* ''reference to the series of the vehicles;''
* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''-->
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* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.'' -->
 +
 
 
* [[M2A4]] - Predecessor
 
* [[M2A4]] - Predecessor
 
* [[M3A1 Stuart|M3A1]] - Succeeding variant
 
* [[M3A1 Stuart|M3A1]] - Succeeding variant
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== External links ==
 
== External links ==
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
 +
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
* ''encyclopedia page on tank;''
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* ''encyclopedia page on the tank;''
 
* ''other literature.''
 
* ''other literature.''
  
 
{{USA light tanks}}
 
{{USA light tanks}}

Latest revision as of 10:25, 26 July 2020

RANK 4 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
Light Tank M3 Stuart
us_m3_stuart.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
1.3/1.3/1.3BR
4 peopleCrew
89 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
38 / 25 / 25Hull
38 / 25 / 25Turret
Mobility
12.5 tWeight
500 hp262 hpEngine power
40 hp/t21 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
55 km/h forward
6 km/h back
50 km/h forward
5 km/h back
Speed
Armament
37 mm M5 cannonMain weapon
103 roundsAmmunition
2.9 / 3.7 sReload
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
verticalStabilizer
3 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine gunCoaxial weapon
9 600 roundsAmmunition
8.0 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
3 000 roundsAmmunition
8.0 / 10.4 sReload
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
Economy
2 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png210 / 270/200 / 257/150 / 193Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
20 % Sl icon.png10 % Sl icon.png10 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American light tank M3 Stuart. For other uses, see M3 (Disambiguation). For other vehicles of the family, see M3 Stuart (Family).

Description

GarageImage M3Stuart.jpg


The Light Tank M3 Stuart is a rank I American light tank with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". With a better engine and transmission system than the M2 light tanks, the M3 Stuart is more able to manoeuvre the battlefield as a dependable light tank.

General info

M3 Stuart driving in the Snow (Frozen Pass)

Survivability and armour

Being a light tank the M3 Stuart has fairly thin armour, it can generally protect against most machine guns but will usually not stand up against the main weapons of most enemy tanks at its battle rating. The inside of the tank is fairly cramped with the two turret members standing, this means that the likelihood of a crew member being hit is fairly high.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (lower frontal plate)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 38.1 mm (18°) Driver Port
15.8 mm (69°) Front Glacis
25.4 mm 25.4 mm 12.7 mm
Turret 38.1 mm 25.4 mm 25.4 mm 12.7 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and bogies are 15 mm thick, tracks are 10 mm thick.
M3 Stuart Turning Demo at Slow and Fast speeds

Mobility

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 55 6 12.5 406 500 32.48 40
Realistic 50 5 232 262 18.56 20.96

The M3 Stuart can reach a speed of 49 km/h off-road and up to 50 km/h on road. It can feel sluggish while turning at a lower speed as it lacks neutral steer, but when moving forward the turning is much smoother and quicker. The vehicle reverses at up to 5 km/h which while somewhat slow, is still usable in most situations on the battlefield.

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: M5 (37 mm)

The main gun of the M3 Stuart is a 37 mm M5 cannon, this gun is also featured on the M2A4 and M3 Lee, On the M3 Stuart the M5 can use 2 round types, either M74 (AP) or M51 (APCBC) with the latter being a Tier 1 modification.

The overall firepower is decent. The main cannon has an adequate penetration of about 60 mm which is more than enough to go through most tanks below 2.0, for example, T-26, Pz.III and Pz.35t. Although the available ammunition is all solid shells, they still make quite a bit shrapnel when penetrated which is enough to one-shot compact tanks like T-26 and Pz.35t. For larger tanks like the LVT(A), accurate shots pinpointing the crew are required which might be a little hard for new players. The cannon has enough accuracy to precisely knock out the enemy's crew within 500m. If one shot misses, the reload time of around 3.5 seconds allows quick following shots.

There is a nice stabiliser for the cannon which is a big advantage when exchanging fire, as it allows you to move out of cover and fire (usually before the enemy) without having to wait for your tank to stop wobbling. The stabiliser should be utilised to maximise your chance of surviving and killing. Note that it only works below 10 kph, so remember to slow down or it will not stabilise the gun.

Targets like the 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl or M3 GMC (mixed battle) can be quite hard to destroy, as their armour is thin enough to create little shrapnel, but are also thick enough to stop MG bullets. Against them, you can only rely on you fire rate, accuracy and of course your knowledge of their crew position to knock out their crew one by one. Always go for the gunners or drivers first, if you failed then they can always fight back and one-shot you.

The main cannon is only effective in close-quarter combat (usually within 200m) or against weakly armoured targets since the penetration drops drastically as the range increases, plus the small calibre makes the shells easy to ricochet. When encountering fairly well armoured tanks like the M13/40 or H.35, try and break their gun barrels first or track them. If they are too far away, pin them on the map and call teammates to help.

37 mm M5 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 103 -10°/+20° ±180° Vertical 19.04 26.35 32.00 35.00 37.65 3.77 3.33 3.07 2.90
Realistic 11.90 14.00 17.00 18.80 20.00

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
M74 shot AP 67 65 56 46 38 32
M51 shot APCBC 75 72 62 51 43 35
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
M74 shot AP 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
M51 shot APCBC 792 0.87 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M3 Stuart
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
103 69 (+34) 35 (+68) (+102) No

Machine guns

Main article: M1919A4 (7.62 mm)

Alongside the main gun, the M3 has 4 additional 7.62 mm M1919A4 machine guns. The first machine gun noted is in a coaxial mount aligned with the gun, second is mounted on the turret top in a pintle mount and the last two are mounted on the hull sides in a fixed firing position. The M3 does also have a hull front machine gun, however, this machine gun cannot be fired.

The machine gun is only powerful 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 guns can effectively damage low-flying biplanes.

7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity
(Belt capacity)
Rate of fire
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Pintle 3,000 (250) 500 -10°/+70° ±60°
Coaxial 3,200 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Hull 3,200 (250) 500 N/A N/A
Hull 3,200 (250) 500 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

When driving the M3 Stuart it is best to maintain some distance from enemy vehicles, this is advisable due to the somewhat thin armour and closely packed crew that you have to work with. If you are on a smaller map where keeping distance from enemy vehicles is not possible then it would be a good idea to use buildings and landscape features for cover and to keep your vehicle concealed.

In the majority of cases, you will be able to go through the frontal armour of enemy tanks (best pen is 75 mm) although some vehicles with heavily angled front armour may be able to stop your round being effective, a consistently effective tactic is to flank an enemy vehicle and fire into the side of the crew compartment, aiming near the turret to disable their ability to fire is a good way to use your first shot. Thanks to the quick (at best 2.9s) reload of the M3 you can then put second and third shots into the enemy if needed to finish off their crew.

Another aspect worth mentioning here is the mobility of the M3. While not the fastest vehicle at its BR it certainly still has competitive mobility that will allow it to reach capture points quickly or get to a good camping or flanking position before most enemy or friendly vehicles.

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 M3 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 M3'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 M3's and the enemy's surroundings to make sure no one will ambush the M3. While charging, use the M3's quick turns to suddenly change direction to avoid being shot if they are aiming and firing at the M3. 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.

Modules

Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive M51 shot
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support
An M3 Stuart attacking a BT-7

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

History

Development

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, which the British named the Stuart. 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 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 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 M3 light tank design and all its later variants were produced in massive quantities from March 1941 to October 1943 with a total of 25,000 units produced.

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 M3, 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 M3 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 M3s also supported the British and Chinese forces in Asia against the Japanese Army, and also France and Yugoslavia in Europe against the German Wehrmacht.

The Americans used it widely in both operational theatres. In the Pacific, the M3s 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 a well-known action in the Phillippines. In total 108 M3s served with the 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions, also known as the 1st Provisional Tank Group, in the 1941 U.S. defence of the Phillippines, despite having no HE ammo issued. More than 30 were captured by the Japanese, who equipped their 7th Tank Regiment with them, who used them to defend the Philippines again, against the US in 1944. M3s were also used by Company B of the 1st Marine Tank Battalion at Guadalcanal in 1942. Though the Stuarts were newer than the Japanese tank designs by about five years, they were seen as equal in performance and firepower, but the M3 benefited by the support of the American industry arm. 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 M3 Stuarts in the Pacific were gradually replaced by M4 Shermans due to heavy losses from its thinner armour. The M3 was also some of the first US tanks to be converted into flamethrower tanks, named as the "Satan". The Satan tanks provided favourable results to the concept of a flamethrower tank and were replaced by flamethrower-equipped M4 Shermans in 1945.

In Europe, the M3 formed a large part of the American tank battalions, though 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 Stuarts. Other than scouting, the M3s 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 M3 was kept in service up until the end of the war due to the large production numbers.

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 M3s 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 M3 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 M3 was becoming an ageing 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 M3 Light Tank mostly after World War II.

In-game description

At the beginning of 1940 the Ordnance Department put together technical requirements for a new tank, the need for which was clear at the beginning of World War II. The first prototype was refashioned after the M2A4 at the Rock Island Arsenal. The tank had a riveted turret with few viewing slits, and the new M22 mantlet had thicker armor. The hull's frontal armor was also thickened to 45 mm and the turret to 38 mm. The tank hull was assembled from rolled armor plates on a frame made from angle sections and flat bars using rivets, though later releases were partially welded. From the end of 1941 to the beginning of 1942 a lack of standard gas-powered Continental aircraft engines forced some tanks to be outfitted with 265 hp Guiberson T-1020-4 diesel-powered, nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines capable of reaching 2,250 rpm. The diesel tanks could be recognized by their Vortex air filters and were generally designated M3 diesels. At the end of 1941 the tanks with carburetor engines were equipped with two cylindrically-shaped external fuel tanks, each with a capacity of 102 liters, that were connected to the engine supply system. After being exhausted, the external tanks could be jettisoned by the crew without leaving the tank. Adding the new tanks doubled the M3's range.

On July 5, 1940, the new light tank was standardized and released under the M3 designation. It was more widely known by the moniker General Stuart, given it by the British, who received a significant number of them in 1941 and 1942 via Lend-Lease.

Production of the M3 began in March 1941 at the American Car & Foundry factory. March 1941 through August 1942 saw 5,811 built, 1,285 of which were equipped with the Guiberson T-1020-4 engine.

M3 Stuart light tanks were also delivered to the Red Army and the UK via Lend-Lease to be used on all fronts in World War II beginning in 1941.

Media

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See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the tank;
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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