Wednesday 19 June 2013

Critique of American Tanks

"American tanks (M3 medium and M3 light) are impossible to use in an offensive against a dug-in enemy. Their insufficient armour, large size, and poor maneuverability (cannot rotate in place, difficult to rotate at low speeds), high chance of catching fire due to easily ignited fuel, all lead to losses of tanks and insufficient results. It is also impossible to use American tanks in mud, or in winter, as the high ground pressure leads to poor track performance.

Other weaknesses include: poor location of the engine in the hull, which leads to inconvenience during removal and repair, poor gearbox and differential construction, joined in one unit (M3 light) or located inside the tank hull (M3 medium), poor reliability and frequent breakdowns of Browning machineguns, lack of HE shells for the 37 mm gun (M3 light and M3 medium).

American tanks can be used in:
  • An echelon during a breakthrough, accompanies by KV and T-34 tanks.
  • In pursuing a retreating enemy, and fighting his mobile defenses.
  • A sudden attack on a weakly fortified enemy.
  • During a defense, from ambushes.
Deputy commander of Armoured and Mechanized Affairs of the 61st Army, Colonel Shirobokov, September 13th, 1942."

From the same officer, "Report on combat use of American tanks (M3 medium and M3 light)".

"...The tanks easily catch fire when shot. For example, during the operation on July 5th, 1942:
  • Out of 31 M3 lights, 24 burned.
  • Out of 14 M3 mediums, 14 burned.
During the operation on August 14th:
  • Out of 30 M3 lights, 22 burned.
  • Out of 14 M3 mediums, 12 burned."


  1. They were better off as fireplaces in the winter :D

  2. Light tanks of all nations were dangerous mounts.
    BT's would have many of the same issues