Wednesday 11 September 2013

Lend Lease Impressions: M3A1 Stuart

CAMD RF 38-11355-1561 covers testing of a new modification of the M3 Stuart light tank. Also, for convenience, it tests winter performance as well.

  1. After installing spurs, the speed decreases by 21-25% and fuel consumption increases 20-30%.
  2. The fuel consumption is acceptable when moving without spurs, and higher when moving with spurs. Oil consumption is acceptable.
  3. The tank does not carry enough fuel. Range is insufficient, especially when moving in snow with spurs.
  4. The maximum slope is 25 degrees in winter conditions, which is acceptable. The spurs increase the performance in the snow. The tank can tilt 24 degrees, after which it starts to slide. The tracks stay on the wheels well.
  5. The model 1942 tank has an electric Delko-Remi starter, which works reliably.
Evaluation of construction changes
  1. Welded armour plates are a positive change to the construction.
  2. The installation of a hydraulic turret rotation mechanism made it necessary to add a rotating turret basket. The turret basket is raised very high, due to the drive shaft. It takes up a lot of space in the fighting compartment, and makes crew conditions very cramped and uncomfortable. Crew working conditions got worse, instead of better.
  3. The hatches are very small. It is hard for the crew to enter and leave the tank. The conditions of emergency evacuation are unsatisfactory.
  4. Removing Browning machine guns from the turret platform was a correct move. Fire from these machine guns on 1941 models was ineffective.
  5. The installation of a thermostat on the engine oil reservoir is very useful. The thermostat helps with controlling oil temperature in very cold conditions."