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Tank ringan M3 Stuart melewati El Himeimat, 1942

Tank ringan M3 Stuart melewati El Himeimat, 1942

Tank ringan M3 Stuart melewati El Himeimat, 1942

Di sini kita melihat tank ringan M3 Stuart (digambarkan sebagai 'Sayang' dalam keterangan masa perang), melewati gunung El Himeimat, titik tertinggi di medan perang El Alamein.


Keterangan

American Car & Foundry memulai produksi M3 pada tahun 1941. Ini dirancang untuk menggantikan Tank Light M2 yang lebih tua yang sudah ketinggalan zaman. Itu memiliki meriam utama 37 mm yang diperbarui. M3 memiliki mesin Continental W-670-9A bertenaga bensin, 262 hp, berpendingin udara, 250 bhp dan memiliki empat awak. Ώ]

Kecepatan maksimalnya adalah 54,7 km/jam dan jangkauan maksimalnya sekitar 140 kilometer. Persenjataan M3 terdiri dari meriam utama 37 mm dan tiga senapan mesin Browning M1919A4 7,62 mm yang ditempatkan di seluruh tangki. Berat M3 adalah sekitar 12.700 kg. Itu juga memiliki panjang 4,53 meter dan lebar 2,23 meter.

Armor itu memiliki ketebalan sekitar 38 mm di depan, 25 mm di samping, dan 25 mm di belakang. ΐ] Seperti kebanyakan tank, area terlemah M3 adalah bagian atas yang hanya memiliki sekitar 13 mm armor. Ia juga memiliki kapasitas bahan bakar sekitar 151 liter dan kapasitas amunisi 103 butir amunisi 37 mm. M3 dikirim ke beberapa negara dan dimodifikasi terutama oleh Inggris Raya di mana ia ditunjuk sebagai Stuart I.


M3 Stuart (Tangki Ringan, M3)

Ditulis Oleh: Dan Alex | Terakhir Diedit: 17/10/2018 | Konten &salinwww.MilitaryFactory.com | Teks berikut ini eksklusif untuk situs ini.

Tank Ringan M3 "Stuart" menjadi kendaraan tank ringan utama untuk Angkatan Darat Amerika Serikat menuju Perang Dunia 2 (1939-1944). Desain kendaraan dipengaruhi oleh produk Tank Ringan M2 sebelumnya dan mempertahankan beberapa kualitas yang sudah ada termasuk penggunaan meriam utama 37mm, awak empat orang, dan kecepatan jalan. Ditekan ke layanan masa perang, itu bernasib cukup baik selama awal ketika digunakan sebagai kendaraan pendukung infanteri atau pramuka cepat tetapi sepenuhnya kalah dengan tank kelas menengah dalam waktu singkat. M5 "Stuart" (rinci di tempat lain di situs ini) menjadi M3 yang lebih berkembang dengan mesin Cadillac yang dipasangkan dan menara baru. Sementara bentuk M3 akhirnya diserahkan segera setelah tahun 1942, M5 melanjutkan warisan Stuart sampai juga digantikan oleh tangki ringan "Chaffee" M244.

M3 Stuart dimungkinkan oleh pekerjaan yang dilakukan selama 1 tahun pasca-Perang Dunia. Ini memuncak dalam pengembangan kecil, sistem tempur aktif untuk digunakan dalam aksi dukungan infanteri menggunakan sasis dilacak dengan persenjataan senapan mesin. Ini memunculkan "Mobil Tempur M1" yang kemudian diikuti oleh M2 bersenjata meriam. Kedua desain muncul selama tahun 1930-an. Hanya ekspansi cepat pasukan darat Jerman dalam pengambilalihan Eropa selama 1939-1940 yang dipikirkan secara serius untuk penerus M2 karena sekarang terbukti mesin usang. Pekerjaan ini kemudian melahirkan M3 yang menjanjikan perlindungan yang lebih baik (dengan mengorbankan kecepatan) dan perlindungan lapis baja yang lebih besar. Pengaturan suspensi baru melengkapi daftar kualitas yang dicari.

Setelah periode pengujian dan evaluasi, Angkatan Darat AS mengadopsi "Light Tank, M3". Ketika diterima oleh Angkatan Darat Inggris yang putus asa di bawah Lend-Lease, mereka memberinya nama "Stuart" setelah Jenderal Konfederasi Perang Saudara Amerika J.E.B. Stuart. Dengan cara ini Medium Tank M3 menjadi "Lee" (Jenderal Robert E. Lee) atau "Grant" (General Ulysses S. Grant) dan Medium Tank M4 klasik adalah "Sherman" (Jenderal William Tecumseh Sherman). American Car and Foundry ditugaskan untuk memproduksi M3 Light Tank dan ini dimulai dengan sungguh-sungguh selama bulan Maret 1941.

Pada saat ini, Eropa sebagian besar telah jatuh di bawah kekuatan pasukan Poros ketika Inggris berusaha untuk mencegah eliminasi total di seluruh kepemilikan empirisnya yang luas. Lend-Lease mengizinkan Amerika mendukung sekutunya di luar negeri dengan mengirimkan barang-barang perang tanpa secara resmi menyatakan perang terhadap satu musuh. Dengan demikian, penggunaan tempur pertama Stuarts terjadi dengan Inggris pada bulan November 1941 selama Operasi Tentara Salib. Dari tindakan ini, M3 ditemukan memiliki meriam utama yang agak lemah tetapi keandalannya dalam kondisi gurun dicatat seperti halnya kemampuan manuver. Amerika tidak menekan M3 mereka ke dalam pertempuran sampai kampanye Filipina tahun 1942.

M3 ditenagai oleh Continental W-670-9A, mesin aero radial berpendingin udara berbahan bakar bensin dengan 7 silinder dan menghasilkan 250 tenaga kuda. Powerpack ini berada di kompartemen belakang jauh dari kru. Suspensi berasal dari sistem Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) yang digabungkan dengan desain lambung dan pemasangan mesin, memungkinkan kendaraan mencapai kecepatan tertinggi 18 mil di jalan raya dan jangkauan operasional hingga 75 mil. Awaknya empat terdiri dari pengemudi, komandan, penembak dan penembak senapan mesin / operator radio. Kondisinya jelas sempit mengingat volume internal juga diambil oleh peralatan dan persediaan amunisi yang diperlukan. Persenjataan berpusat di sekitar meriam utama 37mm M5 (kemudian M6) dengan senapan mesin Browning M1919A4 kaliber 0,30 koaksial. Empat senapan mesin kaliber 0,30 tambahan dipasang termasuk satu di atas turret, satu di kanan depan lambung (ball mounting) dan sepasang sisanya di sisi masing-masing spons di sepanjang panel suprastruktur depan. Meriam utama berada di atas dudukan unik di mana meriam dapat melintasi sekitar 20 derajat ke kedua sisi selain dari turret - ini memberikan fleksibilitas kepada penembak tanpa perlu memutar seluruh turret. Turret dipasang di atas kapal tengah dengan pengemudi duduk di kiri depan lambung, penembak busur di kanannya dan dua kru yang tersisa di/di bawah turret. Awak lambung menggunakan slot penglihatan berengsel untuk kesadaran situasional meskipun panel depan mereka hampir vertikal - jebakan tembakan untuk tembakan musuh. Pengaturan track-over-wheel melihat empat roda jalan digunakan dengan sproket penggerak depan dan idler track belakang. Secara keseluruhan, M3 adalah desain tangki ringan klasik pada masa itu, memanfaatkan banyak fitur desain mapan yang terlihat pada desain pesaing di tempat lain.

Pembuatan tank M3 asli (juga Angkatan Darat Inggris "Stuart I") melihat pembuatan sampai Oktober 1942 dan menghasilkan stok 4.526 unit. Sekitar 1.285 contoh mengikuti yang dilengkapi dengan mesin diesel seri Guiberson T-1020 tetapi tidak menerima sebutan yang berbeda. Sebaliknya mereka hanya diberi nama sebagai "Light Tank, M3, (Diesel)" untuk menandakan perbedaan mereka. Tentara Inggris menetapkan ini sebagai "Stuart II". M3A1 - "Stuart III" - diluncurkan pada Mei 1942 dan menambahkan stabilizer senjata, traversal turret bertenaga, dan keranjang turret. Ini tidak memiliki kubah menara. 211 diproduksi dengan mesin diesel ("Stuart IV") dari total 4.621 manufaktur.

M3 definitif dari keluarga ini menjadi M3A3 yang mulai diproduksi pada bulan September 1942. Ini memperkenalkan lambung miring baru dengan kualitas perlindungan balistik yang lebih baik dan alami yang terlihat pada M5 Stuarts bermesin ganda. Turret juga direvisi untuk menggabungkan overhang (sibuk) untuk kit radio SCR-508 sementara sedikit yang diubah. Ini menjadi "Stuart V" untuk Inggris dan berjumlah 3.427 unit produksi. Faktanya, banyak unit M3A3 bertugas dengan pasukan asing di luar negeri dibandingkan dengan unit Amerika.

Akhir dari layanan garis depan untuk model M3/M3A1 datang pada bulan Juli 1943 ketika garisnya secara resmi dinyatakan usang oleh otoritas Angkatan Darat. Sebagai gantinya datanglah M5 yang berhasil memperpanjang cerita Stuart sedikit lebih lama. Selain itu, banyak varian berdasarkan sasis M3 ada termasuk tangki komando, pembawa howitzer, pembawa senjata, kendaraan detonator ranjau yang diusulkan, dan tangki api yang memasang pistol api sebagai pengganti senapan mesin.

Operator terbukti banyak dan berkisar dari Australia dan Belgia hingga Venezuela dan Yugoslavia. Beberapa contoh yang ditangkap dioperasikan oleh Angkatan Darat Jepang di Teater Pasifik dan digunakan selama Pertempuran Imphal (Maret-Juli 1944). Kejatuhan dari Perang Saudara Tiongkok membuat M3 jatuh ke tangan pasukan Tiongkok. Uni Soviet, seperti Inggris, adalah penerima M3 Stuarts berkat Lend-Lease. M3 terbukti cocok untuk taktik Soviet dan perbaikan untuk tank ringan yang ada saat itu.

Perlu dicatat evolusi lini M3 meskipun masa pakainya agak singkat. Turret asli menggunakan praktik konstruksi umum dari bagian panel terpaku yang menunjukkan semua titik kelemahan pada fittingnya. Selain itu, tembakan musuh langsung pada baju besi memiliki kecenderungan buruk untuk menembakkan paku keling di dalam kabin pertempuran yang sempit - sehingga merugikan kru di dalamnya. Sekitar 279 menara kemudian dilengkapi dengan panel lapis baja las yang "dikeraskan" sementara contoh terakhir menampilkan lapis baja las homogen - yang sangat meningkatkan keselamatan dan perlindungan awak. Di luar turret, 3.212 tank M3 pertama semuanya adalah model lambung terpaku dengan semua bahaya dan kelemahan bawaannya. Pengelasan menjadi jelas dalam bentuk produksi selanjutnya. Model awal juga tidak memiliki lantai turret.

Dari sini, M3 benar-benar merupakan desain yang berevolusi yang menawarkan kemampuan lebih besar daripada lini M2 sebelumnya meskipun ketinggalan zaman oleh M5 berikutnya dan dikalahkan oleh M24 yang lebih baru. Bagaimanapun, tank kecil itu memberikan layanan yang layak kepada sebuah negara yang baru saja berkomitmen pada perang dunia melawan kekuatan yang lebih berpengalaman daripada dirinya sendiri. Pada waktunya, kekuatan dan tekad industri Amerika akan membantu menulis ulang jalannya sejarah dalam menghilangkan momok Poros dari semua ujung bumi.

Produksi M3 Stuarts mencapai 22.744 contoh (beberapa sumber menyatakan setinggi 25.000). Relatif, produksi M5 berhasil "hanya" 8.884.


Operasi Obor


Operasi Torch adalah invasi Sekutu ke Afrika Utara Prancis. Operasi itu merupakan serangan tiga cabang di Casablanca, Oran dan Aljazair, kemudian maju pesat ke Tunisia. Batalyon 1 Resimen Lapis Baja 1 dan Batalyon 1 dan 2 Resimen Lapis Baja Komando Tempur B (CCB) ke-13 ditugaskan untuk mendarat di Oran di Aljazair dan D-Day ditetapkan pada 8 November 1942. Cuaca mengkhawatirkan karena Tunisia menerima 16 inci hujan setiap tahun dan jatuh secara eksklusif antara November dan Maret. Hujan lebat akan menghalangi pergerakan kendaraan dan pasukan dan membumi atau menghalangi dukungan udara.

M3A1 Stuart yang dimuat dalam kapal pendarat sedang bersiap untuk invasi.


Pada D-Day, CCB mendarat di dua pantai barat dan timur pelabuhan Oran. Tujuan CCB adalah untuk melebarkan serangan infanteri, memblokir jalan pendekatan dari selatan, barat daya dan tenggara, dan membantu infanteri dalam merebut Oran dengan menyerang kota dari selatan. Lapangan terbang di La Sénia dan Tafaraoui yang digunakan oleh Angkatan Udara Gencatan Senjata (Prancis: Armée de l’Air de Vichy) harus direbut sesegera mungkin untuk mencegah pesawat Prancis menyerang armada invasi.


CCB dibagi menjadi dua Gugus Tugas lapis baja (TF) yang terpisah. TF Green mendarat di Pantai X dekat Cap Figalo sekitar 30 mil (48,28 km) barat pelabuhan Oran. TF Red mendarat di Pantai Z dekat St. Leu sekitar 28 mil (45 km) timur pelabuhan Oran. Tank-tank Stuart dibongkar pada pukul 08:00 setelah pantai diamankan oleh Divisi Infanteri 1 AS “Big Red One”. Tank medium M3 Lee, karena lebih besar dan lebih berat, harus diangkut di palka kapal pengangkut. Mereka tidak dapat diturunkan sampai pelabuhan Oran direbut. CCB HQ mendarat di 0930 jam dan mendirikan Pos Komando (CP) di St. Leu.

TF Merah terdiri dari:

  • CCB HQ dan Perusahaan HQ
  • 1 Bn, Resimen Lapis Baja 1
  • Bn ke-2, Resimen Lapis Baja ke-13
  • Bn ke-2, Resimen Infanteri Lapis Baja ke-6
  • Perusahaan B, Penghancur Tangki 701 (TD) Bn

TF Hijau terdiri dari:

  • HQ dan Perusahaan HQ Resimen Lapis Baja ke-13
  • 1 Bn, Resimen Lapis Baja ke-13
  • 1 Miliar, Resimen Infanteri Lapis Baja ke-6
  • Kompi C, Penghancur Tangki 701 Bn


Batalyon Penghancur Tank ke-701:


Setiap kompi diatur menurut garis standar perusahaan perusak tank AS pada tahun 1942. Mereka terdiri dari tiga peleton, masing-masing dengan dua bagian masing-masing dua TD, dengan total empat per peleton dan 12 per kompi. Dua peleton dilengkapi dengan M3 half-track Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) yang memasang meriam M1897A4 75 mm dengan pelindung meriam. Peleton ke-3 dilengkapi dengan M6 37mm GMC, juga dikenal sebagai M6 Fargo, berdasarkan WC-55 (truk ringan Dodge WC-52 yang dimodifikasi). GMC M6 dimaksudkan hanya untuk pelatihan tetapi perintah datang terlambat bagi unit untuk menggantinya dengan GMC M3 sebelum invasi.

Peleton Assault yang dipasang pada Kompi Batalyon's HQ memiliki tiga gerbong Howitzer Motor (HMC) setengah jalur T30 M3 yang dipasang dengan Howitzer Paket M1 75mm (3,0 in.) laras pendek. T30 bernama “Frances” ini mengalami beberapa masalah mesin di pantai pendaratan. Perhatikan angka 104 yang ditorehkan pada kap mesin (bonnet) dan angka 104 yang dipudarkan pada sisi lambung di sebelah kanan bintang.


Kesimpulan

El Salvador mungkin kalah dalam kualifikasi putaran pertama dalam sepak bola dari Honduras tetapi ia memenangkan pertandingan ulang dan juga pertandingan ketiga yang menentukan, lolos ke Piala Dunia Sepak Bola untuk pertama kalinya dalam sejarahnya. Bukan hanya itu, tetapi telah membuktikan bahwa itu tidak akan dipaksakan atau mentolerir penganiayaan terhadap orang-orang Salvador di seberang perbatasan di Honduras. Namun, perang, seperti banyak lainnya, tidak ada gunanya, dipicu oleh retorika nasionalistik yang meradang di media domestik di kedua sisi. Ribuan orang terbunuh dan bahkan lebih banyak orang dirampas, dan kedua ekonomi menderita. El Salvador telah belajar pelajaran berharga meskipun – kekuatan baju besinya sudah usang. Kekuatan yang telah dilakukan dengan baik adalah improvisasi lapis baja ringan, ini untuk membentuk pemikiran Salvador selama satu generasi dalam hal kendaraan lapis baja ringan dan kendaraan bergerak, meskipun peran tank akhirnya diganti dengan mobil lapis baja AML 60/90 Prancis. M3 Stuarts yang ditinggalkan akhirnya diturunkan untuk tujuan pamer, setelah bertempur di salah satu perang paling tidak jelas di abad ke-20.

Gambar lama M3A1 di Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' dengan pola kamuflase yang berbeda. Sumber: Flickr

Tidak diketahui berapa banyak dari delapan tank ringan M3A1 Stuart asli El Salvador yang hilang selama perang dengan Honduras, tetapi setidaknya dua dilaporkan telah dihancurkan. Setidaknya tiga masih bertahan, satu di Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' dan dua sebagai penjaga gerbang di pangkalan Ciudad Arce dari Regimiento de Caballería (Resimen Kavaleri). Kedua kendaraan di luar pangkalan militer ini dicat dengan skema tiga warna hijau, abu-abu dan cokelat, meskipun semua roda dan komponen suspensi dicat putih. Tangki di Museo Militar de la Fuerza Armada 'Cuartel El Zapote' dicat dengan tiga warna yang berani, abu-abu tua, coklat, dan hijau terang dengan sisi lambung bawah, roda, dan komponen suspensi semuanya dicat hitam. Gambar yang lebih tua menunjukkan bahwa itu telah dicat ulang setidaknya dua kali sejak berada di museum dan sebelumnya memakai warna hijau gelap dengan bercak cokelat dan hitam, meskipun lambung bawah dan bagian suspensi masih hitam. Satu catatan terakhir dengan Stuarts di El Salvador adalah bahwa, selama masalah tahun 1980-an, ada beberapa perencanaan yang dilakukan tentang bagaimana memodernisasi mereka tetapi apa yang diperlukan ini tidak diketahui. Rencana tersebut dilaporkan dibatalkan oleh penasihat militer AS, tetapi apa yang direncanakan untuk tank-tank ini mungkin akan diketahui suatu hari nanti.

Penjaga Gerbang Regimiento de Caballería, Arce, El Salvador. Sumber: Himura Kingy melalui Flickr


El Salvador M3A1 Stuart. Ilustrasi oleh Tank Encyclopedia's sendiri David Bocquelet


Angkatan Bersenjata AS memasuki Perang Dunia Pertama di pihak Entente Powers pada April 1917, tanpa tank mereka sendiri. Bulan berikutnya, berdasarkan laporan teori Inggris dan Prancis tentang operasi tank, Panglima Pasukan Ekspedisi Amerika, Jenderal John Pershing, memutuskan bahwa tank ringan dan berat sangat penting untuk pelaksanaan perang dan harus diakuisisi sesegera mungkin. [1] Program gabungan Anglo-Amerika diluncurkan untuk mengembangkan tank berat baru, dengan desain yang mirip dengan tank Mark IV Inggris, meskipun diharapkan jumlah tank yang cukup tidak akan tersedia sampai April 1918. Tank Inter-Sekutu Komisi memutuskan bahwa, karena tuntutan masa perang pada industri Prancis, cara tercepat untuk memasok pasukan Amerika dengan baju besi adalah dengan memproduksi tank ringan Renault FT di Amerika Serikat. Beberapa tank berat juga akan dipasok oleh Inggris Raya.

Kapten Dwight Eisenhower pergi ke Camp Meade, Maryland, pada bulan Februari 1918 dengan Resimen Insinyur ke-65, yang telah diaktifkan untuk memberikan dasar organisasi bagi pembentukan batalion tank berat pertama Angkatan Darat. Pada bulan Maret, Batalyon 1, Layanan Tank Berat (seperti yang kemudian dikenal) diperintahkan untuk mempersiapkan pergerakan ke luar negeri, dan Eisenhower pergi ke New York dengan rombongan sebelumnya untuk mengerjakan perincian keberangkatan dan pengiriman dengan otoritas pelabuhan. Batalyon itu dikirim keluar pada malam 26 Maret, namun Eisenhower tidak bergabung dengan mereka. Dia telah tampil baik sebagai administrator, dan sekembalinya ke Camp Meade, dia diberitahu bahwa dia akan tinggal di Amerika Serikat, di mana bakatnya dalam bidang logistik akan digunakan untuk mendirikan pusat pelatihan tank utama Angkatan Darat di Camp Colt di Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Eisenhower menjadi pemimpin #3 dari korps tank baru dan naik ke pangkat sementara Letnan Kolonel di Angkatan Darat Nasional dan melatih kru tank di "Camp Colt"–perintah pertamanya–dengan alasan "Pickett's Charge" di Gettysburg, Situs pertempuran Perang Saudara Pennsylvania. Angkatan Darat Amerika di Prancis memiliki Kapten George S. Patton sebagai perwira pertama yang ditugaskan untuk melatih para kru. Sementara tank-tank seperti tank Mark V dan FT17 sedang dikirim dari Prancis dan Inggris untuk pelatihan, Eisenhower melatih unit-unitnya dengan truk-truk yang menembakkan senapan mesin. Begitu tank tiba, Eisenhower harus belajar cara mengoperasikannya terlebih dahulu sebelum membiarkan anak buahnya menggunakannya. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

M1917 adalah tank pertama yang diproduksi secara massal di AS, [2] sebuah tiruan mirip dari Renault FT Prancis yang dibuat dengan lisensi. [2] Angkatan Darat AS memesan sekitar 4.440 M1917 antara tahun 1918 dan 1919, menerima sekitar 950 sebelum membatalkan kontrak. Persyaratan 1.200 diputuskan, kemudian ditingkatkan menjadi 4.400, dan beberapa sampel tank Renault, rencana, dan berbagai suku cadang dikirim ke AS untuk dipelajari. Desainnya akan dilaksanakan oleh Departemen Persenjataan, dengan judul pekerjaan "Traktor Khusus Enam ton", dan pesanan untuk kendaraan ditempatkan pada pabrikan swasta. Namun, proyek itu dilanda masalah: spesifikasi Prancis dalam metrik, dan dengan demikian tidak sesuai dengan koordinasi mesin Amerika antara departemen militer, pemasok, dan pabrikan adalah kelembaman birokrasi yang buruk, kurangnya kerja sama dari departemen militer, dan kemungkinan kepentingan pribadi, semua kemajuan tertunda. .

Angkatan Darat di Prancis mengharapkan 300 M1917 pertama pada bulan April 1918, tetapi pada bulan Juni, produksi belum dimulai, yang memaksa AS untuk mengakuisisi 144 Renault FT dari Prancis. Produksi M1917 tidak dimulai sampai musim gugur, dan kendaraan pertama yang selesai muncul pada bulan Oktober. Dua tiba di Prancis pada 20 November, sembilan hari setelah gencatan senjata dengan Jerman, dan delapan lagi pada Desember.

Ford 3-Ton M1918 adalah salah satu desain tank ringan pertama oleh AS. Ini adalah tank kecil dua orang, satu senjata, dipersenjatai dengan senapan mesin Browning M1919 dan mampu mencapai kecepatan maksimum 8 mph. Desain tangki 3 ton dimulai pada pertengahan tahun 1918. 3-Ton adalah tank dua orang yang dirancang agar pasukan Amerika dapat menggunakan tank lain selain Renault FT. Mesin kembar Model T Ford dikendalikan oleh pengemudi (duduk di depan), sedangkan penembak duduk di sampingnya dan mengendalikan senapan mesin .30-06 (baik M1917 Marlin atau M1919 Browning) pada dudukan lintasan terbatas.

Sebuah kontrak untuk 15.000 kendaraan ini diberikan namun, Korps Tank AS merasa bahwa desainnya tidak memenuhi persyaratan mereka. Kontrak untuk 15.000 tank berakhir setelah Gencatan Senjata, ketika hanya lima belas yang diproduksi.

Setelah berakhirnya konflik, Angkatan Darat AS direorganisasi. Pada tahun 1919, Pershing merekomendasikan kepada sidang gabungan Senat dan Komite DPR untuk Urusan Militer agar tank disubordinasikan ke infanteri. [3] [4] Akibatnya, Undang-Undang Pertahanan Nasional 1920 membubarkan Korps Tank AS, dan memindahkan tank-tanknya ke cabang infanteri, dengan hanya dua batalyon tank berat dan empat batalion tank ringan yang lolos dari demobilisasi pascaperang. [4] [5]

Tank M1917 datang terlambat, dan tidak ambil bagian dalam pertempuran apa pun selama perang. Namun, setelah itu, lima orang menemani Pasukan Ekspedisi Marinir AS ke Tianjin pada April 1927 di bawah Jenderal Smedley Butler. Mereka kembali ke AS pada akhir 1928. [6] Setelah Tank Corps dihapuskan sebagai cabang terpisah, dan kendali tank diserahkan kepada infanteri, jumlah unit tank semakin berkurang, dan kendaraan dihentikan atau dihilangkan.

Tank Mark VIII (atau "Liberty", diambil dari nama mesinnya) adalah desain tank Anglo-Amerika pada Perang Dunia Pertama, sebuah upaya kolaboratif untuk melengkapi Prancis, Inggris, dan AS dengan desain tank berat tunggal yang dibangun di Prancis untuk serangan pada tahun 1919. Pengujian desain tidak selesai sampai setelah perang, dan diputuskan untuk membangun 100 kendaraan di AS yang dibangun pada tahun 1919 dan 1920. Tank Liberty Amerika dilengkapi satu unit: Infanteri ke-67 (Tank ) Resimen, berbasis di Aberdeen, Maryland. Penunjukan unit yang aneh itu berasal dari kenyataan bahwa sejak tahun 1922 secara hukum semua tank harus menjadi bagian dari Infanteri. Beberapa tank Liberty ditugaskan ke Batalyon Tank 301 (Heavy), kemudian berganti nama menjadi Batalyon Tank ke-17 (Heavy). Sepanjang sebagian besar tahun 1921–1922, Mayor Dwight D. Eisenhower memimpin unit ini.

Meskipun tank Perang Dunia I lambat, kikuk, sulit dikendalikan, dan secara mekanis tidak dapat diandalkan, nilainya sebagai senjata telah ditunjukkan dengan jelas. Selain kategori ringan dan berat tank produksi Amerika pada Perang Dunia I, klasifikasi ketiga, medium, mulai mendapat perhatian pada tahun 1919. Arti istilah tank ringan, sedang, dan berat berubah di antara perang. Selama Perang Dunia I dan segera setelahnya, tangki ringan dianggap mencapai 10 ton, sedang (diproduksi oleh Inggris) kira-kira antara 10 dan 25 ton, dan beratnya lebih dari 25 ton. Kemudian, selama Perang Dunia II, peningkatan bobot menghasilkan desain tangki ringan yang sering kali berbobot lebih dari 20 ton, desain tangki sedang dengan berat lebih dari 30 ton, dan desain tangki berat dengan berat lebih dari 60 ton.

Patton dan Eisenhower tetap terlibat dalam pengembangan lengan lapis baja, yang menemukan rumah sementara di Camp Meade di bawah komando Rockenbach. Secara khusus, keduanya merumuskan teori dan doktrin penggunaan tank dalam formasi massa untuk mencapai terobosan dan melakukan serangan sayap. Mereka mendapat tentangan keras terhadap ide-ide mereka dari perwira senior tentara, yang lebih menyukai penggunaan baju besi untuk mendukung infanteri, bukan sebagai pasukan terpisah yang melakukan operasi independen. Kongres mengambil pandangan ini juga, ketika memberlakukan undang-undang tahun 1920 yang membubarkan Tank Corps sebagai entitas yang terpisah.

Undang-Undang Pertahanan Nasional tahun 1920 menempatkan Korps Tank di bawah Infanteri. Patton telah mengusulkan Korps Tank independen, dan memahami bahwa tank yang beroperasi dengan Kavaleri akan menekankan mobilitas, sementara tank yang terikat dengan Infanteri akan menekankan daya tembak. Namun, pasokan tank Perang Dunia I yang lambat dan subordinasi tank ke cabang infanteri menghambat pengembangan peran apa pun selain dukungan infanteri langsung, sehingga Amerika Serikat bergerak perlahan dalam pengembangan pasukan lapis baja dan mekanis, yang mengakibatkan pemotongan signifikan dalam pendanaan untuk penelitian dan pengembangan tangki. Patton, yakin tidak ada masa depan di tank, melamar dan menerima transfer ke kavaleri pada bulan September 1920. Eisenhower keluar dua tahun kemudian, pada Januari 1922, ketika dia ditugaskan sebagai staf brigade infanteri di Panama.

Departemen Perang AS menganggap bahwa dua jenis tank, ringan dan sedang, harus memenuhi semua misi. Tangki ringan harus diangkut dengan truk, dan berat kotornya tidak lebih dari 5 ton. Tangki sedang tidak boleh melebihi 15 ton, sehingga dapat membawanya dalam kapasitas berat gerbong kereta api. Meskipun tank 15-ton eksperimental, M1924, mencapai tahap mock-up, ini dan upaya lain untuk memenuhi spesifikasi Departemen Perang dan infanteri terbukti tidak memuaskan. Kenyataannya, tidak mungkin membangun kendaraan seberat 15 ton yang memenuhi persyaratan Departemen Perang dan infanteri.

Pada tahun 1926, Staf Umum dengan enggan menyetujui pengembangan tangki 23 ton, meskipun jelas bahwa upaya untuk terus menghasilkan kendaraan 15 ton yang memuaskan. Infanteri sepakat bahwa tank ringan, yang dapat diangkut dengan truk, paling baik memenuhi persyaratan mereka. Efek bersih dari keasyikan infanteri dengan tank ringan, dan terbatasnya dana yang tersedia untuk pengembangan tank secara umum, adalah untuk memperlambat pengembangan kendaraan yang lebih berat dan, pada akhirnya, berkontribusi pada kekurangan serius tank menengah pada pecahnya Perang Dunia II. .

Awal sebenarnya dari Angkatan Lapis Baja adalah pada tahun 1928, dua belas tahun sebelum secara resmi didirikan, ketika Sekretaris Perang Dwight F. Davis mengarahkan bahwa kekuatan tank dikembangkan di Angkatan Darat, setelah mengamati manuver oleh Angkatan Lapis Baja Eksperimental Inggris. Arahan Davis tahun 1928 untuk pengembangan kekuatan tank menghasilkan perakitan dan perkemahan kekuatan mekanik eksperimental di Camp Meade, Maryland, dari 1 Juli hingga 20 September 1928. Tim gabungan senjata terdiri dari elemen-elemen yang dilengkapi oleh Infanteri (termasuk tank) , Kavaleri, Artileri Lapangan, Korps Udara, Korps Insinyur, Departemen Persenjataan, Layanan Peperangan Kimia, dan Korps Medis. Upaya untuk melanjutkan percobaan pada tahun 1929 dikalahkan oleh dana yang tidak mencukupi dan peralatan usang, tetapi latihan tahun 1928 membuahkan hasil, karena Dewan Mekanisasi Departemen Perang, yang ditunjuk untuk mempelajari hasil percobaan, merekomendasikan pembentukan permanen kekuatan mekanis.

Meskipun dana tidak memadai, Departemen Persenjataan berhasil mengembangkan beberapa tangki ringan dan menengah eksperimental, dan juga bekerja dengan insinyur mobil J. Walter Christie untuk menguji model desain Christie pada tahun 1929. Tak satu pun dari tangki ini diterima, biasanya karena masing-masing melebihi standar. ditetapkan oleh cabang Angkatan Darat lainnya. Patton kemudian bekerja sama dengan Christie untuk meningkatkan siluet, suspensi, kekuatan, dan persenjataan tank. Ide Christie memiliki dampak besar pada taktik tank dan organisasi unit di banyak negara dan, akhirnya, pada Angkatan Darat AS juga.

Pada 21 November 1930, Douglas MacArthur diangkat menjadi Kepala Staf, dengan pangkat Jenderal. [7] Sebagai Kepala Staf dari tahun 1930 hingga 1935, Douglas MacArthur ingin memajukan motorisasi dan mekanisasi di seluruh Angkatan Darat. Pada akhir 1931 semua senjata dan layanan diarahkan untuk mengadopsi mekanisasi dan motorisasi, dan diizinkan untuk melakukan penelitian dan eksperimen jika diperlukan. Kavaleri diberi tugas untuk mengembangkan kendaraan tempur yang akan meningkatkan perannya dalam pengintaian, kontra-pengintaian, aksi sayap, dan pengejaran.

Dengan disahkannya undang-undang, tank menjadi milik cabang infanteri, jadi kavaleri secara bertahap membeli sekelompok mobil tempur, tank lapis baja ringan dan bersenjata yang sering tidak dapat dibedakan dari "tank" infanteri yang lebih baru. Pada tahun 1933, MacArthur mengatur panggung untuk mekanisasi lengkap kavaleri, menyatakan "Kuda itu tidak memiliki tingkat mobilitas yang lebih tinggi hari ini daripada seribu tahun yang lalu. Oleh karena itu, waktunya telah tiba ketika lengan Kavaleri harus mengganti atau membantu kuda itu. sebagai alat transportasi, atau masuk ke limbo formasi militer yang dibuang." [8]


Sejarah

Perkembangan

Desain

M3 Stuart adalah upgrade komprehensif dari tank ringan M2 sebelumnya. Ini menampilkan mesin bensin Continental baru - lebih kuat daripada M2 sebelumnya, sistem suspensi volute vertikal baru (VVSS), meriam utama M5 37 mm (kemudian diganti dengan meriam M6 37 mm) dengan sistem mundur baru. Persenjataan sekunder terdiri dari hingga 5 ,30 cal (7,62 mm) senapan mesin M1919. Satu dipasang secara koaksial ke meriam utama, satu dipasang pada bola di bagian depan lambung, dua dipasang di sponson di lambung, dan satu dipasang di pemasangan anti-pesawat di turret. Seringkali, dua senapan mesin yang dipasang pada sponsor akan dilepas oleh kru untuk menghemat ruang dan mengurangi berat. M3 diawaki oleh empat awak: pengemudi, co-driver, komandan, dan penembak.

Komposisi armor utama adalah armor homogen bergulung yang dikeraskan di muka. Sisi dan belakang lambung dan turret setebal 1 inci (25,4 mm). Bagian depan turret tebalnya 38,1 mm, begitu juga dengan mantel meriamnya. Gletser bawah lambung setebal 44,4 mm, dan gletser atas bersudut setebal 15,8 mm dan bersudut 70 derajat. Pelat depan atas setebal 38,1 mm dan bersudut 18 derajat. Atap turret dan hull memiliki tebal 12,7 mm.

M3 Stuart (Stuart Mk I/II)

M3 adalah model produksi pertama dari seri, dan diperkenalkan pada bulan Maret 1941. 5811 M3 Stuart dibangun dan mereka disebut Stuart Mk I dalam layanan Inggris. 1285 di antaranya dibangun dengan mesin diesel Guiberson dan ditetapkan sebagai Stuart Mk II oleh Inggris. Mesin diesel Stuarts dibuat dengan spesifikasi Inggris, bukan untuk layanan Amerika. Orang Inggris sering menyebut Stuart sebagai tank Honey, karena perjalanannya yang mulus. Sebuah keranjang menara ditambahkan untuk komandan dan penembak untuk duduk. Banyak dari M3 Stuarts asli dikirim ke Inggris di bawah Lend-Lease Act.

M3A1 Stuart (Stuart Mk III/IV)

Diperkenalkan pada tahun 1942, M3A1 menampilkan turret yang ditingkatkan. Turret baru menampilkan keranjang turret dan dudukan senapan mesin AA yang berbeda. Selain itu, semua senapan mesin yang dipasang di sponsor telah dilepas pada versi M3A1. Ini hanya menyisakan tiga senapan mesin 0,30 cal (7,62 mm), satu dipasang di lambung, satu dipasang di AA, dan satu di koaksial. Selain itu, stabilizer vertikal untuk pistol ditingkatkan. 4621 M3A1 Stuart diproduksi, dan produksi berakhir pada Februari 1943. M3A1 diekspor ke Inggris sebagai Stuart Mk III, dan versi dieselnya disebut Stuart Mk IV dalam layanan Inggris.

M3A3 Stuart (Stuart Mk V)

Varian M3A3 menampilkan pelindung frontal miring yang sangat mirip dengan M5 Stuart. Susunan armor baru lebih mudah diproduksi dan juga menawarkan perlindungan yang lebih baik. Sebagai efek samping, lambung M3A3 lebih berat dari versi sebelumnya lambung juga mengalami peningkatan volume, yang memungkinkan penyimpanan bahan bakar dan amunisi lebih banyak. M3A3 juga memperkenalkan turret yang ditingkatkan dengan hiruk pikuk yang lebih besar di bagian belakang untuk penyimpanan radio SCR 508. Because of the increased space inside the hull, the ammunition storage was increased to 174 37 mm rounds and 7500 7.62 mm rounds. 3427 M3A3s were produced, with production ending in October 1943. In British service they were called Stuart Mk V.

Service

13,800 M3 Stuarts were used in all the theaters of World War 2 with a number of different nations.

Varian

The M3 Stuart, the first production series, was not intended for fighting other tanks but instead was meant to fight infantry units. With an armament of five .30 cal machine guns and one 37 mm gun the M3 was quite capable of its job. The standard livery was khaki-olive paint with US identification markings. The turret was often painted with a white or yellow horizontal band, and some units also added unit markings. Extra tracks and fuel were often stored on the exterior of the tank, and the sponson machine guns were often removed to save space and weight.

The M3A1 was an improved version which was produced until 1942, when the M3A3 and M5 Stuart were introduced. During Operation Torch in 1942 the M3A1 was often painted olive drab with the standard US identification markings. The M3A1s were painted very similarly to the M3s, and American identification markings were made very large, as the French (who held West North Africa during Operation Torch) held no anti-American sentiment. Additionally, the M20 anti-aircraft mounting for a .30 cal machine gun became common during this campaign. Extra tracks and fuel were mounted just the same as on the M3. The M3 was heavily used by the British, and British Stuarts were often covered in extra supplies and equipment. British Stuarts were painted in straight line blue-sand livery, with pale green upper surfaces.

The M3A2 was an experimental design that was not produced.

The M3A3 was the final design of the series, as the M3 series was replaced by the M5 series. The M3A3 was built with the intention to simplify production without reducing the performance. The M3A3 featured a single sloped upper glacis and new turret. The M3 series was mostly replaced by the M24 Chaffee in the European Theater after the North African campaign, but they were used heavily in the Pacific theater as the Japanese tanks were easier to deal with.

Britain and the Commonwealth

The British found the Stuart to be much more reliable than the Crusader tanks they were also operating at the time. The Stuarts were put to good use in the North African campaign, but the protection was found to be lacking against contemporary German tanks and anti-tank guns. As such, the Stuart was not heavily used by the British in the European theater, but was instead shifted to the India-Burma theater in British and Australian units. The Japanese tanks they faced their were much easier targets for the Stuarts as they were much less armored and had less firepower. The British and Australians often converted their Stuarts to non-combat roles.

Amerika Serikat

In North Africa, the M3 Stuart was proven to be vulnerable to enemy anti-tank weapons whilst having an Armament that was seen as insufficient. As such, the Stuart was relegated to non-combat roles such as rearguard and reconnaissance. The M3 Stuart was mostly replaced by the M24 Chaffee in the European theater, but they saw significant service in the Pacific. In the European theater they were only used to support the more capable M4 Shermans and the crews of M3 Stuarts made sure to avoid frontal engagement of enemy armour.

The M3s in the Pacific did not see much armoured opposition and there was only one anti-tank gun that posed a major threat, the 45 mm gun of the Chi-Ha and its variants. The Japanese tanks they did face were mostly less capable than the M3, with less armor and firepower. The first tank on tank combat the M3 saw in the Pacific was in the Philippines in December of 1941. There, the 192nd and 194th Light Tank Battalions saw combat mostly against Japanese Ha-Go tanks.

Uni Soviet

The Soviet Union received 1000 M3 Stuarts along with M3 Lees and M3 Half-tracks through the Lend-Lease Act. The M3 Stuarts delivered to the USSR were of differing variants. The USSR did not like the M3 Stuart. They believed the armor and firepower was inadequate, the tracks were not suited to Russian winters, and the fuel was too flammable. As such, the USSR turned down American proposals for the delivery of M5 Stuarts, and sent their M3s to the Manchurian front where they would face less armored opposition.


M3 Lee / M3 Grant (Medium Tank, M3)

Ditulis Oleh: Staf Penulis | Last Edited: 10/17/2018 | Konten &salinwww.MilitaryFactory.com | Teks berikut ini eksklusif untuk situs ini.

The M3 medium tank series appeared at a time when Allied armor (in respects to both armor protection and armament) was generally inferior to their German counterparts in Europe and North Africa. The M3 evolved from the M2 medium tank foray and served as essentially an interim solution until the arrival of the fabled M4 Shermans into the fray. As it stood, the M3 was an adequate solution not without its flaws but served the Allies well in returning control of North Africa back in their favor. Though often written off despite her contributions, the M3 played a pivotal role in the early-to-middle years of World War 2.

By the time of the German invasion of Poland, the United States had little in the way of an effective armor corps thanks primarily to a lack of vision and a lack of funding from the US Congress. Much dedication during the inter-war years following World War 1 placed a greater emphasis on light tank designs, seeing that these systems would benefit the standard infantryman more than medium tanks. The M2 light tank was such a development, but come 1936, the US Army sought a newer and more powerful medium-class tank based on the successful suspension system of the light-class M2's.

The T5 was developed as a five-man system with a primary armament of a 37mm main gun in a fully-traversable turret. One derivative of the T5 became the T5E2 and sported a 75mm main gun, though this was fitted to a World War 1-style side sponson that offered limited traverse. The T5E2 did feature a turret, however this had accommodations for one crew member and the armament was nothing more than an anti-infantry .30 caliber machine gun.

The T5 itself was an impressive design considering the times. It featured a broad and sharply-angled glacis plate with a hull sporting straight-faced sides. The turret fitted the 37mm main gun with 360-degree rotation as well as 2 x .30 caliber machine guns. There were four machine gun sponsons with limited traverse fitted to the four corners of the superstructure - two facing forward and two facing aft. The glacis plate sported an additional pair of .30 caliber machine guns emerging from the upper hull. The profile was admittedly high, nearly one and one-half times the height of an average man. The vehicle's sides were characterized by the three sets of road wheels with two wheel bogies to a set. Vision slots were afforded the driver, superstructure occupants and the turret operator. The T5 graduated to a production designation of M2 Medium Tank.

As the conflict in Europe continually unfolded, the idea of a medium tank in the United States evolved. The M2 was revised into the improved M2A1 Medium Tank. Despite its impressive appearance, the M2 was still little more than a mobile machine gun platform with a main gun capable of engaging light armored vehicles at best. It would have made for an excellent design in World War 1 but the speed at which the German invasions of Poland, and now France, had made the M2A1 immediately obsolete. With the fall of Paris, the US Congress prepared for war and authorized funding for the modernization of the American military. 94 M2A1 tanks were produced solely for training purposes.

By August of 1940, a new medium tank design was called for, this sporting improved performance, better armor allocation as it pertained to the most potent German anti-tank gun at the time and a more potent main gun armament. The design, based on the T5E2 mentioned earlier, was ready by the beginning of 1941 as the aptly-designated "M3".

The design of the M3 was peculiar to say the least, sort of a tank caught between two eras of warfare. Though the new design fitted a more potent 75mm main gun, this was placed in a limited traverse turret offset to the right of the superstructure. This was essentially a requirement for the time for now proven turret system was available for immediate service in the United States. Rather than spend critical time and funds in developing a useful turret, it was seen that the M3 should hit the production lines in the shortest amount of time possible. Likewise, the powerplant - an aircraft-based Wright air-cooled engine - proved lacking but there was little time to waste in fielding the M3. A full-traverse turret was in fact utilized on the M3, though this fielded the less-than-adequate primary armament of a 37mm main gun. Atop this turret was still another smaller turret housing a .30 caliber machine gun.

The M3 was a tall design, peaking at over 10 feet in height. As anyone who knows armored warfare, they would know the dangers of fielding a tall tank. The turret-on-turret layout did not help matters in keeping the M3's profile at an acceptable height. To make matters worse, the superstructure itself was of a relatively tall design. This was necessitated by how high the engine sat in its rear hull mounting. This height forced the propeller shaft, running from rear to front toward the gearbox, to achieve a downward position. This angled shaft forced the crew cabin to be placed higher in the design than one would have liked in a tank. This further forced the main turret to be raised and the additional cupola system did not help matters much. The original M3 order called for a crew of seven personnel. This was later whittled down to six and ultimately five crewmembers when the radio operator's position was consolidated.

As it was, the US Army - and the free world for that matter - needed a tank that was somewhat capable, ready for full-scale production and available in quantity. The M3 proved to be the order of the day. The US Army committed to the M3 with a first-run production of 4,924 units beginning in the middle of 1941 despite some reservations by Army personnel as to the effectiveness of the vehicle in regards to performance. The M3 was no speedster and the engines allotted to the design was vastly under-powered for what was to be expected of this medium tank. Nonetheless, the M3 was a much-needed medium tank addition and the dwindling supply of British tanks in North Africa sped up production. A second batch of 1,334 vehicles soon followed and made up a variety of marks based on configuration. These became the M3A1 (Lee II), M3A2 (Lee 3), M3A3 (Lee IV/Lee V), M3A4 (Lee VI) and the M3A5 (Grant II) series marks. When in service with the British Army, the M3 took on the names of "General Lee" and "General Grant" (or simply "Lee" and "Grant"). The British Army had a tradition of naming US-produced tanks in their service on American Civil War generals, with the two in question being Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. This was also apparent in the M3/M5 "Stuart" light tank series as well as the soon-to-arrive M4 "Sherman" series. British M3's were also refitted to utilized a lower-profile "British Friendly" turret that incorporated a rear-mounted bustle for radio equipment, in effect deleting one of the crewmember positions.

At its core, the base M3 was powered by a Wright (later Continental) R975 EC2 series engine of up to 400 horsepower. This powerplant was mated to a synchromesh, 5-speed (featuring a single reverse speed) transmission and a Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) system. Top speed was limited to 24.8 miles-per-hour on road and drastically reduced to 16.15 miles-per-hour off-road. Range peaked at just under 120 miles.

Primary armament consisted of a 1 x 75mm Gun M2/M3 with 46 projectiles onboard. The main gun of the M3 was key in that it could fire both armor piercing (AP) projectiles and high-explosive (HEAT) projectiles equally (earlier tank systems required the use of two separate guns/turrets for this cause). This was augmented by the 1 x 37mm M5/M6 fitting in the turret with 178 projectiles in tow. Anti-infantry defense was handled by up to 4 x .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns with 9,200 rounds of ammunition.

The base M3 (Lee I / Grant I)) featured a riveted hull and a gasoline-fueled engine. These were followed into service by the M3A1 which sported a cast rounded upper hull. 300 of this type were produced. The M2A2 came online next featuring a welded, straight-edged hull, and only saw 12 or so produced. The M2A3 was a twin-engined GM-powered 6-71 diesel derivative mated to a welded hull. The side doors consistent to the earlier M3's were eliminated as a ballistics weak spot. 322 of this type were produced.

The M3A4 featured a longer hull made of riveted construction. This variant is of particular note due to its fitting of the Chrysler A-57 "Multibank" engine. The Multibank combined five complete engines in a star pattern formation and was a tank mechanic's worst nightmare. This layout also necessitated a longer hull. 109 of the M3A4 series were produced in whole.

The M3A5 sported twin GM 6-71 diesel engines (a departure from the previous gasoline-fueled powerplants). The tank featured a riveted hull and up to 591 examples were produced.

Beyond its various combat forms, the M3 appeared in capable battlefield implements as well. This included the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle (Grant ARV I), the similar M31B1 and M31B2 and the M33 "Prime Mover", the latter an artillery tractor derivative. The chassis was also utilized in the development of the 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, M7, commonly known as the "Priest". Additionally, the M3 chassis made up the 155 Gun Motor Carriage M12.

Likewise, the British evolved the M3 into their own dedicated battlefield roles that included the Grant ARV, Grand Command, Grant Scorpion III (fitted with a mine-clearing flail), Grant Scorpion IV (similar to Scorpion III but with extra engine power) and the Grant CDL. The Canadian "Cruiser Tank Ram" utilized the M3 chassis and fitted a conventional full-traverse turret but would never see combat action.

First contact by any M3 occurred in North Africa come 1942, first by the British and then later joined by a contingent of American-piloted M3's. Results were mixed with the British maintaining a better initial performance record. By the time of American involvement, German armor, experience and tactics had all improved and delivered a baptism of fire for M3 crews. At the very least, the M3 was on par with the German-fielded units and offered up a level playing field for the Allies for the first time in the war. The M3 proved to be a reliable machine and her 75mm was good for the moment. Her armor was highly regarded for it matched up well against the German weapons of the time. Limitations were its inherent flaws such as its slow off-road performance, limited traverse main gun and its high profile - making for somewhat easy pickings by enemy tanks with full traverse turrets or mobile anti-tank teams.

In the Pacific, M3's appeared in limited numbers and, as such, their reach in the region was restricted. It did, however, prove handy against the lightly-armored Japanese tanks. Future tank engagements in the region played out equally well for the Americans thanks to the arrival of the M4 Sherman series.

The Soviets had poor experiences from their M3's delivered via Lend-Lease. The system fared in a generally unfavorable way against the more mobile German armored tanks. Where the Soviets were looking for a tank capable of outgunning other tanks, the M3 proved a sorrowful disappointment and forced the Russians to look elsewhere.

In all, some 6,258 M3's were produced for all parties involved. Operators were led by the United States, Britain (via Lend-Lease or direct purchase), Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and the Soviet Union (via Lend-Lease). Production for all M3's ran from August of 1941 through December of 1942. The arrival of the capable M4 Sherman - and the Soviet T-34, German Panther and 75mm-armed Panzer IV for that matter - decreased all M3 combat roles substantially, effectively ending the type's reign in the war.


Meet the M3 37mm Antitank Gun: A World War II Weapon With Mixed Results

Despite lacks of modern features and firepower, the 37mm cannon still served throughout the World War II.

Key Point: The 37mm played only a very small part in the "Arsenal of Democracy."

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. It was 9 am on November 8, 1942. The platoon had been ordered to man a roadblock near the town of El Ancor, protecting the flank of the 26th Regiment during its landing as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa.

It was a tense moment Smith’s orders were not to fire unless fired upon. Would these French soldiers fight or not? The question was soon answered when a burst of machine-gun fire stuttered from one of the armored cars. The American return fire was instant. Two of the 37mm guns started banging away, hitting the lead armored car. All three French vehicles fired their own cannon and machine guns at the telltale muzzle flashes of the American guns. Another hit on the leading car set it afire, and moments later a skillful shot from an American 37mm some 1,800 yards away hit the rear armored car, setting it alight and trapping the middle vehicle.

The crews of the burning vehicles abandoned them, taking cover in a drainage ditch. Unable to move, the crew of the middle car did the same. This took the will to fight out of the Vichy troops, who surrendered. The gun crews and their 37mm cannon had just been introduced to combat in North Africa.

The M3 37mm antitank gun was one of the main antitank weapons of the United States in the early years of World War II. It was produced in larger numbers than any other American antitank gun and served through the entire war. This extensive service record comes despite the fact that the 37mm was effectively obsolescent as soon as America entered the war in December 1941.

America’s 18,702 M3s

The cannon’s story begins in the late 1930s as the United States began searching for a more powerful tank-killing weapon. At the time the antitank companies of U.S. infantry regiments were equipped with .50-caliber machine guns, admittedly quite effective against the thinly armored light tanks that were the standard for armored vehicles at the time. Experience gained during the Spanish Civil War forced an evolution in tank design, bringing heavier medium tanks to the forefront. As the United States watched from the sidelines, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, each supporting a different Spanish faction, upgraded their own weapons. The Germans adopted the PAK 36 37mm cannon this drew increased American interest, and the Army acquired one for testing in early 1937.

In May of that year representatives from the artillery, infantry, and cavalry branches came together at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to discuss their respective needs for the weapon. The infantry favored a lighter weapon that could be operated by one soldier while the artillerymen favored crew-served cannon. Prototypes were authorized by September 1937, and testing continued through 1938 as the various problems normal to weapons development were overcome.

Several different gun designs and carriages were tested, with the winner being accepted on December 15, 1938, as the M3 37mm cannon mounted on the M4 carriage. It is normal to classify guns and carriages separately as over time a carriage may be used as a platform for more than one type of cannon. When mated together, the complete weapon will generally be referred to by the model number of the gun.

As with many American weapons developed in the sparse fiscal environment of the late 1930s, the M3 did not enter actual production until the end of 1940 as war clouds began to loom and belated preparations were put into motion. Manufacture began slowly, with only 340 guns made in 1940 and 2,252 the year after. America was rearming, but at a snail’s pace. The attack on Pearl Harbor would change that.

With the war against the Axis under way, production was vastly expanded. Quotas were set for all manner of war material. For antitank guns the goal was set at 18,900 weapons by the end of 1943. In actuality, the factories far exceeded this goal. During 1942 and 1943, some 27,343 antitank guns were built with 37mm cannon accounting for 16,110 of this number. Total production of M3s would reach 18,702.

25 Rounds Per Minute

The M3 37mm cannon was a 53.5-caliber weapon, meaning the length of the bore was 53.5 times its diameter. Overall length was 154.5 inches with a width of 63.5 inches and a height of 37.8 inches. It weighed 912 pounds, light enough to be manhandled by its four man crew for short distances. A set of towing straps was provided to make it easier for the soldiers to pull the gun and carriage. The cannon could be traversed 30 degrees to either side of center and could be depressed 10 degrees or elevated up to 15 degrees.

The M3 could fire 25 rounds per minute of a variety of ammunition types. There were two types of armor-piercing rounds. The initial solid steel shot could penetrate 36mm of armor at 500 yards while the improved ballistic-capped round pierced 61mm at the same distance. High explosive and canister rounds were also available. The canister round was for anti-personnel use and functioned like a large shotgun shell, firing 122 3/8-inch steel balls to an effective range of 250 yards.

The new weapon saw use from the beginning of the war. It was issued both as an antitank gun and a tank cannon. The M2 “combat cars” used early in the war—the light M3/M5 Stuart tank series, and the medium M3 Grant/Lee tanks as well as the M8 armored car—all carried 37mm guns, and those 37mm cannon produced as tank guns were augmented by the numbers noted above that were produced for carriage mounts.

For infantry use, the 37mm equipped the antitank platoons of each battalion in an infantry regiment, three guns each. There was also a regimental antitank company with nine guns, for a total of 18 guns per regiment. The Army’s Tank Destroyer Branch made limited use of the 37mm in a self-propelled mounting called the M6. This was a ¾-ton Dodge truck mounting the 37mm on the rear bed. Intended as a stopgap vehicle until dedicated tank destroyer designs could be fielded, a handful of M6s saw service in North Africa in tank destroyer battalions. These units mixed their companies with a platoon of M6s and two platoons of M3 gun motor carriages, a half-track carrying a 75mm weapon.

The M6 had a relatively high silhouette for the diminutive caliber of its gun, and it had no protection for the crew other than a gun shield. It was almost suicidal to use them in modern combat against the Germans, and most company commanders quickly learned to keep their M6s at the rear of their columns. They were replaced at the end of the Tunisian campaign.

The M3’s Baptism of Fire

In its towed version, the 37mm was first used in combat in the Pacific where some were deployed during the Philippine fighting of early 1942. When the Marines went to Guadalcanal, they brought their M3s with them they proved invaluable against not only Japanese tanks but in breaking up infantry attacks with explosive and canister rounds. At the Battle of the Tenaru River on August 21, 1942, a Japanese force commanded by Colonel Kiyono Ichiki attacked Marines defending along the line of the Ilu River (the Marine’s maps had mislabeled the Ilu as the Tenaru). Just after midnight the Marine pickets heard the approaching Japanese infantry and fell back across the river to warn their comrades. Among the Marine firepower were several 37mm guns that the crews loaded with canister rounds. The Japanese launched their attack with mortar fire and an infantry charge.

The Marines responded, their M3s discharging blasts of steel balls that cut through jungle foliage and human flesh alike. The fighting was hand to hand in some places. After an initial repulse, Ichiki sent in a second attack that bogged down in barbed wire. Small arms and cannon fire poured down on the hapless Japanese, slaughtering them. A Marine counterattack finished the night’s bloody work, leaving nearly 800 Japanese dead. Colonel Ichiki committed suicide.

Two months later, the Americans again used their 37mm guns in action against an attack by the Japanese Sendai Division. Due to a communications error, the Japanese launched their attack a day too soon, hitting the western side of the Marine perimeter. This attack included nine Japanese tanks positioned along a coastal road with infantry behind them, all ready to advance over a sandbar separating the two antagonists.


M3 Stuart light tank passes El Himeimat, 1942 - History

By Christopher Miskimon

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. It was 9 am on November 8, 1942. The platoon had been ordered to man a roadblock near the town of El Ancor, protecting the flank of the 26th Regiment during its landing as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa.
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It was a tense moment Smith’s orders were not to fire unless fired upon. Would these French soldiers fight or not? The question was soon answered when a burst of machine-gun fire stuttered from one of the armored cars. The American return fire was instant. Two of the 37mm guns started banging away, hitting the lead armored car. All three French vehicles fired their own cannon and machine guns at the telltale muzzle flashes of the American guns. Another hit on the leading car set it afire, and moments later a skillful shot from an American 37mm some 1,800 yards away hit the rear armored car, setting it alight and trapping the middle vehicle.

The crews of the burning vehicles abandoned them, taking cover in a drainage ditch. Unable to move, the crew of the middle car did the same. This took the will to fight out of the Vichy troops, who surrendered. The gun crews and their 37mm cannon had just been introduced to combat in North Africa.

The M3 37mm antitank gun was one of the main antitank weapons of the United States in the early years of World War II. It was produced in larger numbers than any other American antitank gun and served through the entire war. This extensive service record comes despite the fact that the 37mm was effectively obsolescent as soon as America entered the war in December 1941.

America’s 18,702 M3s

The cannon’s story begins in the late 1930s as the United States began searching for a more powerful tank-killing weapon. At the time the antitank companies of U.S. infantry regiments were equipped with .50-caliber machine guns, admittedly quite effective against the thinly armored light tanks that were the standard for armored vehicles at the time. Experience gained during the Spanish Civil War forced an evolution in tank design, bringing heavier medium tanks to the forefront. As the United States watched from the sidelines, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, each supporting a different Spanish faction, upgraded their own weapons. The Germans adopted the PAK 36 37mm cannon this drew increased American interest, and the Army acquired one for testing in early 1937.

In May of that year representatives from the artillery, infantry, and cavalry branches came together at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to discuss their respective needs for the weapon. The infantry favored a lighter weapon that could be operated by one soldier while the artillerymen favored crew-served cannon. Prototypes were authorized by September 1937, and testing continued through 1938 as the various problems normal to weapons development were overcome.

Several different gun designs and carriages were tested, with the winner being accepted on December 15, 1938, as the M3 37mm cannon mounted on the M4 carriage. It is normal to classify guns and carriages separately as over time a carriage may be used as a platform for more than one type of cannon. When mated together, the complete weapon will generally be referred to by the model number of the gun.

As with many American weapons developed in the sparse fiscal environment of the late 1930s, the M3 did not enter actual production until the end of 1940 as war clouds began to loom and belated preparations were put into motion. Manufacture began slowly, with only 340 guns made in 1940 and 2,252 the year after. America was rearming, but at a snail’s pace. The attack on Pearl Harbor would change that.

With the war against the Axis under way, production was vastly expanded. Quotas were set for all manner of war material. For antitank guns the goal was set at 18,900 weapons by the end of 1943. In actuality, the factories far exceeded this goal. During 1942 and 1943, some 27,343 antitank guns were built with 37mm cannon accounting for 16,110 of this number. Total production of M3s would reach 18,702.

Marines on Saipan fire a 37mm gun at Japanese positions. The 37mm provided enough firepower to destroy Japanese machine-gun nests and to decimate infantry concentrations.

25 Rounds Per Minute

The M3 37mm cannon was a 53.5-caliber weapon, meaning the length of the bore was 53.5 times its diameter. Overall length was 154.5 inches with a width of 63.5 inches and a height of 37.8 inches. It weighed 912 pounds, light enough to be manhandled by its four man crew for short distances. A set of towing straps was provided to make it easier for the soldiers to pull the gun and carriage. The cannon could be traversed 30 degrees to either side of center and could be depressed 10 degrees or elevated up to 15 degrees.

The M3 could fire 25 rounds per minute of a variety of ammunition types. There were two types of armor-piercing rounds. The initial solid steel shot could penetrate 36mm of armor at 500 yards while the improved ballistic-capped round pierced 61mm at the same distance. High explosive and canister rounds were also available. The canister round was for anti-personnel use and functioned like a large shotgun shell, firing 122 3 /8-inch steel balls to an effective range of 250 yards.

The new weapon saw use from the beginning of the war. It was issued both as an antitank gun and a tank cannon. The M2 “combat cars” used early in the war—the light M3/M5 Stuart tank series, and the medium M3 Grant/Lee tanks as well as the M8 armored car—all carried 37mm guns, and those 37mm cannon produced as tank guns were augmented by the numbers noted above that were produced for carriage mounts.

For infantry use, the 37mm equipped the antitank platoons of each battalion in an infantry regiment, three guns each. There was also a regimental antitank company with nine guns, for a total of 18 guns per regiment. The Army’s Tank Destroyer Branch made limited use of the 37mm in a self-propelled mounting called the M6. This was a ¾-ton Dodge truck mounting the 37mm on the rear bed. Intended as a stopgap vehicle until dedicated tank destroyer designs could be fielded, a handful of M6s saw service in North Africa in tank destroyer battalions. These units mixed their companies with a platoon of M6s and two platoons of M3 gun motor carriages, a half-track carrying a 75mm weapon.

The M6 had a relatively high silhouette for the diminutive caliber of its gun, and it had no protection for the crew other than a gun shield. It was almost suicidal to use them in modern combat against the Germans, and most company commanders quickly learned to keep their M6s at the rear of their columns. They were replaced at the end of the Tunisian campaign.

The M3’s Baptism of Fire

In its towed version, the 37mm was first used in combat in the Pacific where some were deployed during the Philippine fighting of early 1942. When the Marines went to Guadalcanal, they brought their M3s with them they proved invaluable against not only Japanese tanks but in breaking up infantry attacks with explosive and canister rounds. At the Battle of the Tenaru River on August 21, 1942, a Japanese force commanded by Colonel Kiyono Ichiki attacked Marines defending along the line of the Ilu River (the Marine’s maps had mislabeled the Ilu as the Tenaru). Just after midnight the Marine pickets heard the approaching Japanese infantry and fell back across the river to warn their comrades. Among the Marine firepower were several 37mm guns that the crews loaded with canister rounds. The Japanese launched their attack with mortar fire and an infantry charge.

Although the M3 Stuart light tank was outclassed by German armor in Europe, it remained highly effective against the Japanese, taking on the light enemy tanks and pillboxes with its 37mm cannon.

The Marines responded, their M3s discharging blasts of steel balls that cut through jungle foliage and human flesh alike. The fighting was hand to hand in some places. After an initial repulse, Ichiki sent in a second attack that bogged down in barbed wire. Small arms and cannon fire poured down on the hapless Japanese, slaughtering them. A Marine counterattack finished the night’s bloody work, leaving nearly 800 Japanese dead. Colonel Ichiki committed suicide.

Two months later, the Americans again used their 37mm guns in action against an attack by the Japanese Sendai Division. Due to a communications error, the Japanese launched their attack a day too soon, hitting the western side of the Marine perimeter. This attack included nine Japanese tanks positioned along a coastal road with infantry behind them, all ready to advance over a sandbar separating the two antagonists.

When the attack began, it was met by the combined fire of U.S. antitank guns, artillery, and small arms. The 37mm cannon barked at the approaching tanks, whose thin armor proved no match for their fire. Only one tank even made it over the sandbar the rest lay wrecked or burning. The last vehicle, disabled by a Marine who shoved a grenade into its tracks, was picked off shortly afterward. With the armored threat eliminated, the antitank guns shifted their fire to the enemy infantry, leaving some 600 dead on the field at the battle’s end.

Mixed Results in North Africa

After proving itself in the Pacific, U.S. forces next took the 37mm with them to North Africa during Operation Torch. This theater of operations was very different from the Pacific, however. The German Army could field a force of modern tanks along with a well-developed doctrine for their use. The improved models of the German Mark III and IV tanks had thicker armor that the 37mm could only reliably penetrate at close ranges. This fact was not fully appreciated at the time of the landings. The U.S. Army would have to learn through the harsh instruction of battlefield experience.

In the initial phase of Torch, the 37mm performed well enough against the lightly armored vehicles of the Vichy French, but as soon as the Germans were encountered the M3’s inadequacy came to the forefront. Gun crews watched in frustration as their well-aimed shots bounced harmlessly off the armor of attacking panzers. Word went back to the Army Ground Forces (AGF), a stateside command that monitored weapons used in combat to seek improvement. It sent observers to gain first-hand information.

Not surprisingly, the frontline soldiers using the 37mm wanted it replaced quickly, while a number of the observers said the troops were not using the weapon properly. Critics stated the troops expected the gun to work at “excessive ranges” and that it had to be sighted properly to achieve hits on the enemy’s flanks. These critics apparently did not take into consideration that a towed antitank gun unit, once emplaced, cannot dictate the terms of an engagement and must be able to engage an enemy frontally. Guns cannot always be sited where the terrain will be to their advantage.

The prime movers of the 37mm, the jeep or ¾-ton Dodge truck, were unarmored. Bringing them forward under fire to move a gun carried a great risk of losing the vehicle. While these limitations apply to any towed cannon, the M3’s inability to knock out enemy armor only exacerbated the problem.

Criticism of the 37mm continued despite the excuses of some AGF observers, and by mid-1943 the newer 57mm gun was authorized to replace the 37mm on a one-for-one basis. Reequipping took time, so the divisions that went ashore at Sicily in July 1943 were still using many M3s with mixed effect. A high point came during a now famous engagement between U.S. Rangers under Colonel William Darby and an attacking Italian force using captured French Renault R35 tanks. The Italian tanks attacked the Rangers at the town of Gela. Lightly equipped, the Rangers first used bazookas and grenades to resist the enemy assault.

During the fighting, Colonel Darby drove to the beachhead and found a 37mm gun. He towed it back to Gela and set it up, hurriedly chopping open the ammunition box with an axe. Manning the weapon personally, he knocked out one of the R35s and helped fend off the attack. His bravery at Gela resulted in his second award of the Distinguished Service Cross.

Weaknesses of the 37mm Against the Germans

A corresponding low point came when a battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, was attacked by the Hermann Göring Panzer Division, which included heavy Tiger tanks. The American 37mm guns were totally ineffective during the attack the battalion commander was killed while manning one of the guns himself.

Shown on maneuvers in Tennessee in 1943, this M6 antitank vehicle is armed with a 37mm antitank gun mounted in the bed and a .50-caliber machine gun for antipersonnel or anti-aircraft use.

Soon afterward, more 57mm guns began arriving, and the 37mm was essentially finished as a dedicated antitank weapon in the European Theater. It continued there only as the primary armament of the M5 light tanks and M8 armored cars. There is a report of an M8 actually knocking out a German Panther tank with a shot from its 37mm. It is believed this would only have been possible by a chance ricochet off the tank’s mantlet down through the thinner roof armor or perhaps a round that landed short, ricocheted off the ground, and bounced up through the belly armor. Such a lucky hit could not be counted on, and units using light tanks or armored cars generally avoided action against German armor.

An Effective Gun in the Pacific

It was a different story in the Pacific, where both the Army and Marine Corps used the 37mm until the war ended. Conditions in the Pacific Theater were more favorable. Much of the fighting occurred in jungle or heavily forested areas that were mostly wild and undeveloped, lacking extensive road networks or built-up areas. Large tracts were wet and marshy with soft ground difficult for vehicles to traverse. The 37mm gun was light enough to be moved by its own crew and manhandled into firing positions. Many of the enemy bunkers and defensive positions were constructed from locally available logs and soil rather than concrete, leaving them vulnerable to the M3’s fire.

The gun was effective against Japanese tanks, which saw no real improvements in armor protection over the course of the conflict. Japanese tanks were thinly armored and vulnerable to the full range of U.S. antitank weapons, including the 37mm gun, though the weapon probably saw much more use in the fire support role. The Japanese did not use very large numbers of tanks and rarely massed their armor, often using what they had in the infantry support role or even dug in as pillboxes.

Rather than engaging Japanese tanks on a regular basis, the 37mm more often used explosive and canister ammunition against infantry or defensive positions. The canister round was found to be very effective at shredding away the foliage that concealed bunkers, revealing their positions for destruction by pinpoint fire. Often, armor-piercing rounds would follow, aimed at the log supports to crack and weaken them. High explosive rounds would finish the job, blowing the bunker apart.

A Small Part of the “Arsenal of Democracy”

During the war the United States gained the moniker of “Arsenal of Democracy” due to its vast exports of weapons and supplies. However, the 37mm played only a very small part in this. The major powers the United States supplied, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, each had adequate supplies of their own light antitank guns, the 2-pounder and 45mm, respectively, and had little need for the comparable American weapon. These nations used 37mm guns as mounted on American armored vehicles supplied via Lend-Lease but did not need them as towed weapons. The vast majority of towed M3s exported went to the Chinese Army since they were fighting the Japanese, the M3 was a useful addition.

The 37mm had no substantial postwar use outside of a few Third World armies. Today it is relegated to museums and the occasional private collector. Its legacy is that of a weapon obsolete before it entered combat. Nevertheless, it served with both notable success and failure and earned its place in history.

Komentar

I have a 37 mm casing dated 1941, lot 712-46. Is there a way that I can trace what region it was sent to and if it was used in a battle and stuff like that? Please advise. I’ve just started researching this as of September 2020.


Tonton videonya: Warlord M3 Stuart Light Tank 28mm (Januari 2022).