Tank, small and light and not well known.
||The Stuart was named after
the legendary Major-General J E B "Jeb" Stuart who fought on
the Confederate side in the American Civil War.
He was a cavalry
commander with few equals.
|The US M3
Light Tank was named "General Stuart" by the British after
they took possession of the first lend lease M3s in June of 1941. First
used in the Western Desert during the second day of the Crusader
offensive (to relieve the Australians at Tobruk), the Stuart was sturdy
and reliable and although its 37mm gun was small, it was no worse than
the Crusader's 2-pounder.
After their experience with the M3 Light Tank, the Americans designed
the M3A1 to remedy some of the short-comings of the earlier model, and
the changes began with the first new vehicles in May of '42. A
Westinghouse gyro-stabilizer and an Oilgear hydraulic traversing
mechanism had been tested successfully in some of the later M3 tanks, so
this system was incorporated with a new turret basket. The basket had to
be fairly high to clear all the equipment down on the hull floor, but it
provided the gunner and loader with seats and a place to put their feet.
The gunner's turret cupola was deleted on the same improved turret that
had been introduced late in M3 production and the hatches and viewing
devices up on the roof were changed.
engined M3A3 Stuart Tank was produced by American Car and Foundry during
Sept 1942 till Sept 1943. Of 3427 produced, 2433 went to the Allies
receiving Lease Lend (mainly to Britain but some to China), the rest to
the US Army. Powered by a 7cylinder Continental radial power unit, the
tank weighs 32,400lbs ready to fight. Unlike it's successor, the more
common M5A1 (with more economic twin V8 Cadillacs and hydromatic
transmission) fuel consumption is about I gallon per mile. A few were
built with Guiberson Radial diesel engines(- unfortunately it seems only
a few examples of this engine survives)
A Stuart In Dorrigo?
|Hello Digger History, My name is Brad
Baker and I am trying to find the history of an M3 Stuart that was
recovered from a creek in Dorrigo NSW. I have attached a couple of
photos but have no idea where the tank came from or how it got to
Dorrigo. If you could help in any way i would very much appreciate it.
Thanks for your time, Brad March 6, 2004. If you can help solve the
Re your queries about the tank ending up in the creek at Dorrigo, this
might help . Our farm abutted the Dorrigo State Forest ,and the tanks
used to have manoeuvres thru our property, knocking down fences and
causing untold damage, even though I was only about 7 years old at the
time I can still remember them, Troopers of the Light Horse, with all
their regalia on they were a sight for sore eyes. Our property had the
only flat piece of land for miles around and the Air Force used it for
take of and landings. Anyway the tanks and Brengun Carriers came thru
under their own power. I faintly recall one of the tanks became stuck in
the hills and they left it there as it would have taken too much man
power to get it out. As a kid I wandered all thru the forest looking in
all of the old gold mines, the place is riddled with them, it would be
impossible to find them now thanks to the Greenies not allowing cattle
in. I paid a visit up there about 10 years ago the place is now stuffed,
hope this might give you a little insight into your query. Doug