Author Topic: Stuart Light Tank (M3 and M5) Family of Vehicles  (Read 10886 times)

Offline Zaskar24

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Re: Stuart Light Tank (M3 and M5) Family of Vehicles
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2019, 07:48:30 AM »
Here is another interesting one-off prototype that I recently found. The story is that it was looked at for a faster tank destroyer until the M18 came about at which point it was dropped. Interesting use for the M8 HMC though.


Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Stuart Light Tank (M3 and M5) Family of Vehicles
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2019, 11:19:03 PM »
Here is another interesting one-off prototype that I recently found. The story is that it was looked at for a faster tank destroyer until the M18 came about at which point it was dropped. Interesting use for the M8 HMC though.
Apparently they found it almost impossible to work the piece in the confines of the small M8 turret. Although the caliber is the same, the 75mm M3 had a much greater recoil length (and therefore the breech and recoil guard were much larger) and longer ammo than the 75mm Pack How in the M8 and it greatly reduced the ability of the crew to do anything in the turret. Even if the M18 had not come along, the existence of the M10 platform and lack of AT performance of the 75mm M3 would have almost certainly doomed this idea to non-production.

Much the same problem existed when they tried to shoehorn the shortened 105mm M3 howitzer into an open casemate mounting on the M5 chassis, much like a baby M7 Priest. No room at all inside for any ammo, it was all in lockers located on the engine deck to the rear. They built a couple and dropped them as unworkable.

Paul

Offline Zaskar24

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Re: Stuart Light Tank (M3 and M5) Family of Vehicles
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2019, 10:10:13 PM »
Here is another interesting one-off prototype that I recently found. The story is that it was looked at for a faster tank destroyer until the M18 came about at which point it was dropped. Interesting use for the M8 HMC though.
Apparently they found it almost impossible to work the piece in the confines of the small M8 turret. Although the caliber is the same, the 75mm M3 had a much greater recoil length (and therefore the breech and recoil guard were much larger) and longer ammo than the 75mm Pack How in the M8 and it greatly reduced the ability of the crew to do anything in the turret. Even if the M18 had not come along, the existence of the M10 platform and lack of AT performance of the 75mm M3 would have almost certainly doomed this idea to non-production.

Much the same problem existed when they tried to shoehorn the shortened 105mm M3 howitzer into an open casemate mounting on the M5 chassis, much like a baby M7 Priest. No room at all inside for any ammo, it was all in lockers located on the engine deck to the rear. They built a couple and dropped them as unworkable.

Paul

Thank you for the additional information and insight into this design. It is interesting to see what was tried during the war to get AT platforms into the field and how much pull the TD people had to do this as well. It is a shame because it does look neat. Also a shame because resources could have gone into creating better allied tanks earlier.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Stuart Light Tank (M3 and M5) Family of Vehicles
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2019, 10:37:22 PM »
Also a shame because resources could have gone into creating better allied tanks earlier.
Well, the thing is, at this point nobody knew what a "better tank" looked like. All of this shotgunning of ideas and prototypes, etc. on both sides, was in an attempt to home in on what, actually, was a better tank. Prototyping was the tool used to establish if a concept had merit. Really most of these prototypes were being used to inform what the requirements _should_ be for new vehicles as the groups involved, especially on the US side who were both new to the war and very new to having access to the amount of money needed to manage a lot of new armoured vehicle design.

On the American side, while this was being tried, the Sherman was going through a number of experimental concepts to improve the suspension and increase the hitting power, and, at the same time, the T20/T23/T26 program was evolving a new medium tank that was definitely better, the M26.

The US, and to a lesser extent the other fighting powers, were all going though phases of creation that required, in the end, that a large number of ideas be tried before concepts could home in on what actually would work better.

The Germans and Brits were doing this on the battlefield and getting real life feedback. The Yanks were not in much combat before 1943 so the results of combat feedback were limited. This was not helped by a significant amount of Anglophobia and parochialism on the part of the US teams. They believed, without any experience, that they knew better. In lots of areas, not just tank design. In some cases they were right and in many cases they were wrong and paid a price in men and materiel.

Paul