Spring 1940: watching on as Nazi German forces swept through Western Europe, U.S. military planners concluded that a replacement was needed for their M2A4, which was rapidly looking obsolete. Their immediate answer was the M3 light tank, which began production in March 1941, the original design employing a riveted hull and 250hp engine, with firepower provided by the 37mm main gun. Late production variants had a new lowered turret without cupola, with some later models having their sponson machine guns removed. The M3 not only fought in U.S. colors in North Africa, it was also supplied to the Red Army via Britain, serving in reconnaissance and infantry support roles.
The M3 Stuart was manufactured from March 1943 onwards and deployed not
only by U.S. forces; it also saw action in Soviet colors. The late
production variant of the tank had a rounded turret design with the
cupola removed. It used a 37mm main gun, with numerous 7.62mm machine
guns: one coaxial to the main gun, one on the front, on the turret and
in the side sponson’s on certain variants.