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M3 Lee

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M3 Lee
M3 lee 1
Role Medium tank
Operators United States
United Kingdom
No. of positions 3
Position 1 Driver
37mm gun
7,62mm machine gun
Position 2 75mm machine gun
7,62mm machine guns
Position 3 7,62mm machine gun
Grant I
M3 grant 1
Role Medium tank
Operators United States
United Kingdom
No. of positions 2
Position 1 Driver
75mm gun
Position 2 37mm gun
7,62mm machine gun

M3 Lee is an American medium tank.

DescriptionEdit

In early 1941 an entry of the United States of America in the war became more and more possible. Well aware that their existing M2 medium tank wouldn't be a match for current Axis armor development, the US Army decided to develop a completely new medium tank design - the M4 Sherman. But this took time, and as a quick stop gap solution the M3 medium tank was created - in fact it was the fastest tank development ever: It took only six months from first drawings to the start of the production. This was possible because the M3 was in fact a redesigned M2, featuring the same chassis and turret. The main change was the superstructure: It was adopted to carry a 75mm gun in the right side sponson, giving the M3 a respectable firepower. This design on the other hand created a very high silhouette, and more worse, it doesn't allow the tank to fight in hull down position. This made the M3 an easy target.

However, its good armor protection, reliability and firepower was very welcomed by the British tankers who were the first to use the M3 in combat in North Africa. The M3 could easily defeat any axis contemporary tank and its multi-purpose gun gave the British crews the possibility to use high explosive shells against soft targets and strongpoints for the first time. The 40mm gun of the genuine British tanks only fired solid armor piercing rounds.

The British gave the M3 its popular name, the "Lee", and requested a different turret design with room for the radio equipment and without the small machine gun cupola to reduce height. These tanks were called "Grant" (see nomenclature below). M3 Lee tanks were also in service with the US Army in Tunisia and with the Soviet Army on the eastern front. In 1943, the M4 Sherman reached the frontlines in great numbers and replaced the now obsolete M3 almost completely. Many M3 were converted for special purposes later, such as prime movers, recovery vehicles and the like. Others were sent to East Asia to fight against the Japanese, where they still performed well.

The M3 medium tank in Battlegroup42 was one of the oldest models still in the mod. It will be replaced by a much better one in the final release.

TriviaEdit

Field Marshall Montgomery used a Grant I as a command vehicle during the battle of El Alamein.

Gallery Edit

M3 Lee nomenclatureEdit

  • M3: with 340hp Wright Continental radial engine and bolted superstructure, 4924 have been build
  • M3A1: like M3, but with casted superstructure. 300 build by American Loco
  • M3A2: like M3, but with welded superstructure. Only 12 build
  • M3A3: like M3A2, but with 375hp General Motors twin engine and better maximum speed. 322 have been build.
  • M3A4: like M3, but with 370hp Chrysler multibank engine and elongated chassis. No side hatches. 109 have been build.
  • M3A5: like M3A3, but retaining the bolted superstructure of the M3, new 75mm M3 gun as used on the M4 Sherman. 591 build by Baldwin.

In British service

  • Grant I: M3 with new turret following British specifications
  • Grant II: M3A5 with original turret
  • Lee I : M3 with original turret
  • Lee II : M3A1 with original turret
  • Lee IV : M3A3 with original turret
  • Lee VI : M3A4 with original turret

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