The M3 Stuart Light Tank was designed for service during World War II by The U.S. Army Ordnance Department and built by the American Car & Foundry Company. A manufacturer of railroad cars, ACF built approximately 22,744 Stuarts between 1941 and 1944 in both the M3 and M5 variants.
The M3 and M3A1 Stuart got it’s power from an air-cooled radial engine while the M5 variant used twin Cadillac V8 automobile engines. The later version of the Stuart had many advantages over it’s older brother. It was quieter, ran at a cooler temperature, had more room inside for its four man crew, and its operation was easier to learn because of it’s use of an automatic transmission. Its firepower consisted of a 37mm main gun and it had a range in the neighborhood of 75 miles depending on the speed at which it was run. the Stuart Light Tank could cruise at 36 mph on road and 18 mph off.
The first use of combat came during the North African Campaign and it was used by not
only the United States, but the British and other Allied armies throughout the war. In addition to Africa and the European Theatre, the Stuart saw action in Asia and the Pacific.
After the wars end, the Stuart remained in service with the Chinese Nationalist Army, the
Indonesian National Army, the Portuguese Army, the El Salvador Army, the Brazilian Army, and the South African Armoured Corps. Today, the Stuart is used in training with the Armed Forces of Paraguay.
The M5 variant was originally supplied to the British who named it after Confederate general, J.E.B. Stuart. The Brits often referred to the Stuart Light Tank as the “Honey”, or “Honey Tank” because it was such a sweet ride compared to some of their other tanks.
To see more of our vehicles, check out our Gallery of Tanks.