Medium Tank M3A2

The Medium Tank M3A2 was the first version of the tank to use a welded hull, but only a handful were built before production moved onto the M3A3.

Work on the welded tank began with the production of a welded turret, which was subjected to encouraging ballistic tests. The Rock Island Arsenal was ordered to build a welded hull for the Medium Tank M3. Two hulls were built, and one of them was given a cast turret and completed as the prototype M3A2. This configuration was designated the M3A2 in August 1941.

Tests with the prototype showed that it was stronger and had better ballistic resistance than the riveted hull, and was also lighter. It also eliminated the risk of damaged rivets flying around the interior of the tank after a shell hit.

The M3A2 was very similar to the original M3, with side doors in the hull and un-armoured rotors for the two main guns.

The M3A2 was powered by the same Wright Continental R975 engine as the M3 and M3A1. In order to prevent a shortage of engines causing a production bottleneck, alternative engines were investigated. After only 12 M3A2s had been built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works (January 1942-March 1942) production moved onto the welded hulled M3A3, which used a twin General Motors diesel engine.

Stats
Production: 12
Hull Length: 222in with M2 gun, 241in with M3 gun
Hull Width: 107in
Height: 123in
Crew: 6 or 7
Weight: 60,400lb combat loaded
Engine: Wright Continental R975 EC2 9 cylinder air cooled
Hp: 340hp at 2,400rpm
Max Speed: 21mph sustained, 24mph max
Max Range: 120 miles cruising range, roads
Armament: 75mm Gun M2 or M3 in front right of hull, 37mm Gun M5 or M6 in turret; three .30in machine guns - one in turret cupola, one coaxial in turret, one in hull front

Armour


Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

2.0in

2.0in

2.0in

0.875in

Hull

2.0in

1.5in

1.5in

1.0in

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 June 2016), Medium Tank M3A2 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M3A2.html

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