Medium Tank M3A5

The Medium Tank M3A5 was the designation given to M3 medium tanks that combined the General Motors diesel engine with a riveted hull.

In August 1941 General Motors was given a contract to produce a new diesel engine for use in tanks, based on two standard GM 6-71 6-cylinder diesel truck engines. The two engines were mounted on opposite sides of the combined power plant, and could operate independently, so the tank could continue to operate even if one was damaged. The new GM 6046 engine was tested in a standard riveted M3. It was larger than the previous Wright Continental air cooled radial, and had exhausts at the rear, requiring an extension of the rear armour. The 6046 performed well in tests, and was approved for use in medium tanks in October 1941.

Tanks with the new engine were originally designated as the M3A3, which was to cover tanks with riveted or welded hulls. The M3A3 replaced the welded M3A2 on the Baldwin Locomotive Works production line after only twelve had been completed, and between January and December 1942 a total of 322 M3A3s, all with welded hulls, were built.

In order to increase the number of tanks available Baldwin also began work on tanks that combined the standard riveted upper hull of the M3 with the GM engine, as the M3A5. This was the more numerous of the two GM powered types, and 591 were built during 1942.

During the production run the M3A5 underwent some of the same changes as the M3. The side doors were eliminated, in this case by welding them shut. Three extra ventilation ports were added to deal with a dangerous build-up of gas within the tank. Counterweights were added to the 75mm and 37mm guns.

Stats
Production: 591
Hull Length: 222in with M2 gun, 241in with M3 gun
Hull Width: 107in
Height: 123in
Crew: 6 or 7
Weight: 64,000lb combat loaded
Engine: General Motors 6046 12-cylinder liquid cooled twin in-line
Hp: 375hp at 2,100rpm
Max Speed: 25mph sustained, 30mph max
Max Range: 150 miles cruising range, road
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

0.5in

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 July 2016), Medium Tank M3A5 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M3A5.html

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