It was the smallest tank at Tankfest Northwest 2016 but the M3A1 Stuart light tank driving display was fast and furious to say the least. Very impressive and a lot of fun!
A US design that first entered service in 1941 and was in production until 1944. Approximately 25,000 Stuart light tanks rolled off the production line in that time (including the later M5 variant from 1942).
This M3A1 Stuart was manufactured by the American Car and Foundry Company in Berwick, Pennsylvania in 1942. It is owned and restored by Steve Greenberg of Oregon.
The Stuart had a 4 man crew consisting of the commander, gunner, driver and co-driver. Powered by a Continental W-670-9A, 7 cylinder, 242hp air-cooled radial engine, it had a zippy top speed of 58 km/h (36 mph) on the road and 32 km/h (20 mph) off-road. Armed with a 37mm cannon, plus anywhere from three to five .30 caliber Browning M1919A4 machine guns (depending on the model) and reasonable armour plating the Stuart was an effective light tank (albeit lacking main gun firepower) that served with various Allied nations in the North African, European, Eastern Front (the Soviets didn’t really like it that much by all accounts – narrow tracks got stuck in the mud more easily than Soviet tanks and it didn’t have enough armour or firepower), Far East and Pacific Theatres (the small size made it effective in jungle warfare) of World War Two and beyond.