Tank Chats #71 M3 Stuart Hybrid | The Tank Museum


so now we’re going to have a look at an
m3 strictly speaking it’s it’s an oddity but we’re calling an m3 hybrid because
it’s very similar to British and New Zealand tanks of the similar layout and
that’s what I want to talk about it’s the interior that’s really different and
that’s the thing we’re gonna focus on but just to start off to explain why
it’s in this odd color and with the markings on the turret it was a gift of
the Brazilian Army to The Tank Museum it was flown over here in a Hercules and
it’s quite a remarkable survivor in many ways it’s in fact a pre-war American
tank but it’s survived quite in quite good condition in Brazil it
contrasts particularly with the m3 a1 because the m3 Hybrid was a complete
mess the Americans were trying to come up with the m3 a one turret which is why
it’s got that rounded turret on and put it on an m3 how and the result was a bit
of a mess really the turret is a nuisance because it’s controlled
manually it only rotates by manually turning a wheel and that wheel is on the
opposite side to where the gamma would operate so the gammas trying to steer
through his telescope and expected to traverse the turret but he can’t reach
it so the other man the loader has to do that and in doing so invariably gets it
wrong which is why the gun it has about a 20 degree movement independent of the
turret so once the turrets more or less
pointing at the enemy you can adjust it a little bit at the top there and it
means that the guns got a freedom of movement to left and right of about 20
degrees now all of this was a nuisance these were the first American tanks the
British who had any experience of and what they found was the most sensible
thing to do is to actually drive straight at the Germans firing as you go
in other words keep the gun fixed in one position and drive towards the enemy
don’t get into a sort of Meli where you’ve got a fire in all directions
because it’s more trouble that’s worth traversing the turret it was easier to
swing the whole tank around and that’s what they did they also used to reverse
out of action and the reason they did this was to keep firing at the Germans
without traversing the turret again and it looked rather odd where everybody
else turned around and scuttled for their lives the old Stuart’s were all
going backwards out of action so inside you’ve got a crew of four men a driver
who sits in here and gano who sits next to him and then two men who are in the
turret but since they’ve got nowhere to sit those two men who are the commander
and the Gama are expected to stand in the back of the turret which is ok if
you’re really fit but I wouldn’t recommend it and it meant that when the
tank went into action the commander had to who was in those days in the old m3
in a cupola had to give up looking around and work and Charlie is a gamma
so he came down to serve the gun and his mate the gamma became the load and
that’s literally how they worked in those days it was very difficult to do
but it was the Americans had no real experience of tank fighting and they
thought it was quite a reasonable idea it was only when it was exposed to the
rigors of fighting in the desert that the difficulties were quite apparent and
that’s how it worked inside the tank was difficult
the turret was more troubled it’s worth to traverse and they tended to keep the
gun pointing forward if they could it’s an m6 gun the higher velocity
version of the began in the early Stuart which was shorter and tended to be just
that little bit inferior in performance and that’s how its arranged and it
really is a difficult tank to fight because the dirty commander when he does
want to look out can only look out he hasn’t got a cupola which and the
earlier tanks had he can only look out through a periscope and that was a
limited vision anyway so he couldn’t see what was going on right so well unless
he stuck his head out and probably got it shot off it’s got a continent
seventh cylinder air-cooled engine mounted upright in the back and that
drives down through the front to the fighting compartment through a gearbox
in the front here and what they’ve done is boxed in the drive shaft so it makes
a comfortable seat if you want to sit on it but it’s an obstacle for anybody
trying to traverse the turret you’ve got a Gallup round after it and move over
this thing at the same time which is quite difficult to do so they tended not
to Traverse for that reason what they also had was you’ll see them it’s got
machine guns in the sides here well those machine guns
there was one each side to begin with were fired by the driver they weren’t
like the lat gun which could move about they were fixed and fired by the driver
and they did away with the one on the right-hand side because they wanted to
use the shelf that it kind of stuck out in on the inside for putting the radio
in which is what they did they did try at one point to have seats installed for
the tank commander and the gamma and the only seats they could come up with were
made of canvas they were like a sling seat like a swing and you just sat the
man on it the only trouble was his legs didn’t
touch the ground and he swung to and fro with the movement of the tank which
nobody wants to do if they can help him so that was very awkward as well they’ve
suffered there’s all the early Stuart’s did from a relatively short range they
had about 70 miles range but that was only with a complete tank full of petrol
so the tendency was to use them in action without any fuel or as little
fuel as possible until action was imminent then you topped up the tank and
went into action and that gave you the enough range to keep going through a
battle otherwise it was almost impossible actually but that’s how it
was done it’s an awkward bloody tank to fight they’ve got an instruction from
the armoured division in charge to remove the turrets and turn the tanks
into recce vehicles a lot of regiments were very upset by
this because they regarded even the 37 millimeter gun as an effective way of
fighting people off and with it missing with only a machine gun or two one on
the top and one down here they felt it wasn’t enough and they in the end they
got the hang of them and began to use them but the casualties went out
literally because the men was so exposed in the back once with the turret on at
least everyone’s got some protection and that it’s quite well armoured for its
day the armor on the sides is about 25 millimetres and on the front they about
them 38 millimeters on the front so it made them a bit stronger to resist enemy
fire but not much again you’ve got the problems of escape for the driver he can
escape through the front hatch but the loader normally goes out to the top of
the turret his co-driver anyway it’s very undignified crawling out here but
with the tanks on fire dignity doesn’t come into it yeah trick is to get out as
quickly as possible and that’s how it was done but the great thing about the
Stewart and all that family was its reliability the engine always sounded
awful sounded splattery and and knocking because it was really a narrow engine
don’t put into a tank but it never or rarely let them down and when it was
going flat out it was quite remarkable these tanks were really motor and that
was what was really their secret was just a mechanical reliability of them
which is typical of American tanks generally they were mechanically
reliable and the crews liked them for that reason there was a story that a
British soldier drove one and got out and said it was a honey and from that
came the nickname the honey which was applied to all the Stewart’s at one time
the trouble is that honey is not a word the British would use in that context
really how many of stuff you spread on bread and that was about the only thing
people knew about it honey is a compliment is an American term
and it seems odd that a British soldiers have come up with it but that’s what
they say if you believe you’re welcome to but that’s the the m3 hybrid for you
it’s just an odd tank now the one thing nor the other
the m3 a one with the turret Barsky is much more effective but that just took a
little while to develop for the moment the m3 hybrid was all we had okay now if you enjoyed that the film
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