M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - Winnemucca, NV
Posted by: kb7ywl
N 40° 59.388 W 117° 44.321
11T E 437865 N 4537887
Quick Description: M5A1 Stuart Light Tank s/n 9B5764
Location: Nevada, United States
Date Posted: 2/21/2012 11:24:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMDT4A
During the 1930's, there was little research/development of the tank as the US Army did not consider them to be a relevant weapon on the battlefield. However, German victories in Europe exploiting firepower and mobility of tank warfare rekindled interest in tanks among US military leaders, resulting in development plans for a light tank. Several models were developed, including the M1, M2 and M3 series.
Production of the M5 began in 1942 and was a modified M3 with a new power train and an improved armor layout. As a radial engine shortage was expected in 1941, the decision was made to find alternative engines to power tanks. The engines in the M5 were Cadillac automobile engines, each with its own transmission. The hull was all-welded, and the glacis was sloped and moved out to make more room for the drivers. The drivers had their own hatches, which were equipped with periscopes. Direct vision for the drivers was through two peepholes that were closed with steel plugs attached with chains. The M5's turret was the same as that on the M3A1. The M5 was originally known as light tank M4, but was redesignated to M5 to avoid confusion with the medium tank M4 then in production. The ultimate refinement of the 1930's vintage US light tank technology resulted in the M5A1. The British called the M5 the Stuart VI or 'Honey'.
The major distinguishing features between the M5A1 and M3A3 are the hull sides and rear deck. The M5A1 had a raised rear deck to accomodate the twin Cadillac engines and vertical hull sides, while the M3A3 had sloping upper hull sides and a flat engine deck. A total of 6810 M5A1 tanks were produced from 1942 to 1944.
The M5 made its debut in the invasion of Casablanca in French North Africa. By 1943, and at the time of the invasion of Sicily, the M5A1 was becoming the standard light tank of the American armored divisions. Because of limited firepower, the M5A1 eventually took on reconnaissance and escort duties in Italy and, after the invasion of Normandy, throughout Europe. In the Pacific theater, the M5A1 made its debut at Roi-Namur in February of 1944 and on Saipan, the same year. The M5A1 was quite effective against most Japanese armor, even the Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank typically used in the Pacific theater. The 37mm main gun, although obsolete in Europe, was found to be effective against Japanese targets. Consequently, many other vehicles carrying the 37mm gun, such as the M8 armored car and M3 anti-tank gun were retained and used in the Pacific theater.
Early in the war, each company had three light tank platoons, consisting of five 37mm M5A1 Stuart light tanks. The M5 Stuart light tank was capable of speeds up to 36mph/58kph on the road. While fast and maneuverable, the Stuart's armor plating and its cannon were soon found to be no match against the German tanks. In February 1945, they were replaced with the more heavily armed 75mm M24 Chaffee light tank. The experience gained by the use of the mechanized cavalry groups during WW II led to the eventual postwar formation of armored cavalry regiments to act as corps reconnaissance and screening elements.
Armament: 1-M6 37mm main gun; 1-.50 cal machine gun; 2-M1919A4 .30 cal machine guns
Max Speed; 36 mph
Source: Wikipedia; RobertsArmory
None. Located in Nevada Veterans Memorial Park, Winnemucca, NV, on the west side of US95 about 1.4mi north of the US40/US95 junction in Winnemucca, NV.
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