1⁄1Light Tank M3A1 Stuart Mk VI
The name General Stuart given by the British to this tank comes from the American Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart. Prototypes of what became the light tank M3 first appeared in 1933. these evolved over the next few years and were standardised by 1940. Mass production techniques involving the use of machine tools resulted in high standards of reliability which, according to legend, caused a young British tank man in the desert refer to his first Stuart as a honey, and the nickname stuck. Although classed as a light tank by the American standards the armament and protection equated to British specifications for a cruiser tank in 1940 and they were used in this way for much of the desert war. For all that the Stuart was a difficult tank to fight from. Notice the drive shaft cover, which effectively bisects the fighting compartment. This made it awkward to traverse the turret basket so that the crew could go around with the gun. Stuart tanks were the first to be supplied to Britain under the lend lease scheme and they were very popular. From 1942 the British Army used the Stuart principally as a reconnaissance vehicle once the medium tanks such as the Sherman came into service in large numbers. This version is powered by a petrol driven 7 cylinder Continental W670-9A Radial aircraft engine. This vehicle was one of a number recently imported from Brazil to the collectors market. The text included here is from the information boards displayed with this vehicle at Bovington Tank Museum.
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