Talk:M3 Lee

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The M-3 Lee was also shipped to the Russians. The Russians were not particularly impressed and nicknamed it 'coffin for 7 brothers'.

True. Quantity was 1676.

MWAK-- 11:49, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is something of a post-war myth, there is no reference to this name in any Soviet wartime records; it is the usual ant-american slant to come out of Stalin's Russia post-war. For reference see Steven J Zaloga's work on the M-3 tank for Osprey

Andy Loates — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:18, 16 January 2012 (UTC)


I have a question regarding, what I consider to be, conflicting statements regarding the muzzle velocity of the 75 mm gun. At one point the text states "...main weapon, a large caliber, low-velocity 75 mm gun ..." and later it states "The M3 differed slightly from this pattern by using a 75mm gun with a relatively high muzzle velocity ...". Which is it "low-velocity" or "high-velocity"? ThreeBlindMice 22:24, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

=I agree VNCCC (talk) 22:12, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, it depends what gun you compare it to :). According to , M2 (L/31) has muzzle velocity of 588 m/s and M3 (L/40) of 619 m/s with AP shell. Which makes it relatively high-velocity when compared to mostly-anti-personnel guns like the French SA 35 (75 mm L/17, 470 m/s with AP) of Char B1 and relatively low velocity when compared to more anti-tank-oriented guns like the German KwK 40 (75 mm L/43, 740 with APCBC) of Pz IV F2/G. I guess that in the first statement you cite, the gun was called low-velocity to underline the difference with the secondary 37 mm gun which was pure AT weapon; and in the second it was called high-velocity to underline that it was not pure anti-personnel weapon like the typical "larger gun" of a typical multigun tank of the era such as the aforementioned Char B1. Well... I'll try to change the wording a bit to make it more clear. Bukvoed 09:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the great explanation (I'm always happy to learn something new) and for rewording that area of the article. ThreeBlindMice 19:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
IMO the whole section about the M-3´s history needs to be worked on. The the Pz. III –armed with a tiny 37mm doorknocker was the main German battle tanks in 1940, the Pz.IV´s mission was to fire HE at bunkers and AT-guns. Therefore it was armed with a “very low velocity” gun (388 m/s) that was hardly an effective weapon against armour. The performance of the HEAT shell itself was fine, but the curved trajectory of the shell made hitting a moving target very difficult. The US Army did not know this. They thought the Pz.IV had a 75mm gun with a performance like the French M1897, so they insisted on getting something equally powerful- immediately!! So when the M3 entered production in August 41 the US had a tank with a vastly more powerful gun than the Germans. Even a year later German AFV with high velocity 75mm guns were rare, especially the PZ.IV. Markus Becker02 17:12, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Right you are, but in the meantime the Pzkw-III was beginning to be armed with short and long 50mm guns. By 1942 the longer 50mm was becoming the more common gun. So I would hesitate to say the US 75mm M2 gun was "vastly more powerful". DMorpheus 14:28, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The 50mm/L60 gun was most effective with a high velocity APCR(US:HVAP) round, but the round was light and quickly lost velocity, so it was not very useful at distances over 500 meters. I just looked at some after action reports of the Africa Corps that deal with the Grant:

-all 50mm gun are useless at 700 meters -the side armour is penetrated by both guns at 500m, if the shell hits at a 90 degree angle -frontal armour is penetrated at 200 to 300m, but only by the L60 gun

and now to the 75mm gun M2: -it penetrated standard PzIII and IV at distances of up to 1.400 meters, even when the angle of impact was poor. -up-armoured Pz.III(70mm glacis plate) were penetrated at 500 to 600 meters Markus Becker02 21:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Isn't this a casemate mount rather than a sponson (a projection from the hull). (talk) 21:03, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


Question regarding the images in this article - one is captioned Grant and the other Lee, however, the images they link to both claim to be of Grants. Is the 'Lee' image's filename simply erroneous? Tofof 23:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the Lee image (Image:M3grant.jpg) has erroneous filename. The tank clearly has a "Lee-type" turret. Actually many image file names are not accurate or not informative, image description page is generally better source of information. Bukvoed 06:27, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The variant section lists the M3A5 as being known as the Grant II despite having the Lee turret. GraemeLeggett 08:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
That said, looking at the original source there is no indication to suggest a A5 rather than any otherGraemeLeggett 10:33, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The Commonwealth used three variants of the Meduium Tank M3. The first was the Grant with the British-designed 37mm turret, the second was Lee, a standard M3A2 rushed over to the Middle east to replace losses incurred by the 8th Army, the third was the Grant II and was the M3A5 with changes to the internal layout, making it unsuitable for service with the US gound forces. The Grant II kept the original US-pattern 37mm turret and was externally identical to the US variant on which it was based. IIRC many of the Grant IIs were sent to the CBI and served with Indian and Australian units with considerable success. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Yes, forgot the M3A5. The tank in question has riveted hull, so it can be M3A5. Or M3A4. Or M3, which was by far the most numerous one. Bukvoed 13:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The photo was captioned as shot on US soil (Fort Knox) so its an American so even if it were the A5 it wouldn't have strictly been a Grant II. Technically it wasn't a "Lee" either since it wasn't in British service.GraemeLeggett 13:20, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether the vehicle in question was in British service or not; equipment designated for delivery under the Lend-Lease acts was designated as such when building NOT when delivered. The photo in question is, technically a Grant II, or in its US designation, M3A5. That it hadn't actually been deliverted to Britain is neither here or there, it was designated as British Lend-Lease material and as such its correct name is whatever the Ministry of Supply decided. (talk) 14:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)Loates Jnr143.167.167.170 (talk) 14:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

By the way, can this possibly be a shot from 1942? It seems eerily clear and well coloured and everything.--SidiLemine 17:28, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
It's neat ain't it? Here is a link to the source. It's circa 1942. The pic on wiki is a cropped version of the source image. The original shows the entire negative(converted to a positive w/ a pic editor or perhaps it's an original slide) It has some data printed on the edges. This photo was apparently shot with a large format view camera, perhaps a Speed Graphic. I'm guessing it is a 4 inch negative? It was a big piece of color film stock, that gives us startling detail. The film must have been quite expensive. It would have been used for Life mag cover photos and the like. Mytwocents 17:58, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Impressive. I didn't even think they had that kind of gear at the time. The negative says "Eastman Kodak". Cheers for the info. --SidiLemine 18:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Heres another picture from 1942. In color. Dj245 (talk) 06:02, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

"Australian forces received several hundred, but none was used in combat." I beg to differ on this statement. I came to this page just after watching a History Channel snippet discussing recovery of several M3 tanks lost in fighting on a PNG battlefield. They showed film of the tanks in action moving through coconut plantations. One of the tanks recovered for the Australian War Museum (AWM) had many holes through the armour caused by Japanese anti-tank weapons. The AWM may have more complete information for you. I can't find much to hand on their web site. 13:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)David

Those were M3 Stuart Light tanks, not M3 Lee or M3 Grant Medium tanks. Ways 03:53, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Anything is better than nothing[edit]

This tank had many defects:weak in mobilty, protection and firepower.Even so, it was progress, because a bad tank is better than any tank at all.Agre22 (talk) 15:49, 29 September 2008 (UTC)agre22

At the time it was fielded it had pretty good protection and firepower. Better than what else was available. Mobility wasn't great but it was very reliable, which is more than you can say for the tanks it was generally replacing. DMorpheus (talk) 16:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Australian tanks were used with great effect at the Buna/Gona campaign. It was one of the few large flat swampy areas in New Guinea that saw action. (talk) 10:09, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

But those were not M3s. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:20, 12 February 2016 (UTC)


shouldn't the title be called M-3 Lee/Grant instead of M3 lee —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes it should. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Been wondering, since this article is about a tank and not one of its variants, shouldn't it be called the M3 Medium Tank, and the names of its variants discussed below? (talk) 03:32, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Lee & Grant[edit]

While the article talks about how the Lee & Grant models were different, there's not a true explanation of the differences between the two. The Grant had a different turret...ok, so how was it different? This needs to be cleared up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 6 February 2011 (UTC) It looks as if this issue has been largely cleared up.VNCCC (talk) 22:15, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


Please, people, all these WWII U.S. type-numbers were connected with a -, thus: Model-1, or M-3 etc. etc. The modern lazy usage M1 is a computer-age mistake!VNCCC (talk) 22:12, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

That does not appear to be the case. For one example "Technical Manual 9-750 Medium Tanks M3, M3A1, And M3A2" dated 9th of May 1942. See here: Ways (talk) 13:34, 20 February 2012 (UTC)