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|M3 Medium Tank
- "We have two guns and they got only one each, so it's even!"
- ―Yuuki Utsugi
- "It has two guns. It looks big and tough."
- ―Azusa Sawa and Aya Oono
The Medium M3 Tank (or M3 Lee or Grant) was an American medium tank. Originally designed to modernize U.S. tanks roster, it served as an interim tank until the arrival of the Sherman.
The Medium M3 Tank was a tank whose design began in 1940. The production of this tank was caused by the perceived need of the U.S. Army for a tank armed with a 75 mm gun like nearly all its counterparts in Europe, as existing M2 Tanks had an obsolete 37mm gun and the development of a model with a 75mm gun in a rotating turret would have forced an intolerable delay because of American plants not having the capacity at that time to produce a turret that was large enough to house a 75 mm weapon.
The M3 design was quite odd-looking, with a huge and tall silhouette imposed by its Wright (Continental) R975 EC2 air-cooled engine, the 75mm gun was cast in an offset sponson (taking inspiration on the Char B1 bis and the Churchill Mk.I) with a 37mm gun in a small turret and a broadcast machine-gun in a small cupola on the turret commanded by the driver (only on American versions, the British version had a different cast turret without the cupola). Even knowing that the M3's design was flawed the tank was quickly mass-produced (the hull-mounted gun could be produced faster), to supply the United Kingdom in North Africa that was in urgent need of improved tanks, with most of their equipment was left on Dunkirk beaches in 1940, to face the Axis forces.
The M3 hull was used for the M7 Howitzer Motor Carriage nicknamed M7 Priest by the British Army and the M12 Gun Motor Carriage.
The M3 first saw action in North Africa on British service in 1942. It become a nasty surprise for the Axis Force who were unprepared for the 75mm gun that could engage their tanks beyond their effective range such as German Panzer III & IV and Italian M13/40 & M14/41. Only Semoventi had a chance against it, the FlaK 88 was also proven to be deadly for the British tanks. Americans also joined the campaign during Operation Torch with the M3 but also bring with them the new issued M4 Sherman. Even if it performed well during the campaign, the introduction of the long-barreled Panzer IV, its drawbacks (such as its high profile, hull-mounted gun and riveted hull), made it replaced from the front-line as soon as its successor was available.
Between 1942 and 1943, 1.386 M3 Lee were supplied to Soviet Union (410 were lost during shipping) through the American Lend-Lease program. Officially designed "M3 Medium" to distinguish it from the lend-leased M3 Stuart labelled "M3 Light". It proved to be unpopular for its above-mentioned flaws, even more serious against a better-equipped enemy (which led to Soviet crews to gave it the nickname "coffin for seven brothers"). The Soviet use of the M3 quickly declined after mid-1943, due to the high production rate of the better T-34, they were relegated to secondary and quieter/less-action fronts such as the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive in 1944 in Norway against German forces equipped with captured french tanks such as the SOMUA S35.
The M3 saw limited use in the Pacific and South-East Asia due to the minor role of armoured warfare in these theaters. Some were used by the US Army during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign and the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. About 900 M3s ordered by the British were sent to the Indian Army due to the arrival of the Sherman in Europe, some were used during the 1944-45 Burma Campaign during which they performed well especially during the Battle of Imphal against obsolete Japanese Ha-Gos and captured M3 Stuarts.
The M3 Lee/Grant was officially declared obsolete in April 1944. Nevertheless it saw action until the end of the war in September 1945.
Some were captured by Germany and used under designation Panzerkampfwagen M3 747(a).
In Girls und Panzer
The M3 was found by the future Rabbit Team in a hangar, serving as a shelter by rabbits and was assigned to them.
JSDGF Captain Ami Chōno organize a mock-up match during which it fought under the designation D-Team. It stays in retreat during the entire match but when all other teams who had allied themselves against A-Team were destroyed by the Panzer IV, the first years panicked. And when they tried to flee, one of the tracks was found stucked in the mud which cause the engine to break down as they forced it.
During the training match against St. Gloriana Girls College, the M3 didn't really shine as due to the inexperience of the crew they easily panicked under St. Gloriana bombardment and abandoned the tank. It was destroyed soon after.
During the tournament first round match against Saunders University High School, the M3 landed into a trap and became surrounded by six Shermans. They manage to broke the encirclement with the help of the Panzer IV and the Type 89. Miho then set a trap to lure Saunders tanks where one was destroyed conjointly by the M3 and the StuG. The M3 was then destroyed by the Firefly when persuing their flag tank.
During the tournament quarter-finals match against Anzio Girls High School, the M3 spent half of the match persued by two Semoventi. After Anchovy's CV.33s were all destroyed the two tank destroyers were called as reinforcements. Until now roles were reversed, while taking pursuit the M3 destroyed one of the Semovente and destroy the other one after it reunite with the P26/40.
During the tournament semi-finals match against Pravda Girls High School, after Ooarai was surrounded and bombarded the M3's main gun was destroyed. After they broke the siege, during the pursuit the M3 acted as a shield for the flag tank and was ultimately destroyed by the IS-2.
During the tournament final match against Kuromorimine Girls Academy, the M3 shined brighter than in previous matches. After escaping the hill battle and nearly get drift away by the river stream, it participates at the destruction of the Maus and manage to destroy two of Kuromorimine's most deadly tank destroyers by taking advantage of their reduced maneuverability, the Elefant and the Jagdtiger. The first by trapping it in a narrow alley where it was unable to maneuver and shoot its shell disposal hatch at the rear. And for the second, the M3 was pushed backward by the massive tank at its mercy, the M3 came in contact to avoid its mighty gun and manage to throw the overarmored tank in a canal using its own speed not without being destroyed when trying to broke contact. Without those two kills Leopon Team's last stand to isolate Kuromorimine's flag tank would have been much shorter. They earned the title "Heavy Tank Killer".
In the exhibition match against St.Gloriana/Pravda, the M3 was part of Miho's detachment to assault St. Gloriana tanks on the golf course. But after Chi-Ha-Tan reckless charge, Pravda managing to break Ooarai backguard and the retreat in the city, the M3 tried to release some pressure on their flag tank by attempting to repeat their "Heavy Tank Killer" tactics from the finals against the IS-2. But unfortunately the IS-2, that has a more powerful engine than the Jagdtiger, managed to get the M3 from out of its blind spot and send the M3 fly away.
During the match against All-Stars University Team, the M3 was part of Morning Glory and survive the engagement against Azumi's Pershings in the forest. After the retreat in the theme park, the University storm in the park with the T28 Super-Heavy Tank as a shield, during the panic retreat the M3 got separated from the main group that was encircled in the amphitheater. Rabbit Team then destroyed the support of a ferris wheel the was on a hill overlooking the amphitheater which opened a gap in the University formation allowing them to escape. After that the M3 destroyed two two Chaffees that sandwiched Anzio's CV.33 on the rollercoaster just before being destroyed by the Centurion.
Fierce Fight! It's the Maginot Battle!
The M3 participates at some mock-up matches before the match against Maginot. During the one of the battles it manages to decommission the Panzer IV (due to Saori's inability to command) and during another it took a direct shot of the StuG.
During the training match against Maginot Girls' Academy, the M3 after being saved from a deadly salva from the B1 Bis by the Panzer 38(t) destroy the massive tank by shooting its air duct (B1 Bis' "Legendary" weak point). The M3 also destroyed Fondue's SOMUA S35 by taking advantage of her astonishment after Eclair's tank being destroyed.
Gekkan Senshado Magazine
Koala Forest High School fielded two Grants Mk.I (British designation of M3 Grant) during the tournament first round match against Viking Fisheries High School. They were part of the main force that was lured at the river bed by Viking Panzer I & II, one of them was destroyed by the flanking Panzer IIIs while the whereabouts of the second are unknown.
- While only designated as M3 Medium Tank by Americans, the British gave it two names depending of their turret pattern. The American turret with the machine-gun cupola is named M3 Lee in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee while the British casted turret is named M3 Grant in honor of Union General and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant.
- The M3 Lee featured in the Steven Spielberg film 1941 watched by Rabbit Team is in fact a mocked-up M4 Sherman as Spielberg didn't manage to find a genuine M3 Lee.
- The Grant is probably most famously remembered when the Command version was commanded by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery during the 2nd Battle of El Alamein (October 23 - November 11, 1942). It is now stored at the Imperial War Museum in London.
- Main article: M3 Lee/Gallery
|Light Tanks and Tankettes||7TP • AMR-35 • BT-42 • Crusader • CV.33 • FT-17 • Harry Hopkins • M22 Locust • M24 Chaffee • Mark VI • Panzer II • Panzer 38(t) • R35 • T-60 • T-70 • Tetrarch • TK Tankette • Type 94 Tankette • Type 95 Ha-Go • Type 97 Te-Ke|
|Medium Tanks||Centurion • M3 Lee • M4 Sherman • M13/40 • Matilda II • P26/40 • Panzer III • Panzer IV • Panzer V "Panther" • SOMUA S35 • T-34 • T-44 • Type 89B • Type 3 Chi-Nu • Type 97 Chi-Ha|
|Heavy Tanks||ARL 44 • B1 Bis • Black Prince • Churchill • IS-2 • KV-2 • M26 Pershing • Mark IV • Panzer VI "Tiger" • Panzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II" • Panzer VIII "Maus" • VK45.01 Porsche Tiger|
|Tank Destroyers||Elefant • Hetzer • ISU-152 • Jagdpanzer IV • Jagdpanther • Jagdtiger • Mareșal • Semovente da 75/18 • StuG III • T28 Super-Heavy Tank|
|Self-Propelled Artillery||Karl-Gerät 040|
|Main Battle Tank||Type 10|