The M5A1 Stuart was the successor of the M3 Stuart.
A proposal of Cadillac, a unit of the GMC group, to give an M3 a double Cadillac V8 engine was accepted in 1941 by the Ordnance Department. A standard M3 was converted to accept the 'Twin'Cadillac and a commercial used transmission was built into the vehicle. To take away any doubt, if there was any with the Ordnance Department, the M3E2 made a 500 mile trouble free testdrive between Detroit and Aberdeen at a speed of 50 miles an hour. A new light tank was born and went into production. First as 'Light Tank M4', but it was changed in Light Tank M5 (the British Stuart VI) because of the confusion with the Medium Tank M4 (Sherman).
The back of the M5 was raised to house the Cadillac engines. Also the upgraded M3A3 (Stuart Mk V) was used to develop the M5, which led to the M5A1 in September, 1942. Both tanks had a sloping hull at the front with enlarged hatches for the driver and co-driver. A better watertight sealing was improved and on the back of the turret was room created for the radio. Early 1943 the M5A1 took the production line in favor of the M5. Around 7000 were built of the M5 versions. They served until the end of the Second World War when the M24 Chaffee Light Tank appeared in 1944 in Europe. The M5 was always on the frontline with reconnaissance units. It was a agile vehicle and with her speed of 45 miles an hour and her firepower it gave good support to the up-front recce teams. The firepower and armor was inadequate against German panzer, but against enemy infantry and light vehicles it was a great little tank.
The M5 Stuart in FHSWEdit
The tank is a light fast tank. Its suitable againts enemy infantry. However, the light armor is weak againts enemy tanks and even againts enemy aircrafts and anti-tank handweapons such like the Panzerbusche.
Derived vehicles in FHSWEdit
- M8 HMC Scott: The gun was replaced with the 75 mm M2/M3 howitzer in an open turret.
- M8A1 GMC: Tank destroyer with 75 mm gun in an open turret.