Grant I

Unit Card:

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Set - Rarity - Number

North Africa - Rare - 13/60

Historical Background:

Of the 6,258 M3s produced by the U.S., 2,855 M3s were supplied to the British Army. The American M3 medium tank's first action during the war was in 1942, during the North African Campaign. British Lees and Grants were in action against Rommel's forces at the Battle of Gazala on 27 May that year. Their appearance was a surprise to the Germans, who were unprepared for the M3s 75 mm gun. They soon discovered the M3 could engage them beyond the effective range of the Pak 38, their 50 mm anti-tank gun, and as the 5 cm KwK 39 forming the turret-mount main armament in the Pz. Mk. III, their main battle tank. Grants and Lees served in North Africa until the end of the campaign. The M3 was generally appreciated during the North African campaign for its mechanical reliability, good armor protection and heavy firepower.

In all three areas, the M3 was able to engage both German tanks and towed anti-tank guns. Among the problems experienced was that the tall silhouette and low, hull-mounted 75-mm were tactical drawbacks, since they prevented the tank from fighting from hull-down firing positions. The use of riveted hull superstructure armor on the early versions led to a problem whereby the impact of enemy shells would cause the rivets to break off and become projectiles inside the tank. Later models were built with all-welded armor to eliminate this problem. These lessons were learned and applied to the design and production of the M4. The M3 was replaced by the M4 Sherman as soon as the M4 was available, though several M3s saw limited action in the battle for Normandy as armored recovery vehicles with dummy guns.

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Plastic Figure Notes:

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