Jump to content

M3 British Turret in US Service?


Recommended Posts


I'm guessing that you mean the M3 Medium Tank.

To my knowledge, U.S. forces never fielded any version of the M3 Grant, either in combat, or in training. They always used the "General Lee" turret -- the tall turret with the MG cupola and without the radio & turret bustle. This "American turret" was generally inferior to the "British turret", being taller, and sporting an inch of armor less on the front (2 inches frontal armor on the Lee vs 3 inches frontal armor on the Grant).

That having been said, three American tank crews fought for 'several days' with the British 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment during the Gazala battles, on or about 11 June 1942. These crews, under Major Henry Cabot Lodge, were from the 2nd Armored Division, and used M3 Grant tanks. During the fighting, the American crews accounted for nine German tanks.

As a technical aside, the U.S. DID field an M3 Medium variant with a British turret: the T10 Shop Tractor, better know as the Grant CDL (Canal Defense Light). This AFV was intended as a specialist night-fighting vehicle, and had the normal turret replaced with an armored turret mounting an extremely powerful searchlight under armor. The light beam was focused through a narrow slit in the turret armor, and was said to be so brilliant as to cause sickness and disorientation when it was shown on troops and the special 'flicker' feature was used. The Americans built some 350+ of these super-secret vehicles, and formed special tank battalions for their use. These tank battalions were converted back to regular tank battalions in the fall of 1944, after losses demanded more tank units be made available. The American 740th Tank Battalion -- Rubel's 'Daredevils' of Stoumont Station fame (Battle of the Bulge) -- is one such unit. T10 Shop Tractors (and their British cousins, the Grant CDLs) were used in small numbers during the Rhine crossing in March 1945 -- not in their intended role, but to provide night illumination for the crossing sites.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...