M-5 and M-5A1 Stuart Light Tank
The M-5 Stuart was directly developed from the M3A3 Stuart light tank, with the major change of a lifted rear hull to accommodate its engines. The M5 Stuart was initially designated as the M-4 but that was changed to avoid confusion with the then-new M4 Sherman medium tank. About 2075 of the M-5 Stuart configuration tank were produced by Cadillac beginning in 1942.
In 1943, after a redesign of the turret using the M3A3 model, and other changes, the M-5A1 Stuart replaced the M5. The M-5A1 was equipped with a 37mm main gun plus three .30 cal. machine guns. It was powered by two Cadillac Series 42 V-8 engines, 110 HP each. It weighted 17 tons and could reach 36 mph.
The M5A1 was the last model in the M3-M5 series of light tanks used by the U.S. and its allies in World War II, produced from 1942 through 1944. As with the M3 Stuart light tanks, the M5 was not effective tank-on-tank in the European Theater where both German and Soviet tanks were much heavier and better armed. In the ETO, the M3 and M5 light tanks were primarily used as scout vehicles rather than main armor.
Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-5 Stuart Light Tank at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup.
M-5A1 Stuart Light Tank Photo Gallery
M-5A1 Stuart Light Tank. Photo: Courtesy of Frank Robertson.
M-5A1 Stuart Light Tank in Europe, 1944.
M-5A1 Stuart at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.