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M5
Late production M5A1

Light Tank M5 Stuart1-8

M5: General
Date of first acceptance April 1942 Total acceptances 2074 + 2 remanufactured or converted
Manufacturers
  • Cadillac Division of General Motors Corp.
  • General Motors Corp.
  • Massey Harris Co.
Crew
4 men:
  • Commander/loader in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M5: Dimensions
Combat weight with T16E1 tracks 33,100lbs
15,000kg
Height over AAMG mount 102"
259cm
Length without gun, without sandshields 170.8"
433.8cm
Gun overhang forward without sandshields 4.0"
10cm
Width without sandshields 88.3"
224cm
Tread 73.3"
186cm
Ground clearance 16.5"
41.9cm
Fire height 77.4"
197cm
Turret ring diameter 46.75"
118.7cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 12.2psi
.856kg/cm²
M5: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
37mm Gun M6 M23 in turret 123 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG AA mount behind turret 6250 rounds 360°
(manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A5 MG Coaxial to 37mm gun 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
Stabilizer
Elevation only
M5: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.125"
2.858cm
48°
Lower front (cast) 1.75"
4.45cm
23°
Sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper rear 1.0"
2.5cm
60°
Middle rear 1.0"
2.5cm
Lower rear 1.0"
2.5cm
17°
Top .50"
1.3cm
90°
Front floor .50"
1.3cm
90°
Rear floor .375"
.953cm
90°
Turret
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield (cast) 2.0"
5.1cm
0° to 14°
Front 1.5"
3.8cm
10°
Sides 1.25"
3.18cm
Rear 1.25"
3.18cm
Top .50"
1.3cm
75° to 90°
M5: Automotive
Engine Twin Cadillac Series 42; 16 cylinder (8/engine), 4 cycle, 90 vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 220@3400rpm
(110/engine)
Gross: 296@3200rpm
(148/engine)
Torque Net: 488 ft-lb@1200rpm
(244/engine)
Gross: 560 ft-lb@1200rpm
(280/engine)
Fuel capacity 89gal
340L
Transmission Twin Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M5: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 2 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
3/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
14-tooth front drive Trailing adjustable with volute spring at rear of each track None
M5: Track
T16E1
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, reversible rubber
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T16E2
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, non-reversible rubber
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T36E6
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, steel, parallel grouser
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T55E1
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, steel, chevron
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
M5: Performance
Max level road speed 36mph
58kph
Max trench 64"
160cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 18"
46cm
Min turning diameter 42'
13m
Max fording depth 36"
91cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads

The light tank M5 was a modified light tank M3 with a new power train and an improved armor layout. A radial engine shortage was expected in 1941, and it was decided to find alternative engines to power tanks. The engines in the M5 were Cadillac automobile engines, each with its own transmission. The hull was all-welded, and the glacis was sloped and moved out to make more room for the drivers. The drivers had their own hatches which were equipped with periscopes. Direct vision for the drivers was through two peepholes which were closed with steel plugs attached with chains. The M5's turret was the same as that on the light tank M3A1, but the lower height presented by the new transmissions and driveshafts allowed the turret traverse mechanism to be attached to the underside of the turret basket, giving the turret crew more room. The M5 was originally known as light tank M4, but was redesignated to M5 to avoid confusion with the medium tank M4. The British called the M5 Stuart VI.

The major distinguishing features between the light tanks M5 and M3A3 are the hull sides and rear deck. The M5 had a raised rear deck to accomodate the twin Cadillac engines and vertical hull sides, while the M3A3 had sloping upper hull sides and a flat engine deck.

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Light Tank M5A1 Stuart, late production1-9

M5A1: General
Date of first acceptance November 1942 Total acceptances 6810 + 775 remanufactured or converted
Manufacturers
  • Cadillac Division of General Motors Corp.
  • General Motors Corp.
  • Massey Harris Co.
  • American Car & Foundry Co.
Crew
4 men:
  • Commander/loader in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M5A1: Dimensions
Combat weight with rubber tracks 33,500lbs
15,200kg
Height over AAMG mount 101"
257cm
Length with sandshields and rear stowage box 190.5"
483.9cm
Gun overhang forward with sandshields 0"
Width over sandshields 90"
230cm
Tread 73.3"
186cm
Ground clearance 16.5"
41.9cm
Fire height 77.4"
197cm
Turret ring diameter 46.75"
118.7cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 12.3psi
.863kg/cm²
M5A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
37mm Gun M6 M44 in turret 147 rounds 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG AA mount on turret right side 6750 rounds 360°
(manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A5 MG Coaxial to 37mm gun 360°
(manual and hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
Stabilizer
Elevation only
M5A1: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 1.125"
2.858cm
48°
Lower front (cast) 1.5" to 2.5"
3.8 to 6.4cm
0° to 23°
Sides 1.0"
2.5cm
Upper rear 1.0"
2.5cm
49°
Middle rear 1.0"
2.5cm
Lower rear 1.0"
2.5cm
17°
Top .50"
1.3cm
90°
Front floor .50"
1.3cm
90°
Rear floor .375"
.953cm
90°
Turret
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield (cast) 2.0"
5.1cm
0° to 14°
Front 1.75"
4.45cm
10°
Sides 1.25"
3.18cm
Rear 1.25"
3.18cm
Top .50"
1.3cm
75° to 90°
M5A1: Automotive
Engine Twin Cadillac Series 42; 16 cylinder (8/engine), 4 cycle, 90 vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 220@3400rpm
(110/engine)
Gross: 296@3200rpm
(148/engine)
Torque Net: 488 ft-lb@1200rpm
(244/engine)
Gross: 560 ft lb@1200rpm
(280/engine)
Fuel capacity 89gal
340L
Transmission Twin Hydramatic, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M5A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 2 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
3/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth front drive Trailing adjustable with volute spring at rear of each track None
M5A1: Track
T16E1
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, reversible rubber
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T16E2
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, non-reversible rubber
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T36E6
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, steel, parallel grouser
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
T55E1
Outside guide, double pin, rubber bushed, steel, chevron
Width 11.6"
29.5cm
Pitch 5.5"
14cm
Shoes/track 66 Ground contact length 117"
297cm
M5A1: Performance
Max level road speed 36mph
58kph
Max trench 64"
160cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 18"
46cm
Min turning diameter 42'
13m
Max fording depth 36"
91cm
Cruising range ~100mi, roads
~160km, roads

The M5A1, also called Stuart VI by the British, incorporated a new turret which was similar in design to that of the light tank M3A3. The new turret had a radio bustle on the rear with a removable back plate which allowed removal of the 37mm gun. The radio's antenna emerged from the extreme rear of the turret bustle.The .30cal AAMG mount on the new turret was moved from the rear of the turret to its right side, and a triangular shield was added around the AAMG mount late in production. The pistol ports on either side of the turret were redesigned, then deleted later in the production run. The M5A1 incorporated a hull escape hatch behind the assistant driver's seat, and the drivers got larger hatches.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission from Stuart, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1992, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. FM 17-68 Crew Drill, Light Tank M5 Series. Washington, DC: War Department, 24 May 1944.
  3. TM 9-1727C Ordnance Maintenance--Hydra-matic Transmission and Propeller Shafts for Light Tanks M5, M5A1, and 75-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8. Washington, DC: War Department, 5 Feb 1943.
  4. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.
  5. AGF Board No. 2. Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks. 1947.
  6. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, 2nd edition 1944, volume 1. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Ordnance Technical Division, 1 June 1945.
  7. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M3 and M5 Light Tanks." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 25 Nov 2000. 17 Jan 2001 <http://www.shadowsfolly.com/WWII/USA/LightM3_M5.htm>.
  8. TM 9-1727D Ordnance Maintenance--Transfer Unit for Light Tanks M5, M5A1, and 75-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8. Washington, DC: War Department, 28 Apr 1943.
  9. Zuljan, Ralph. "M5A1 Stuart." Second World War Armor. 16 Mar 2000. 17 Jan 2001 <http://www.onwar.com/tanks/usa/fltm5a1.htm>. Second World War Armor

Last updated 26 Sep 2017.
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© Copyright 2001-17 Chris Conners