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Lend Lease Review

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"Report of the 92nd Tank Brigade on the use of American M3 medium and M3 light tanks.
  1. Advantages, from a tactical point of view.
    1. High density of fire.
    2. Good observation (a commander's cupola is present).
    3. The light tank is very mobile.
    4. The engines are quite while driving.
    5. The sights and ballistics of the 75 mm and 37 mm guns are good.
    6. The crews on the M3s and M3l are well placed.
  2. Drawbacks:
    1. The M3 medium tank has poor mobility and has a large turning radius.
    2. The ability to negotiate obstacles is low.
    3. The M3 medium tank is too big.
    4. The fording depth is very low. The engine is too low to the ground and completely open.
    5. The mobility in mud is poor and the tank is very difficult to drive out of a rut.
    6. The mobility in swamps is poor due to very high pressure. The ground pressure of the M3 medium is 1.2 kg/cm².
    7. The armour's impact resistance is low.
    8. The tanks are vulnerable to Molotov cocktails thrown from an ambush (the air intakes are completely open).
    9. The traverse angle for the 75 mm gun is small.
    10. The 75 mm gun lacks armour piercing ammunition, the 37 mm gun lacks HE ammunition.
    11. It is impossible to aim any machine gun aside from the coaxial one.
Technical strong and weak points.
Strong points:
  1. Armour quality. Of 32 penetrations in the armour only one in the right side of the light tank has cracks and spalling along the edges.
  2. All components of the vehicle (engine, gearbox, double differential, brakes, main clutch), suspension, and controls rarely need adjustment.
    There were almost no emergency stops due to breakdowns of any component.
  3. All medium tanks have a small motor that powers the generator to charge batteries.
  4. The engine power is sufficient, especially for the light tank.
  5. The mobility of the tanks on soft terrain is sufficient.
  6. The light tank has sufficient speed, but the medium does not.
  7. The tanks drive smoothly. There is little shaking and oscillating.
Weak points:
  1. The armour is insufficiently thick.
  2. The rivets that hold the armour are weak and pop often.
  3. It is hard to access components of the vehicles (especially the engine).
  4. The main clutch is weak. It slips often, leading to fusing of the driving and driven disks, which breaks the clutch.
  5. The idler carriers are riveted to the hull, which makes them hard to replace.
  6. The tanks burn easily from enemy fire (especially mediums) and burn up so that the tank is completely unusable after the fire.
  7. It is hard to exit the turret of the medium tank when it is turned to the side.
  8. The tanks cannot negotiate vertical obstacles, since the double differential casing sticks out and gets in the way of the tank gaining traction.
  9. The attachment and locks of the engine hatches, fuel tank caps, and crew hatches are poor and unreliable.
  10. The center of gravity of the vehicle is high. The vehicles themselves are very large and tall.
  11. The tanks negotiate slopes poorly and cannot climb up steep slopes. Performance at a tilt is also poor.
  12. The suspension is not protected by anything and is vulnerable.
  13. Enemy tanks cannot be rammed, as the front of the tank is the differential casing and the drive sprockets are too far forward.
  14. The components are attached in such a way that replacing them is hard.
  15. The tanks do not turn well (minimum turning radius is 10-20 meters).
  16. The engine and its accessories are too low. When the tanks cross rivers the water easily enters the lower engine cylinders and its components, which destroys it.
  17. All electrical components break easily when water enters and are difficult to repair.
Positive and negative sides of armament on American tanks:

Positive:
  1. The 75 mm gun on the medium tank is comfortable to elevate and traverse.
  2. The tanks have high density of fire.
  3. The 75 mm and 37 mm guns have good ballistics.
Negative:
  1. The 75 mm gun installed on the M3 medium tank has insufficient angles of traverse. The machine guns, aside from the coaxial machine gun, do not have sights.
  2. The Browning machine guns often jam and need careful care.
  3. There is no armour piercing ammunition for the 75 mm gun. There are no HE shells for the 37 mm gun.
Advantages of radios installed on the American M3s and M3l tanks
  1. Simple, fast, and precise turning.
  2. Good shielding, the transformer works well and does not consume a lot of current.
Disadvantages:
  1. The transmitter is very bulky.
  2. The transmitter frequently goes out of action when the fuses burn out.
  3. The markings on the dials do not match the frequencies used by Soviet radio stations.
Commander of the 92nd Tank Brigade, Colonel Martynov
Military Commissar of the 92nd Tank Brigade, Senior Battalion Commissar Kornilov
Chief of Staff of the 92nd Tank Brigade, Major Zhirnokleev
August 31st, 1942"


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