The first foreign tanks sent to the USSR as military aid arrived in the fall of 1941. These were British Matilda III and Valentine II tanks. They arrived in time to briefly take part in the defensive fighting of late November-early December of 1941. It's hard to say that they played a key part, but it would be incorrect to dismiss their contribution. The situation with American tanks was similar. They first convoy arrived at the end of December of 1941, but shortages of ammunition and other problems delayed their debut to May of 1942. It is often said that the 114th Tank Brigade achieved almost nothing at Kharkov, but that is not correct. The American tanks took part in the offensive on Chepil, which temporarily penetrated the encirclement. An evacuation was organized thanks in part to Soviet tankers fighting in American tanks.
|Tanks of the 258th Independent Tank Battalion before battle, early September 1942.
|This photo is often used to illustrate shipment of tanks through the southern route. In reality, this is a Stuart Hybrid tank being shipped to the British. However, very similar vehicles would begin arriving in Iran before too long.
|Report on M3L and Valentine VII tanks that arrived through the south route. Soviet receiving departments differentiated between the M3 and M3A1.
|Tankers of the 258th Independent Tank Battalion on the march. The tankers are using American helmets.
|Demonstration of anti-aircraft defense.
|The American light tanks came in handy.
|The first M3L tanks went into battle in early September of 1942.
|An M3L tank from the 258th OTB lost in September of 1942.
|Tankers of the 258th OTB reported 32 destroyed German tanks for 22 lost (9 of which were evacuated).
|M3L from the 75th OTB.
|Award order for Lieutenant A.Ya. Pavkin, the highest scoring light tank ace.
|The M3L were later transferred from the 52nd TBr to the 5th Guards Tank Brigade.
|M3L and Valentine VII tanks were the most common tanks in the Caucasus by late 1942.