M5A1 Stuart V: light American tank
To relieve wartime demand for the radial aero-engines used in the M3, a new version was developed using twin Cadillac V8 automobile engines and twin Hydra-Matic transmissions operating through a transfer case. This version of the tank was quieter, cooler and roomier; the automatic transmission also simplified crew training.
The new model (initially called M4 but redesignated M5 to avoid confusion with the M4 Sherman) featured a redesigned hull with a raised rear deck over the engine compartment, sloped glacis plate and driver’s hatches moved to the top. Although the main criticism from units using the Stuarts was that it lacked firepower, the improved M5 series kept the same 37 mm gun. The M5 gradually replaced the M3 in production from 1942 and, after the M7 project proved unsatisfactory, was succeeded by the Light Tank M24 in 1944. Total M5 and M5A1 tank production was 8,884.
Designer: U.S. Army Ordnance Department
American Car and Foundry Company
Cadillac division of General Motors
Unit cost $32,915 (M3A1), $27,057 (M5)