Australian Military Vehicles modelling project
Australian M3A2 Grant medium tank
Model by Steve Carter, historical notes by Michael Grieve
Tamiya 1/35th M3 kit shaved, showered and detailed, Armoured Brigade Models M3 Grant turret, RHPS "double I" track, Washington Armor Productions M2 75mm (with counterweight), air cleaners and Grant-pattern stowage boxes
Alongside the Matilda II infantry tank, the US-designed and built M3 Medium series tanks were the mainstay of the Australian armoured forces during the years of the Second World War. By December 1942, 757 M3 Medium tanks had been delivered to Australia, with a further 20 having been lost in transit. The break-up of the 737 vehicles still on strength in June 1944 was:
M3 Medium Grant (Petrol) - 266
M3 Medium Grant (Diesel) - 232
M3 Medium Lee (Petrol) - 239
According to Squadron/Signal No. 33 M3 Lee/Grant in Action, only twelve M3A2 Medium tanks were built between January and March 1942, having a Wright radial petrol engine and welded hull, photos showing the US type (Lee) turret being fitted. Of these vehicles, however, at least one was fitted with a Grant turret and sent to Australia - a rare bird indeed.
The markings visible in the photos of this Australian M3A2 Grant shows that, in June 1942, this vehicle belonged to C Sqn (yellow circle) of the 2/9th Armoured Regiment (white "62" on a green square), 2nd Armoured Brigade, 1st Australian Armoured Division. An Australian vehicle registration number, "9144", can be seen stencilled on the rear hull engine access doors. As the photos show this vehicle still sporting its British WD registration numbers, it is most likely that this tank remains in its delivery scheme of US Olive Drab.
Only one other photo of this particular vehicle is known, shown on the ANZAC Steel website:
The US Medium Series in Australia Part One - Gun Tanks by Paul Handel (ANZAC Steel website)
Squadron/Signal No.33 M3 Lee/Grant in Action
Thanks to Jim Hensley of the Washington Armor Club (http://www.cs.net/panzer/) for his kind assistance.
Photo 012521 reproduced with permission of the Australian War Memorial
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