37 mm Gun M3

Infobox Weapon
name=37mm Gun M3 on Carriage M4


caption=M3 on display at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
origin=United States
type=anti-tank gun
is_ranged=yes
is_artillery=yes
is_vehicle=
service=
used_by=United States
wars=World War II
designer=
design_date=1938
manufacturer=Gun: Watervliet Arsenal,
Carriage: Rock Island Arsenal
production_date=1940–1943
number=18,702
variants=
weight=413.68 kg (912 lbs)
length=3.92 m (13 ft)
width=1.61 m (5.28 ft)
height=0.96 m (3.14 ft)
part_length=overall: 2.1 m / 56.6 calibers
bore: 1.98 m / 53.5 calibers
crew=4-6
cartridge=37×223R
caliber=37 mm
action=
rate=up to 25 rounds per minute
velocity=up to 884 m/s (2,900 ft/s)
range=
max_range=6.9 km (4.28 mi)
feed=
sights=telescopic, M6
breech=vertical block
recoil=hydrospring
carriage=split trail
elevation=-10° to +15°
traverse=60°
diameter=
filling=
filling_weight=
detonation=
yield=

The 37mm Gun M3 was the first dedicated anti-tank gun fielded by United States forces. Introduced in 1940, it became the standard anti-tank gun of the U.S. infantry. However, the continuing improvement of German tanks quickly rendered the 37 mm ineffective, and by 1943 it was being gradually replaced in the European and Mediterranean theaters by the more powerful British-developed 57mm Gun M1. In the Pacific, where the Japanese tank threat was less significant the M3 remained in service until the end of the war.

Like many other light anti-tank guns, the M3 was widely used in the infantry support role and as an anti-personnel weapon, firing high-explosive and canister rounds.

The M5 and M6 tank mounted variants were used in several models of armored vehicles most notably in the Light Tank M3/M5, the Medium Tank M3 and the Light Armored Car M8. In addition, the M3 in its original version was mated to a number of other self-propelled carriages.

Development history

In the mid-1930s the United States Army had yet to field a dedicated anti-tank artillery piece; anti-tank companies of infantry regiments were armed with .50-cal machine guns. Although were some consideration had been given to replacing the machine guns with more a powerful anti-tank gun, the situation only began to change after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Combat experience from Spain suggested that a light anti-tank gun, such as the German PaK 35/36, was capable of neutralizing the growing threat posed by tanks.Zaloga - "US Anti-tank Artillery 1941–45", p. 3–7.]

In January 1937, the Ordnance Committee recommended development of a such a weapon;Zaloga - "US Anti-tank Artillery 1941–45", p. 3–7.] two PaK 36 guns were acquired for study.Hogg - "Allied Artillery of World War Two", p 149.] As the projected main user of the weapon the Infantry branch was chosen to oversee the work. They wanted a lightweight gun which could be moved around by the crew, so any ideas of using a larger caliber than that of the German gun were discarded.

Development and testing continued until late 1938. Several variants of gun and carriage were proposed until on 15 December a combination of the T10 gun and T5 carriage was officially adopted as the 37mm Gun M3 and Carriage M4. Although the weapon followed the concept of the PaK 36 and often referred to as a copy of it, [E.g. see Rottman - "The US Marine Corps 1941–45", p 17: "M3A1 ... was copied from the standard German AT gun".] the M3 differed significantly from the German design and used different ammunition.

The gun was manufactured by Watervliet Arsenal and the carriage by Rock Island Arsenal. The first pieces were delivered early in 1940, the production continued until 1943.

Armor penetration of the M5 was about 3 mm less at all ranges.

Gallery

ee also

*Bofors 37 mm a contemporary Swedish design

Notes

References

* cite book
last = Chamberlain
first = Peter
authorlink =
coauthors = Terry Gander
others =
title = Anti-Tank Weapons
publisher = Arco Publishing Company, New York
series = WWII Fact Files
year = 1974
isbn = 0-668-03505-6

* cite book
last = Hogg
first = Ian V.
authorlink = Ian V. Hogg
coauthors =
others =
title = Allied Artillery of World War Two
publisher = Crowood Press, Ramsbury
series =
year = 1998
isbn = 1-86126-165-9

* cite book
last = Hunnicutt
first = R. P.
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank.
publisher = Presidio Press
series =
year = 1988
isbn = 0-89141-304-9

* cite book
last = Hunnicutt
first = R. P.
authorlink =
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others =
title = Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank.
publisher = Presidio Press
series =
year = 1992
isbn = 0-89141-462-2

* cite book
last = Hunnicutt
first = R. P.
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank.
publisher = Presidio Press
series =
year = 1994
isbn = 0-89141-080-5

* cite book
last = Hunnicutt
first = R. P.
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Half-Track: A History of American Semi-Tracked Vehicles.
publisher = Presidio Press
series =
year = 2001
isbn = 0-89141-742-7

* cite book
last = Hunnicutt
first = R. P.
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles.
publisher = Presidio Press
series =
year = 2002
isbn = 0-89141-777-X

*Moschanskiy, I. (1999). "Armored vehicles of the Great Britain 1939-1945 part 2", Modelist-Konstruktor, Bronekollektsiya 1999-02 (cite book
last = Мощанский
first = И.
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Бронетанковая техника Великобритании 1939-1945 часть 2
publisher =
series = Моделист-Конструктор, Бронеколлекция 1999-02
year = 1999
isbn =
).
* cite book
last = Rottman
first = Gordon
authorlink =
coauthors =
others = illustrated by Mike Chapell
title = The US Marine Corps 1941-45
publisher = Osprey Publishing
series = Elite 59
year = 1995
isbn = 1-85532-497-0

* cite book
last = Rottman
first = Gordon
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = US Marine Corps Pacific Theater of Operations 1941-43
publisher = Osprey Publishing
series = Battle Orders 1
year = 2004
isbn = 1-84176-518-X

* cite book
last = Rottman
first = Gordon
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = US Airborne Units in the Mediterranean Theater 1942-44
publisher = Osprey Publishing
series = Battle Orders 22
year = 2006
isbn = 1-84176-920-7

* cite book
last = Zaloga
first = Steven J.
authorlink = Steven Zaloga
coauthors =
others = illustrated by Brian Delf
title = US Anti-tank Artillery 1941-45
publisher = Osprey Publishing
series = New Vanguard 107
year = 2005
isbn = 1-84176-690-9

* cite book
last = Zaloga
first = Steven J.
authorlink = Steven Zaloga
coauthors =
others =
title = US Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45
publisher = Osprey Publishing
series = Battle Orders 25
year = 2007
isbn = 1-84176-118-2

* cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Field Manual FM 23-81, 37-mm Gun, Tank, M6
publisher = War Department, 1942
series =
date =
isbn =

* cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Technical Manual TM 1-1901, Artillery Ammunition
publisher = War Department, 1944
series =
date =
isbn =

* cite book
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
others =
title = Technical Manual TM 9-2005 volume 3, Infantry and Cavalry Accompanying Weapons
publisher = War Department, 1942
series =
date =
isbn =

* cite web
title=Anderson, Rich - "US Army in World War II; Cavalry and Infantry"
url=http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/usarmy/cavalry.aspx
accessdate=2007-09-27

* cite web
title=History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II at HyperWar website
url=http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/
accessdate=2007-07-01

* cite web
title=The Marine Division at WW2Gyrene website
url=http://www.ww2gyrene.org/Division_structure.htm
accessdate=2007-07-01

* cite web
title=M3A1 37mm Antitank Gun at WW2Gyrene website
url=http://www.ww2gyrene.org/weapons_37mm.htm
accessdate=2007-07-01

* cite web
title=PT-108 specs at PT108LilDuck.com website
url=http://www.pt108lilduck.com/specs.html
accessdate=2007-07-01

External links

* [http://www.fightingiron.com/FO-37mmCannon.htm Photo gallery at Fightingiron.com]
* [http://svsm.org/gallery/37mm_M3 Photo gallery at SVSM.org] .


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