Grant (with Lee turret option)
M3 Medium tank, Grant 1 (8th Army) and with Lee turret Option
The agreement between the US and Britain did not allow for British designs to be made in US factories, so in 1940 Britain ordered M3 Medium tanks from various US manufacturers. These first vehicles were purchased directly, and were not part of the later lend-lease program.
Because of this the British were able to make a few modifications to the initial American design and the Grant I was born.
A larger turret was built, without the machine-gun cupola, to house the British radio requirements inside the turret (as opposed to the US design mounting it in the hull). Though longer and wider, the turret was lowered to reduce the tanks silhouette, adding to the effect of removing the cupola.
Like the US M3 Medium it was armed with a 75mm gun in a sponson mounted on the right side of the hull front and a 37mm gun in the turret.
It was named by the British the “Grant” after the famous American Civil War general Ulysses S Grant.
It proved a popular and morale boosting addition to the ranks of the 8th Army.
The dual-purpose 75mm gun (firing both HE and AP ammunition) gave the British the edge they were after in the desert when it was introduced, with the deliveries of 200 vehicles starting in early 1942.
167 Grants served successfully with the 4th Armoured Brigade during the Gazala battle.
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