By Robert Michulec
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Additional info for 4th Panzer Division on the Eastern Front: 1941-1943 v. 1 (Armor at War 7000)
The US Army also began work on a similar vehicle armed with the British 25-pdr called the T51, but work on this was curtailed when it became evident that Canada was developing such a weapon on the Ram tank in late 1942, called the Sexton. The Sexton became the most significant self-propelled howitzer in British and Commonwealth service during the war, but its story is largely outside the scope of this study apart from its indirect link to the M3 medium tank. Curiously enough, the Australian Army decided to convert a number of surplus M3 tanks after World War II into self-propelled howitzers patterned after the Sexton.
Curiously enough, the Australians considered the late-production M3 medium tanks that had substituted a belly hatch for the side escape hatches to be defective in jungle conditions, and there was a scheme to overhaul these tanks and add side doors. This did not take place, nor did some other plans, such as a Grant with the Australian Cruiser Tank Mk. III turret with a 25-pdr gun, a Grant with a Frog flamethrower, or a Grant with a hedgehog rocket projector. The shortage of specialized engineer vehicles led to a number of local modifications, including the development of a tank recovery vehicle based on the Lee, and the adaptation of the US Ml dozer blade to the Grant.
The 193rd Tank Battalion deployed a few M3A5 medium tanks on Butaritari Island in the Makin Atoll in the Gilberts on November 20, 1943, to support the 165th Infantry Regiment. There were a few Japanese Type 95 light tanks on the atoll, but there was little if any tank-vs-tank fighting. The US Marine Corps never operated the M3 medium tank, waiting instead for the M4. US M3 LEND-LEASE SHIPMENTS Britain USSR Brazil 1941-42 2,643 1,386 75 1943 212 21 Total 2,855 1,386 96 Total 4,104 233 4,337 Notes Includes 49 M3A3, 185 M3A5.