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Lee/Grant - American Tank, WWII

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 General Lee/Grant tank, WWII

General Lee tank

The M3 Lee was an older design of tank carrying the main gun in the hull similar to World war I tanks. The Lee also had a turret mounted on top of the hull for a light gun, and a second turret mounted upon the first, for a machine gun. The tank had a very high profile causing one tanker to comment that it was like "a dam cathedral coming down the road". The 75mm main gun was more powerful than the guns in Panzer III's and IV's when the tank was first delivered to the British Army.


General Grant tank, WWII

General Grant tank

The American Lee medium tank was modified by the British to become the M3 Grant. The double turret was changed to a single, larger and lower profile turret. The idea was that the lighter gun in the turret could exchange shots with the German Panzer III while maneuvering to shoot with the main 75mm gun in the hull. In practice, the Grant was most favorably used by placing it in front of oncoming German Panzers and firing upon then with the main gun while still out of range of the Panzers' fire. The M3 suffered under fire from its riveted construction. When struck by enemy fire, the rivets frequently broke loose and ricocheted inside the tank.