Hi everyone, today i would like to suggest one of the legends of the north african desert, the Grant Mk.II, also known as the M3A5. Initially you might be forgiven for think this Grant is functionally identical to the Premium grant MkI we currently have as a premium in the british tech tree, but there are several differences between this model and the one currently in game. The main changes to the tank are as follows:
- 375 hp twin diesel engine, increasing the tanks length and changing the apperance of the engine bay significantly
- Both the 37mm and 75mm gun being gyrostabalized
- the addition of extra external smoke dischargers
- the addition of a top a top mounted 7.62 m1919a4 machinegun to replace the one lost with the removal of the machine gun cupola in the revised Grant turret
These differences make the tank sufficiently different in my opinion to be worth suggesting, as it adds additional british flavour to this well known lead lease vehicle. Hopefully you agree and we can add this staple of the 8th Army’s armored formations to the game .png “:)”)
Image showing a diesel grant knocked out in north africa:
A few months after the passage of the Lend Lease Act on March 11, 1941, the Ordnance Department took over responsibility for the existing British contracts in the US. The original plan had been for cash and carry for munitions and armaments, but with the advent of lend lease, the material could be shipped for free in partial exchange. To mee the needs of british armoured regiments, the US goverment agreed to give the grant production priority at the Baldwin facture over the Lee, as it was deemed the tanks needed over seas should be the first completedm because of this over 500 grants where produced in the first half of 1942 to only ten Lee’s.
This massive production of tanks resulted in radial engine production to be unable to keep up with demand, and to supliment the need for engines the ordanace department began looking for alternatives. They found one in the installation of combined “off the shelf” GM 6-71 diesel truck engines that were “coupled together by means of a transfer case delivering the doubled power to a single driver shaft, creating around 375 hp to propel the tank. These engines where installed in around half of the Baldwin produced grants, equipt with rivited hulls creating the Grant Mk.II, which where then supplied to the british, with lend lease just like its sibling the Grant Mk.I. The diesal engine was longer and stouter than the radial engine, as can be seen in the pictures below, which resulted in the apperance of the Grant Mk.II different thant its radial counterpart as well as slightly longer.
M3 and M3A2 radial Grants or Lees (on left) to that of the diesel M3A3 and M3A5 (on right):
The double barrel exhaust unique to the diesel lee’s and grants, on the preserved example in Bovington:
With production of diesel Grant’s in full swing they along with their radial ilk began to be supplied to british units serving in north africa (675), the middle east (164), iran (30) and later in the war the pacific theater., though their most notable user was the British 8th army in north africa. Unfortunately the history for the Grant II in terms of service is rather sketch, as it was used interchangably with both lee’s in british service along with shermans and Grant Mk.I’s, resulting in a muddy history outside of the fact over 200 diesel examples seeing service with British forces during the course of the war, though after the conclusion of the north africa campaign they where mostly relegated to secondary roles, and replaced by the more famous Sherman. The reason it is hard to tell the history of the individual grant and lee variants in british service is they where replaced due to attrition, resulting in units having a hodgepoge of grant and lee variants serving in the same units often similtaniously.
So far you’re likely wondering what the Grant Mk.II adds to the game aside from a different looking buttocks, and I can be safe in saying the Grant Mk.II offers many features currently missing from the Grant in game. The first of which is a presence of a gryostabalizer for both guns, allowing it to much more quickly fire on targets as it comes to a stop, offering a improvement in reaction time over the Grant Mk.I currently present in game. This feature is present in the Grant Mk.II due to them being fundementally later production lee’s allowing the new technology to be implimented in them in the factory, as can be seen by the counterweights on the guns in the picture below.
Photo of a knocked out grant Mk.II showing the counterweights on the guns, the one on the 75mm looking like a muzzle break, the shermans in the background date the image to late 1942:
In addition to these counterweights, it was not uncommon to find a pair of additional smoke dischargers mounted on the right side of the turret, freeing up the bomb thrower for other purposes, and allowing for more smoke to be deployed at once over the more hands on process of loading the bomb thrower. These where also installed on Grant’s that where shipped without the bomb thrower, allowing them to lay smoke.
In addition to the additional smoke dischargers, many British Grant’s where modified to carry a top mounted machine gun to replace the cupola lost in the change to the grant turret. This took the form of a simple pintle mount for a .30 cal. Browning anti-aircraft machine gun which was situated on the inside of the new hatch. This feature could be found on both Grant Mk.I and II variants, and was a common modification to several units that fielded the Grant tank.
photo above was taken on “the coast road” in Libya on 15 January, 1943, about a week before the Eighth Army entered the major port of Tripoli, Libya’s capital. The Grant in the background is a Diesel Grant Mk.II as indicated by its double barreled exhaust:
A diesel Grant command tank served as the personal stead for General Montgomery, It is now preserved at Imperial War Museum, Duxford, the pintle for the top mounted machine gun is still present:
A dapper photo of Winston Churchil standing infront of a grant with a pintle MG installed:
Picture showing a diesel grant equipt with the pintle machinegun, offering a clear view of the back, removing any doubt it is a diesel variant:
In terms of specification the Grant Mk.II is incredibly similar to the M3 lee and Grant Mk.I already present in game. The main difference is the 375hp engine compared to the 340 of the radial lee, and the addition of the smoke dischargers, gyrostabalized guns and pintle mounted machinegun.
|30 short tons (27 long tons; 27 t)
|18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
|8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
|10 ft 3 in (3.12 m) – Lee
|* 51 mm (2.0 in) (hull front, turret front, sides, and rear)
- 38 mm (1.5 in) (hull sides and rear)|
armament|* 1 ×75 mm Gun M2/M3in hull
- 46 rounds
- 1 x 37mm Gun M5/M6 in turret
- 178 rounds|
armament|* 2–3–4 ×.30-06 Browning M1919A4machine guns
- 9,200 rounds|
|Engine|GM 6-71 dual diesel (375hp)|
|Transmission|Mack Synchromesh, five speeds forward, one reverse|
|Suspension|vertical volute spring|
|Ground clearance|18 in (0.46 m)|
|Maximum speed|* 26 mph (42 km/h) (road)
- 16 mph (26 km/h) (off-road)|