The M3 light tank, ‘Stuart,’ was introduced to replace the older version of the M2 light tank series adopted by the US military in the 1930s. With adaptations to the vehicle’s design, including a pair of V8 Cadillac gasoline engines and a redesigned turret to allow more room for communications equipment and the crew, the M3 became the M5 and M5A1 light tanks. The M5A1 became the most common ‘Stuart’ variant seen on battlefields of Europe following the invasions of Africa. The lightly armored and agile tank was utilized for reconnaissance and infantry support. The small 37mm gun and .30cal machine guns were successful against ground infantry and hardened stationary targets like bunkers. However, they were virtually useless against other tanks.

The 1st Division was supported by the 745th Tank Battalion from D-Day until the end of the war. Company “D,” the light tank company, served as armored reconnaissance vehicles and infantry support for the 1st Division as they made their way throughout Europe.

Our M5A1, ‘Dorothy,’ began life as an M5 model and was built at the Massey-Harris factory in Racine, WI. It was one of the first 100 Stuarts to leave the factory’s assembly line in November 1942. It was later refurbished to become the M5A1 we have today.

Technical Data

Weight: 33,500lbs unloaded (15.2 tons)
Engine: 2x 220hp Cadillac V8 Series 42 (Gasoline)
Transmission: General Motors ‘Hydramatic’ 4-speed, 1 reverse (automatic)
Crew: 4 (Driver, Bow Gunner/Co-driver, Gunner, Commander)
Top Speed: 35mph
Fuel: 89gal between L and R tanks with a 100-mile maximum range

  • Main: 37mm Gun M6
  • Secondary: 3x .30cal M1919A4 (hull, coaxial and turret top)

Total Produced: 8,885 M5 and M5A1 (1942-44)