1:35 US M3 LEE Medium Tank - TAKOM

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The outbreak of WWII in Europe caused the U.S. Army to recognize it was lacking an effective tank force. Design of the Medium Tank M3 commenced in July 1940, with production beginning in December, and the first units became operational in late 1941. The U.S. Army required a medium tank armed with a 75mm main gun and the United Kingdom had made an immediate demand for more medium tanks. The odd design archaically mounted the 75mm main gun in the right sponson, with another 37mm gun mounted in a small turret on top, which was a compromise meant to produce a tank as soon as possible until the M4 became available.

Of the 6,258 M3 variants manufactured in the United States, 2,855 were officially handed over to the British government thanks to the Lend-Lease Agreement of 1941. The M3 Grant first saw action with the Royal Armoured Corps in North Africa during May 1942. However, most of the M3s ordered by the UK quickly became surplus to the requirements of the British Army, and 1,700 were transferred to the Australian Army for home defense and training duties in Australia. The British Indian Army also received 900 Grants, and a further 1,386 Lee’s were exported directly from the US to the Soviet Union, although only 976 of these reached Russian ports due to German U-boat and air attacks on Allied convoys transporting the vehicles.