Scout Car M3A11-8

M3A1: General
Date of first acceptance 1939 Total acceptances 20,894
Manufacturer White Motor Co. Crew
8 men:
  • Observation commander in hull right front
  • Driver in hull left front
  • 6 passengers in hull rear
M3A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 12,400lbs
5620kg
Height 78.5"
199cm
Length 221.5"
562.6cm
Width 80"
200cm
Front tread 63.25"
160.7cm
Rear tread 65.25"
165.7cm
Wheelbase 131"
333cm
Ground clearance 15.75"
40.01cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 60psi
4.2kg/cm²
M3A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on skate mount 750 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Flexible on skate mount 8000 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M3A1: Armor
Assembly
Bolting
Hull
Rolled face-hardened steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Radiator louvres .25"
.64cm
30°
Windshield cover .50"
1.3cm
30°
Sides .25"
.64cm
Rear .25"
.64cm
Hood top .25"
.64cm
85°
M3A1: Automotive
Engine Hercules JXD; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 87@2400rpm Torque Net: 220 ft-lb@1150rpm Fuel capacity 54gal
200L
Transmission Combination sliding and constant mesh, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
Brakes Hydraulic, internal expanding
M3A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Shock absorbers
Semi-elliptic leaf spring 2/side On each wheel
M3A1: Performance
Max level road speed 50mph
80kph
Max trench 18"
46cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 12"
30cm
Min turning diameter 57'
17m
Max fording depth 28"
71cm
Cruising range ~250mi, roads
~400km, roads

The 4x4 scout car M3A1 was the last in the line of descendents of the scout car M2. The M2 had been based on the Corbitt 1.5 ton truck, was powered by Lycoming's Corbitt Eight 94 horsepower V8 engine, weighed 7,900lb (3600kg), and could travel at 50mph (80kph). It was armored with .5" (1.3cm) plates on the front and .25" (.64cm) plates on the sides and rear. Twenty-two M2s, including prototypes, were produced in 1937-8.

The scout car M2A1, developed from the M2, was manufactured by the White Motor Company. It featured tourelle skate mounts for its machine guns instead of the external pintle mounts found on the M2. It was powered by the Hercules JXD engine that made 95 gross horsepower at 3000rpm and 224 gross ft-lb of torque at 1100 rpm, and could be propelled to 60mph (100kph). The M2A1 was 202.50" (514.35cm) long, 80.37" (204.1cm) wide, and 81" (206cm) tall. Front and rear tread were the same at 63.75" (161.9cm). It could hold eight men. Its minimum turning circle diameter was 29.25' (8.915m), ground clearance was 9.75" (24.8cm), maximum fording depth was 22.50" (57.15cm), and ground pressure was 57psi (4.0kg/cm²). The windshield armor was .5" (1.3cm) thick, while other surfaces were .25" (.64cm). The designation of M2A1 was changed to M3, and 100 M2A1/M3s were produced from 1937-39.

The M3A1 sported a wider body than the M3 with square corners and an overhung top, and its machine gun skate rail was lowered below the level of the armor. The rear door found on the M3 was deleted, and stowage and seating was changed. An anti-ditching roller was also added. A detachable canvas top was provided for the passenger compartment; it was supported by three bows and the windshield frame. The compression ratio in the JXD engine was raised to 5.88 from the M3's 5.78, yielding more power (110 gross horsepower at 3000 rpm and 241 gross ft-lb of torque at 1100 rpm). The four-wheel drive system in these vehicles was full-time and could not be disengaged.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2002. Reprinted from Armored Car, R.P. Hunnicutt ©2002, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Novato, CA 94945.
  2. TM 9-705 Scout Cars, M3, M3A1, and 4.2 Mortar Motor Carriage, M2. Washington, DC: War Department, 19 February 1941.
  3. TM 9-705 Scout Car M3A1. Washington, DC: War Department, 26 October 1942.
  4. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, 2nd edition 1944, volume 1. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Ordnance Technical Division, 1 June 1945.
  5. Doyle, David. U.S. Half-tracks: The Development and Deployment of the U.S. Army's Half-track Vehicles, Part one. Ed. Pat Stansell. Delray Beach, FL: The Ampersand Publishing Group, Inc., 2014.
  6. AGF Board No. 2. Development of Armored Vehicles, volume II: Armored Cars, Scout Cars, and Personnel Carriers.
  7. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. Minneapolis: Victory Publishing, Ltd., 2001.
  8. Hogg, Ian V. The Greenhill Armoured Fighting Vehicles Data Book. London: Greenhill Books, 2000.

Last updated 27 Sep 2016.
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