T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage

The T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage was the first attempt to fit a 3in gun on the chassis of the M3 light tank. The T56 was based on the final production version of the M3, the M3A3, which had a greatly enlarged superstructure that almost reached the front of the tank. On the T56 the turret was removed and the engine moved forward to the centre of vehicle. The heavy 3in gun was mounted at the back of the vehicle. The rear panel of the superstructure hinged down and back to form a platform for the gun crews.

A limited amount of protection was provided by a boxy shield that covered the gun mounting, and provided limited top and side protection. Work on the T56 began in September 1942, and a prototype was built quickly. The M3 wasn't really suited to this sort of conversion and the weight of the gun meant that performance was poor. An attempt was made to improve the design with the designation T57 3in Gun Motor Carriage, but this was also unsuccessful and both programmes were cancelled in February 1943

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 March 2014), T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_T56_3in_GMC.html

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