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- "We have two guns and they got only one each, so it's even!"
- ―Yuuki Utsugi
The Medium M3 Tank was an American medium tank, it had different names depending on their turret pattern; American patterns were called M3 Lee in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, while British patterns were called M3 Grant in honor of Union General and 18th President of the U.S. Ulysses S. Grant. In the anime, the M3 Lee was featured in a flash-forward in Episode 1, and first appeared in Episode 2.
A bit of history
The Medium M3 Tank was a tank whose design began in 1940. The production of this tank was caused by the perceived need of the U.S. Army for a tank armed with a 75 mm gun, as existing M2 Tanks had an obsolete 37 mm gun, and the development of a model with a 75-mm gun in a rotating turret would have forced an intolerable delay; therefore, an interim design with such a gun in a sponson was accepted.
The Medium M3s were quickly mass-produced and many were supplied to the United Kingdom, as its army in the Western Desert urgently needed improved tanks to face the Axis forces there; their design was odd-looking, with a huge, tall silhouette imposed by its Wright (Continental) R975 EC2 air-cooled engine, a reliable derivative from an aeronautic model. They sported a hull mounted 75 mm gun, a 37 mm gun in a small rotating turret and a machine-gun mounted on the turret.
They first saw action in the North African campaign, becoming a nasty surprise for the Axis forces. Thanks to their 75 mm gun, it performed well against Panzer IIIs, Panzer IVs (with the short gun) and Fiat M13/40, and was appreciated by its solid performance and overall reliability, although the limited main gun traverse and the large silhouette were serious tactical disadvantages that could be taken advantage of by a prepared enemy.
But not until 1942, with the finished design and mass-produce of M4 Sherman, and the appearance of new and improved Axis tanks (like the Panzer IV "lang" or the Italian Semovente da 75/18), was the M3 Lee began to be withdrawn from frontline duties; it was officially declared obsolete in 1944.
The M3 Lee was supplied also to the USSR, where however it proved unpopular for its above-mentioned flaws, even more, serious against a better-equipped enemy (which led to Soviet crews to gave it the nickname "coffin for seven brothers"). On other fronts, like the Pacific, with limited enemy tank activity, it continued to serve successfully for the remainder of the war.
One important variant was the M7 Priest with a 105 mm howitzer, which gave unparalleled artillery support during the Second World War and served different countries after the war. Several M3 were captured by the Germans and used under designation Panzerkampfwagen M3 747(a) Medium Tank.
In Girls und Panzer
An M3 Lee is discovered by, and afterward assigned to the Rabbit Team, and was painted pink before the training match against St. Gloriana Girls College; immediately after, it was returned to its standard paint scheme.
This tank, being hampered by its drawbacks, and having a decidedly inexperienced crew, got off to a rough start from the beginning. During the match against St. Gloriana Girls College, it was taken down after being abandoned. Against Saunders University High School it was the initial target of Saunders' attack and was taken out by their Sherman Firefly. Against Anzio, it was shown taking down two of Anzio's Semoventi. In the match against Pravda it managed to survive until taken out by their IS-2, while covering Ooarai's flag tank. Only against Kuromorimine Girls Academy did this tank really shine, taking advantage of their opponents' reduced maneuverability, it took out two of Kuromorimine's most deadly tank destroyers, the Elefant tank destroyer with a rear shot, and then managed to cause the defeat of the massive Jagdtiger, while being thrown out of the battle themselves. Without those kills, Leopon Team's attempt to isolate Kuromorimine's flag tank would not have lasted that long.
During the match against St. Gloriana/Pravda when the match took a wrong turn for Ooarai/Chi-Ha-Tan, the M3 tried to release some pressure on Miho's Panzer IV by attempting to repeat their "Heavy Tank Killer" tactics they did to the Jagdtiger in the Championship finals against the IS-2. Unfortunately for them the IS-2 with its more powerful engine managed to get the M3 from out of its blind spot and get rid of the "light" tank.
During the match against the All-Stars University Team, while nearly all remnant Ooarai tanks was surrounded at the park amphitheater, a disoriented M3 Lee was separated from the group during the total panic retreat when the All-Stars University Team stormed into the park with the T28 Super-Heavy Tank as a shield, finding themselves near a ferris wheel that was on a hill overlooking the amphitheater. They managed to break the encirclement by destroying the ferris wheel's support sending it tumbling through the All-Stars University Team formations, opening a gap that allowed Ooarai's tanks to escape. After that the M3 Lee took down two Chaffee tanks on the rollercoaster that sandwished Anzio's CV.33 just before it was knocked out by the Centurion.
Fierce Fight! It's the Maginot Battle!
Rabbit Team's M3 Lee took part in the mock up match against Maginot Girls' Academy where it immobilized Galette's B1 Bis by shooting the air duct (B1 Bis' "Legendary" weak point) and Fondue's SOMUA S35 after Miho shot down Eclair's one.
Gekkan Senshado Magazine
Koala Forest High School owns at least two M3 Grant tanks and fielded them against Viking Fisheries High School.
- Main article: M3 Lee/Gallery
More info about the M3 Medium
|Light Tanks and Tankettes||7TP • AMR-35 • BT-42 • Crusader • CV L3/33 • FT-17 • Harry Hopkins • M22 Locust • M24 Chaffee • Mark VI • Panzerkampfwagen II • Panzer 38(t) • R35 • T-70 • Tetrarch • TK Tankette • Type 95 Ha-Go • Type 97 Te-Ke|
|Medium Tanks||Centurion Mark I • Panzerkampfwagen III • Panzerkampfwagen IV • Panzerkampfwagen V "Panther" • M3 Lee • M4 Sherman • M13/40 • Matilda II • Carro Armato P26/40 • Somua S35 • T-34 • T-44 • Type 89 I-Go/Chi-Ro • Type 3 Chi-Nu • Type 97 Chi-Ha|
|Heavy Tanks||ARL 44 • Renault B1 Bis • Black Prince • Churchill Mark VII • IS-2 • KV-2 • M26 Pershing • Carro Armato P26/40 • Mark IV • Panzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger" • Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B "Tiger II" • Panzerkampfwagen VIII "Maus" • VK45.01 Porsche Tiger|
|Tank Destroyers||Elefant • Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" • Jagdpanzer IV • Jagdpanther • Jagdtiger • Semovente da 75/18 • Sturmgeschütz III • T28 Super Heavy Tank|
|Self-Propelled Artillery||Karl-Gerät Mortar|
|Main Battle Tank||Type 10|