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In the build-up to entering the war, US Army planners knew they would need a 75mm-armed tank to overcome the latest German panzers. Of the proposed designs which could be produced quickly, none had a turret big enough to hold a 75mm gun.
As a temporary solution, the hull of a pre-war M2A1 medium tank was modified to take a short M2 75mm gun in a limited traverse sponson in the right front of the hull, while retaining a 37mm gun in the turret.
This odd, ungainly vehicle was far from perfect, but it was nevertheless an effective tank that filled a much-needed role at a crucial time.
Later production runs of the M3 Lee replaced its M2 75mm gun with the longer-barrelled M3 75mm - the same as the weapon in the M4 Sherman. Both guns fire the same ammunition, but the extra 68cm (26-inch) length gives the M3 a higher muzzle velocity, making it a more effective tank killer.
As new tanks are issued to replace those lost in combat, it is not unusual to see a mix of tanks armed with short and long guns fighting together in the same platoon.
Please note: Miniatures are supplied unpainted and some assembly will be required.
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