Image: 37mm M3 Anti-Tank Gun (Library of Congress)
YearAugust 1937
Weapon Type[@type]
Origin & Designer[@designer]
Numbers Produced18.702
CrewCorporal/Squad Leader + .30 M1 Carbine.
Pvt/Gunner + .30 M1 Carbine.
Pvt/Assistant Gunner + .30 M1 Carbine.
2 x Pvts/Ammo Bearers + .30 M1 Carbines.
2 x Pvts/Drivers + .30 M1 Rifles (Towing Vehicles).
Calibre37mm (37x223)
Elevation-10° to +15°
BreechSemi-Automatic/Vertical Block
Gun SightM40
Gun Mount[@gun_mounts]
CarriageM4: Split Trail
Gun Shield6.35mm
Armoured Plate[@armoured_plate]
Barrel Length2.1m (L/57)
Overall Length3.92m
Weight413.68 kg
Round WeightAPC (M51) 1.579 kg.
HE (M63) 1.420 kg.
Muzzle VelocityAPC (M51B) 554 m/s.
HE (M63) 792 m/s.
Magazine Capacity[@magazine_capacity]
Practical Rate of Fire[@practical_rate_of_fire]
Rate of Fire[@rate_of_fire]
Maximum Rate of Fire25 r.p.m.
Maximum Ceiling[@maximum_ceiling]
Maximum Ground Range[@maximum_ground_range]
Maximum RangeAPC: 6.858m
HE: 11.704m
Armour Penetration58mm @ 500m @ 30°
50mm @ 1000m @ 30°
TractionWillys Jeep & Dodge Trucks
NotesIn the 1930s the US army was looking to up-grade their anti-tank units, up to then the standard anti-tank weapon was the .50 cal heavy machine gun and events in the Spanish civil war had given them cause for concern. After evaluating two German 37mm Pak 36s they decided on a similar calibre. After tests with different carriages and guns they finally agreed on the M3 37mm. Standardized in 1940 the M3 became the standard Anti-Tank Gun of the U.S. Ground Forces in the early part of WW2. The gun itself was light in weight and its standard AP round could penetrate around 58mm of armour at a range of 500m. It could also fire HE and canister rounds. In 1942 the Germans began to improve the frontal armour of their mark III and IV tanks, in which the M3 struggled to penetrate, later the heavier Tiger and Panthers would be immune to the M3 and this was highlighted during the Sicilian campaign. By this time the US army had decided to replace the M3 with the 57mm M1. Due to its light weight it was kept in use in the Pacific theatre as an Infantry Gun, and could be useful in firing canister shot to devastating effect to break up Japanese Infantry attacks.