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Apr 13, 2013

Buff My Tank: M3 Lee (Speed Demon?)

Author: Priory_of_Sion

The infamous tier 4 US, the M3 Lee has a reputation of being one of the worst vehicles in WoT. I personally feel the Lee is a little misunderstood but it does need a buff.

So what can be done to the M3 Lee to make it a little more enjoyable? WG could fiddle around with the camo rating, accuraccy, and other game balancing stats. Here I am looking for more experimental upgrades.

A common suggestion is for use of the 37 mm gun. I don't think this would help a great deal. IRL the 75 mm gun was a better AT weapon(with AP rounds) and the 37 mm wouldn't be worth using most of the time. The 75 mm on the Lee is a good weapon in game anyway. IRL the M3 Lee never mounted or was proposed with a more powerful gun than the M3 75 mm gun. So we will have to look elsewhere for our upgrade.

The US did experiment with a very powerful engine with the Lee. The M3 Lee's mobility isn't the greatest but IRL the Lee was a testbed for a 560 hp engine, the Lycoming T1300 engine. The Hp/t ration should be a very good ~ 20 Hp/t.
This engine was mounted in the M3A1 #1986 which was renamed the M3A1E1 in Feb. 1942.

The Lycoming T1300 allowed the M3 Lee to reach speeds up to 65 km/h according to unofficial reports. I would suggest WG to look into mounting the Lycoming engine in the M3 Lee. This upgrade should help make up for the lack of a turret and would allow the Lee to get into better ambush positions to allow full usage of the awesome DPM.

Sherman: History of the American Medium Tank by R. P. Hunnicutt.

Edited in by Silentstalker (sorry, couldn't resist):


  1. "Ambush positions"
    Too bad its as tall as a mountain. It was a failure IRL and is in wot too. But at-least it leads up to two awesome lines.

    1. It sure failed in north africa...

    2. It was a placeholder design developed hastily off the even worse M2 Medium so as to put a proper 75mm gun onto the field while the Sherman was still in the pipeline. In North Africa it was substantially enough better than the British stuff (which is saying something...) to, AFAIK, rank as a priority target for the Germans and something meriting the committing of their sparse Pz IV Ausf. F's when encountered. (Conversely the latter were apparently a priority target for Allied artillery and close-support planes and relatively easy to identify due to the distinctive dust cloud the muzzle brake of the long 7,5cm kicked up.)

      That's pretty good for what amounts to an emergency improvisation I'd say.

  2. The speed is not really important for a Lee, you are not gonna scout with it. But turn rate is as the gun is fixed. A better engine could boost brawling efficiency. Not a bad idea at all.

  3. You can always do a Soviet field modification and replace the useless turret with an armour plate, making it less huge.

    Or fit 16 guys inside and classify it as an APC.

  4. increase the view range.... Thats my vote

    1. Agreed. Compensate for the lack of a usable turret with better view range.

  5. If it were given a better engine and allowed to use both the 37mm turret and the hull gun, the Lee would be a demonic spider of a tank. Easily shred anything below its tier, and with the extra speed would be a tremendous flanker.

  6. Am I the only one who noticed that the m3lee's turret is the same as the M7 medium's stock turret... which can mount a 6 pounder gun.

    Wouldn't the lee also be able to mount that gun but with decreased RoF to ballance it for t4

    1. That is for game balance. That turret was never planned with anything more than a 37 mm gun. The 6 Pounder was to be mounted on the T7E2's turret which is the elite M7 turret ingame.

  7. I have always been amazed by all the Lee-bashing: if you play it as what it practically is, a TD, you can have great fun with it. The gun is powerful, the mobility decent and the accuracy also ok, so just follow the push and blast away. In low tiers you can even lead the pack if you assume an "assault gun" mentality. Sure, you can't hide it in a bush, but not all TDs can, either.

    I will never sell it: 145 battles, 66% winrate. :D

    1. I have 67% winrate on this tank, too. This monster of a tank makes 2200 damage per minute. Like SU100m1. But su100m1 is tier 7.

  8. The Lee with 20HP/t would be far to much and easily OP. The Lee is as you put it, misunderstood, not underpowered.

    Interesting post, but most people agree that the Lee would Benefit greatly from using BOTH the guns.

  9. Better give him the 75mm M6, it have little bit more Penetration, a lower penetration-lose on the distance, better aimingtime, higher Shellspeed, and is ligther (better stabilization)

    The biggest Problem from the 75mm M3 is the low Shell-Speed and the high penetration-lose on the distance. And the really high Aimingspeed (2.1s wtf)

    And add the 75mm Spalliner-Gunshield like the T10 Shop tractor
    (So you have a better proction in a Sidedown-Place)
    Other picture

    Give him as Topengine the GMC 6046, only 420PS, but lower Chance of Fire. Set the Topspeed on the Originaly 40-42km/h (or 48km/h with the A-57 Crysler Engine)
    For what a 560PS Engine? (you can only install the T1300 Lycoming engine, when you remove the back- and enginetop-armor.)

    Add the 86mm Gunmantel from the 37mm on the Turret. (is ingame only 51mm)

    And at least, add the missing 40hp (didnt know why he has only 310HP, and other Mediums has 350-370HP)

    mfg Kolaski (the addicted M3 Lee player. Have now over 2700 Battles on this tank :P)

  10. > Sources:
    Sherman: History of the American Heavy Tank by R. P. Hunnicutt.

    Sherman? Heavy Tank?

  11. I was hoping you would say something about the planned multi-turret compatibility. Still a nice article. The Lee is pretty reasonable once you get in to the tank destroyer mentality.


  12. The 37mm M3 can work awesomely with Littlejohn adapter

    “In 1942 US Ordnance tested the Littlejohn adaptor in an attempt to develop a taper bore adaptor for the 37 mm Gun M3.”


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