M3 Scout Car of World War Two, 1939-45

M3A1 Scout Car

The M3 Scout Car was designed and manufactured by the American White Motor Company in 1938 to serve as an armoured reconnaissance vehicle, command car, ambulance, and gun tractor. The first 64 production vehicles underwent field trials with the 7th Cavalry Brigade, and in 1941 the US Army adopted the improved M3A1 Scout Car which had a larger crew compartment. The M3A1 Scout Car transported seven infantrymen, and it had three machine guns to provide fire support. From 1941 to 1945 a total of 20,918 M3 Scout Cars were produced for the army. From 1940, the armoured superstructure of the M3 Scout Car was used to build M3 Half-Track Personnel Carriers.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • M3 Scout Car, 1:72 ESCI 8356
  • M3 Scout Car & Crew, 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/165
  • M3 Scout Car, 1:300 Heroics & Ros US13

Technical Specifications

  • M3A1 Scout Car
  • Engine: Hercules JXD 6-cylinder Petrol Engine with 81 kw (110 PS)
  • Speed: 81 km/h
  • Cruising Range: 403 km
  • Wheelbase:
  • Length: 5630 mm
  • Width: 2100 mm
  • Height: 2000 mm
  • Weight: 5670 kg
  • Armament: .50 Caliber M2 Browning Machine Gun
    and one or two .30 cal M1919.A4 Browning MMG
  • Crew: Driver and seven Infantrymen

Historical Employment

  • Belgian Army
  • Brazilian Army
  • British Army, 1943–1945
  • Chilean Army
  • Columbian Army
  • Dominican Army
  • French Army
  • Cambodian Army
  • Laotian Army
  • Philippine Army
  • Polish Army
  • Portuguese Army
  • Soviet Army, 1943–1947
  • South Vietnamese Army
  • Israel Defence Force, 1948 –
  • Armée du Liban-Sud (ALS), 1982-1984
  • Czechoslovak Army
  • US Army, 1941–1945

Possible Conversions

  • M3 Scout Car, 1938
  • M3A1 Scout Car, 1941
  • M3A1 Command Car with improved armour, 1943
  • M3A1E1 Scout Car with Buda diesel engine
  • M3A1E2 Scout Car with armoured roof
  • M3A1E3 Scout Car with 37 mm M3 gun

By 1942, the US Army considered the M3A1 Scout Car to be obsolete, and began replacing the vehicle with the M20 Armoured Car. After World War Two, many M3A1 Scout Cars were sold to Latin American and South East Asian countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

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US Army Miniatures of World War Two