World of Tanks. M3 Lee Tank Overview

Uploaded by WorldOfTanksCom on 25.12.2012

Today we will talk about the extraordinary U.S. Tier 4 Medium Tank, the M3 Lee.
This tank received its name in honor of the American Civil War General, Robert E. Lee. It was designed in 1940 and was produced until 1942.
Different versions of this armored vehicle were supplied to Great Britain and the USSR under the Lend-Lease program.
So don’t be surprised if you meet an M3 Lee in the game carrying Soviet colors and a red star; it's not a glitch.
This product of the American military industry was given the nickname BM-6 (Bee Em six) - meaning “mass grave for six brothers” - in Russian by Soviet soldiers.
And many World of Tanks players can understand this nickname. Why? Most likely because the M3 Lee is perhaps one of the most controversial tanks in the game. Let's
have look at its in-game incarnation in more detail.
What`s so unusual about the M3 Lee that causes so much rage on its account from so many players?
It's simple - this tank has no turret. Rather, in fact it has one, and you can see it on the model, but that turret is of no practical use, at the moment, and quite the contrary -
it is a weak spot.
This turret has a 37-mm tank gun mounted, and is topped with a commander's cupola armed with a machinegun, but the main armament of the tank is its 75-mm cannon,
located in a sponson at the right front of the hull.
According to the game’s mechanics, currently each tank can only fire from one gun, which in this case is the hull-mounted 75 mm rapid-fire gun. This was done for good
reason. It is much more powerful than the 37-mm gun, which is already well known to us from the M2 medium tank.
The main problem for players trying to level this tank is that there is nothing similar to the M3 in the American medium tank branch in the matter of armament location
before it or after it.
The M3 Lee is the only U.S. tank with its main weapon mounted in the hull, not including artillery and tank destroyers, so it’s play style is closer to that of the American
tank destroyers (the ones with no turret) than the style of the medium tanks.
The M3 Lee is a tier 4 on the American research tree and it is available immediately after the M2 MT (Em two Em Tee). Moreover, development for this tank is quite
diverse - you can research the next medium tank, a heavy tank, or even move onto the artillery branch, researching the M7 Priest.
The research tree for the M3 Lee is meager. You can only research a new suspension, a cannon, an engine, and two types of radios.
I recommend you start with the suspension, as with the lack of a rotating turret an increase in the vehicle’s traverse speed by 3 degrees will be useful.
Next is the cannon that is similar to the stock one, but which has a better rate of fire, accuracy, and armor penetration, though it is somewhat inferior in aiming speed.
Don’t rush the engine research, because an increase of 40 horsepower does almost nothing for the 28 ton tank`s acceleration.
The last thing in your research should be the radio, a Tier 9 item costing 5600 experience points, which will continue to be used on many American vehicles of higher tiers.
When you have an opportunity to install additional modules, you should start with a medium-caliber tank gun rammer to increase your damage per minute, which is
already quite good for its Tier.
Then you can install a binocular telescope or coated optics to increase the modest view range of 320 meters, which is standard on the M3 Lee.
As a third module, you can use a camouflage net or improved ventilation. The net will help you more effectively hide and fire from concealment when in higher Tier battle,
and the ventilation improves the tank`s performance in general.
As for crew leveling, your options are many - we will try to choose the best, based on the possible tactical employment of this tank.
The crew consists of 6 soldiers: a commander, two gunners, a driver, a radio operator, and a loader. Despite its apparent usefulness, leveling camouflage skill is not
necessary, as the huge size of the M3 Lee is not easy to hide.
The commander should learn the ability "Mentor" to accelerate the general leveling of the crew, and after this study " Sixth Sense" to know when your tank spotted. The
third skill to learn is "Recon" to increase your view range.
The driver should definitely learn the "Clutch Braking" skill, which in the absence of the turret will help the tank turn faster. The second skill to get is "Preventative
Maintenance" to reduce the chance of fire, and the third is "Off-Road Driving", increasing maneuverability even more.
Gunners should learn "Deadeye", "Designated Target" and "Armorer," as well as "Snap Shot", which will work for the M3 Lee in the same way it does for TDs.
The loader can learn "Safe Stowage", "Intuition", and "Adrenaline Rush." And the radio operator should take "Situational Awareness" to increase view range, and "Signal
Boosting" and "Relaying" to help allies with weaker radios.
Instead of one of the previous skills, crewmembers can learn the "Brothers in Arms" perk, but it’s only valuable if all of the crew has it maxed out.
The “Repair” skill is not very useful with this tank, since usually any serious equipment damage means that the battle is over for you.
If we compare the M3 Lee with the same Tier tanks of other nations, the tank looks good. Decent front armor, for a Tier 4, a great cannon with high armor penetration,
good accuracy, and the highest damage per minute at this level of development.
However, the tank’s mobility and speed are not outstanding. In these areas the M3 Lee only surpasses the AMX 40 (Ay Em Eks forty) and Matilda Mk. II (Matilda Mark
two). The angles of the armor could be better, so ricochets won’t happen very often.
How does this affect gameplay? Very seriously. In fact, the absence of the turret, combined with a serious gun and mediocre speed basically turn the M3 Lee into a TD.
It’s for this reason that combat tactics for this tank are so different from the tactics of other medium tanks.
M3 Lee tactics vary greatly, depending on its position in the list of combatants.
If you are lucky to appear at the top, then this will bring you the best results and the most enjoyment. In Tier 4 battles, the M3 Lee shows itself to be good tank of the first order.
Its frontal armor can easily withstand damage from small-caliber guns, it has a high rate of fire, and the penetration of the cannon is more than enough to punch through
enemy tanks of this Tier, which lets you push through the enemy defenses with ease.
However, you should watch out for opponents that might flank you or get behind you, since you have much thinner armor there. It’s better to travel in the company of
several teammates who can cover your flanks.
The main danger comes from fast tanks Tiers 3 and 4, such as the German PzKpfw III, or the Soviet T-50, A-20 and T-28, which may give you a shock by appearing
behind you or at your side, where your armor is not as strong as in front.
Although running around this American tank is not an easy task, thanks to a fairly good traverse rate, you should still be aware of the situation on your flanks in order to
avoid unpleasant surprises.
When appearing in the middle of the list, the M3 Lee can serve as support, by staying behind attacking higher-Tier teammates or stalking from a secluded bush to play
sniper; but you should choose a big bush, because the silhouette of the tank is very large.
Don’t forget that at this tier of battle you can die after 2 or 3 hits, or even from one precise shell sent by Finger of God - the artillery.
Against the SPGs you can’t rely on your armor thickness. In general, do not push ahead, do not stick out particularly, shoot to kill, and you will stay safe and sound.
And finally, what do you do when your M3 Lee is at the bottom of the list? The answer is simple - try not to die and don’t get involved in higher-tier tank fights.
The thing is that in high tier battles the combat value of this tank is next to nothing. It`s lack of maneuverability and speed prevents it from doing scout work. Its low view
range also prevents passive spotting.
It is completely stupid to rush the enemy, for the M3 will blow up after 1 or 2 taken shots at higher Tiers, which will come swiftly as soon as the enemy sees an easy and desirable kill.
At this point you can damage enemies only by aiming at their weak spots or using high-explosive shells from the 75mm cannon, which are not very powerful.
What can be said about this tank as a result? It is really unusual.
Some players blame it for all the problems in their lives while others understand its pros and cons and manage to get some genuine pleasure driving the M3.
Since the M3 Lee is a kind of a crossroad on the tree of American technology and allows you to explore the next medium and heavy tanks or even SPGs, you will have to
try to get some pleasure out of it while gathering enough experience to research your next vehicles.
It isn’t easy getting used to driving this tank at first, but this experience is valuable if you decide to start driving TDs.
The fact that this tank was relieved of one of the key features of medium tanks – its rotating turret – will make no difference to anyone.
You will remember this “headless horseman” tank, maybe not necessarily in a positive way, but you will remember it! �