Friday, December 26, 2008

The Stuart Hybrid

In June 1942 New Zealand received the first shipment of tanks from the U.S.A.. Known as the Stuart Hybrid these were late model M3 Light tanks which had been fitted with the flat-topped turret intended for the M3A1 Light tank but adapted for use on the M3. After an initial training course at the N.Z.A.F.V. School one was issued to each of the nine Mounted Rifle Regiments and the rest retained at Waiouru. More were received in September and were initially used to replace the Beaverette scout cars in the Mounted Rifle Regiments. Later on in the year these were reorganised and some were converted into armoured regiments with two squadrons of Stuarts and one of Valentines, or recce regiments with one squadron of Stuarts, one of Beaverettes and a motorised infantry company.

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