The M3 75mm GMC

The M3 75mm GMC

The M3 75mm GMC
The release of Fighting First brought the Americans to Mid War with a bang - a Sherman sized bang that is!

Even with all the options available Daniel (a veteran Flames Of War gamer) was still keen to run his old M3 75mm GMCs as part of his Fighting First army and came up with a cunning plan. We will let him tell the rest of the story...

You can find the M3 75mm GMC Spotlight here...

Dan's M3 75mm GMC Formation
with Daniel Linder

I saw that in the new Fighting First book that the M3 75mm GMC (Gun, Motor Carriage) tank destroyer was missing while I understand their reasons for not including it I wanted to create an unofficial card for my own games.

The Allies have the fascists on the run in North Africa, but the fight is not over yet. The United States is the newest army to enter the war. They boast some of the best tanks in the world, backed up by well-equipped infantry, either marching to battle on foot or riding in half-tracks, and the latest deadly tank destroyers. Their troops are inexperienced, but they have trained hard and are eager to prove themselves. They will need to learn quickly, as they face a cunning and battle-hardened enemy.

Click here to find out more about Fighting First...

Fighting First: US Forces In North Africa 1942-43 

Developed after the fall of France the M3 75mm GMC was armed with an older French designed M1897A5 Artillery piece. This weapon was available in numbers as the US Army had upgraded their artillery pieces to the 105mm M1. The 75mm gun was then combined with the standard M3 half track to form the M3 75mm GMC.

Originally used in the Pacific theater and later in the Allied invasion of Sicily the M3 75mm GMC saw it’s majority of combat in North Africa. The M3 75mm GMC was designed to be used in mass, taking advantage of ambush positions to stop massed tank attacks. Instead they were mostly used in platoon-sized units, getting caught up in the retreats and defeats in the battle of Kasserine Pass and Sidi Bou Zid.Later when used in the Battle of El Guettar, a whole battalion of M3 75mm GMCs attacking from an ambush position were able to deliver devastating damage, accounting for 30 Panzers (and allegedly 2 Tigers) for the loss of 21 M3 75mm GMCs.

Each tank destroyer battalion was initially equipped with 24 half-tracked M3 75mm GMCs and 12 truck-mounted M6 37mm GMCs (later replaced with 12 more M3s), with three companies, each set up in roughly the same manner as later M10 tank destroyer companies. So with this knowledge I’m going to first look making the card for the M3, and then designing a formation for it following along the same lines as the M10 Tank Destroyer Company on page 41 of Fighting First.

Making a Unit Card

Having a look at the movement rate and armour of a similar vehicle, the T30 75mm Assault Gun I decided that I would use its card as the basis for the vehicle itself. Whilst the gun is bigger on the M3 75mm GMC, this didn’t appear to impede movement or increase chances of being bogged down. The next part was the armament. Although this is a tank destroyer, the weapon it’s using is fairly old. That is why I’ve rated it the same as a short 75mm on the M3 Lee tank. With the physical stuff out of the way, I used the M10 3-inch Tank Destroyer for the Motivation, Skill, and Is Hit On ratings. I figure that it’s a tank destroyer, so the crews should be pretty much the same.

Now points wise, I’ve had to work out something that is not as good as an M10 (at 8 points a piece) but much better than the T30 (at a point a piece). After a few games, I figure that it’s a little more dangerous than an M3 Stuart (at 2 points a piece). Using that, I arrived at 10 points for 4 and 5 Points for 2. So, it’s not as well protected as an M10 and it lacks the punch of the 3-inch gun, but it is cheap, and because of that there is room for more options when list building.

I’ve mocked up a card (right) and it’ll need a bit more play testing (and the card prettied up), but I think it’s about right.

The M3 75mm GMC
The M3 75mm GMC Making the Formation

The formation itself is mostly unchanged from the M10 tank destroyer formation (I’ve left out the M6 37mm GMC option, someone else can write that card!) and displayed it below. You’ll have to excuse my pitiful MS Paint skills.

Now I can field my old M3 75mm GMC with my new Fighting First army!

Since Daniel did all the hard work putting together the stats and points we thought we might put together some cards that he (and you) can download and try out. 

The M3 75mm GMC The M3 75mm GMC
The M3 75mm GMC The M3 75mm GMC

Download the pdf files for the cards here:

Tank Destroyer Company HQ (unofficial) (PDF)...

M3 75mm GMC (unofficial) (PDF)...

Other Community Unit Card...