The light M5 Stuart remained in use as a main battle tank for much longer in the Pacific than in other theaters. It was better than the Japanese Type 95 Ha-go light tank. The Type 97 Chi-ha medium tank had a more powerful 47mm gun, but much thinner armor (only 25mm at its thickest), so the M5 and M5A1 could fight it on at least equal terms.
Being outfitted with a Ronson flamethrower which replaced the main gun. 20 tanks were converted for US Marine Corps in 1943. They were used to great effect on Japanese strong points and caves that proved a tough nut to crack for the advancing Marines.
In Europe, Allied light tanks had to be given cavalry and infantry fire support roles since their main cannon armament could not compete with heavier enemy armored fighting vehicles. However, the Stuart was still effective in combat in the Pacific…
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