Forces of Valor 81011 British M3 Grant Medium Tank - 8th Army Tactical HQ, "Monty", North Africa, 1942 (1:32 Scale)
"After [El] Alamein, we never had a defeat."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle. A heavy 75mm gun was housed in a sponson situated on the right hand side of the vehicle while a smaller 37mm gun was placed atop the tank in a separate fully traversible turret. Most military historians view the M3 as a failure because the 75mm gun had a restricted field of fire. In fact, the tank would have to be constantly repositioned so that the gunner could train the gun on enemy targets located on the left hand side of the tank. Finally, the M3's high humpback-like profile and riveted construction made it especially vulnerable to enemy fire.
This particular 1:32 scale replica of a British Grant tank, nicknamed "Monty," served as British 8th Army General Bernard Law Montgomery's command tank during the desert battles of late 1942.
Length: 7.5 inches
Width: 3.38 inches
Height: 3.75 inches
Release Date: September 2005
Historical Account: "Collossus Comes" - When Britain declared war on Germany on September 3rd, 1939, Bernard Law Montgomery was in command of the 3rd Division, which deployed to Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The Germans began their invasion of the Low Countries on May 8th, 1940, and the BEF eventually withdrew to Dunkirk where Operation Dynamo -- the evacuation of the BEF and French forces to Britain -- began on May 26th. Montgomery was placed in command of II Corps during the evacuation and was one of over 330,000 British and French troops that were successfully evacuated from Dunkirk by the time the operation ended on June 4th.
He was promoted to Lieutenant-General shortly after his return to Britain, and, after a number of appointments, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made Montgomery the commander of the British Eighth Army in North Africa during August 1942. He successfully stopped and pushed back German
General Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel, forcing him to retreat from Egypt after the Second Battle of El Alamein.
Under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Montgomery successfully led the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. Montgomery's clash with General George Patton, then commanding officer of the US Seventh Army, was to become legendary, which would haunt the careers of both generals in their ensuing drive across nortwest Europe.
Montgomery continued to command Eighth Army during the landings on the mainland of Italy itself. Shortly thereafter, he was recalled to the UK to take part in planning Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. Montgomery assumed command of 21st Army Group before the Normandy invasion and commanded that formation for the rest of the war in Europe.