Hobby Master HG4904 Free French M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - 1st Squadron, 2nd Regiment. "Chasseurs d'Afrique", 1st Armored Division, Rhine Crossing, April 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost."
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch
The M5 Stuart light tank made its debut in the invasion of Casablanca in French North Africa. By 1943, and at the time of the invasion of Sicily, the upgraded M5A1 was becoming the standard light tank of the American armored divisions. Because of its limited firepower, the M5A1 eventually took on reconnaissance and escort duties in Italy and, after the invasion of Normandy, throughout Europe. In the Pacific theater, the M5A1 made its debut at Roi-Namur in February 1944 and on Saipan later that year. The M5A1 was quite effective against most Japanese armor, even the Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank typically used in the Pacific theater. The 37mm main gun, although obsolete in Europe, was found to be effective against lightly skinned Japanese targets. Consequently, many other vehicles carrying the 37mm gun, such as the M8 armored car and M3 anti-tank gun, were retained and used in the Pacific theater.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Free French M5A1 Stuart Light Tank that was attached to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Regiment. "Chasseurs d'Afrique", 1st Armored Division, then participating the Rhine River Crossing, during April 1945.
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: March 2012
Historical Account: "The Army of Africa" - The Chasseurs d'Afrique (literally Huntsmen of Africa) were a light cavalry corps in the French Arme d'Afrique (Army of Africa). First raised in the 1830s from regular French cavalry posted to Algeria, they numbered five regiments by World War II. For most of their history they were recruited from either French volunteers or French settlers in North Africa doing their military service. As such they were the mounted equivalent of the French Zouave infantry. The other major cavalry element in the Armee d'Afrique were the Spahis, recruited from the indigenous peoples of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco with mostly French officers.