Hobby Master HG4905 USMC M5A1 Stuart Light Tank - "Hothead", 4th Marine Tank Battalion. Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
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 USMC M5A1 Stuart Light Tank, nicknamed "Hothead", that was attached to the 4th Marine Tank Battalion. then deployed to Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, during 1944.
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/4 inches
Release Date: February 2013
Historical Account: "Kwajalein" - The Battle of Kwajalein was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from January 31st - February 3rd, 1944, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Employing the hard-learned lessons of the battle of Tarawa, the United States launched a successful twin assault on the main islands of Kwajalein in the south and Roi-Namur in the north. The Japanese defenders put up a stiff resistance though outnumbered and under-prepared. The determined defense of Roi-Namur left only 51 survivors of an original garrison of 3,500.
For the U.S., the battle represented both the next step in its island-hopping march to Japan and a significant moral victory because it was the first time the U.S. penetrated the "outer ring" of the Japanese Pacific sphere. For the Japanese, the battle represented the failure of the beach-line defense. Japanese defenses became prepared in depth, and the battles of Peleliu, Guam, and the Marianas proved far more costly to the U.S.