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Adrian Barrell

Identifying Shermans

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That is a brand new custom built lowbed as we call them in Canada, the trucker just picked it up a couple of weeks ago, he has jeeps and boosters to handle right up to Chieftain and possibly more. The tractor is a truck I built myself a couple of years ago to pull my own vehicles around but Brent fell in love with it and had to have it...now he has the trailer to match. The trailer was made locally here by a company called Pacesetter, it set the owner back right around 200k Canadian for trailer only.

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That is a brand new custom built lowbed as we call them in Canada, the trucker just picked it up a couple of weeks ago, he has jeeps and boosters to handle right up to Chieftain and possibly more. The tractor is a truck I built myself a couple of years ago to pull my own vehicles around but Brent fell in love with it and had to have it...now he has the trailer to match. The trailer was made locally here by a company called Pacesetter, it set the owner back right around 200k Canadian for trailer only.

 

Holy cow, it's an awesome trailer, but that's a little more than pocket change! It looks ideal though.

 

Good work on the Sherman!

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It is always nice to see some of your collection even though it is a long way from restored...but still nice having your morning coffee and seeing a tank or two around...instead of hidden under tarps or stacked in 20 different pieces, tanks, even beat up old range tanks just look happier with their tracks on...and yes it is going to get a gun barrel to aid in guard duty

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Just a note to let everyone know, restoration of M4A3E2#73 is slated to begin this July, there will be a dedicated web site and Facebook page to follow the restoration progress.

 

Regards

John

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Hope you dont mind me adding the photos of shermans, the first few photos are of shermans used by the french, one photo of a wartime US army sherman and the 2nd to last photo is of a sherman in british army use, the last photo is of a captured sherman and then recaptured by the us army.

All photos are originals from my collection, i have a few more war time photos if you would like to see them of shermans.

Keith

tank rec french.jpg

tank rec french photo.jpg

tank rec french photo inside .jpg

tank rec french photo inside tank .jpg

us tank.jpg

tank italy British Army.jpg

US 3rd Armd Div. German captured M4 Sherman tank recaptured.jpg

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A few more original photos from my collection.

Keith.

Photo 1 tank in Korea.

Photos 2,3 and taken in Italy.

Photo 4 3rd Div tank salvage yard.

korea 1952 tank tents.jpg

us tank italy ww2 number .jpg

us tank italy ww2usa.jpg

3rd Armed Dive tank salvage yard M4 sherman tanks.jpg

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A few more original ww2 photos from my collection..

Keith

tank sherman stuck in mud.jpg

tank us ww2 photo neg.jpg

Edited by Morris C8

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Nice photo's Keith.

I'd like to see more if you have them.

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A few more, i will try to find my other photos. Here are two more of the french shermans.

Any more info on the type of tanks in the photos would be welcome.

Keith

tank rec french sherman .jpg

tank rec french photos.jpg

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Can anyone explain, or post pics/drawings showing, the differences in the lower hulls between the M4A2 and the M4A3? From what I've been able to ascertain the lower hull were of similar lengths and there was no rear engine access doors on the M4A2.

Can anyone advise if the idlers were mounted differently between the M4A2 and the M4A3? Were there any othe major differences?

 

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Posted (edited)

It has been my experience that the M4A2 and M4A3 hull were virtually identical, lower wise. M4A4 being longer than both. The M4A2 has a dual muffler assembly that bolts to the rear plate and has no opening to access the engine. The bolt on muffler outlets seem to vary a bit, this could be between M10 and M4A2's? Adrian will be able to be definitive. The M4A3 has the engine access door as well as an exhaust outlet on either side of said door. Two cast exhaust outlets usually feeding into an exhaust deflector of some type. But to be fair the M4A2 also had a variety of exhaust deflectors. Checking out the VVSS idlers on the M4A2 and the M4A3, they seem to be the same, even the HVSS idler mounts seem identical, but this is from a quick glance so don't quote me. Check out the Sherman Minutia homepage for great detailed photos of the differences between Sherman variants. http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia

 

John

Edited by jdmcm

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Posted (edited)

John,

 

thanks for the reply mate! Re the lower hull's being almost identical I am coming to the same conclusion but good lord these Sherman variants are confusing! Re the Muffler system I have managed to find a few photographs which give some good views of this area and they are below, but I'd love to see a good drawing/s for this muffler arrangement if anyone has one?

Use of photographs for discussion purposes only.

8xcxHHl.jpg

kAxV6dZ.jpg

These next few images appear to show the same area without the muffler attached and I assume that the welded in blanking plate, is the original exit point for the exhaust system before it joined up with the Mufflers? Or was there something else here?

2vj1z45.jpg

14pV7Vq.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Old Git

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Posted (edited)

Here is a picture of an M4A2 muffler and the rear plate of the M4A2 without the muffler attached. The opening has been masked off to prevent green paint over spray in the engine bay.  Muffler bolts right to the rear hull plate above the pintle hitch. Also a picture of the M4A2 rear idler (HVSS), hope this helps!

 

Regards

JohnIMG_20190402_165627.thumb.jpg.53452fed92cd9af405b053614b1f5a1a.jpgIMG_20190402_165839.thumb.jpg.2fdef432f0dd42ad03f6eb79062042b4.jpgIMG_20190402_165855.thumb.jpg.70e00d4b43aa53b31d39ef8791cf39ee.jpgIMG_20190402_165914.thumb.jpg.1b0edcad4589cf9227b1c3604f473f1d.jpgIMG_20190402_165948.thumb.jpg.4a798f5bbd2f1840b6cc87d5e66bd5be.jpg

Edited by jdmcm

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One thing to note is that VVSS idler brackets are handed so the clamp and spreader bolts are below the centre line. HVSS brackets are both the same so the LH side has the bolts below the centre and the RH bracket has them above it.

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Posted (edited)

John,

thanks for those photos mate, they're fantastic. I've now got a much better idea of this area.

 

Adrian, 

thanks for the tip re the idler brackets. Haven't yet got to the point of trying to understand various types of suspension yet but I think that my second photograph (see above) of the French M4A2 demonstrates your point exactly. Hadn't really noticed that detial until you pointed it out, so thanks a lot for that!

By way of explanation of what I am up to, I am laid up at the moment having lost a fight with a Rotavator hell bent on chopping off my right foot. Put the damn thing in neutral, as I turned it by a stone wall, only for the linkage to skip forward into reverse and the damn thing jumped back on me (why do they always go much faster in reverse). Anyways, it pinned me against the wall, handle under my rib cage and pushing me higher up the wall whilst I tried to keep my feet on the ground and  wrestle it under control, but I'm now too old for that kind of nonsense and it was winning before I realised I was still gripping the dead man's handle too tight. By the time I regained enough sense to hands-off it had my right ankle pinned and was beginning to chew up my boot! Sharp edge of the cover plate did bite into the bone though so  ankle is kind of buggered right now, but will be serviceable again.... if I can be persuaded to stay off it for a bit!! 

So with nothing to do but watch TV (I'd rather cut my wrists) I decided to get down the large 1/6th scale plastic model kit of the Sherman M4A3 that Dragon released a few years back. This thing is bloody huge and I wouldn't have bought it except for the fact that the supplier was selling it off, (on the Net late at night, the bastard) at a ridiculously low price and I had a couple over my regular allotment of vino! It's been laying in the rafters of my Garage for years so now seems the perfect time to tackle it. Of course I don't want a US tank (no offence to the cousins across the pond) I want something that was used by our lot in Normandy, so I'm investigating the possibility of back-porting it to an M4A2.

So far, the lower hull is a straightforward thing to do, with absolutely minimal modding. The upper Hull will require a bit of judicial cutting to remove and replace the Glacis plate and perhaps some of the front deck detail. But that's a relatively easy thing to do...I think. The engine grill on the rear deck needs looking at too but as this is already a separate piece it shouldn't need any cutting of the existing deck plates in this area.

I'm leaning towards the FTA type Hatch hoods as they are squared and easier to fabricate, just need to track down some evidence that these were seen in British use in NW Europe and with which units (I think 8th and 27th Armd Brigade's fielded Sherman III's in NW Europe but need to research that further). If this isn't doable then I'll have to go the more common type Hatch hoods which will require a bit more skill in fabricating!

Outside of that I also need to find evidence of Sherman III's in British service that use the M34A1 Gun mounts for the 75mm and then of course there's the loaders hatch in the Turret to deal with. All-in-all there's a wee bit of work in making it come out as a Sherman III but I don't think any of it is impossible...Just need to finish the research before I can be 100% happy that it's worth doing.

I've been pulling references off the bookshelf and it occurs to me that there isn't a decent reference book for Sherman's in British use. Yes there's a few titles that show pretty pictures but they all seem to avoid trying to identify various Types or variations or going into any kind of serious detail. What we need is a whole new volume, like Son of Sherman, but devoted to Sherman's in British use, it can be called 'Cousin of Sherman' and be the definitive edition. So, when do you think you can make a start on writing it Adrian?

Edited by Old Git

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Sounds nasty, hope you get better soon. I have an old Merry Tiller rotavator but as I have no interest in gardening, I suspect I am fairly safe. As I sometimes say, the only time I have green fingers is when I have been painting parts...

Son of Sherman will give you everything you need and there are plenty of pics on the net of Commonwealth Sherman III. The few books on British use tend to miscaption many of the photos so care is needed.

I'm not sure I'm the man to write a book, I think it's much harder than it looks!

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Thanks Adrian, yeah wasn't a pleasant experience but it just confirmed what I already know to be true, that I'm far to old for heavy lifting and far too young to be gardening! I only get involved in Gardening because the wife talks in her sleep and she tends to say things about me being a lazy arse git and not helping enough in the garden and you know how powerful a motivator guilt can be. if it wasn't for that I'd as soon just ignore the damn thing! The plan was to have most of it laid to lawn with a few beds to keep the old girl distracted...sadly the Rotavator was having none of it that day!

Have a copy of Son of Sherman here and working through it, trying to cherry pick what I need without reading it all from cover to cover, if you know what I mean. Been looking over the TNA archives for Sherman stuff and there are a few files on the subject, with drawings, next time I'm up I shall endeavour to copy a few of them and see what they tell us. 

I've never really tried to bone up on Sherman variants until now and I have total admiration for anyone who has. Just getting a particular type of Sherman down is not enough. I have found a pic on IWM which shows, what appears to my untrained eye, and M4A2 with the type of Hatch hoods, above the Glacis plate, that I am looking for. This tank is clearly in use in NW Europe in 1944...now all I have to do is find a tank with these hoods and a different gun mantlet and so it goes on. Consistency would have been nice, c'est le vie

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=photographs THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORMANDY 1944. © IWM (B 6167) IWM Non Commercial License

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Can anyone idenify a use for these small clips on a direct vision, small hatch Sherman. Locted on the drivers position, but residual weld left on other side suggesting they were present at some time on the hull MGers hatch. I am thinking something to do with a hood or screen. 

thanks,  Perry

IMG_1434.JPG

IMG_1433.JPG

Edited by pkitson

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They are for the T headed clamp bolts that hold the bad weather hood above the hatch. Drivers side only as there was only one hood supplied but possibly added to the other side at some point.

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