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Sherman BARV questions

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Hi All,


Have spent the afternoon flicking threw books and found a picture of the Sherman barv and it got me thinking.

now were these built solely for the British sectors of the D-day landing, as 60 were built specially for the D-day landing so providing they all made it there would this not have been a vast amount of them all in a limited space. If so how comes there are next to no images of them, and what happened to them after the landings were over?

Next...as far as im aware there are only 5 surviving....there's the one in the D-day museum,reme museum,a museum in India also cadmans and lastly the one pulled of the ranges in bovington......are there any more that exsit on ranges or in any other collections in the world?

Lastly.....having never seen the interior of one and providing one of you have, are they literally just m4a2 Sherman's without turrets, that being the case what does the commander stand on as he is rather high up.


hope these arnt stupid questions.....


all the best Kyle....."buster"

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Those are all very good questions !


The BARV was as you say a stripped out M4A2 with almost nothing inside it. The commander had a sub floor to stand on with a ladder down to the actual floor of the hull, all built rather in the style of a ship's engine room. The homelite aux gen was retained as was the fire extinguisher system and of course the propeller shaft ran down the centre of the floor in its tunnel but virtually nothing else remained. The openings for the hull hatches and the vast majority of the turret ring seat (could be all of it but its a long time since I was in one) were there but with little armour glass windows fitted in front of the driver and co driver (no hull m/g) so that they had some idea where they were. However the view was a bit like looking through a key hole.


I do not know of any others than your list but one other one was extracted from Pounds yard in Portsmouth and rather crudely converted back to a tank about thirty years ago. This spent some time as a gate guard in the Channel islands before coming back to the mainland and being rebuilt again as a gun tank by Carl Brown. This time it was done much more convincingly with the correct turret and the remains of the BARV welding ground off propperly (a huge job).


As you say, if 60 were built and only used on the British beaches it would have been a bit crowded and they would have shown up in photos more than they do. I can not agree or disagree with the figure of 60 but it does seem a bit high, I would have guessed that ten or fifteen would have been the likely need. Can anyone else add anything to this question?


As for disposal, the Bovy one and the Cadmans one were both in Pounds yard 30 years ago with the one I refer to above. There may have been more cut up by Pounds before then but I saw no sign of them. Also I have never seen remains on a range other than the ex Pounds, now Bovy one which was put onto Salisbury Plain relatively recently. However don't forget that after the war there were fields full of Shermans cut up where they stood with no attempt to salvage parts at all. There was simply no demand for that many tanks.



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Many thanks for the reply. full of great info and it is really much appreciated.

so you say everything was stripped out im guessing that made it all rather roomy in there then, as threw what you say there was no under floor lockers either then.....!!!!


I know what one you are talking about that was restored by carl......it is indeed to a very high standard.


one other question would be....how comes the back superstructure bit was angled out and not just a flat sheet of steel. was there any benefit to it being the way it was?


do you have any pics of the barvs in pounds?



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As Adrian says, the cylinder is the recoil mechanism from a 6pdr AT gun (not the AFV mount). Recovery at sea is much harder than on land and it ment that you didn't have to be so carefull to take up the slack gently. Also the flared shape of the superstructure was so that a wave hitting the upper section would be deflected away rather than just flowing up the sloping side and onto the top where the hatch and air vents were.



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A bit more about the 6pdr recoil cylinder: there is a big clevis mounted on the piston rod which would normaly be connected to the breach ring of the gun. This faces the front of the tank and a tow rope is fed through the ring that is welded to the top of the original hull to the left of the driver's hatch and connected to the clevis. Thus the BARV can drive up to the casualty, hook on and then tow in reverse without having to turn round in the sea. Also the driver will have some direct sight of what is going on which makes things easier.


Stowage: I have no idea what the hooks on the back are for. They have clamps to retain whatever is stowed there but are the wrong shape for anything that I can think of. The track spanner hangs almost verticaly from the piece of pipe welded on high up and about a foot to the left of centre. To either side of the exhaust vent on the roof of the engine cover there are clamps for hollybone (V shaped) drawbars and pieces of round bar forward of the clamps to drop the ring at the apex of the V over. The round bar on the RH side is further forward than the LH one because longer hollybones were used with British tanks and shorter ones with Shermans. This was because the towing eyes on Shermans are closer to each other. Connecting up a hollybone in the sea would be almost impossible but it may be that once recovered to the beach the BARV was expected to be able to take the casualty further.


If you search for Sherman BARV on YouTube there is a REME film about their use but I think that it was made post war.



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