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DogDodger last won the day on March 11 2017

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  1. I'd guess Lima Locomotive Works, which was the first factory in production in February 1942. The fixed hull MGs were eliminated in March 1942. Pacific Car and Foundry didn't begin production until May, and their first production tanks had the holes for these MGs welded shut. Pressed Steel Car Co. began production in March and its earliest tanks had the bow MG holes, but their early tanks also featured riveted lower hulls, which it looks like this tank lacks. Also, assembling tanks in a vest, tie, and fedora is classy as a sonofagun.
  2. Well this is interesting. Perhaps D51045 is a subcomponent of the turret hatch assembly rather than the part number for the entire assembly itself. SNL G-104 from 1 August 1945 for the M4, M4A1, and M4(105) does indeed call D51050 the turret hatch race ring for "first type hatch, M4, M4A1." However, what is D51045 in the picture is listed instead as part number D78013: It's tough to tell if the periscope door in your picture is D51027 or D51047, but the latter part number is listed in the M4, M4A1, and M4(105) SNL as "DOOR, turret hatch, w PERISCOPE OPENING (first type hatch)." If we assume that the picture does indeed show D51047, that's a bit of corroborating evidence, and the other door might be 51049. In the first entry on this page of the Sherman Minutia Website, we can see that there was a change introduced to the first split-hatch cupola design that resulted in a physical change to the ring, so maybe the different part numbers are related to this? But bottom line, D51045 doesn't show up in either of the SNLs I have that detail the split-hatch TC's cupola, so this is conjecture on my part at this point. Does it show up in any of your references, Jeeps?
  3. Sorry, Jeeps, I've had it forever and I think the site where I got it has shut down. Back in the day there was a guy, IIRC linked from the AFV News site, who was making copies of manuals and selling them. I forget his name and his site, but he actually did a good job: good quality copies as you can see above, spiral-bound with plastic covers (the thicker ones are three-hole bound, which allows for easy removal and scanning of pages). He had Canadian and British manuals as well.
  4. SNL G-104 for the M4A4 from 29 July 1943 shows a light switch that looks pretty similar: After messing around a bit with the warning plate for the blackout switch, I've come up with Pulling on the switch activated the blackout marker and taillights and blackout stoplight; to get to the second (service headlights and blackout stop light) or third (service stop lights with no other lights) detents you had to press the locking button on the left as you pulled the switch. Not much help, but it may be a start. Edit: The last line may be "1ST STAGE - BLACK-OUT"?
  5. I think the early suspension bogies point to it being an M4A2. The heavy-duty bogies were introduced by summer 1942, and the M4A2 was the only welded-hull tank in production before then. The first M4A3, which was the next welded-hull variant to be introduced, had the heavy-duty bogies.
  6. Ehh, with that resolution and angle I'd (at least) consider it to be pretty difficult, but it looks like it might have air scoops on the rear hull? If so it would probably be an M4. Jeeps?
  7. This by chance? MG Barnes's order posted there notes that "there is a War Department Circular forbidding the use of nicknames in official and technical correspondence. The objective of this order involves public information channels only"
  8. DogDodger

    StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)

  9. Production there continued until the second quarter of 1945 according to Stansell and Laughlin.
  10. DogDodger

    Name that AFV: The New Tank ID thread

    Front sprocket and the driver's on the wrong side, though. Related to the Type 61?
  11. This drawing is pretty mysterious, depending on how specific and accurate we think it might be. The M4A1 drawing features the air scoops/grouser compartments on the rear of the hull and the welded hull does not, which might indicate it's an M4A3 and not an M4 or M4A2. Like Jeeps mentioned, the presence of engine compartment doors would seemingly eliminate the M4A2, but might they be a little wide for an M4A3, since its aperture was constrained by exhaust pipes on either side? Also, the rear hull armor appears to go straight across at the sponson line, which would typically eliminate both the M4A2 and M4A3. So it seems to simultaneously combine and lack features of all the large hatch welded hull tanks?
  12. DogDodger

    StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)

    Exactly, and that's what the writer of that report was trying to get across. He goes on to detail what a PITA it is to have to estimate the radius of the turn "sufficiently far in advance to permit the vehicle's speed to drop low enough so that the desired low gear can be engaged, and has the further disadvantage that the vehicle's forward speed may be slower than is necessary or is desirable." So if you drop a guy into the Panther and send him off in a race, the writer implies there's a good chance he'll take the turns too slowly since he isn't familiar with the steering system. Great report. We always have to be careful in the first place with these types of singleton tests, though, I suppose. In Mr. Churchill's Tank Fletcher details how the British 1st Armoured Division staged a trial between the Churchill and Sherman in December 1943 during which the tanks would "climb a scrub covered slope of average gradient, traverse the side of a hill which was cut up by small wadis and then tackle a very steep hill." The tankers reported that while Churchill could tackle difficult terrain slightly faster, the test was a draw: "There was no obstacle which the Churchill surmounted that proved impossible to the Sherman on the day of the trial." The trial was repeated after a rainstorm, and again the results between the tanks were similar: "Neither the Churchill nor the Sherman managed to get more than one third of the way along the course and both broke tracks when mud got into the drive sprockets and under the tracks." The Sherman reportedly got stuck and towed out of its mire by the Churchill, but the Churchill's final drive broke when driving on the wet plowed ground. Flecther states that driver skill would be more of a factor in mobility than the two tanks themselves. I'd largely agree.
  13. DogDodger

    StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)

    Thanks for the reference; I have that book. Good info, but I felt at times the writing was almost being deliberately padded to meet a word count or something. Anyway, the Greens say that with the 2500 rpm governor the HL230P30 only made 580 hp, which would give us 12.8 hp/ton for the Ausf.G, which is less than the M4A3E8 (which was the Sherman the Panther was compared to during the speed test where the tracks sank 1" into the ground and individual Shermans were faster/slower) but still more than the diesel version. The report the Greens quote about the curvy course had the Panther compared to an M4A1, and the report seems to be blaming the Panther's steering system, not any ground interaction factors per se: "Except for the ability of the tank to make a pivot turn about its own axis, its steering system does not contribute to satisfactory maneuverability and this tank, even though it has a higher top speed than a medium tank M4A1, could not keep up with the medium tank on a course where curves were frequent. It is readily realized that practice in operating these vehicles would contribute greatly to driver skill and, therefore, increased mobility..." The US Army drivers were apparently unused to a steering system where one had to anticipate matching the transmission gear to the radius of the turn, which would add considerable difficulty I would think. The Greens also quote LTC Wilson M. Hawkins from a later report: "It has been claimed that our tank is the more maneuverable. In recent rests we put a captured Mark V against all models of our own. The German tank was the faster, both across country and on the highway and it could make sharper turns. It was also the better hill climber." The Greens conclude: "In the case of the Panther tank, its tactical mobility surpassed the Sherman tank and that of the T-34 tank series." So even with the governed engine the Panther's power:weight doesn't seem too bad, and the comparison with the M4A1 on the curvy course may have been an aberration due to a combination of lack of driver skill and the higher requirements the Panther's designers imposed on its operators?
  14. DogDodger

    StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)

    Is this report available online? Sounds very interesting; thanks! Did the report say the M4A2E8 had a better power to weight ratio than the Panther, though? If we take the 45,400 kg Panther Ausf.G, which is the heaviest, with its 700 hp/1340 lb-ft HL230P30, we get 15.4 hp/29.5 lb-ft per metric ton. I don't have the weight for the M4A2(76)W HVSS handy, but the M4A2(76)W weighed 73,400 lb. If we use the lighter single-pin T66 tracks, HVSS would add 2950 lb, giving us a tank that weighed 76,350 lb, or 34,630 kg. The GM 6046 produced 410 gross hp and 885 gross lb-ft. So the M4A2E8 would make ~11.8 hp and ~25.6 lb-ft per metric ton. Even if we use the lighter and more powerful 74,200 lb (33,700 kg) M4A3(76)W HVSS with its 500 hp/1040 lb-ft GAA, we still only get 14.8 hp per ton, but the torque is a bit higher at 30.9 lb-ft.
  15. DogDodger

    Movie tanks and terrible Vismods

    Wow, training is getting more realistic all the time.