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The M4 Sherman Tank Epic Information Thread.. (work in progress)

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It's interesting what he says about a lot of the running Shermans in collectors hands being Grizzlies.

 

Yeah, I've noticed that too, if its a small hatch M4A1 and running in a collectors hands, there is a very good chance of it being a Grizzly, and I have no idea why. Maybe canada sold a bunch after using them for training?  

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That was a very interesting read, I learned a lot I didn't know about the A57, and got a question about airflow with the different length intake tubing answered. I think they mentioned more ways the motors differed from their car cousin. Was there anything about the GM twin diesel in there? 

 

The pics are all of an early A57 pre water pump and carb changes. 

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That was a very interesting read, I learned a lot I didn't know about the A57, and got a question about airflow with the different length intake tubing answered. I think they mentioned more ways the motors differed from their car cousin. Was there anything about the GM twin diesel in there? 

 

The pics are all of an early A57 pre water pump and carb changes. 

The GM twin diesel was not exotic enough to warrant mention in the book.  The Muliti-bank was the only WW2 tank engine I noticed in the book, but it does mention a few post war tank engines.  The book has a couple pages and a picture of the Mitsubishi 2 stroke diesel used in the Type 74 tank.  Information on that engine in most sources is so limited that I had no idea it was an aircooled engine.  My first thought when I saw a picture of it was that it looked a bit like an AVDS-1790.  

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Ford GAA-

Easily the most understressed and overengineered V-8, ever.

 

DOHC and dual carbs in the early 1940's.

 

How would you go about rebuilding one? Are parts still around, is there someone in the US who specializes in the Ford GAA V8s?

 

Reading through the overhaul manual, it all seems pretty straightforward, just really big. 

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How would you go about rebuilding one? Are parts still around, is there someone in the US who specializes in the Ford GAA V8s?

 

Reading through the overhaul manual, it all seems pretty straightforward, just really big. 

Yes, and Yes.

 

Parts still turn up, and there were some folks dealing with them (Not sure if they still are, the MV community is aging/dying off.).

 

I've only dealt with the carbs and linkage on the GAA, but it was nothing I'd not seen before. Anyone who had the most basic skill with a multicarb engine could have figured it out.

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Yes, and Yes.

 

Parts still turn up, and there were some folks dealing with them (Not sure if they still are, the MV community is aging/dying off.).

 

I've only dealt with the carbs and linkage on the GAA, but it was nothing I'd not seen before. Anyone who had the most basic skill with a multicarb engine could have figured it out.

 

What would you say is the easiest of the Sherman tank motors to keep running now? There are working examples of all of them, though the A57 in working order is the rarest by far, I think there are two running right now. The restoration of one was documented very well here mentioned the scarcity of parts for the A57. I know another M4A4 restoration is going with a GAA conversion, instead of trying to put an A57 together.

 

Working M4A2s with the GM twin diesel are more common, but not that much more common, I know of several runners in the US and at least one in Europe.  The GAA and R975 seem to be the most common. 

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What would you say is the easiest of the Sherman tank motors to keep running now? There are working examples of all of them, though the A57 in working order is the rarest by far, I think there are two running right now. The restoration of one was documented very well here mentioned the scarcity of parts for the A57. I know another M4A4 restoration is going with a GAA conversion, instead of trying to put an A57 together.

 

Working M4A2s with the GM twin diesel are more common, but not that much more common, I know of several runners in the US and at least one in Europe.  The GAA and R975 seem to be the most common. 

 

R975, by far. Scads of parts out there, and they (were) used alongside the Pratt R985 in many A&P schools as a training engine. So you have more than a handful of people who may or may not have an interest in working on armor, who have a really good idea how to keep the 975 ticking, and where to get parts.

 

(An aside, the school I went to had a couple of R1575 Pratts just sitting on pallets covered by old tarps. That's a fairly rare P&W mill, and yet we had TWO. Now think about how many R975's of all flavor are sitting in the backs of barns or old hangars, that while not airworthy, would run just fine in a vehicle application.).

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Latest post. 

 

Post # 68 The Chieftain's Hatch does the M4A1, we review it: A great Hatch!

The video comes in two parts

The subject of the video is  Black Magic, small hatch, late production M4A1 if the turret came on it, though the turret or gun mount could be from other tanks. When it comes to restored tanks, I think being concerned about matching numbers is not a thing that seems to be worried about. This sherman started life as a canadian Grizzly, basically totally the same as an M4A1 with an extra small hatch in the hull floor.

This tank has almost all the quick fix upgrades, the extra armor over the hull ammo boxes but lacks the cheek armor on the turret, and the turret may, I can't tell for sure, have the cast in cheek armor, meaning it almost for sure didn't come on the hull.  It also lacks the armor plates added in front of the driver and co drivers positions, that the Chieftain calls "sheet metal".  It also has some late Sherman stuff, either added by the restorers, or by a depot rebuild later in the tanks life. The spot light, and 'gun crutch', or travel lock as normal people use were not on most small hatch shermans. Also the all around vision cupola would not be found on these tanks during WWII.

The Tom Jentz tangent. 

The Idea that, that the Sherman was no more reliable than any other tank, well, I don't buy it. I like Mr Jentz's work, and to some degree, his books helped inspire this site, since there was so little really detailing info on the Sherman out there, but I don't think he really knows much about the Sherman if he thinks tanks like Panther and Tiger just needed more spare parts to be reliable seems to show he may need to bone up on America's Sherman tank.  The lack of .50 machine gun storage mounts on the back of the turret is interesting, with all the other updates it should have those too.

First: The Chieftain himself has done Hatch posts on reports from the British, about how much more reliable, the M4A4 Sherman was than the Cromwell, even when both had full crews working to keep them running. both tanks were run thousands of miles, something late war German tanks could not do.

Second: In one of his own Hatches talks about the French experience with the mighty panther showed they averaged 150 kilometers per final drive set! Much less if the crew was hard on them.  There was no major automotive component including the oil, that had to be changed every 150 kilometers on any model of Sherman.

Third: This will focus on the Panther, since it was a major part of Germany's late war armored force, and how terrible it was. This tank didn't have just one flaw that should have disqualified it for production it had at least five. It was generally poorly reliable across all it's automotive components, along with the final drive, 2500 kilometers for the motor and 1500 for the trannty were hugely optimistic and most of these tanks broke down and or were destroyed before they had to refuel. You had to take the whole drivers and co drivers compartment apart and the top of the hull off to change a transmission! Don't get me started on the weak turret drive system that Rube Goldberg would have loved.  The  'wonderful' dual torsion bar suspension and interleaved road wheels would cause any maintenance nazi to find the nearest US Line and surrender instead of working on it!

. . .

Another thing to note, you can see the wholes drilled vertically in the suspension bogies, these are the tops of the holes the bolts that hold the suspension caps on go into. They were covered up with body filler by the factory, but on most restored and old Shermans the filler is gone, and they don't fill the holes.

Note: the odd grove in the center of the Hull casting, this wasn't done on all M4A1 tanks, and may have been unique to General Steel casting.

On the problems with the R975, I have not heard of complaints about the engine being easy to blow, and would be very surprised if the throttle wasn't governed to prevent it.  One have to crank the engine before starting, I have it on good authority, that the crew could just start the tank and run it for a few minutes every 45 minutes to an hour to avoid having to hand crank the motor.

Many of units removed the sand shields in ETO to prevent problems with mud.

The Commanders vane site is an early version bolted to a late pad vane site pad. The tank has the early style gunner's periscope.  The gunners periscope is missing the linkage going down to the gun.  The radio looks like a 528.  Note the Armored doors on all the ammo boxes and ready rack. The tank is missing a lot of interior storage, it may have been removed in preparation on shipping the tank out.

I'm not expert, but I think the Chieftain confused a .30 cal ammo bin for the 75mm ammo bin right next to his shoulder for the location of an SCR-506, I just can't see a WWII radio fitting in the tiny box! You can see how sparsely filled the interior is, as issued the tank would be stuffed full of item to help fight it, live with it, or keep it running.  The Chieftain shows just how easy even a small hatch Sherman was to get out of,  the the Loader was still going to have some issues.  I wish he would have tried the belly hatch out, but maybe it's welded shut or something.

He covers the small floor hatch on the Grizzly tanks, and you get a nice shot of the early escape hatch.  They also show the generator mounted on the rear of the transmission in one of the shots, briefly.  You can also see the full turret basket's mesh screening that separated the turret crew from the hull crew. Part of the quick fix was to cut this all out.  I suspect most of the inconsistencies in the tanks details are due to the restoration crew using the Sherman parts they could get their hands on.  Very few people would  even notice or know it had the wrong commanders hatch, or even whole turret.

A note on the tank, it belonged to a the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, a fancy name for the collection of a man named Jacques Littlefield. He had a passion for armored vehicles of all types but really like tanks. He restored many to full functionality, including working main guns and machine guns on some tanks.  Owning a working tank cannon is easier than you would think, and far easier than getting the paperwork approved to own machine guns in California, and Jacques Littlefield did both.  He employed a restoration crew with world class skills and did some amazing restorations, including a Panther A that was impossibly damaged, but still brought back to life.  That Panther was his crowing achievement, and he was a real mover an shaker in the international military vehicle restoration scene, seeing that tank run was one of the last things he achieved, because cancer claimed him shortly after.

The MVTF was supposed to make sure the collection of vehicles, that were a labor of love his whole life, life on when he passed. Unfortunately the location of the MVTF, Portola California, on a large chunk of very private property, with very limited parking really presented some problem.  The collection was used often while it was there by TV productions like Myth Busters, and was a staple for the Wargaming Staff for their productions.  There were other difficulties with the location, and ultimately the collection was donated to the Collings Foundation.  They reportedly decided to keep keep 40 of the most significant vehicles and auction the rest off.  The money from the auction was going to be used to build a facility in Stowe Massachusetts, but due to zoning issues, the permits were not provided, leaving the vehicles they did keep in limbo.

I'm sure the Collings Foundation, a really amazing Charity the keeps many rare WWII aircraft, and cars, including race cars running, has a plan for the rest of the tanks. Their website only lists the Panther in their collection, I hope that doesn't mean they sold the rest when the museum fell through.  That's not a criticism of the CF, they I'm sure know their business far better than I do, and they really are a top notch group of people. Just browse that site to see the airplanes they gotten flying.  The only real B-24 liberator and a working F-4 Phantom are just two of the notable planes!!  If you know anything about aviation, you know just how complicated and expensive keeping an aircraft like a Phantom flying, especially if you don't have the resources of the U.S. Navy or Air Force.

I have to say, this is one of the best Chieftain's hatches they have done. Granted, I'm a tad biased, since it was on the Sherman, well a Grizzly made into a later model small hatch Sherman anyway, and the Chieftain really has gotten pretty good with the Sherman and its sub variants, and even has a book on US WWII TDs on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Plus these c

20170211_105001_zps0qmhpczi.jpg

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More fuel for your Soviet reactions to the Sherman fire, Jeeps. The Sherman was specifically referenced as having an AA machinegun mount worthy of if not imitation, then inspiration. This was in early 1944, too, so the Soviets were well familiar with German cupola-mounted AA machinegun designs.

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1 hour ago, EnsignExpendable said:

More fuel for your Soviet reactions to the Sherman fire, Jeeps. The Sherman was specifically referenced as having an AA machinegun mount worthy of if not imitation, then inspiration. This was in early 1944, too, so the Soviets were well familiar with German cupola-mounted AA machinegun designs.

 

 

Nice!

 

I just a fantastic Wehraboo comment!

Quote

Fat, Stupid, Unreliable, Overly Complicated and Overrated….Probably describes you and your site accurately…As for the bogus claim about the inflated scores of German crews Carius didn’t say they were non existent or to such a point that they were unreliable …And still they were far higher than the allied ones who had air superiority and far larger numbers to begin with…German tanks were developed under bombardment of their factories ,raw materials shortages and technical drawbacks while Soviet and allied tanks especially the American ones were simply mules dedicated to flood enemy territories with obsolete garbage cans that could encircle the enemy and knock him out ..Brilliant…Yes there was much reliability as any retard could build a half ass metal blob that had the technical level of a shovel and bring it into battle and the Soviets build much better examples to this that were also technologically notable especially compared to American junk.
See i did exactly what you did …Easy ….
Anyway i had fun commenting on your site which is going to be left to its obscurity and irrelevance not to mention bias and distortion and misquoting of internationally well accepted facts probably hailed in the future by obese Americans and Sherman nut huggers and antinazi rif raf that will find new advents to channel their frustration about anything that reminds them of their inadequacies ..

Well done old boy …

From an AOL email address no less!

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On 2/15/2017 at 7:34 PM, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

 

 

Nice!

 

I just a fantastic Wehraboo comment!

From an AOL email address no less!

There are very few things on the M4 that cannot be fixed with a crescent wrench, a pair of slip joint pliers, and a flat blade screwdriver.

That, is called "engineering". And at the time the U.S. was making things, there was no equal.

 

As opposed to what Germany offered (and continues to) where you need "WH tool No 1299873422323" to remove the bolt on a MG mount, just because.

 

Edit-

 

Y'know, I spent almost a decade wrenching on Kraut cars. Had a taco wagon the size of a small hatchback full of German tools for said cars.  Of all the Kraut shit I dealt with, the ONLY one I liked was the 912 Porsche.

Because it was simple and elegant.  And for all that, it was  half the "car" the simplest of Japanese imports was.

 

People idolize Kraut tanks, undeservedly. Because they don;t understand them, and only see the facade. . They see them in a vacuum of  single tank Vs tank combat, instead of them being unreliable, absurdly made attempts to counter what their opponents already had. The Czech 38, the T-34 and KV-1, then the M4 Sherman. 

None of their efforts were pioneering save minor factors related to tactical use, rather their major efforts were in "oh dear god how do we keep this thing from killing all of us before we see it or poke a hole in it?"..

It's even worse with their aircraft. Much as I love the Bf 108/Bf 109, that is as a PRIVATE plane. A Taifun is a really wonderful light private plane.  But...

  If I had to take a  bird into combat in WW2, I'd want a fucking F86F. (Or at least a late P-51)...

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