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


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1 minute ago, Ramlaen said:

The classified argument doesn't make any sense even without taking into consideration it being right there in the manuals.

 

Why spend the time and money building tens(?) of thousands of the stabilizers just to not let tankers actually use them?

Read the section in that manual.  Setting it up is pretty damned simple as well. 

Maybe 10~15 minutes would dial it in to "better than nothing".  Another 15 would have the gunner going "Damn, I'm good!".

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(M4A3E8, ultimate production Sherman) This is a work in progress, please feel free to comment, or help me with info and links.     Click here to see the new The Sherman Tank Websit

Hey guys, here's the first part of my new section in the Sherman doc, on Marine use of the Sherman.    I'm going to update the main post tonight. I've update every section in the doc with more info

One thing I noticed from talking to my own Grandpa who was an aircraft mechanic on a carrier in the Pacific, when I'd ask him about what kinda planes he worked on etc he'd always say oh that was a long time ago I don't remember the designations now...

 

The man kept a few foot lockers with I swear to god every manual he could get his hands on very carefully stored in his closet and his navy service paperwork locked in a drawer in his desk.

 

For some reason he'd tell you little things here and there but not go into detail.

 

And just by having known him and done untold hundreds of projects with him I can safely say he very likely still could have worked on those airplanes without much needing to even consult all those manuals he meticulously saved.

 

The one thing he would share though is that they believed in what they were doing and did everything they could to do their jobs to the absolute best of their abilities.

 

I can't really imagine that people with this kind of attitude would not use such a potentially valuable device, but I can fully see them for whatever reason not talking about it years or decades later to historians etc.

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41 minutes ago, Ramlaen said:

The classified argument doesn't make any sense even without taking into consideration it being right there in the manuals.

 

Why spend the time and money building tens(?) of thousands of the stabilizers just to not let tankers actually use them?

 

 

Right, it straight up makes no sense, especially considering when used it gave the crew a chance to get a shot off very fast after stopping, a big advantage. Not to mention making the Co-ax machine gun much more useful on the move. Plus we sent Shermans with the full stabilizer setup to the Soviets!

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2 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

The Stabilizer question: Is it a myth it was not used very often?

 

 

What do you guys think?

 

I think it's not a myth, and classification apparently had little to do with it. Green, Thomson, and Roots, in The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for War (first published in 1955): "...reports from overseas indicated limited use of the gyrostabilizer in combat. In 1943 an officer returned from the fighting in Sicily stated that despite very careful maintenance no one used the gyrostabilizer to good advantage. He believed that it had possibilities only if it were simplified and if extensive training were given the troops on its operation. All told, he thought gyrostabilizers not worth the effort to put them in tanks; accuracy of fire was so important that tank crews preferred to halt before firing. Again, a report on the ETO in late 1944 stated, 'experience has proven that tank crews have no faith in gyrostabilizers and will not use them. No amount of training seems to  convince the tank crews of the value of firing while moving. The gyrostabilizer is an expensive piece of tank equipment never used, and it could be left out of tanks scheduled for theaters of operations.'  Consistent evidence in the same tenor finally moved Ordnance to recommend the abandonment of stabilizers, a step that would have permitted a reduction of both maintenance time and expense. But that recommendation was disapproved, and the stabilizer remained. Intensive training of troops in its use made its mark at the very end of the war. In mid-August 1945 AGF reported, 'many tank battalions are using gyrostabilizers extensively.'"

 

More authoritatively, from the Tank Gunnery report of the General Board, United States Forces, European Theater:

"99. Gyro-stabilization.

     "a. Although a few units reported extensive and effective use of the gyro-stabilizer, on the whole, it received only limited employment. It is believed this was due to the following reasons:

          "(1) Lack of familiarity and confidence,

          "(2) Many units had received their training on the old stabilizer which was much less efficient.

     "b. Most interviewees stated there were occasions when they would have used a stabilizer in which they had confidence. Only a few felt that future development should be discontinued..."

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5 minutes ago, DogDodger said:

 

I think it's not a myth, and classification apparently had little to do with it. Green, Thomson, and Roots, in The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for War (first published in 1955): "...reports from overseas indicated limited use of the gyrostabilizer in combat. In 1943 an officer returned from the fighting in Sicily stated that despite very careful maintenance no one used the gyrostabilizer to good advantage. He believed that it had possibilities only if it were simplified and if extensive training were given the troops on its operation. All told, he thought gyrostabilizers not worth the effort to put them in tanks; accuracy of fire was so important that tank crews preferred to halt before firing. Again, a report on the ETO in late 1944 stated, 'experience has proven that tank crews have no faith in gyrostabilizers and will not use them. No amount of training seems to  convince the tank crews of the value of firing while moving. The gyrostabilizer is an expensive piece of tank equipment never used, and it could be left out of tanks scheduled for theaters of operations.'  Consistent evidence in the same tenor finally moved Ordnance to recommend the abandonment of stabilizers, a step that would have permitted a reduction of both maintenance time and expense. But that recommendation was disapproved, and the stabilizer remained. Intensive training of troops in its use made its mark at the very end of the war. In mid-August 1945 AGF reported, 'many tank battalions are using gyrostabilizers extensively.'"

 

More authoritatively, from the Tank Gunnery report of the General Board, United States Forces, European Theater:

"99. Gyro-stabilization.

     "a. Although a few units reported extensive and effective use of the gyro-stabilizer, on the whole, it received only limited employment. It is believed this was due to the following reasons:

          "(1) Lack of familiarity and confidence,

          "(2) Many units had received their training on the old stabilizer which was much less efficient.

     "b. Most interviewees stated there were occasions when they would have used a stabilizer in which they had confidence. Only a few felt that future development should be discontinued..."

 

 

Interesting, that does match up with the Russians thinking it wasn't very good.  Pretty much all the large hatch hull tanks should have had the improved system in place, that was supposed to be easier to use.   Thank you for the very interesting post. 

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1 hour ago, DogDodger said:

 

 The gyrostabilizer is an expensive piece of tank equipment never used, and it could be left out of tanks scheduled for theaters of operations.'  Consistent evidence in the same tenor finally moved Ordnance to recommend the abandonment of stabilizers, a step that would have permitted a reduction of both maintenance time and expense. 

 

 

I find this a somewhat amusing comment,  considering a lot of the other, far more advanced technology found in U.S. armor of the era.

 

Like "Stuffing the A57 engine in the M3A4 and M4A4" or  "Hey, our new light tank M5? Let's use dual Caddy V8's, and dual hydromatic transmissions".

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British and Canadian reports were mixed. Most regiments reported that it sucked and they turned it off, but one reported that they loved it. There was also a trial regarding loading on the move on the Firefly with the stabilizer engaged, the recommendation being to disengage the stabilizer before loading.

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11 hours ago, DogDodger said:

 

I think it's not a myth, and classification apparently had little to do with it. Green, Thomson, and Roots, in The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for War (first published in 1955): "...reports from overseas indicated limited use of the gyrostabilizer in combat. In 1943 an officer returned from the fighting in Sicily stated that despite very careful maintenance no one used the gyrostabilizer to good advantage. He believed that it had possibilities only if it were simplified and if extensive training were given the troops on its operation. All told, he thought gyrostabilizers not worth the effort to put them in tanks; accuracy of fire was so important that tank crews preferred to halt before firing. Again, a report on the ETO in late 1944 stated, 'experience has proven that tank crews have no faith in gyrostabilizers and will not use them. No amount of training seems to  convince the tank crews of the value of firing while moving. The gyrostabilizer is an expensive piece of tank equipment never used, and it could be left out of tanks scheduled for theaters of operations.'  Consistent evidence in the same tenor finally moved Ordnance to recommend the abandonment of stabilizers, a step that would have permitted a reduction of both maintenance time and expense. But that recommendation was disapproved, and the stabilizer remained. Intensive training of troops in its use made its mark at the very end of the war. In mid-August 1945 AGF reported, 'many tank battalions are using gyrostabilizers extensively.'"

 

More authoritatively, from the Tank Gunnery report of the General Board, United States Forces, European Theater:

"99. Gyro-stabilization.

     "a. Although a few units reported extensive and effective use of the gyro-stabilizer, on the whole, it received only limited employment. It is believed this was due to the following reasons:

          "(1) Lack of familiarity and confidence,

          "(2) Many units had received their training on the old stabilizer which was much less efficient.

     "b. Most interviewees stated there were occasions when they would have used a stabilizer in which they had confidence. Only a few felt that future development should be discontinued..."

Hey @DogDodger,  do you know anyplace I can get my grubby paws on those reports?

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27545529_1467209953408792_10473888897336

 

"M4A3 (76)'Sherman' of the 771st Tank Battalion, US 84th "Rail -Splitter" Division after the fighting in ruins of the German town of Linnich. February 24 1945

On the right is an 'HQ' Dodge WC-52f (with what looks like 9th Armored Div markings on the fender)"- WWII Colorized Photos, color by RJM.

 

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3 hours ago, DogDodger said:

Sure. You can get the first book as a pdf here. The General Board reports are available here; Tank Gunnery is number 53.

 

Is there a 'Reports of the General BOard US Forces Pacific Theater?  I for the life of me can not navigate that site!

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4 minutes ago, DogDodger said:

I haven't heard of one. Not that that should be taken as definitive, of course. :)

 

 

Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't have one, the Pacific being the unimportant front until the end, but the Army was so organized it wouldn't surprise me to find one either.  

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On 2/6/2018 at 11:24 PM, EnsignExpendable said:

Here's something really neat.

 

Z8joXZh.png?1

 

Specifically the mention of a Sherman IIc. As far as I know, the only Sherman IIc built (M4A1 with 17-pounder) were Canadian Grizzlies, but looks like the British built one too. 

It's a M4..
"Semper Gumby". get the job done.

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4 minutes ago, Belesarius said:

27867096_1657499661010659_67753456132267

 

Here, have Calliope firing.

 

 

That thing is a riot in War Thunder, that looks like an M4A3,  the installation was great, worked well, could be dropped with ease, but no one had asked for the damn thing and lots of people thought it was a waste to mount it on a tank, since you could put it on a truck or half-track on not waste the tank. 

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