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

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40 minutes ago, EnsignExpendable said:

I saw the famous Michael Sherman at Bovington. Interestingly enough, it has the red British "unarmoured" triangle screwed into the side. Was the tank actually made from mild steel or did they simply not want it to be sent into combat?

 

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was made of regular steel, as like a production test or something.  Even so, it should be made into a runner!

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9 hours ago, egorogr said:

Does anyone know exact text for blackout and air heater instruction plates on early M4A2 instruments panel (or on any other if these instructions were the same)?

ljIvP2U.png

I don't think I do, but I'll look through the M4A2 and M10 manuals as see if I can find anything. 

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22 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

I don't think I do, but I'll look through the M4A2 and M10 manuals as see if I can find anything. 

 

On page 341 and 342 in TM9-731B, (you can get it on my downloads page), has instructions on how to use the air heaters, and I assume the directions in the manual are pretty close to what's on the instrument panel. 

 

6046preheat-1600x505.png

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SNL G-104 for the M4A4 from 29 July 1943 shows a light switch that looks pretty similar:

LMOlKe9.jpg

 

After messing around a bit with the warning plate for the blackout switch, I've come up with

Quote

BLACK-OUT SWITCH

PRESS SPRING[?] BUTTON

BEFORE PULLING OUT TO

SERVICE LIGHT POSITION

[illegible] BLACK-OUT

 

fI4qExH.jpg

 

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"?

Edited by DogDodger

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10 minutes ago, DogDodger said:

SNL G-104 for the M4A4 from 29 July 1943 shows a light switch that looks pretty similar:

LMOlKe9.jpg

 

After messing around a bit with the warning plate for the blackout switch, I've come up with

 

fI4qExH.jpg

 

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.

OOOOHHh!!  Do you know where to get a copy of the G-104 for the M4A4?  I soooo want it!

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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.

uZA7fsC.jpg

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4 minutes ago, DogDodger said:

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.

uZA7fsC.jpg

 

Hmm damn, I want all the parts diagrams for the M4A4 so bad!  The guy over at Portrayal Press was going to look into if he could get a copy, but he never got back to me, even after three emails, and there were some other issues, so I doubt that will work out. 

 

I had a place in France or the Netherlands that did reprints bookmarked, but I can't find it and wasn't sure if they would ship to the US, and I'm not sure they had it anyway.  It's nice to see they are out there though!

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On 11/10/2018 at 4:15 AM, DogDodger said:

After messing around a bit with the warning plate for the blackout switch, I've come up with

 

fI4qExH.jpg

 

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"?

Thank you!

 

As for air heater I got some thing like this:

Early:

AIR HEATER INSTRUCTIONS
1 TURN ON AIR HEATER SWITCH
2 WITH ENGINE THROTTLE WIDE OPEN
  ENGAGE STARTER
3 OPERATE PUMP WITH SMOOTH EVEN
  STROKES APPLYING A FIRM PRESSURE
  OF 10 POUNDS OR MORE OF PUMPING
  STROKE
4 WITH ENGINE RUNNING REGULATE
  THROTTLE AND TURN PLUNGER ALL THE
  WAY UNTIL LOCK ENGAGES
5 TURN OFF AIR HEATER SWITCH
WARNING
FOR COLD WEATHER STARTING ONLY


Late:

AIR HEATER INSTRUCTIONS
1 TURN ON AIR HEATER SWITCH
2 WITH ENGINE THROTTLE WIDE OPEN ENGAGE
  STARTER
3 RELEASE PUMP PLUNGER 1/2 TURN IN COUNTER
  CLOCKWISE DIRECTION AND OPERATE PUMP
  WITH SMOOTH EVEN STROKES APPLYING A
  FIRM EVEN PRESSURE OF 10 POUNDS OR MORE
  OF PUMPING STROKE
4 WITH ENGINE RUNNING REGULATE THROTTLE
  PUSH PLUNGER IN ALL THE WAY AND TURN
  CLOCKWISE UNTIL LOCK ENGAGES
5 TURN OFF AIR HEATER SWITCH
WARNING
FOR COLD WEATHER STARTING ONLY

 

Another question is about early splithatch cupola.

"Son of Sherman" book says the earliest cupola part number was D51050, if I got it right.

But it seems to me the number on this photo is D51045.

us117b.jpg

 

So was the D51050 cupola not the first but the second type actually?

Does anyone know what were part numbers for the hatches of this type of copola or any oher split hatch type? Are there any good examples?

Are there any good references for D51050 cupola, so that the number is visible clearly?

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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:

GRQjNm4.jpg

 

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.

QPxoof1.jpg

 

t7soJtv.jpg

 

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?

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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.

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16 hours ago, DogDodger said:

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.

 

 

DD is right on here.

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What type of hydraulic turret traversing mechanism was installed on M4A2 in the beginning of 1943?

There were several  variants, and it seems hard to understand for me which was the most typical for that period.

Are there any detailed photos or schemes?

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47 minutes ago, egorogr said:

What type of hydraulic turret traversing mechanism was installed on M4A2 in the beginning of 1943?

There were several  variants, and it seems hard to understand for me which was the most typical for that period.

Are there any detailed photos or schemes?

 

The Oilgear was preferred, but others were swapped in depending on supply, and I'm not sure there are records for what got installed in what tanks on any given day.  Westinghouse made the all-electric drive gear, and I can't remember off hand who made the alternative hydro drive system. 

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49 minutes ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

The Oilgear was preferred, but others were swapped in depending on supply, and I'm not sure there are records for what got installed in what tanks on any given day.  Westinghouse made the all-electric drive gear, and I can't remember off hand who made the alternative hydro drive system. 

Logan, which was used in the M3 and Ram, some early M4's had it afaik. It had problems.

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@Jeeps_Guns_Tanks you've probably seen this photo a million times, but I'm adding it as a reference anyway. The stationary gun mantlet is marked as 85 mm thick. Is that the thickness throughout, or is it thinner around the sides? Similar question about the turret, where does the armour change over between 3 inches and 2 inches in thickness?

 

9f3583ecc5f9180af1739d0fbd93113d.jpg

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