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

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On 8/3/2018 at 11:30 PM, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

It sure sounds like an R975 to me. The gear ratios in the Sherman and Grizzly are the same, so the only speed differences would come from the Engine RPM Governer, and who knows how the one on that tank is set, assuming its and R975, and R975 powered Shermans are still pretty common. They complicated all mechanical little contraptions with weights and springs and finding people who even know what one is, in today's day and age is almost a miracle.  I'm pretty sure even back when these tanks were new, the governors were not something the crew was allowed to mess with. If it broke, they took it off, sent it back for repair and put a repaired one on, that was delivered on a truck and came from a parts depot. 


I'm going to have to watch again and really look the back end over.  

The governors are externally adjustable, to an extent. The ones on the ground application radials were likely a "velocity" or "vacuum" governor, rather than a centrifugal (Correction, found my copy of the -9 for the 975, it is centrifugal, and easily "monkeyed with".), and they can be "bypassed" . Although doing so is very fucking obvious.  

There is always the "Joe is a hell of a guy" factor, whereupon if it says "do not open" it surely will be.

Edited by Meplat
Read the fucking manual-
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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

On 8/26/2018 at 2:35 PM, EnsignExpendable said:


Direct vision ports, what looks like a hatch in the side of the hull, and twin front MGs? This must be a very early specimen.


On 8/26/2018 at 3:20 PM, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:


I think that's the pilot tank. 

 if it is the pilot, it was shot later in the war.

Look at the tracks. 

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51 minutes ago, EnsignExpendable said:

I saw a photo of the Sexton pilot with T54E1 tracks as well (it originally had WE210 tracks like the Ram), so I guess upgrading pilots wasn't that uncommon?

Or the hulls were used as automotive test mules for the tracks.

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T6 pilot yes. They kept using it as a test bed as the years went on. Note it has the early/first? one piece lower front casting as well at this point.


The sexton pilot or not will be using whatever they had on hand that suited the conditions they wanted to test I suppose, just like the Ram or the M3 or M4.





Track types and details from the Ram manual 1943 and Canadian tank data book 1944.

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2 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:


2 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:




Very nice images! I haven't been able to find the Ram or Sexton manuals, unfortunately. Do you have paper copies or a PDF?




I paid to have a copy made from the war museum in Ottawa. This was the April 1943 manual only covering the Ram II, an earlier 1942 one exists covering the Ram I + II as well but the museums copy was missing.
I was hoping for details like in the US manuals where they go into greater detail like listing armour values as well but not such luck. At least the microfilms had those details, but it's always nice to have multiple primary sources backing details up.



An example of a complete manual binder that sold a couple of years ago. They seem to pop up every once and awhile like on ebay.




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A tangentially related question: I see Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton's promotion mentioned:


"The appointment or Lt.-Col. F.F. Fulton, R.C. Sigs, as G.S.O. I (S.D. Tech), has been confirmed (2503, B May 42). "


What is GSO I SD Tech? GSO is probably General Staff Officer, but I don't know what I or SD are. Interim Senior Director?


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3 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:

A tangentially related question: I see Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton's promotion mentioned:


"The appointment or Lt.-Col. F.F. Fulton, R.C. Sigs, as G.S.O. I (S.D. Tech), has been confirmed (2503, B May 42). "


What is GSO I SD Tech? GSO is probably General Staff Officer, but I don't know what I or SD are. Interim Senior Director?


SD is probably? referring to SD technical, sections that covered a number of different things. Can't recall what it stands for or what each SD 1,2,3 and so on covered exactly.


Like SD 8 also covered artillery reports

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16 minutes ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

If the Sherman is a cowboy tank, what's the T-34, and or whats the Panther, I'm thinking the Panther is a soon to be extent buffalo, and the T-34 would be the Indians. 

The Sherman is the heroic Texas Detroit ranger with his trusty Native American Slav companion T-34.  The Panther is the evil rich land baron (no oil fields though), who terrorizes the plains with his notorious Panzer posse.

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As far as I know the intention to fit the US 75mm in the Ram existed from the start, but the numbers were not there to get any as the US was using them all early on. a 60 inch ring is more then ample enough considering the QF 75mm conversion that was later fitted. And used on the much smaller British turrets to boot.


The soviets had asked for an example to be sent to them, but I have no idea how far that went. It would have been interesting if the soviets had of received them as I'm sure they would have up gunned them easily. The turret was designed with this in mind, the whole point of the entire front being bolted on so it could be replaced with a new design.


As for the speed of the Ram when it was in good condition and working well it was quite a bit faster then the M4. Towing a 17 pdr while retaining the turret and still being able to achieve 45 kph is no small feat. Rams were used and abused as training vehicles so lots of wear on them all, compared to the M4's which they had orders to be much more gentle with and had KM limits they were not allowed to exceed on them if used in training.


It's a given the M4 had better conditions for the crew as they had more space to work in. but there's always a trade off. more space = more volume of space to armour = more weight for the same level of protection. So the M4 weighed less then the Ram and had less protection almost everywhere on the upper hull and turret.


Things like sights are easy to change if there is a need. One of the very late things they did on the Ram's when they started to make the few hundred "operational" tanks before that was canceled was giving every crew member a periscope and two for the commander in the cupola hatches. They planned and wanted ARV cupolas and may have received a British type one which had conversions done up to allow them to fit on the m4 and Ram, they may have received one to test on a Ram, but supply for ARV cupolas was quite limited, they looked at using modified M3 or Ram cupolas as a substitute as well.


.30 cal AA was weak for AA purposes yes, they never quite nailed down what they were going to do with that as it was a stop gap thing. And by the time they decided it would only be used for training they shelved any further changes. The PLM mount became standard just before that which could mount dual or single Bren guns, Vickers K guns or .30 cals. They talked about an easy conversion to the .50 cal if that was needed as well.


The 8 pdr, and the 10 pdr which were both designed to fit in the existing 6 pdr mounting could have been used, they had much better performance then the 6 pdr but the British found they couldn't fit as many rounds inside their own tanks, they mention the Ram would have had much less of a problem in that regard due to more space. would be interesting to find what kind of HE rounds those would have had and if they could have been "Good enough" to not need the 75mm. The 6 pdr Canuck gun would have fit in the existing mounting as well giving insane AP performance.


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I saw the Canadians pondering about putting a 75, and even a 76 mm gun into the Ram, but it never panned out. I think the M3 breech is bigger than the OQF 75 mm (correct me if I'm wrong), so only the latter fit.


The Soviets never received a Ram tank, I think they were just interested in the casting technology rather than the end product. 


I thought the Ram Towers had no turret, which would help out with the speed.




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1 hour ago, EnsignExpendable said:

I saw the Canadians pondering about putting a 75, and even a 76 mm gun into the Ram, but it never panned out. I think the M3 breech is bigger than the OQF 75 mm (correct me if I'm wrong), so only the latter fit.


The Soviets never received a Ram tank, I think they were just interested in the casting technology rather than the end product. 


I thought the Ram Towers had no turret, which would help out with the speed.




The dedicated tower had no turret but they tested a regular tank and one with out the turret vs a few other vehicles. Both got up to 28 mph on the test track while towing.


placing the Ram drawing over the M4, These are not to scale by any means, but it would be very interesting to find actual interior dimensions for both turrets to compare. One thing to note is how far in the actual gun mounting on the Ram is due to the interior mantlet design, if they had of gone with a new bolt on front plate with an exterior style mantlet you can see how much room it would have freed up, allowing a larger gun to not hit the smaller turret ring. Recall they stuck the 75mm M3 in a churchill turret and that's only a 54 inch ring. and just for fun looking at what the the M4 turret on the ram could look like if it had an adapter to fit the smaller turret ring. Not to mention what other nations could shove inside a relatively small ring (Aussies with the sentinel, Germans in the Pz IV, Soviets with the T-34)




Another interesting thing to note is the inside vs outside diameter of the turret ring, or opening? cut into the hull top. I guess some of this would depend on the size/weight of turret the ring has to support as well.


Valentine turret ring

55.5 inch outside

50 inch inside


Ram turret ring

72.125 inch outside

60.5 inch inside



80.75 inch outside

69 inch inside



66.14 inch opening in hull top?

62.99 inch inside



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5 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:

Another question, why is there extra armour welded to the glacis plate of this M4A3(105)? I would guess they were welding over DV ports, but were there any DV M4A3s?






Just a guess, but I'm betting they are part/artifact of a late war/postwar refurbishment/modernization program.

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1 hour ago, whelm said:

A chance the guys in the workshop/field messed up as well and applied the kit to a tank that was not supposed to get it.


Same reason some of the late turrets that had the weakspots fixed with thicker armour cast in the ended up having the extra armour welded to them anyways by mistake.

If you are told to weld kit A to all the tanks in yard B, you do so. It may very well be that simple.

Or it may be some postwar "mod order XXX" because someone was worried about shot giving the  BOG a headache.

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