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3Re: Hi all!

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  • Hanno Spoelstra
    May 22, 1999
      At 21:13 21-05-1999 -0400, you wrote:
      >From: Geoff Winnington-Ball <whiskey@...>

      >Hanno, you realize you're well on the way to becoming the world's expert
      >on Shermans? I'm sure you do. :-)

      Geoff, the cunning Canadian - first he thinks the world of you, then he
      gives you a punch below the belt to see if you're for real:

      >Now I have a question for you... were the M4A4s supplied to the British
      >and Canadians outfitted specifically for us at the factory, or were they
      >'generic' stowage configurations? I refer to the bracketry inside - I
      >hasten to admit I've never been in an A4 - but it occurs to me that the
      >radio, intercom and other such amenities were unique. Were these added
      >by the receiving parties, or did the factories tailor these vehicles by
      >lot?

      Although there were considerable differences between the Lee and the Grant,
      as far as I know the Commonwealth stowage for Shermans did not differ hugely
      from US stowage. Indeed I think stowage changes were largely done at the
      receiving depots, sometimes even by the receiving units. This is nicely
      endorsed by George Varley, veteran of the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards:
      "Due to some difficulties with the North Atlantic convoys the new [M4A1] DD
      Shermans were extremely late in arriving, and therefore were routed straight
      to the user regiments instead of being prepared at the large Army Ordnance
      Depot near Liverpool. We worked night and day to get the new Shermans ready,
      and finished only a few hours to spare before we had to embark. One of the
      tasks we faced was to rip out the American tank radio installation
      (beautiful SCR-508 transceivers) and throw them away in order to install our
      own British '19' tank radio sets. It broke my heart to see the SCR-508s
      being hurled unceremoniously into the nearby ditch."

      After being used for training American troops in the US, some 1,600 Sherman
      Vs were specifically rebuilt at Chrysler for the British. Macleod Ross in
      "The Business of tanks 1933 to 1945" (Ilfracombe: Arthur H. Stockwell Ltd.,
      1976) mentions some of the modifications carried out on British demand, but
      I do not have that book available anymore. Maybe someone else can fill this in?


      Best regards,
      Hanno
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