5983Re: [G104] m4 sherman early with m34a1 gun shield--arrrgghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
- Jul 1, 2005Mario,
The applique armor was applied either at the factory (called remanufactured
sometimes) before the tank was authorized to be shipped overseas, or at
ordinance shops or other forward unit locations for older tanks. While that was going
on, many tanks already overseas were upgraded with add on plate and these
have the greatest variability. How the steel was cut and how it was applied
varied slightly from unit to unit but all were trying to fit a standard that
included the cheek armor upgrade to the turret. It would be a vary rare Sherman that
the Army did not put applique on the turret if it had the hull plates. (In my
opinion.) It's not impossible for a tank to get just hull armor (any crew
with welding equipment and a supply of steel could add it) but not common.
The increase in the cheek thickness of the turret casting occurred well
before D-Day so many late war US Shermans with hull plates have no turret applique
but do have the improved turrets (including many with low bustles). It is
often hard to spy the improved turret unless you can see the shadow caused by the
overhang needed to clear the turret race splash rail. Improved turrets also
look like they have a slight dose of the mumps on the right side compared to the
early turrets but that too is hard to pick out in photos.
Also, a few years ago Phil Dyer did some good drawings of the 75mm turret
variations for Military Modeling magazine which spell out the changes made during
WWII. Maybe someone here knows the issue number?
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