Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Chrysler Multibank history

Expand Messages
  • Georges E. Mazy
    Certainly many of the so knowledgeable gentlemen of this expertise group can help us to clarify some points of the history of the Sherman M4A4. 1) I understand
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
      Certainly many of the so knowledgeable gentlemen of this expertise group can help us to clarify some points of the history of the Sherman M4A4.

      1) I understand that in the USA, the turret of the Sherman M4A4 was armed with the 75mm gun and no other gun. Correct ?

      2) When the British Board decided to select this tank, the turret was modified by the Detroit Tank Arsenal to accommodate the 17 pdr. The fitment of the 17 pdr gun was then made later in Great Britain. Correct ?

      3) Does someone know how many M4A4 were first made with the 75mm gun ?

      4) The reliability of the multibank engine was seriously questioned by the U.S. Ordnance as well by the Desert Warfare Board. Decision was then taken not to use it with overseas US troops. When was this decision taken ?

      5) The Chrysler history ( Tanks are mighty fine things) published post war, mentioned a very positive extensive testing performed at Aberdeen from October 1943 to February 1944. Of the 16 tanks participating in the test, only 4 did complete the test, of which 3 equipped with the Chrysler A57 engine. Why such a difference with the earlier position of US Ordnance ? Not just the simplification of the water pumps belting system, I guess ?

      Sincerely

      Georges Mazy
      Brussels Tank Museum

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Peter Brown
      The M4A4 was phased out of production before the 76mm gun in the larger T-23 series turret came into production. 7499 M4A4 was produced between July 1942 and
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
        The M4A4 was phased out of production before the 76mm gun in the larger T-23 series turret came into production. 7499 M4A4 was produced between July 1942 and September 1943, the first 76mm tanks were not built until January 1944. All M4A4 were built with the 75mm, a handful may have had other guns fitted for trials purposes.

        Most M4A4 went to Lend-Lease, 7167 to the United Kingdom - I assume this includes also Canadian used by Polish units - plus 2 to the Soviet Union and 274 to "other nations". It was reliable enough when used by them, perhaps as the vehicles tested by the Americans were early vehicles before design and production problems had been corrected.

        The American army preferred the Ford-engined M4A3 or M4/M4A1 with Wright engines, the US Marine choice was the diesel-powered M4A2 though they later used M4A3 when M4A2 production changed to 76mm tanks as they preferred the 75mm.

        Conversions to 17pdr were all done in the United Kingdom. First conversions were made at the beginning of 1944, by June 1944 there were many Vc in service but only two M4-based Ic though more Fireflies using the M4 all-welded or cast-welded Hybrid hulls were made as production continued, and a small number of M4 and M4A3 for American use very late in WW2.

        For more details, see the excellent book "The Sherman Firefly" by Mark Hayward, review online at http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/books/pb/firefly.htm as well as Hunnicutt's "Sherman - A History of the American Medium Tank". See also Mark Hayward's own site http://freespace.virgin.net/shermanic.firefly/home1.htm


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Georges E. Mazy
        Peter, Thank you for your fast reaction : you were the first one . And with a lot of good facts. I am preparing another article on our Firefly for the Tank
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
          Peter,

          Thank you for your fast reaction : you were the first one . And with a lot of good facts.

          I am preparing another article on "our" Firefly for the Tank Museum News. My article in the last issue included a number of inaccuracies that I need to correct. In addition I'd like to give some lights on her personal story.

          Fons Paulussen, his driver and renovator, has collected some data on the first months of "our" Firefly. I am trying to double check these. Here is hat Fons gave to me : "The serial number is 5609 and it came off the production line in October 1942 its was around the 800th m4a4 built.It was first used as a training vehicle at Fort Knox with us registration number 3057419 on December 15th it was deadlined there and send back to the Chrysler factory to be remanufactured along with 1609 other m4a4's between December 1943 and October 1944. It was than shipped to England to be converted to firefly."

          Kind regards

          Georges

          PS : Peter I emailed you to thank you for the booklet on Polish tanks in WW2, but you did not tell me how much I owe you.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Peter Brown
          The history of the vehicle fits in, as conversions would have been based on new or at least remanufactured vehicles to ensure they were mechanically sound
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
            The history of the vehicle fits in, as conversions would have been based on new or at least remanufactured vehicles to ensure they were mechanically sound

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Joe DeMarco
            Hi Georges, There s a mathematical correlation between US serial & registration numbers, & 5609 = USA 3057419. ... m4a4 built. Yes, that s correct. For the
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
              Hi Georges,

              There's a mathematical correlation between US serial & registration numbers,
              & 5609 = USA 3057419.

              >it came off the production line in October 1942 its was around the 800th
              m4a4 built.

              Yes, that's correct.
              For the history, I told Fons that I all that I found was a list of tanks
              deadlined
              at Ft. Knox, 12/15/42. 3057419 was one of them.
              In my correspondence with Fons, I speculated that the unit was probably
              used
              for training in the US, & asked him if he had uncovered any traces of US
              tactical
              markings on it. From the look of it in his photos, I was guessing that it
              was
              probably one of the 1610 M4A4s remfg'd by Chrysler for the British.
              Photographic & textual evidence suggests that the remfg'd M4A4s had high
              WD Numbers - like T-23xxxx & up.
              Was thinking that if Fons could find its original T Number, it should be
              in that range. I assume that you folks never uncovered any of that stuff?
              What about the Sherman Vc at the Brussels Tank Museum?
              Several friends have reported that is serial number 5942.
              That looks to be another of the remfg'd M4A4s, with a full suite of applique
              armor including the little plates on the turret splash.
              Does the Museum have any record of its original T Number?


              Regards
              Joe DeMarco
              Baltimore, Md.
            • Georges E. Mazy
              Joe, Thank you for all information, data, even guesses. Yes, the static Firefly in Brussels has appliqué armour on the turret. But these turrets were
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 3, 2005
                Joe,

                Thank you for all information, data, even guesses.

                Yes, the static Firefly in Brussels has appliqué armour on the turret. But these turrets were manufactured in the UK, isn't ?
                I have made a few pics of that one, including the cast numbers on the front. I'll post them soon. As the tank has now its back at a few inches from the wall, I cannot anymore double-check the serial number in the hull.

                Regards

                Georges Mazy
                Brussels Tank Museum

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Kurt Laughlin
                ... From: Georges E. Mazy Yes, the static Firefly in Brussels has appliqué armour on the turret. But these turrets were manufactured in the UK, isn t ? ...
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 3, 2005
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Georges E. Mazy

                  Yes, the static Firefly in Brussels has appliqué armour on the turret. But
                  these turrets were manufactured in the UK, isn't ?

                  ----- Original Message -----

                  Not made but modified. The basic casting was likely made in Illinois,
                  Indiana, or West Virginia. The applique was probably welded on in Michigan.
                  After arrival in the UK the radio box was welded on the bustle and the
                  loader's hatch cut in and installed. Other than a few small things the
                  turret was changed by simply unbolting the American parts and attaching the
                  Britsh parts.

                  KL
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.