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Re: [G104] DV M4A1s front appliqué plates

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  • Joe DeMarco
    ... I think the only conclusion you can draw from these pix is that a couple of M4A1s with direct vision had applique plates in front of the drivers hoods
    Message 1 of 2 , May 7, 2006
      >So could it be that the modification was only made and just before
      >the Anvil-Draggon landing on several early DV M4A1s?

      I think the only conclusion you can draw from these pix is that
      a couple of M4A1s with direct vision had applique plates in
      front of the drivers' hoods despite FSMWO G104-W83.
      The mod.kits were most likely shipped from the US, & the
      work done in Italy sometime before Op. Dragoon.
      (Note those two M4A1s have the early type 1-piece diffs.)

      There are a couple surviving M4A1s with direct vision that
      have the plates in front of the drivers' hoods. I suspect they
      are veterans of the Southern France & Italian campaigns,
      possibly even Northwest Africa. Manuel Estevez & Steve
      Zaloga sent some pix of the one in Dompaire, France.
      It appears to be a very early Lima Locomotive built Sherman.
      Some of their M4A1s have been noted to have the Lima
      logo & a built number stamped on the right front of the tank
      just above the fender, but the guys couldn't find it through all
      the paint. If the build number ever comes to light, I would guess
      it wouldn't be higher than ~ 50. That one has holes for the M3
      style exhaust pipes blanked off. On page 166 of Hunnicutt's
      "Sherman" you can see that early production Limas had the
      M3 exhaust set up. This was to have been changed to the
      usual M4 configuration before the tanks entered service.

      Some small pix of the the other M4A1 have been posted,
      credited to the "RNLA Props Committee." It's a dozer, &
      is or was on display in Seedorf, Germany. It had a USA
      Registration Number painted on that may be authentic.
      Looks like maybe 3067729. I think that R/N indicates
      about the 200th Lima built Sherman. It would be interesting
      to be able to find more info about the history of these two...

      Joe


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "heller1959" <constant.gillono@...>
      To: <G104@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:20 AM
      Subject: [G104] DV M4A1s front appliqué plates


      I found on page 45 of the Concord #7050 'US Tank Battles France 1944-
      1945' by Steven Zaloga 3 photos of early (ie Direct Vision-3 pîece
      transmission housing-M3 bogies) from 756th (2) and 753th (1, with
      a .30 replacing the usual turret-top .50 BTW) Tank Battalion in
      South France with appliqué plates in front of the drivers' hoods.
      This is not what is expected according to the many photos published
      and the remark in Kurt Laughlin's recent article about appliqué
      plates (Military Modelling vol 35-12) quoting FSMWO G104-W83 dated
      23 August 1943, whereas the M4A1 was 'adequately' shaped in this
      area and did not need the front plates.
      Could it be that the DV variant was not in the end
      thought 'adequately' shaped, at least for some users? Looking at
      Steven Zaloga's other booklet (Concord #7051 'US Tank Battles in NA
      and Italy 1943-1945'), other tanks fighting in Italy cannot be found
      with this modification.
      So could it be that the modification was only made and just before
      the Anvil-Draggon landing on several early DV M4A1s? (but not all,
      see #7050 on page 53 for another 756th TB tank WITHOUT this mod; on
      page 54 the angle of the photo prevents any conclusion to be drawn.)
      Your opinion, Gents?

      PS: the side plate on one of the 756th tank in #7050 seems to be a
      flat plate and not the properly supplied/made plate awaited. The 3
      tanks also appear to have the 2" bomb thrower installed in the
      turret.
    • Kurt Laughlin
      ... From: heller1959 To: G104@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:20 AM Subject: [G104] DV M4A1s front appliqué plates I found on page 45 of the
      Message 2 of 2 , May 7, 2006
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: heller1959
        To: G104@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:20 AM
        Subject: [G104] DV M4A1s front appliqué plates


        I found on page 45 of the Concord #7050 'US Tank Battles France 1944-
        1945' by Steven Zaloga 3 photos of early (ie Direct Vision-3 pîece
        transmission housing-M3 bogies) . . . with appliqué plates in front of the
        drivers' hoods.
        This is not what is expected according to the many photos published
        and the remark in Kurt Laughlin's recent article about appliqué
        plates (Military Modelling vol 35-12) quoting FSMWO G104-W83 dated
        23 August 1943, whereas the M4A1 was 'adequately' shaped in this
        area and did not need the front plates.

        Could it be that the DV variant was not in the end
        thought 'adequately' shaped, at least for some users?
        ----- Original Message -----

        Absolutely. I was citing the work order instructions and internal Ordnance
        Department documents. Inasmuch as the plates and FSMWO (which would've
        allowed local fabrication of the plates) were in the supply system, nothing
        but availability and time prevented them from being placed wherever an
        enterprising Ordnance officer wanted. Remember that the marking regulations
        also required that roof and deck top stars be painted point rearward, yet
        notice the photo on the bottom of pg 48 in the same book, as well as
        virtually every other overhead shot taken during the war.

        ----- Original Message -----
        So could it be that the modification was only made and just before
        the Anvil-Dragoon landing on several early DV M4A1s?
        ----- Original Message -----

        That would make sense.

        ----- Original Message -----
        PS: the side plate on one of the 756th tank in #7050 seems to be a
        flat plate and not the properly supplied/made plate awaited.
        ----- Original Message -----

        It appears that only the front corners are square, the rear ones still
        radiused. The plates had to be cut a few inches back from the front to
        match the toe-in of the cast hull (see page 6 of same book), so it's
        possible that a single vertical cut was made and only the remainder that
        would sit flat was installed. Or who knows?

        KL
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