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[G104] Re: Locations of known Shermans ... in Belgium & the Netherlands

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  • Joe DeMarco
    ... http://www.worldatwar.nl/forum/files/mopertingen1_463.jpg Yes, and the lifting ring on the front left was severely damaged & you can see the restorers
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 28, 2006
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      >it has direct-vision-slits behind the applique armor, and the restorers obviously managed to remove the additional armor in front of the (now recreated) bow MG.

      http://www.worldatwar.nl/forum/files/mopertingen1_463.jpg

      Yes, and the lifting ring on the front left was severely damaged & you can see the restorers replaced it, so you wouldn't want to use that particular example as a lifting ring reference. From "counting heads," it would appear that all M4A4s with direct vision used a lifting ring casting with a rectangular pad as a base. That one also has a 2-piece upper rear hull plate. IIRC, Adrian mentioned that his M4A4 has that, & that the upper piece has the correct armor basis of 1 1/2 inches, while the lower piece, welded on at the sponson line, is only an inch. I suspect that could serve as a recognition feature of M4A4s built up to approx. Sept/Oct, 1942. M4A4 # 5457 is the highest one I know of with the 2-piece upper rear hull plate. That is the one with the CIRD fittings that was recovered from a range in Canada. It's moved around quite a bit over the years. Scott Taylor recently saw it at the Swords & Ploughshares Museum in Manotick, Ontario. The Mopertingen has the 3 bar cleat steel track. I think the vast majority of that type was produced by Ford at its foundry at the River Rouge Plant. I'd be interested to know if "GAD" could be found stamped or cast on the track links?

      >So that rumored theory that it had been 'fished' from the bottom of that canal could be true - what would make this particular (Canadian?) M10 17pdr a genuine >battlefield relic. Would that be possible (Moerbrugge was liberated in September 1944)?

      Could be. The unit records, if they could be found, might mention that an M10 was lost in the canal. The records sometimes list the WD Numbers of casualties, which in the case of an M10 would begin with S. I doubt if the painted on S-Number would survive after years under water, but it probably would have been something like S-21xxxx or higher.

      MDAP records state that 68 "M36 series" were shipped to Belgium as of 1/31/54. Aren't there any surviving examples in Belgium??

      Johan, thanks for the locatians of Shermans in the Netherlands!
      http://geocities.com/oldshermans/

      The author, Tom Jentz, went to look at a German tank in Switzerland. He was nice enough to take time out to send some info about their Shermans/variants.

      M4A4 Thun Panzermuseum S/N 17299
      M31B2 Thun Panzermuseum S/N 68
      M7 Thun Panzermuseum S/N 1427

      It would appear that a private museum in Geneva sold off it's collection, so Thun might have the only "Shermans" there now. Anyone know of any more?



      Joe

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    • TANKBARRELL@aol.com
      In a message dated 29/06/2006 01:28:56 GMT Standard Time, snick1@earthlink.net writes: That one also has a 2-piece upper rear hull plate. IIRC, Adrian
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 28, 2006
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        In a message dated 29/06/2006 01:28:56 GMT Standard Time,
        snick1@... writes:

        That one also has a 2-piece upper rear hull plate. IIRC, Adrian mentioned
        that his M4A4 has that, & that the upper piece has the correct armor basis of 1
        1/2 inches, while the lower piece, welded on at the sponson line, is only an
        inch. I suspect that could serve as a recognition feature of M4A4s built up
        to approx. Sept/Oct, 1942.


        Joe,

        mine does have the two piece rear plate but it is all 1" thick. I havn't
        seen an M4A4 with two different thickness plates. I assumed the change to 1 1/2"
        coincided with the change to a single piece.

        Adrian


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      • Michel van Loon
        ... of 1/31/54. Aren t there any surviving examples in Belgium?? I m almost sure there are no M36 in Belgium.Michel
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 29, 2006
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          > MDAP records state that 68 "M36 series" were shipped to Belgium as
          of 1/31/54. Aren't there any surviving examples in Belgium??

          I'm almost sure there are no M36 in Belgium.Michel
        • Joe DeMarco
          ... Interesting, Adrian. Looking at the pix I took of #5457 up in Canada, the 2-piece upper rear hull plate does look a little thin... This is contrary to the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 29, 2006
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            >mine does have the two piece rear plate but it is all 1" thick. I havn't seen an M4A4 with two different thickness plates. I assumed the change to 1 1/2"
            >coincided with the change to a single piece.


            Interesting, Adrian. Looking at the pix I took of #5457 up in Canada, the 2-piece upper rear hull plate does look a little thin... This is contrary to the military characteristics as defined in the OCM, which calls for "Sides & rear - 1 1/2 inches minimum." There are lots of photos & reports about the T6 cast hull pilot fabricated at APG, but I didn't come across a single photo of the T6 welded hull pilot done at Rock Island Arsenal, & Mr. Hunnicutt didn't have any in his book. I wonder if they built a bunch of the early welded hulls with only an inch of armor on the rear?? I visited an M4 down in Florida that had a 1/2 inch plate welded on to the rear, in the same way as was done on the M4A3E2s. I recorded the serial number of that as 1765. That would indicate an April, 1943 ALCO built M4. There's another M4 with a similar look at Ft. Benning, & that one has the same thing. No serial number available on that at present. A couple of us were wondering if the additional plate was applied at the time of production to bring the rear up to the correct armor basis?

            >Mine was on a different part of the range and the markings were easy to find under the garish paint! #5271, USA 3057081, T-146309.

            Adrian, by any chance did you find any traces of shipping code on yours? Was thinking maybe T-146309 might have been part of the September 1942 LL allocation of 329 M4A4s. The Shipping Order No was S.O. 3-G-1025, S.R. 1396-G. In late Nov. 1942, 20 of these were given special attention at Chester Tank Depot as regards sealing for shipping. The US Ord. Serial Numbers are in the same neighborhood as yours, & the T-Numbers ran consecutively from 146218 thru 146237. You can see some pix of a couple of them in "Images of War." They look like they were factory new. The voyage of one ship, the Diomed, took 18 days through rough seas, & it was said the ship went through the Atlantic rather than over it. Nonetheless, the tanks were inspected at Hatfield & Chilwell in December, & the sealing experiment was pronounced a success.


            Thanks for the info about Switzerland, Andre!


            Joe






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