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Re: [G104] Stuart in Susice

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  • Michael Lembo
    Here is the most heavily armed Stuart I ever saw, It looks like they salvaged 2/3rd of the armament of the German halftrack with three 20mm AA cannons
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 18 1:51 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Here is the most heavily armed Stuart I ever saw, It looks like they salvaged 2/3rd of the armament of the German halftrack with three 20mm AA cannons (sdkfz.251/21)

      --- On Thu, 11/17/11, Joe DeMarco <snick13@...> wrote:

      From: Joe DeMarco <snick13@...>
      Subject: [G104] M4A3 Vilseck new?
      To: G104@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 10:33 PM

      Hi Michael

      That tank looks like it has been in that spot for at least a few years. Do you have any idea? How about a location; like, is it in a named park? I think that might be a "new" surviving Sherman "discovery," at least as far as those who keep lists are concerned. 

      >the front left antenna mount has been sealed up.

      Can't really say for sure from the photo, but it's possible that is just how the turret casting came out; in other words, the antenna hole was never machined out.

      >The scrap of metal over the smoke mortar aperture is visible in that photo also.

      Yes, I would tend to agree with your assessment that that was done to keep out rain, more than as the mod that eliminated the smoke mortar.

      >Data plate is missing.

      In your photo 33, it looks like there is some kind of ID plate on the roof right in front of the split hatch?
      From the two pix you sent I would say it's maybe a June or July production Chrysler M4A3(76). The forward cable clamp is in the "early" position behind the E8020 casting. The tank doesn't appear to have undergone any rebuilds, at least not in the US. The tracks, sprockets & roadwheels that can be seen are all replacements. The rear bogie unit is a replacement from a 1943 production Sherman. You might check around that area for damage. There must have been a reason for replacing that bogie. The front bogies have dates cast on them - looks like 3-44, 4-44 or 5-44. There would have been a few weeks or maybe a month delay between the time those parts were cast & when they were installed. Chrysler began making M4A3(76)s in March, 1944. The turret is certainly appropriate, & is most likely the original. It has what I call a "hard edge" at the bottom, typical of many Continental turret castings. I would think that tank was in Europe during WW II, & stayed there. There might be an interesting history to it.
      >There is a photo of that firewall in the email I sent on 25 October, with the 37th TkBn. Sherman in Susice photo.
      I did not receive that email, Michael. G104 or your IP may limit the number of megabytes in the images you can send as attachments. I would be very interested to see the 37th TkBn. Sherman in Susice photo. Would greatly appreciate a resend, or if you could send it directly to my email address.

      From: Michael Lembo
      Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:58 PM
      To: G104@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [G104] M4A3 Grafenwohr

         Now I have some photos of the M4A3(76) in Vilseck.  I don't know if it is Yahoo, or my German internet connection, but I am only able to get one photo attached at a time right now. I will send as many as I can.  Now that I get a better look at the turret (photo#33) I can see that the front left antenna mount has been sealed up.  The scrap of metal over the smoke mortar aperture is visible in that photo also.  The engine compartment covers, driver's hatch, cupola vision blocks, and rear turret antenna mounts all have similar scraps of metal cut and spot welded over them, looks like it was all done at the same time to turn it into a monument. The bow gun ball mount is also missing, a BMG barrel jacket with a blank adapter on the end has been welded into the bow gun opening. A post-war MG mount is on the socket on the loader's hatch, but that could have been put there any time after it was put on display. The interior is completely stripped of parts and painted grey. Data plate is missing. I have a photo of the mounting block for it, but no number is visible there in the photo. If it is stamped in pretty small numbers, then I will have to go there myself with a wire brush.  The museum staff in Vilseck is going to send someone back over to it to try to get a serial number off the tow hook mounts. There is something wrapped around the muzzle, maybe the thread protector or muzzle brake was missing and whatever that is on it now was put there to protect the threads. 
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