Sherman Tank Site News Post 17: Summer is here, I have all kinds of content for updates, but less time than I would like.
I am always tweaking the site and doing minor edits, but in the past few weeks, I’ve had time for some more major projects. There have been a few minor projects worth noting as well.
The Editor over at Tank and AFV News sent me some very interesting reports that give a very interesting look into the Army’s search for a suitable tank Motor.
THE NEW REPORTS! (They are new to the site, not new)
Ordnance Development of the Wright-Continental R-975 Radial Engine: This report is very interesting. It shows how long, and just how far the Army and Continental went to try and improve the life of the R-975 tank motor. By the time they were done, it was almost a new motor, but still not a great tank motor. Good enough for sure, but no Ford GAA, or as reliable as even the A-57!
Ordnance Development of the Chrysler a-57 Multibank Tank Engine:This report is just like the one on the R-975, but all about my favorite tank motor, the Mighty A-57! This motor became shockingly reliable for how complicated it was. What made it great was the complication only came in mating the five motors, the banks themselves were solid, wells designed, motors.
These reports will give you a very good look into why the US Army chose the motors they did and the story behind getting each one to work as a tank motor. They are interesting stories in their own right.
Sherman Tank Site: News Post 12, things have been changing, its all behind the scenes.
I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of manuals, and they are all great for gathering info on the Sherman, because you can almost always read them. The picture quality varies a huge amount depending on how it was created. There are some very common and easy to find Sherman manuals with terrible pictures. For example the two I have on the M4A3, and the manual on the Ford GAA, both were probably photocopied multiple times, then scanned on a really early scanner.
This means, the pictures at best, are mostly black blobs, and even the text isn’t great. All isn’t lost with these, as the line drawings usually come through ok. In some cases the manuals being sold online are these terrible photo copies printed into a cheap book with no improvements to the quality at all.
Some of these manuals have been scanned in by people with decent scanners, and these though much larger, have much nicer photo quality. Even if the scans are good, the original has to be good as well, and in some cases that’s really mixed. I have several, scanned at very high resolution, making them restorable, to some degree.
I’ve done the most work on the Ford GAA imaged I have, and the tranny. Here is a selection of the ones I’ve done, but not all. Check out the power train and GAA pages for all of them. These are relaxing to do, and I have a ton to work with so keep checking around the site!
Shermans Tanks In real Life: The Planes of Fame of fame Air Museum
Owning and flying WWII airplanes has been a thing much longer than restoring running tanks, and to this day, WWII aircraft tend to get more attention from Americans than armor or ships. That’s changed a lot over the years, and armor is more popular than ever with collectors, museums and the general public. There are several Tank museums or businesses around the country with running Shermans. The one we are going to talk about today is the Planes of Fame Air Museum, it is legendary in the Warbird world, because it has so many interesting and rare aircraft. It also has a long, history, and saved some amazing planes along the way, and one tank.
The Planes of Fame air museum has been around so long, it surely had a hand it kicking off the interest in Warbirds that has been popular in the United States since WWII. My Dad, a Baby Boomer, loved warbirds, and his love transferred right over to me, and I ran with it buying more books on airplanes, and tanks than he ever did, and I still have them al. When I was a kid, we went to the Reno Air Races, and I probably saw Steve Hinton, the President of Planes of Fame flying a racer. There is something about the roar of a warbird flying by that really gives you a sense of what seeing planes like that filling the sky in the mid-40s must have been like. They have a special sound, and hopefully this is a sound we will hear for decades to come.
Planes of fame got started in the 50s when Ed Maloney started collecting airplanes on a minuscule budget, his museums moved around, but really took root at Chino Airport, where Planes of Fame is to this day. Mr. Maloney had fallen in love with airplanes in high school, and just missed WWII. Shortly after the war he began collecting anything with wings on a shoestring budget for his future airplane museum. He was saddened and disgusted to see the warbirds that helped win WWII unceremoniously melted down for Scrap or for a lucky few to rot away on a remote part of an airport. I know the feeling, it makes me deeply sad to see the piles of P-38s bulldozed off a cliff in the Philippines, because flying them home was a waste of time and money…
By the 60s Ed Maloney had achieved his goal of building a museum and around the same time found a Sherman tank on range on Edwards Air Force base while he was scrounging for B-17 parts. He managed to buy the tank for $1! That’s not even the best part of the story! The Sherman, a very early production M4A1 75 tank, still ran! It had been sitting on Edwards for at least a decade untouched, and they got it running. The tanks interior was not gutted, though some things like the hull ammo boxes had been removed a lot of the important parts were still there. They collected more parts over the years, and serious restoration started in the 80s and continues even now.
Ed died in 2016, and it was a huge loss for the aviation community. Sometimes, when a man with a love for, and a collection of things like airplanes or tanks, when the man passes on, his labor of love dies with him, I know of a least two cases. The Littlefield collection only lasted a few years before his widow grew tired of it and donated it to a great museum on the east coast, but to build a place to keep it they sold most of it off, and now can’t build the new facility because of zoning problems. That wasn’t a worry of Ed Maloney, because PoF is a family affair. Steve Hinton, who took thinks over when Ed passed, has been around the place since he was a kid, and his best friend was Ed’s son. I’m also pretty sure Steve married Ed’s daughter! Planes of Fame lives on, stronger than ever, and with another generation working and flying the planes, I think they have a bright future.
Now you might be wondering how a bunch of airplane people can keep a tank working, but trust me, they have guys there who can keep an F4U-1 Corsair, with a magnificent Pratt and Whitney R-2800 running, they can figure out a simple Sherman. The nice thing about a Tank is it handles the weather a lot better than an Airplane, though being stored outside unprotected still isn’t good for them. The Sherman in particular has some very sturdy components, and more often than not, if the powertrain remained sealed up, even after decades on the firing range, if it didn’t get penetrated, they rarely needed much work to be operational again. The engines are a bit less robust, but in a nice warm dry environment, they could last a surprising amount of time as well.
Currently the Planes of Fame M4A1 is about 50% complete, and they restore a little more every year, as money and parts allow. I’m sure in some cases things have to be fabricated. It has a little Joe back auxiliary generator inside, has a working stock electric traverse system, but the stabilizer needs a little more work. The electric firing system works, and though the main gun is de-milled, it can still fire 75mm blanks. A blank firing co-ax M1919 machine gun can be fired with the foot switch, just like the main gun. The intercom is complete and works at all stations, as does all the interior lighting. A place like PoF probably has little trouble keeping the R-975 radial running either.
This summer the turret comes off, new ammo boxes go in and they will complete the interiors restoration. The M4A1 is already a part of their shows, but it is also available to rent, TV, Movies, Weddings, you name it, I could see an M4A1 being a cool addition! I hope to get down there sometimes in the next year or two and check the place out.
If you are in the area and have even the smallest interest in aviation, you owe yourself a trip to Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino California. The Sherman tank is of course going to see all on its own, but they also have a real Japanese Zero, with its correct engine and it flies! Even crazier? It was used in the Ben Aflack movie Pearl Harbor! Steve did all the flying, but they wouldn’t let him shoot Ben down for real!
In the new posts, I will update you on what’s been going on a bit behind the scenes for the week.
This week has been interesting, it’s 4th of July night, and I’m just wrapping things up for the evening before hitting the sack. It sounds like a firing range outside as people celebrate with fireworks and firearms. The Dogs gone deaf, and doesn’t notice, but the cats are scare, and I havn’t seen them in hours.
Anyway, this weekend I spent time on sorting through all the stuff I’ve downloaded over the past few months. I’ve literally downloaded thousands of pictures and hundreds of PDFs on various topics. The Sherman related ones will be going up on the site soon.
I should have some posts on Sherman tank plastic models and French Shermans up soon, and I’ll be doing a post on Dutch Shermans, and Sherman based SPGs soon.
In other news, Drive tanks.coma outfut out of Texas noticed my site and has contacted me! I’m going to be doing a post on them soon with info on their fully operational Sherman tank, and that includes all it’s guns people, and what you can do with it with American Dollars! I hope to be able to take a trip out and see what the whole thing is all about! This place looks like it may be the most magical place on earth, not Disneyland!
In future news, I will be signing up for Facebook and Twitter for the site.
Civilian Sherman Use: Hollywood, Loggers, Farmers, Museums and Frat Boys
Since the Sherman tank was produced in huge numbers, and the Army didn’t need that many, and even after taking the best for themselves, mothballing the best of the ones they didn’t for use as military aid to struggling allies, they still had a bunch of small hatch M4 tank of various types sitting around. The US Government decided there might be a civilian market for the tanks and put them up for sale as surplus.
It was not just Sherman tanks that would go on sale after the war, actually before the war ended in the case of aircraft. When the war ended the US Government was saddled with so much, now essentially useless, war material, in many cases they just left it to rot where it was sitting. They bulldozed the stuff into ditches or off cliffs, or dumped it into the ocean. That was the fate of most of the war material in the pacific theater. There are heartbreaking photos of P-38 Lighting fighters bulldozed off a cliff in the Philippines.
The war material, tanks, planes, trucks, tools, bulldozers, tug boats, etc. back in the United States would mostly be melted down for scrap, thousands of B-17 and B-24 bombers, P-40s, P-38s, P-47s, you name it, if it flew, it was surplused after the war. Many airlines snapped up the transport planes and cargo planes, but just about all the fighters and bombers got scrapped. For about the price of a nice new car you could have owned any of the fighters, brand new, with full tanks of gas. Many fighters were bought up for use as air racers, or use as surveying aircraft, but at that point in time no one cared enough about them to consider preserving them, with exceptions for particularly historically significant aircraft.
You could buy Shermans in running condition, with the gun DE milled, for about the price of a nice used car. I do not think the Sherman was a hot seller, though a few civilians here and there bought them for the novelty. They did sell to some construction company’s here and there, other companies bought them up in droves, and all the other vehicles that used the Sherman powertrain, and began converting the hulls into specialized equipment used in construction, mining, and forestry. They also one in at least one case sold a Sherman to a college fraternity.
Several companies, Finning, Traxxon, and Morpac made rocking drilling machines based on Sherman hulls, the whole upper hull being replaced by the drill and superstructure. Madill seems to have specialized in converting Sherman hulls into mobile ‘yarders’, a central tower with winches, used to pull freshly cut trees up to an area to be further processed and loaded on trucks. These companies were mostly Canadian, and Morpac is still making heavy duty off road load carriers based on Sherman suspension components.
Vickers used Sherman hulls and suspension to make heavy duty tractors for peanut farming in Africa. These heavy tractors were to be used to clear land for the farms. They only used the suspension, final drives, differentials and tracks, the transmission was different and they used a large inline six for power.
Some power companies used drilling machines based on the Sherman tank as well, but I am not sure if they are the same as the drills made by Finning and Traxxon. In at least one other case a company named Abdo S Allen Co. used a Sherman tank they bought surplus in the 60s as a heavy duty building destroyer. They used the M4A3E8 Sherman, with no dozer blade or anything to knock down large swaths of houses in North West Oakland California in the late 60s. They could be the only destruction company to figure out they could use a tank for demolishing light buildings.
In the 70s things began to change. Interest in World War II started to pick up, and that meant interest in the equipment, so museums for WWII equipment started becoming more popular. The United States has always been interesting in aviation as a people. So WWII aviation was the first thing to really take off. It really started with surplus machines being used as air racers, and then many of the old racers, sitting around rotting, got bought up by men who wanted to own a WWII aircraft. Some of these men founded things like the Confederate Air Force, or the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino. These groups and many more keep aviation history alive by keeping the fantastic old flying machines in the air. It’s amazing that today, there is a larger variety of well restored and rare WWII aircraft flying than when I was a kid in the 70s.
Hollywood made a few movies using somewhat correct airplanes, but most movies until 90s didn’t bother with accuracy in armor, and many of the big screen epics like, The Longest Day, the Battle of the bulge, and Patton, using more modern stand in tanks. A Bridge To Far, broke the mold, and got a lot of running Shermans together, though many not exactly period correct. Kelly’s Heroes was another oddball in that it used real Shermans as well, but their tiger was fake.
As interest in WWII continued to grow, all forms of equipment became popular, and there had already been a few tank guys out there that had a tank or two, or whole collections. Tank museums, most in the US anyway, are owned by the government, and the displays are largely gutted, welded closed near hulks, rusting away in an outdoor display area. It’s not uncommon in Europe for a tank museum to have several runners they bring out for events various times a year for crowd pleasing displays. There are a few museums in the US not owned by the government that are doing this now too. One, at least in the past, I don’t know if it still runs, was the Planes of Fame museum in Chino California, they had a running Sherman they show off at their airshow. The Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington, has a running M4A1 75 and a T-34-85 and do an event where they drive them around on May 30th! This weekend! Battlefield Vegas a huge shooting range in Las Vegas, has a large verity of Machine guns you can shoot and is resto modding a Sherman that they got off a target range. The owner is planning on adding some more modern updates to it, for safety, reliability, and habitability in the Vegas heat. Since the tank was just about at the scrapping point, and I’m for A/C in everything, I see no problems with this at all.
There is also a large group of people, who like to reenact WWII battles, and they collect the vehicles as well, but tanks in this scene are rare. There are small private tank museums that use their tanks in local events like veteran days parades or local airshows. Tanks are a lot easier operate and cheaper to maintain than a WWII airplane, and that may be adding to their popularity and value with collectors as well. Aircraft require all kinds of inspections and certifications, and you have to store them in hangers, and if you don’t fly them regularly they will rot away. Since they fly, not being on top of all the required maintenance might get you killed.
If your tank restoration project breaks down when your testing out the rebuilt Ford GAA, you just fix it there, or have it towed back to your work area. It’s not going to fall out of the sky and possible kill you and other people. In both cases, to really work on it, you need some heavy equipment. You’re not pulling a turret, or motor (tank or plane), without a heavy duty hoist of some type, 10,000 pounds plus minimum, and that might not be enough to get a turret off. Most tank motors the Sherman and other American WWII tanks used are pretty simple as internal combustion engines go, though the R975 radial would be pretty daunting to most car people, even it isn’t that complicated. In both cases they are thoroughly documented, but true experts on the motors who can overhaul them are few and far between, for both tank and aircraft motors.
In the United States, it’s not all that hard, if you’re willing to pay the taxes and go through the government checks, to own a tank with a working canon. Since the tanks were never sold by the government to civilians with working guns, the guns are often pieced together, with parts that don’t match, and this really takes the danger level of owning a tank to a new level. Part of the added danger is the rounds can’t just be purchased, you have to find suitable used brass, not an easy task, and then hand load it with surplus or custom made projectiles and surplus powder. As dangerous as this can be, I’m all for allowing people to do what they want with the things they own, and having a working main gun on your Sherman is pretty damn cool.
Now, these last few paragraphs have had a touch of tongue and cheek in them, owning a tank is a very expensive thing to do, and the bigger the tank the more money it will suck up each year, just less than an airplane. A tank can’t fall out of the sky, but it is by no means safe, and doing any kind of work on it, or even climbing on and off of it, can cost you a finger or broken bones. Putting an arm or hand in the wrong place while a turret is being rotated can get them messily removed. Falling off a tank while it’s moving is a bad way to die, but it happens. It’s hard for people who have never worked with heavy equipment of any kind to realize just how dangerous 30 tons of steel is just sitting still. That said, the people out there restoring WWII history, and keeping it running are awesome. Nothing beats seeing a Sherman tank moving around to really give you an idea of what the thing was all about. The Sherman people who go to the trouble to get the A57 in their M4A4 working are my automotive heroes!
At some point in the 80s some producer or special effects place got their hands on a Sherman and it made appearances in shows like the A-team, Knight Rider and Airwolf. I suspect it was the same M4A3 used in the Movie ‘Tank’ with James Garner, and that is now owned by the Collings Foundation. In more recent years, privately owned tanks, and some working museum vehicles were used in the making of the miniseries Band of Brothers on HBO. They don’t appear in many of the episodes, but they are in at least two. More recently the movie Fury was filmed using the tanks of the Bovington tank Museum in the UK. They also purchased an M4A4 hulk, and did a quickie ‘resto’ on it and made up a fiberglass turret that could be blown off, for the movies to often used ammo rack explosion.
Another thing tanks get used for in civilian life is in ‘Drive a tank’ places like, Ox Ranch in Texas, and driving a tank isn’t the only thing you can do there! Machine guns, Off roading, hunting, tanks, this is like heaven!
There are several other places in the US, and around the world like Drive a Tankin Minnesota and Battlefield Vegas,(Sherman in the works). You can pay for a package that often includes driving several kinds of vehicles leading up to the tank of your choice. They often offer add-ons like shooting machine guns or running over a car you supply, for various fees. The places that have a Sherman usually don’t use it in the car crushing displays; it’s usually a bigger tank like a British chieftain.
The final civilian Sherman type I want to mention is the kind you find in front of VFW halls, or town or state parks. The tanks in these cases are not actually civilian tanks. The Army still owns them more or less, so if the place they are in happens to close down or change, the town or VFW can’t sell the tank. The Army will come and get it, and they are supposedly responsible for keeping them up, but in reality, they are usually pretty rusty on the inside, and often have the floors starting to rust through.
Tanks in motion: Sherman Tanks on Film, Either Modern Restorations or Period Videos.
Here is an older video of an M4A1 that was restored and had new tracks installed. They really put this tank through the paces and it’s worth it even if the music is a bit dated.
Here’s a short video of an M4A4 driving around.
The M4 105 Dozer, a video dedicated to just it! bonus includes Sherman drifting! They look like they are having so much fun in this video! Well until they bust it! This video is a BLAST!!!!
Shermans and a M31 ARV gutted and made to look like a M3 Lee again.
This was a Normandy Memorial day in 2013 I think. In this video, we see an M4A1 75 start up and then drive off, almost stalling. Then later we get to see an M4A1 76w driving around. Interesting how close they let people get to moving tanks. Parked nextr to it is an M10 tank destroyer.
This is another Normandy D-Day Memorial, 2014. The Video starts off with an mid production small hatch M4A1 75, with a later production M10 behind it and then an M18. After that an small hatch M4a2, and then the Fury M4A2 76 HVSS tank.
Ontario Regiments Museum’s M4A2 76 W HVSS tank driving around!
A video of a restored M4A1 driving in circles firing off its main gun, I’m sure modified to fire on propane as a noise maker.
A very long video, POV from the co drivers spot, on a restored, small hatch M4A1.
Here is a video of a restored Firefly Vc, a Sherman M4A4, with the a working A57 multibank motor, getting new tracks. This may not look tricky, but these men are all risking losing fingers or toes, or worse, if someone messes up.
Video of a Very nice looking M4 105, with dozer blade being used to recover a M4A4 in very bad shape.
A start to finish ‘flower pot’ restoration on an M4A1.
A resto mod on a M4A1, with more footage of that nice M4 105 dozer.
Links: Cool Sherman, Armor Related, Or WWII Web Sites
Sherman minutia site:You can spend days on this site learning interesting things about the Sherman. If you read through much of this site you will know how much I like the Sherman Minutia site because I mention it so much. It’s always open, and I can almost always find something new to read or something I forgot about on this site. Probably the best Sherman specific web site on the internet. If you want to know how to detect the differences between models, right down to specific factories unique fittings, this is the website to do it on, click the link and go, they are the best around for that! They are so good at it, I have no interest in ever trying to cover those details here!
Pierre-Olivier’s Photo Album from his Trip to America: You might be wondering why this is right below the Sherman minutia site link, oh well, maybe not, but if you were wondering, Pierre Olivier is the man responsible for the Sherman Minutia site. This is his photo album for his trip to the good old US of A. He checked out just about every armor museum in the US, and a lot of tanks in parks. I’d love to talk to him, I know he posts at Com-central.net, but for some reason I can’t get the registration to work there! I’ll figure it out, like tanknet, some legends of the Sherman world post there.
Tanks on Tarawa: I just picked up Tanks in Hell, A Marine Corps Tanks Company on Tarawa, by Oscar Gilbert and Romain Cansiere, and they mentioned this site in the acknowledgments section. I’ve only looked it over a little as of right now, (that will change, I’m sure the rest of my evening will be spent their), and right off the bat, I know the tank show in the water in my post on Tarawa has the wrong name in my post.
The Sherman Tank Restoration page:A page that documents the restoration of a M4A3 76W HVSS tank that was surplused in the late 50s and purchased by Abdo S. Alan Co. a demolition company out of Oakland California. They used it to knock down buildings in Oakland for years. At some point the tank broke down, after being gutted for a new motor, and sat until the Littlefield collection purchased it, then traded it to someone who the current owner purchased it from. None of the previous owners had made any attempts to restore it. The current and last owner did an amazing job restoring the tank. Some surprises during the resto were, the tranny and final drives were in such good shape they required only cosmetic restoration. The suspension and tracks were also in very good shape. I spent more than three evenings going through this pages photo album of the restoration. This tank is a functioning work of art now.
The Sherman Firefly Vc restoration page: This web page just went up and is about the restoration of the M4A4, which is the oldest known surviving A4 model. The tank served most of the war as a training tank in the US, until it was refurbished by Chrysler and shipped to the UK to be converted into a Sherman Vc firefly. They are just starting the restoration, and are collecting parts and researching the tank. I wish I could be of some kind of help, but I don’t know what I could do. But maybe if you stumble on this site, and happen to have Sherman stuff for sale, please contact them at this web page. The already have some fascinating information on how the tank was changed when converted to a Firefly, and how the interior was laid out. There is also some very interesting information on how the loaders job would have to be done. I plane to watch this page closely as they restore the old tank.
RamTank.CA: This website is to the RAM Tank, what the Sherman Tank Website is to the Sherman! Once you’ve read my article on the tank, and looked at the pretty pictures, check out their site to dig into the details!
Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale: I just discovered this site, and it is a very nice site if you want to know about building Sherman tanks in the 1/72 scale. I have dabbled in this scale, but never came close to producing anything as nice at the author over there. The scale itself has come a long way and it’s really amazing what level of detail you can get in this scale, if you’re good with tweezers and your hands are steady!
General WWII or Tank Related Links:
The U.S. / American Automobile Industry in World War Two: This website. as its title suggests covers a lot of stuff along with the Shermans that were built by auto makers. There is more to building a tank than a single factory in many cases, and even a factory like CDA, that could do everything in house, farmed much of the subassemblies out to its normal sub contracts. This site gives info on many of them, and there is so much here, you could spend hours reading. I know I have! NEW LINK!
Tank and AFV news: A news website that covers Shermans when they hit the news. A generally interesting site if you are into tanks, and who isn’t! This is one of my read everyday sites.
The Lone Sentry: This website’s tag line is Photographs, documents, research on World War II, and that’s just what they do. This site is a staple of WWII history, and provides tons of good content. I was sad, this website went down for almost a month, but its back and stronger than ever.
Armor for the Ages: This is the website for the General George Patton Museum of Leadership, and the new National Armor and Cavalry Museum at Fort Benning. There are some very interest article and photo albums here, including one that documents the cosmetic restoration of the first Jumbo in Bastogne, Cobra King.
The AFV Database: This website has a huge listing of American Tank specifications, and he has a lot of very cool pictures to go with them. If you need some vehicle stats or images, this is your site! Some of the photos on this site were acquired there and the site owner was very nice about me using the images. Check his great site out. When I want data on an American tank, or AFV, his is my first stop.
Archive Awareness: A history site dedicated to translating Russian archive documents to english. He has done some very interesting posts on lend lease tanks, including the Lee and Sherman. This is a really great site, stuffed with great information.
Toadman’s Tank pictures: Toadman’s tank pictures is one of those staples of the internet, I can’t believe I forgot to add him in the links. If you need close up shots of a tank, this is the place to go, if you want high res versions, he has CDs you can buy! Check out his site, there are a ton of Sherman photos up there.
The 8th Armored Division: The Thundering Herd, Association Website. While I was searching around on the internet for information on US Armored Divisions, this page came up, and was by far the most informative page on the subject. This Association has really done the 8th AD a service with this website, very informative.
The Internet Archive: This site is awesome, I’ve found so much interesting stuff there, everything from Technical Manuals to Unit Histories. I’ve literally downloaded hundreds of Sherman related documents from this site. Some of the hardest ones to find, I found here. If your going to donate to an internet site like Wikipedia, don’t and donate to this guys instead!
RadioNerds: This website was a huge help when I needed to find info about Sherman tank radios. They cover all US Army Radios, and also have an archive of PS Magazines, its a very cool site.
Panzerserra Bunker: A nice blog on modeling with some interesting Sherman stuff and very interesting plastic modeling techniques.
The Surviving Panzers site:This interesting site has PDFs for many of the major nations of WWIIs surviving tanks. For our purposes he has most of the Sherman models broken down into sub types and has a picture and short description of each tank. They are not complete, but they are close.
M1919tech.com This new site is a very interesting look at the history of the M1919 machine gun. This is the machine gun used on the Sherman, and by the US Army and Marines during WWII. I learned a hell of a lot about the history of this machine gun than I knew before I found this site, it’s a great read with lots of rare photos.
AFV Photos:L&P Hannah’s great photo collection of Armor in the US. There are a lot of photos of tanks all over the US here. Paul Hannah must love tanks, he has traveled all over the United States taking pictures of them. I had no idea how many Sherman tanks there were in the east and mid west in parks and in front of VFW halls. This is another place you could spend hours browsing!
I remember interview:Of Dmitriy Loza, a Russian Tanker who used most lend Lease armor but the Sherman the most, he used both 75mm and 76mm version of the M4A2. This is a very interesting read, and shows how well the Russians liked the Shermans.
The Ford GAA engine Web Page: This Web site has some really fascinating information about the Ford GAA engine. Not much about its use in a tank, more about how it was just an amazing engine and could be used to make a lot of horsepower. The GAA motor was capable of a lot more than 500 horsepower, and was amazingly overbuilt, this page talks about why. If you’re a Hot-rodder, you will want to check it out.
Chieftain’s Hatch: His Sherman related hatches.
Wargaming’s The Chieftain, has what some might call a dream job, but when you hear how hard Wargaming works the poor guy, if you’re sane, you might feel different. For more details on the man, check out the WOT forums. For our purposes, and arguably the most important part of his job is Archive Crawling and then producing interesting article for far Wargaming to use to promote the game. As a fan of the game and history, I think this is great. The Chieftain has produced some very interesting articles on the Sherman tank or they are mentioned in others, so I will link to the ones important to the Sherman here.
Testing the British Cruisers: This Hatch is about testing the Centaur and Cromwell against a M4A3 Sherman. The Brits sent the two tanks over without much prep, and they were pretty new designs. As one could guess, the test went poorly for the British tanks. This caused some distress for the Brits, as did the Chieftains post on the forums. The post below answers some of the concerns of the angry posters.
Exercise Dracula: This was an extensive 2000 plus mile long test the British did testing the automotive reliability of the Cromwell, Centaur, and an M4A4 and M4A2 Sherman. Though not directly about the Sherman, it is very flattering to the Sherman, and in particular the M4A4 with is A57 multibank motor is considered very reliable!
Sherman PR, 1942: This Hatch contains a lot of glowing praise from the Brits about the Sherman and Lee tanks. This report is cherry picked for PR purposes of the time, but I bet they didn’t have to look around much for Brit tankers to praise the Sherman.
The End of the M4(75):This Hatch is about the role the Sherman filled and how it was always designed to take out tanks. It’s also about the Army’s plan had always been to replace the 75mm gun with the 76mm gun, and this predates the D-Day landings.