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M4 versions

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by GunSlinger86, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    On the tanks encyclopedia website, it lists all the types and variants of pretty much every tank. in the M4 section it goes through all the Sherman variants and modifications. It lists two 75mm variants for each successive model, stating there was an improved, longer-barreled 75mm gun used on later upgraded models. Was there an improved, longer 75mm gun used on the later Shermans? Also, was the gun on the M3 Lee different than the gun on the M4? It looks shorter form all pictures I've seen.
     
  2. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    (W) indicates the tank has wet storage for ammo.

    To the best of my knowledge the M3 75mm was never improved.

    Some grants had M2's others had M3's.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It wasn't. However, the very early production M4s & M4A1s also were equipped with the "short" barreled M2 75mm, because the longer M3 75mm was not ready yet. As the M3 75mm became more available, the Shermans with the short M2s had them replaced with the M3.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    belasar likes this.
  5. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    So there is a shorter version 75mm gun and a longer version 75mm gun? I read that there was a version the L31 and the L40, the L40 being longer and better.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The L31 was the M2, the L40 was the M3.
     
  7. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    49,000 Shermans were built in about 3 years during the war, that's more than production of T-34s in the same given time span during the war, correct?
     
  8. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A3 and M4A4 have different engines and hull shape/construction.
    Any of them could be armed with a 76-mm. gun or installed with "wet" ammo storage, but I think horizontal volute spring suspension are only found on M4A3.
    Various types of applique armor, factory welded or field expedient, are highly common. For example, army workshops put together M4 assault tanks that had 100-mm thick armor for leading road marches, and the Third Army had armor mods for all assigned armored divisions.
     
  9. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Was any studies ever done to determine if rolled steel or cast steel were actually better for theri intended use ? Can one face harden cast steel ? I am assuming the particular alloy mix was different for each.

    Also was any particular suspension more vulnerable than others. Horizontal volutes seem to be developed for better ride to reduce fatigue but were they stronger or less strong against breakage and hits ? Same question for the toison bar , large boogie wheeled tanks. . The suspension & tracts seemingly the weakest link on a tank, well there is the floor and mines set off by the tracts.

    I would not expect there to be huge differences but just curious. The Sherman being a particularly interesting tank as it has so many variations, and especially when you look at the Israeli Super Shermans.

    Gaines
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    49,422 - more or less - Medium Tank M4-series were completed as gun tanks during the war. Of those, 841 M4 (105mm), 1,944 M4A1 (76mm) (w), 3,142 M4A3 (76mm) (w), and 2,539 M4A3 (105mm) were factory-completed with HVS suspension. Others were converted as test beds and 3,755 earlier production tanks were remanufactured with HVS in 1944 and 1945. Many of the remanafactured were used for MAP postwar and more were remanufactured for that program, but I don't have data as to exactly how many.
     
  11. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    HVSS was used on the Easy 8? The HVSS was also similar to the wider tracks of the T34?
     
  12. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Although not used in US service, what about the ~2000 M4A2 (76mm) that were built with HVSS?
     
  13. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Yes.

    Yes. HVSS track was 23 inches wide. T34 track was ~22 inches wide.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, yes, had a hard time reading my own footnotes. C. 1,299 M4A2 (76mm) were built with HVS by Fisher and another 21 by Pressed Steel. As of September 1945, as many as 704 were still in depots in the US and 300 were purchased by Canada in 1946. Later, 529 were reported still in US inventory, so it seems at least 829 were retained in US hands even if they were not kept in US service.
     
  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    "Easy 8" was a nickname. The "E" actually refers to an engineering modification to a vehicle. The "8" is the eighth engineering modification to that vehicle. In the case of the M4-series, the eighth engineering modification standardized in the series was the HVS suspension. It actually was used in production in the M4, M4A1, M4A2, and M4A3. M4A4 and M4A6 were not produced with HVS, but postwar a number of M4A4 sold as scrap were modified with HVS, most notably in those used for the Israeli M50 conversion.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Is there an email address for the Tank Encyclopedia people?
     
  17. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    The British made more tank models than the US during the war, but we gave the British almost as many Shermans as went to the US Army. Why did we supply them with so many when they had numerous tank models?
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    "Models" does not equate to number of tanks built. Over similar periods of time, the British manufactured 24,803 tanks to the US 87,178. The Chrysler Tank Arsenal alone manufactured 22,234, nearly as many as the entire British effort.

    The other simple fact is that many of the British tanks produced in 1940-1943 were utter crap. For example, production of the Covenantor continued only because nothing better was available as a "cruiser" tank...and it was so bad it essentially never left England and was only used for training. So the US-built M3 and M5 light tanks and M3 and M4 medium tanks were a godsend, especially given at one point the British contemplated fielding 11 armoured divisions and as many army tank brigades, about 35 or so armoured and tank brigades altogether, which made them a very tank heavy army as compared to the US.
     
  19. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Just this morning I happened to catch a brief bit of war footage of a M50 that appeared to be in the Six Day War. We all know when semi-documentaries are produced with cut in footage from all over but I watch to see real tanks in Combat. Usually brief but worthwhile.

    Rich, thanks for all the terrific insights into the Shermans. Thanks too it's large diameter turret ring it has accommodated, with modifications, the short M3, regular M4, a short 105, our 76, the British 77, and the Israelis 90 and 105 , the latter being a modified French tank main gun. I am sure I missed some, can anyone come up with more,.?

    Gaines
     
  20. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    The Red Army liked the Valentine, the Brits could develop a decent tank before the Cromwell appeared. Don't know if they liked the Shermans as well.
     

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