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M4 versions

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

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    [SIZE=10pt]British Tank Designs - 1939 to 1945 [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Light Tanks [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.4 - Mk. II, IIa, IIb - Vickers .303 MG [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.4 - Mk. III, IV - Vickers .303 or .50 Caliber MG [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.4 - Mk. V, VI, VIa, VIb - Vickers .303 and .50 Caliber MG [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.17 - Mk. I - Light Tank Mk. VII "Tetrarch" - 2-pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.25 - Mk. I - Light Tank Mk. VIII "Harry Hopkins" - 2-pounder [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]All except the last two essentially useless as tanks and the last two only useful in very specialized circumstances.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Cruisers [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.9 - Mk. I - Cruiser Mk. I - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.9 - Mk. I CS - Cruiser Mk. I CS - 3.7" How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.10 - Mk. I, Ia - Cruiser Mk. II - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.10 - Mk. I CS - Cruiser Mk. II CS - 3.7" How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.13 - Mk. I - Cruiser Mk. III - 2 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.13 - Mk. II, IIa - Cruiser Mk. IV - 2 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.13 - Mk. II CS - Cruiser Mk. IV CS - 3.7" How[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Were all at best moderately decent designs. Reliability was poor, armor protection was poor, and gunpower was poor. But they were fast![/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.13 - Mk. III - Cruiser Mk. V "Covenanter" - 2 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.13 - Mk. III CS - Cruiser Mk. V CS "Covenanter" - 3" How[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Horribly bad designs with reliability so poor they were never used other than as training vehicles.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.15 - Mk. I, II - Cruiser Mk. VI "Crusader" - 2 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.15 - Mk. II CS - Cruiser Mk. VI CS "Crusader" - 3" How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.15 - Mk. III - Cruiser Mk. VI "Crusader" - 6 pounder [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Better designs, with eventually better armament, but reliability continued to be poor.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.24 - Mk. I - Cruiser Mk. VII "Cavalier" - 6 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27L - Mk. I - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Centaur" - 6 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27L - Mk. III - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Centaur" - 75mm AT[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27L - Mk. IV - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Centaur" - 95mm How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27M - Mk. I, II, III - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Cromwell" - 6 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27M - Mk. IV, IVw, Vw - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Cromwell" - 75mm AT[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27M - Mk. VI - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Cromwell" - 95mm How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27M - Mk. VII, VIIw - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Cromwell" - 75mm AT[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.27M - Mk. VIII - Cruiser Mk. VIII "Cromwell" - 95mm How[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]A vast improvement, but it says something that so many resources were expended on three competing designs, of which only Cromwell was successful. Cavalier was considered inferior. Centaur wasn't quite as bad, but was much less reliable and required more maintenance. Available in quantity by mid-1943, by which time all British cruiser tank units in the Med were equipped with the better US-supplied Medium Tank M4, so it remained in England until June 1944.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.30 - Mk. I - Cruiser "Challenger" - 17 pounder[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Horrible excuse for a "tank". It was really a poorly designed antitank weapon.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.34 - Mk. I - Cruiser "Comet" - 77mm AT[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]An actually good tank...available in December 1944.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]A.41 - Mk. I (Prototypes) - Heavy Cruiser "Centurion" [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Great, if you can wait until mid-1945 for quantity production...and that damned problem with reliability is back (not fixed until the Mark II and III).[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tanks[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.11 - Infantry Tank Mk. I - "Matilda Mk. I" - Vickers .303 or .50 Caliber MG [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.12 - Infantry Tank Mk. II - "Matilda Mk. II" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.12 - Infantry Tank Mk. II - "Matilda Mk. III, IV" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.12 - Infantry Tank Mk. II CS - "Matilda Mk. III, IV" - 3" How[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Effective...at least until mid-1941[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. I, II" - 2 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. III" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. IV" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. V" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. VI, VII, VIIa" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. VIII, IX, X" - 6 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]Infantry Tank Mk. III - "Valentine Mk. XI" - 75mm AT [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]It says something that a commercial design built on spec was the best British tank until 1943. Meanwhile, while reliable and reasonably well protected, its armament was poor. The Soviets liked it hardly makes it a war winner.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. I" - 2 pounder and 3" How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. II" - 2 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. II CS" - 3" How. and 2 pounder in hull [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. III, IV" - 6 pounder[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill IV NA75" - 75mm AT [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. V" - 95mm How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill VI, VII" - 75mm AT[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. VIII" - 95mm How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. IX, IX LT" - 6 pounder [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill X, X LT" - 75mm AT [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Mk. XI, XI LT" - 95mm How[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill AVRE" - Petard Mortar [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10pt]A.22 - Infantry Tank Mk. IV - "Churchill Crocodile" - 75mm AT and one flamethrower[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Horrible reliability problems plagued it until late 1942/early 1943. After that it was excellent as a specialized infantry support tank.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]In truth, the early cruisers and I tanks were keep in production in 1841 and 1942 because the British realized something was better than nothing. See Benjamin Coombs, British Tank Production and the War Economy.[/SIZE]
     
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  2. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    What about the Comet tanks, weren't they Cruiser?
     
  3. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    The M4A2 was not used by the US period?
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Comet is listed with the cruiser tanks in Rich's list.


    The US Marines used the M4A2, the US Army did not.
     
  5. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I saw it after.
     
  6. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Many of the 75mm M4s were converted to 76 correct? Also, when the tank was designed and first deployed, it could more than handle its own against the top tier German tanks, the III and IV. The 75mm gun was better performing than the gun on the early T34s, that was listed in another topic. Also, it was reliable, fairly fast, easy to maintain, and the gun was sufficient for mid to late 1942.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Relatively few 75mm M4 were "converted" to 76mm during the war; most were built as 76mm. Only the first 12 M4A1 (76mm) pilots were, then late war various field modifications occurred, many to M4A3E2. Cobra King for example, was converted to 76mm. However, most of the actual conversions were postwar as part of the MAP.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    And, most damning, the HMSO (Official History) David Fletcher "Great Tank Scandal"

    I think there were three problems that beset British tank design and manufacture.

    #1 The lack of a suitable tank engine. Between the wars Britain's tax regime encouraged the development of small under powered road vehicles and discouraged the development of heavy goods vehicles. There was no indigenous engine capable of powering tanks. The IIRC the Valentine tank was designed around the diesel engine used in London buses.

    #2 Flawed armoured doctrine. The result was a plethora of useless light tanks and exaggerated differences between cruiser and infantry tanks. The Germans and Americans could focus on building a reliable chassis Pz II,III & IV and M2 M3 M4 optimised for different roles. The British more than doubled the design manufacturing and logistic overheads with families of chassis for cruiser and infantry tank designs.

    #3 "Events dear boy.." The course of WW2 led to the British to continue with obsolescent designs to replace losses and expand the army. The decision to deploy the motor industry to support the aircraft industry left tank production to the railway industry which struggled to design vehicles which worked e.g. Covenenter. In 1940-42 Britain needed aircraft more than tanks, as a result it took until 1943 to develop the Meteor from the Merlin. Without the Meteor the half decent Cromwell was merely a Centaur or Cavalier waiting for REME on the side of the road; and the Centurion a design doodle.
     
  9. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The Soviets equipped many of their elite Guards Mechanized Corps with M4 tanks, probably because M4 tanks were suited for the long-range exploitation role envisioned for those formations. M4(76) was competitive in firepower, protection and mobility with the best Russian medium tank, the T-34/85, but I recall the M4's tracks did not hold up well during the invasion of Manchuria.
     
  10. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Were the "russian" M4s equipped with Diesel engines? They didn't like petrol engines.

    David Fletcher's opinion was that the quality of the british tanks wasn't important in the early stages of the war, the BEF didn't know how to use tanks. Maybe I find it on youtube.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

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

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  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Officially, total Lend-Lease shipments of tanks to the USSR were 7,172:

    1,683 were light tanks: 1,676 M3 (1,336 gas and 340 diesel, 443 were lost in route), 5 M5, and 2 M24
    5488 were medium tanks (417 were lost in route): 1,386 were Medium Tank M3 Lee (gas), 2,007 were M4A2 (75mm) (diesel)...except two of the 1,993 the Soviets received were M4A4 (gas); 2,095 were M4A2 (76mm) (diesel)
    1 was a heavy tank, a M26 (T26E3) (gas)
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I am not sure that the Russians or Germans would agree that the T34/85 and M4(76) were equivalent. The only account I have read about M4s used in Manchuria is in Dmitriy Loza's book where he mentions that the road tires had shed rubber - a common problem that affected the otherwise reliable M4, and solved with a spare roadwheel. By this time his tanks had already driven to Vienna.
     
  14. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    The number of tanks lost in route is known for Russian lend-lease? Are the same statistics available for tanks lost crossing the Atlantic for US Army use and other Allied use?
     
  15. OpanaPointer

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

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    You could find those numbers by comparing "shipped" with "received". This would involve some serious digging, I think.
     
  16. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Rich TO90 has that information just above in post 32 in this thread , no digging needed :)

    Gaines
     
  17. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    He listed the Russian losses. I'd like to know how many tanks were lost in the Battle of the Atlantic, for the build-up if US and Allied supplies for France and Italy.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The British recorded the following "lost at sea" in all theaters of war.

    Light Tank M3A1 and M3A3 - 129
    Medium Tank M4 all types - 272 (including 20 intended for Turkey)
    Infantry Tank Churchill - 64

    Despite extensive searching I have never found a similar accounting for the US. I suspect the data was destroyed along with the other wartime personnel manifests and vehicle registration information.
     
  19. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Is that the number of tanks lost shipped for the US to England, because that's pretty incredible that all the Atlantic shipping and U-boat threats they only lost 272 M4s, or is that strictly tanks already in England and shipped somewhere else?
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    That is the number of American tanks in British hands via cash and carry or Lend-Lease lost at sea. So 401 of 27,751 or 1.4%. Soviet shipments were 7,172 of which 860 were lost or 12.0%. A pretty good measure of the relative threats of the US to Britain versus US/Britain to USSR convoy runs. You might also note that only 14 Medium Tanks M4 were lost in route to the USSR versus 403 Medium Tanks M3. When and how they were shipped makes a difference.

    Edit of the information on Convoy AS-4 the reinforcement of British 8th Army with Sherman tanks and 105mm Priest HMC.

    Originally, the plan was to send 300 Sherman and 100 Priests, but the delivery of the tanks was delayed, so Convoy AS-4 sailed first with 302 tanks and the 100 HMC, 51 of the tanks and 32 of the Priests on the SS Fairport. Significantly, the decision was made to ship the tank engines as cargo separate from the tanks, in order to better protect them from the elements. The problem is, all were loaded on the Fairport. She was sunk by U-161. So Seatrain Texas was loaded with 52 tanks and 25 Priests along with 300 more engines and went off independently, without escort, catching up with the convoy at Port Said. Fourteen more Shermans and 1 Priest later went off in a separate convoy. One Sherman was already in Egypt as of 30 August, probably one of the original M4A1 sent to the UK, which was then sent to Egypt for familiarization.

    In the end, 318 tanks and 94 Priests were delivered.
     

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