Re: CCB photo

Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>


The old military guys I know told me that the M4 did not come with a
dedicated lock as-built, but there were problems with damage to the elevating
gears in shipment, so they made crude locks out of wood for shipment
overseas. Then they found there was a need for locks when they were
traveling long distances in-country, so they mounted a dedicated lock on the
back deck (sometime after the Normandy invasion). This was quickly found to
be a problem when a few tanks got shot at and didn't have the time to move
the turret 180 degrees to return fire, so was quickly re-mounted on the front
glacis. When they were close to the front they could leave the top
unfastened, so the gun could be quickly moved up and the lock drop out of
engagement. The final series of M4 were furnished from the factory, with the
lock mounted on the glacis. The last part looks to be true in photo
evidence. They were all supplied from the factory with covers over the
turret mantlet and openings. The MGs were stowed. The bow MG had a canvas
cover. M4 generally came from the factory with stenciling and numbering.

BTW, M4A3 and M4A1 were almost never found together due to the fact that the
M4A3 were segregated in certain units of the US Army. Units (tank
battalions) were generally only provided parts and tools for one type of
engine. M4 and M4A1 were mixed in units sometimes, as they had the same
Continental engines, but the M4A3 had a Ford GAA, and all different parts.
Since they were shipped from different plants, it would also be unlikely
you'd see M4A1 and M4A3 on the same flat. Sorry for all the minutiae, but I
got an earful yesterday, and thought someone (well OK, maybe no one) might
find it interesting.

One could speculate about the mix of what RRs flats got used most, but with
wartime demands, one could also speculate that they could end up on anything
that was available, as long as it wasn't too overloaded. Each M4 was
somewhat over 30 tons, if I remember right. I don't know if two of them
would buckle a 50-ton flat.

Elden Gatwood


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 10:03 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: CCB photo

On Sun, April 13, 2008 8:27 pm, John Golden wrote:

I have a question. Since the tanks are in transit, shouldn't the
gun/turret be secured in the barrel lock? Did you research show


I'm not sure. There is a clear photo of M4A3 tanks loaded onto a SOUTHERN
flat and there are no barrel locks visible. OTOH, there are many shots of
Shermans with barrel locks, and few loaded on flat cars with barrel locks
on. I'll likely model the rest of the fleet with locks ;^)


Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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