From the Vault: Korea’s Ridge Running Tankers

Twin 50 pictureWhile the Sherman tank is so closely associated with the Second World War, it’s sometimes overlooked that these vehicles also served the US Army in a very different conflict, the Korean War.  This article from the May-June 1953 issue of ARMOR provides an account by a First Lieutenant who recounts how Sherman tank crews in Korea had to acclimate their tactics and vehicles to fighting a static war in mountainous terrain.  One thing we found rather interesting in this article was the mention that one of the Easy Eight Sherman tanks was equipped with twin .50 cal machine guns on the roof and one in the hull replacing the .30 cal machine gun.  A picture of the vehicle with the twin .50 cal guns is included in the article.  If any other photographic evidence of this particular vehicle exists, we would love to see it.

Click on the page images below to view them in full size.

From the Vault: Allison Transmission Newsletters

World of Tanks forum member Volketten shared with us a link to a digital library containing old newsletters from Allison Transmission company.  In regards to tanks and armored vehicles, Allison is primarily known for the CD-850 series transmission found in the Patton and M60 tanks and the X-1100 transmission of the Abrams tank.  We thought these newsletters might be of interest to anyone that had family that worked at Allison or is curious about the history of the corporation.  View the full library here.

We have created a gallery below of the 1952 AllisoNews Special Edition focusing on military transmissions.

From the Vault: Production video of Leopard I

Despite that fact that this video is in German, we thought the images were interesting enough even for those that can’t understand the narration.  A 1970 video showing the production process of the Leopard I MBT from beginning to end.

From the Vault: Sherman gun camera

Here is another article found in a 1944 issues of Army Ordnance magazine.  This piece describes a gun mounted camera system used to test the effectiveness of the Sherman gun stabilizer.

Camera gun tests tank stability

From the Vault: Drilling Holes with the M4 Medium Tank

We recently came across this article in a 1944 issue of Army Ordnance magazine.  It relates an interesting story of how a M4 Medium was used to shoot holes in the ground, helping a group of Sea-bees break up volcanic ash for use in road building.

Digging holes with the M4 Medium Tank 1Digging holes with the M4 Medium Tank 2

From the Vault: Wartime ads featuring Sherman Tanks (and other AFVs)

Here are a few examples of WWII wartime ads featuring US tanks or tracked vehicles that we found while digging around the internet.  Click on an image to enlarge.

From the Vault: British Report on the US M46 Medium Tank

Today we have something sent to us by British researcher and author P.K. Knight.  Knowing of our interest in anything having to do with US tanks powered by Continental Motors engines, he forwarded us a copy of a British F.V.R.D.E. (Fight Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) report examining a US M46 medium tank.  This is a fairly short report and mainly focuses on automotive performance.  The most interesting thing revealed by this report is just how much difference there is between the stated gross horsepower of the engine, the actual power output taking into account power lost to engine cooling and accessories and then the actual power at the sprocket.  The M46 was the first US tank equipped with a Continental 12 cylinder 1790 cubic inch aircooled engine and the Allison CD-850 transmission.  The report states that while the listed gross HP of the engine is 810, their bench tests show an actual power output of 646 HP, which they attribute to losses from air cleaners, cooling fans and the exhaust system.  The power at the sprocket is measured at 433 HP.  So what does this all mean?  Not much, other than always take those gross horsepower numbers listed in books with a grain of salt, they don’t always tell you all that much about how much power is actually being transmitted to the drive sprocket.

Report below.