Photo of the Day: Nokesville M4A1

We are back from our weekend at the big tank show in Nokesville VA.  One of our favorite items on display was this M4A1 Sherman tank.  According to the event organizers, this is the oldest Sherman tank in the world in running condition (the oldest in any condition is “Michael“, which is housed at Bovington.)  Note that this tank has the direct vision slits of the earliest model M4A1 tanks.  This tank was run on both days of the event, taking place in a re-enactment of a Marine assault on a fixed position.  We have to admit that we intentially stood behind this vehicle while it was being started just so we could be envelped by Sherman tank exhaust.

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From the Vault: German comment on enemy tanks

coverWhat did Germany think of the tanks fielded by the Allies in WWII?  This article from Tactical and Technical Trends Number 35, October 7, 1943 should give a few clues to the answer to that question.  The piece in Tactical and Technical Trends is an English translation of a German language article that appeared in the June 27 1943 edition of Das Reich.  Oddly enough, the article has very little to say about German tank design but rather spends quite a few words praising the M4 Sherman.  For example, the article points out the M4 “represents one of the special accomplishments of the North American laboratories.  With its turtle-shaped crown rising in one piece above the “tub” and turret it must be regarded as quite a praiseworthy product of the North American steel industry.”

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From the Vault: Report of the New Weapons Board Jan 17, 1944

report coverOn January 17, 1944, the US Secretary of War directed the formation of the New Weapons Board. The mission of the board was to: 1. Disseminate among the theaters information concerning successful solutions to problems encountered in the theaters; 2. Obtain advice concerning the performance and suitability of standard weapons and equipment now in use in the theaters and assist in on-the-spot corrections of defects; 3. Introduce and demonstrate in the theaters new standard weapons and equipment which are available but are not in the theaters and new items which may be available within the following eight months, and to determine the requirements for the various items and; 4. Assist in increasing the effective use of weapons and equipment now in theaters. The entire report can be downloaded in PDF form here.  

A good deal of the report deals with tanks and armored vehicles.  We have selected the parts of the report that focus on tanks and AFVs and have posted them below with comments.

We will start with the introduction page.  Of particular interest are the comments that “there should be a progressive increase in fire power, such as 90mm guns in the T20 series tanks…and 90mm and 105mm guns in self-propelled mounts.

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