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.

Tank Commander : From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany – The Memoirs of Bill Close

This is not a new book, but we recently noticed that the kindle edition of Tank Commander : From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany – The Memoirs of Bill Close is only 99 cents on Amazon right now.  From what we understand, this book was originally published in 1998 as “View from the Turret.”  Hardcover copies of that edition have become quite expensive, so this 99 cent kindle edition is a welcome addition for those interested in the history of British Sherman tank commanders of WWII.

Publisher’s Description:

Bill Close had a remarkable war. In campaign after campaign, from the defense of Calais in 1940 to the defeat of Germany in 1945, he served as a tank commander in the Royal Tank Regiment – and he survived. His tanks were hit eleven times by enemy shellfire and he bailed out. He was wounded three times. He finished the war as one of the most experienced and resourceful of British tank commanders, and in later life, he set down his wartime experiences in graphic detail. His book is not only an extraordinary memoir – it is also a compelling account of the exploits of the Royal Tank Regiment throughout the conflict. As a record of the day-to-day experience of the tank crew of seventy years ago – of the conditions they faced and the battles they fought – it has rarely been equaled.

Available from Amazon here.

Tank Chats #39 Sherman M4A1 Michael

David Fletcher of the Bovington Tank Museum takes a look at “Michael”, the second Sherman tank ever produced.

Inside the Hatch: Sherman VC “Firefly” part 1

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran of World of Tanks takes a look at a WWII era “Firefly” tank.

Photo of the Day: Sherman farm tractor

It’s been a while since we posted a photo of the day.  We bring this feature back today with this rather amusing photo taken in the late 1940’s in Chelyabinsk oblast.

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Source.

Video: CNN visits DriveTanks.com

CNN recently sent one of their reporters  down to Texas to visit DriveTanks.com to drive and shoot a M4 Sherman tank.  While the video is a little silly, it does give a pretty good idea what one would expect in case they ever pony up the (rather substantial) fee to operate the Sherman tank at Drivetanks.com.

More on the “Houston-Kid II”

sandstone255.jpgA few days ago we had posted about “Houston-Kid II”, a composite hull M4 105mm gun tank that appeared in some ads for World of Tanks during the Superbowl.  We had asked if anyone knew any details regarding this particular tank.  Thanks to a tip from Wargaming’s North American tank expert Nick Moran, we now know that this tank is from South Africa.  This tank originally came from the South African Defense Force School of Armour in Bloemfontein.  By 2007, it had been handed over to the Sandstone Heritage Trust who went to work making the tank mobile again.  By 2008 the tank was up and running, although with a modern engine not original to any M4 variant.  For details of the restoration, go to the Sandstone Estates website here.  Below is a excerpt from the site explaining the changes made to the vehicle.  The picture below shows the alterations made to the rear deck to accommodate the new cooling fans.

06This example has been modified locally, by fitting a large V8 Mercedes Benz / Atlantis Diesel Engine 442 twin-turbo diesel engine, rated at 400 hp @ 2100 rpm. Max torque is 1600 nm @ 1100-1500 rpm. Fitted directly to the engine is an Allison AC740 CR (close ratio) 4-speed automatic gearbox with the prop-shaft running into the original gearbox which now acts as a transfer box. This in effect gives the vehicle a total of 24 forward and 6 reverse gears.

Top speed is 45 kmh. Fuel consumption is now +/- 2.5 litres per km compared with 9 litres per km with the Continental engine!

Further modifications to this vehicle include the fitment of electronically operated turret turning motors (which were not standard on this specific type) and the fitment of modern optical equipment and sights.

The other major modification on the vehicle was the fitment of twin radiators with accompanying cooling fans. These radiators are fitted in such a way that the complete radiator pack swivels open in less than a minute for easy engine access.