American Vehicle Note 25, M36 GMC

apbills

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The first sentence in this note states: "The M36 Gun Motor Carriage was basically an M10A1 GMC (an M4A3 Medium with an M10 GMC turret; none saw combat) with a new turret and a 90mm gun derived from the M1 towed AA weapon."
This implies the M36 had an M4A3 tank hull. Every picture I have seen has what looks like an M10 GMC hull with the new turret mounting the 90mm gun. Even the counter depiction represents this.
Is the note correct?
Note 23 M10 GMC states "the M10 Gun Motor Carriage used the basic chassis and drive train of the M4A2 Medium Tank; the hull, however, was completely redesigned using thinner but well-sloped armor to decrease weight and thus enhance mobility..."
Was the M36 difference really that it used the basic chassis and drive train of an M4A3 medium tank, with the hull changes of the M10, plus the new turret and gun? Something is not adding up in my head.
 

Perry

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Was the M36 difference really that it used the basic chassis and drive train of an M4A3 medium tank, with the hull changes of the M10, plus the new turret and gun?
I am the LAST guy to ask, but this sounds right.
 

Paul M. Weir

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There were 2 M10 variants; the M10 and M10A1. Both used the same angular turret and upper hull, the only difference was the engine, engine deck and I suspect fuel filling positions. The M10 used the twin diesel engine of the M4A2 and the M10A1 used the Ford petrol engine of the M4A3. Unless you have the right photo angle and know exactly what to look for, a M10 and M10A1 were almost impossible to tell apart, ditto the M4A2 and M4A3.

The US Army rejected the M4A2 because of diesel and but the USMC did use them as they could readily supply (landing craft) diesel (eventually switched to M4A3). However the USA took the diesel M10 while leaving the petrol M10A1 at home for training. WTF! Some (~200) de-turreted M10A1 saw service as the M35 tractor.

The M36 used the M10A1 hull with a new turret and many of the M10A1 were converted as well as new construction.
There were 3 M36 variants, all using the same turret:
M36: New or converted M10A1 (Ford petrol), ~1400 produced.
M36B1: M36 turret on a M4A3 hull (Ford petrol), 187.
M36B2: Converted from M10 (diesel), ~700.

All M10, M36, M4A2 and M4A3 used the same lower hull and suspension.
The M4A2, M4A3 and M36B1 used almost identical upper hulls.
The M10, M10A1, M36 and M36B2 shared the same angular upper hull.
M10, M36B2 and M4A2 used the twin diesel.

Confusing? Yup, just like the M4 engine hull, gun and turret variants.

The 187 M4A3 based M36B1 were done due to a shortage of available M10/M10A1 hulls and retained the M4A3 BMG and hull armour.
M10A1, M36, M36B1 and M4A3 used the Ford petrol.
 
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bprobst

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All M10, M36, M4A2 and M4A3 used the same lower hull and suspension.
That's not quite true Paul. The M4A2 (and all vehicles derived from it), because of the different engine, had a much longer hull than all other M4 variants.

So when it comes to knowing "exactly what to look for", what that actually means is: look at the profile. The M4A2 took up more space in a car park, and the bogies were consequently spaced further apart (requiring a longer overall track length). The general shape (not to mention length) of the engine deck was also quite different.

You would think that finding comparative images of Sherman hulls on the internet would be easy, but there seems to be remarkably few of them (or at least my Google-fu is defective). What a nuisance.

There's an awful lot of references to different Sherman types, albeit with the particular focus of modelling them in 1/72 scale, here: 1/72 Shermans. In my case in particular, I learnt a lot more about the M4A2 then I thought I would ever need to know when I converted the 1/48 scale Tamiya Firefly IC kit (i.e., the M4 hull with the 17-pdr turret) into a Firefly VC (the M4A2 hull with the same 17-pdr turret). The conversion basically consisted of using the turret and wheels that came with the kit and replacing everything else.
 
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Paul M. Weir

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The "long" versions were the M4A4 and M4A6. The M4A4 aka Sherman V used the Chrysler A57 engine made up of 5 x 6 cylinder car engines and was mainly shipped to England with some to France and China. The M4A6 used a multi-fuel (diesel to petrol) Caterpillar radial engine and also used a stretched hull. Only 75 M4A6 were produced and used the longer welded M4A4 hull with a cast hull front as used in the M4 Composite aka Hybrid and never saw combat. The reason for the stretched hulls on the M4A4 and M4A6 was the physically bigger engines.

On the M4 and M4A1 the upper rear hull was roughly an arch or inverted "U" shape overhanging the lower hull rear. On the M4A2 and M4A3 the hull rear was like a shirt tail hanging out or fat "T" overhanging the lower rear hull.

While you could distinguish between M4 (welded), M4A1 (cast), M4A4 (longer) and the M4A2/M4A3 pair from standing, until you could climb onto or see over the engine deck of a M4A2 or M4A3 it was difficult to tell that pair apart.

Lengths: M4 5.89m, M4A1 5.84m, M4A2 5.89m, M4A3 5.89m, M4A4 6.06m, M4A6 6.06m. The M4A5 designation was reserved for the Canadian Ram tank and was not a Sherman.

 
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Yuri0352

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The "long" versions were the M4A4 and M4A6. The M4A4 aka Sherman V used the Chrysler A57 engine made up of 5 x 6 cylinder car engines and was mainly shipped to England with some to France and China. The M4A6 used a multi-fuel (diesel to petrol) Caterpillar radial engine and also used a stretched hull. Only 75 M4A6 were produced and used the longer welded M4A4 hull with a cast hull front as used in the M4 Composite aka Hybrid and never saw combat. The reason for the stretched hulls on the M4A4 and M4A6 was the physically bigger engines.

On the M4 and M4A1 the upper rear hull was roughly an arch or inverted "U" shape overhanging the lower hull rear. On the M4A2 and M4A3 the hull rear was like a shirt tail hanging out or fat "T" overhanging the lower rear hull.

While you could distinguish between M4 (welded), M4A1 (cast), M4A4 (longer) and the M4A2/M4A3 pair from standing, until you could climb onto or see over the engine deck of a M4A2 or M4A3 it was difficult to tell that pair apart.

Lengths: M4 5.89m, M4A1 5.84m, M4A2 5.89m, M4A3 5.89m, M4A4 6.06m, M4A6 6.06m. The M4A5 designation was reserved for the Canadian Ram tank and was not a Sherman.

Thanks for posting the Sherman site link, this will be very useful for my modeling projects!
 

Paul M. Weir

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In my case in particular, I learnt a lot more about the M4A2 then I thought I would ever need to know when I converted the 1/48 scale Tamiya Firefly IC kit (i.e., the M4 hull with the 17-pdr turret) into a Firefly VC (the M4A2 hull with the same 17-pdr turret). The conversion basically consisted of using the turret and wheels that came with the kit and replacing everything else.
After a reread of your post, I now understand your confusion. The Sherman V was the M4A4, not the M4A2 which was the Sherman III
M4 = Sherman I - moderately common
M4A1 = Sherman II - mainly DTO and Sicily/Italy
M4A2 = Sherman III - common
M4A3 = Sherman IV - quite rare
M4A4 = Sherman V - common ETO

The suffix "A" was used for 76mm armed versions, "B" for 105mm, "C" for 17lbr and "Y" for HVSS suspension.
?A only seen in later Italian campaign, mainly IIA with possibly a very few IVA. Monty only wanted 17lbr in NWE and relegated 76mm to Italy. Later on 17lbr saw their way to Italy when 17lbr became more common.
?B would have been mainly IB and IBY. I suspect that IVB and IVBY would have been as rare as hen's teeth.
?C would have only been IC, IC Hybrid and VC. The IC Hybrid (M4 Composite) from the front looks like a IIC, but it's very doubtful that any IIC were made. In ASL terms the IC Hybrid would use II armour values.

For other similar posts on the variants see http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/ask-paul.155145/post-1999848
 

apbills

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Thanks for all the info! That pretty much clears that up for me.
 
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