Da Paul Challenge

Paul M. Weir

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OK, British markings, so could be a M17 or a M16 in the wrong scheme. It's not possible to see the rear compartment corners, which if rounded would make it a M17. The front mudguards at their outer edges have the same narrow pressed "turndown" depth over their length making it a M17, the M16 has the "turndown" increasing in depth towards the rear.

So a M17 MGMC of 6th Armoured Division.
 
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daniel zucker

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My guess would be a collectors vehicle with the chassis and or front end / engine /drivetrain / crew cab/ and box being from different vehicles. back in the 1980's I had a friend who had a White Motors M16 halftrack (we had the vehicle data plate) that we converted into a M3 or M4 troop carrier, added a .50 cal pulpit, some racks on the back and presto.... troop carrier.
 

Paul M. Weir

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It could possibly be from a mix of parts from different vehicles, many museum aircraft are cannibalised from many sources/wrecks. I can't distinguish the underlying chassis, engine, drive train, etc. However the front half (engine cover, cab, mudguards) are right for a M5/M9/M17. The rear (cargo) block is right for a M16/M17 with the shallow folding upper side panels with cutout. I can't see the rear corners to see whether they are square or rounded, the main external difference between a M16 and M17. I would imagine it would be difficult to fit the bodywork of a M3/M16 to the chassis of a M5/M9/M17 and visa versa, never mind mix the front and rear bodywork.

While the USSR got the bulk (~1000) of the M17, the British got some. They also got large numbers (1000?) of the earlier M14 MGMC (like a M17 but only 2 x 0.5" MG). Due to the lack of air opposition and their shortage of APCs, the British converted many M14/M17s to APC form (M5). The '60s Airfix kit of the M3A1 with the panel and rivet line of the folding upper side panel represents such a conversion. The pictured vehicle could be one converted in wartime to APC from M14 or M17 then restored to a M17 MGMC.

US H/T lines:

White Motor Company:
M2/M2A1 - Scout/Command/Tractor H/T developed from M3 Scout Car
M3/M3A1 - M2 with slightly longer rear body with rear door as an APC
M13 - M3 with Maxon M33 twin .50 turret, folding upper side panels, half converted to M16 before being issued
M16 - M13 but with Maxon M45 quad .50 turret
M16A1 - Standard M3 with raised quad Maxon turret with "wing" turret armour

International Harvester Company:
M5/M5A1 - IHC version of M3/M3A1
M9/M9A1 - M5/M5A1 but internal arrangements to suit M2/M2A1 role
M14 - IHC version of M13, most went to British and converted to M5 APC standard
M17 - IHC version of M16, most sent to USSR

Overall it looks like a pretty faithful M17, whether always was a M17 or a M14/M17 converted to APC and restored back to M17 is another question.
 

olli

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Suspension the rear end lifts the boy up to go hull down. I read an article that the Brits trialed it and lived it for defensive positions but when it came to shoot and scoot the chieftain killed the whole unit
 

Paul M. Weir

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From what I have read the hydro-pneumatic suspension was both accurate and fairly fast in aiming. Traverse was via the tracks using a fully automatic gearing system that allowed very fine adjustment. The transmission had just 4 gear "settings" or modes, 2 forward and 2 reverse. The crew was driver/gunner, commander/gunner and reverse driver/radio operator. The driver and commander had duplicated firing and driving controls and with an auto loader either could drive and fight the tank on his/her own. The reverse driver/radio operator could drive the S-tank at full speed in reverse. Part of the reason for the 3rd crewman was to spread out the various loading, maintenance and one hundred and one other auxillary tasks.

A test against a Leopard 1 in '67 in Norway found the Strv-103 S-tank superior in spotting and firing whilst both were BU but the Leopard I superior when CE. Against a M-60A1E3 it fired a half second slower but more accurately. Unlike '60s its contemporaries it had no stabilisation, but that seems to have been less of a disadvantage than it might have appeared. Of course stabilisation systems and firing controls improved and by the late '80s would have left the Strv-103 behind.
 

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not much in the way of shot traps in that hull design, but it makes me wonder where that ricocheting round is going to go after it skips off the slope. that cupola dead top center seems mighty squared off and almost NOT a good place to be when the rounds start skipping off the sloped armor.
 

daniel zucker

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It could possibly be from a mix of parts from different vehicles, many museum aircraft are cannibalised from many sources/wrecks. I can't distinguish the underlying chassis, engine, drive train, etc. However the front half (engine cover, cab, mudguards) are right for a M5/M9/M17. The rear (cargo) block is right for a M16/M17 with the shallow folding upper side panels with cutout. I can't see the rear corners to see whether they are square or rounded, the main external difference between a M16 and M17. I would imagine it would be difficult to fit the bodywork of a M3/M16 to the chassis of a M5/M9/M17 and visa versa, never mind mix the front and rear bodywork.

While the USSR got the bulk (~1000) of the M17, the British got some. They also got large numbers (1000?) of the earlier M14 MGMC (like a M17 but only 2 x 0.5" MG). Due to the lack of air opposition and their shortage of APCs, the British converted many M14/M17s to APC form (M5). The '60s Airfix kit of the M3A1 with the panel and rivet line of the folding upper side panel represents such a conversion. The pictured vehicle could be one converted in wartime to APC from M14 or M17 then restored to a M17 MGMC.

US H/T lines:

White Motor Company:
M2/M2A1 - Scout/Command/Tractor H/T developed from M3 Scout Car
M3/M3A1 - M2 with slightly longer rear body with rear door as an APC
M13 - M3 with Maxon M33 twin .50 turret, folding upper side panels, half converted to M16 before being issued
M16 - M13 but with Maxon M45 quad .50 turret
M16A1 - Standard M3 with raised quad Maxon turret with "wing" turret armour

International Harvester Company:
M5/M5A1 - IHC version of M3/M3A1
M9/M9A1 - M5/M5A1 but internal arrangements to suit M2/M2A1 role
M14 - IHC version of M13, most went to British and converted to M5 APC standard
M17 - IHC version of M16, most sent to USSR

Overall it looks like a pretty faithful M17, whether always was a M17 or a M14/M17 converted to APC and restored back to M17 is another question.

I was just trying to point out to the other guys that a lot of the running and or working vehicles that they see ( and especially at those at 'living history' displays) are more or less 'assembly vehicles' made from many junked vehicles. I remember that Charlie had an original transmission gasket replacement kit for the White Motors engine, for some reason or another the transmission had to be opined up and looked at and cleaned ect. He insisted that we use the gasket kit. BIG F*%$ing mistake! the thing went through a can of oil a week after that even sitting still, and if we went into the field for a war game.... after a 3 day weekend it was like a complete oil change and a half.
 

Paul M. Weir

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I won't disagree with that many, many restored vehicles are rebuilt using parts from different vehicles/wrecks. Whatever the sources, those restorers did a very, very fine job with nothing that I could spot being inappropriate.

The rest of my post was to outline possible pathways towards the restoration and give others a quick outline of the differences and "family tree" of the US H/T AA MG variants. You know me, I can't shut up and I try to inject a little history where I can. 🥴
 

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I won't disagree with that many, many restored vehicles are rebuilt using parts from different vehicles/wrecks. Whatever the sources, those restorers did a very, very fine job with nothing that I could spot being inappropriate.

The rest of my post was to outline possible pathways towards the restoration and give others a quick outline of the differences and "family tree" of the US H/T AA MG variants. You know me, I can't shut up and I try to inject a little history where I can. 🥴
it's not just tanks. Many quality gunsmiths will do the same with original manufacture condition rifles and handguns. Nowadays, one is hard-pressed to locate M1 Garand rifles in a firing condition below the $1,000 USD mark. One good source for an original manufacture something known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program, where members of designated and approved organizations can still purchase wartime surplus M1 Garands (using that as an example) for around the $500 USD-$600-USD mark. The caveat is that those have been in long-term preservation storage, since the 1940's. The cosmoline and axle grease have permeated every fleck of wood cellulose on the rifle stocks. So to return to a firing rifle, it requires re-stocking.

A good gunsmith realizes the value of the piece and how a modern stock would blow that value. So they outsource for 1930s -1940s era walnut blanks. Those are handily available if one knows wher to look. A good cleaning and manufacture of a new stock, and you return one of these to near-mint condition as a firing rifle for a sum total of around $750-$800 USD + labor. Hence you see the reason why ones already finished sell above $1k. Now if you're willing to do the stock work yourself, you can manage about a 300-400 dollar discount.

Its the same with the old Mausers, and the even older Martini-Henry's. and so on.

About the only place I've seen replica-manufacture sell for a tidy sum as a collector item, was in 18th century fowling pieces. a well-made replica 8 or 10 or 14 bore flintlock fowler with a nice Pennsylvania Oak or a Georgia Ash stock all new manufacture, still commands a tidy sum of around $2500-$3500 USD on the market. (That said, originals in still firing condition such as the Missouri-made one from 1829 that sold at auction in 2011, go for 5 digits or more, it auctioned for $11,250 USD).
 

Yuri0352

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it's not just tanks. Many quality gunsmiths will do the same with original manufacture condition rifles and handguns. Nowadays, one is hard-pressed to locate M1 Garand rifles in a firing condition below the $1,000 USD mark. One good source for an original manufacture something known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program, where members of designated and approved organizations can still purchase wartime surplus M1 Garands (using that as an example) for around the $500 USD-$600-USD mark. The caveat is that those have been in long-term preservation storage, since the 1940's. The cosmoline and axle grease have permeated every fleck of wood cellulose on the rifle stocks.
I have no idea as to how many (if any) of the remaining CMP Garands are still in storage from the 1940-50's. Based upon the markings upon the CMP M-1's which some of my acquaintances have acquired within the last few years, it would appear that a number of these rifles have been turned in by NATO and other U.S. allies of the 1950's-60's, etc.
I also recall reading an article in the American Rifleman approx. 10 years ago in which the author described his experience of restoring a CMP M-1 which had previously been used by the Danish Navy (Marines?). This rifle arrived with a slightly oversized birch stock, and the author described his process of sending his rifle to James River Armory for a restoration including the replacement of the stock. Another person I know received a CMP M-1 which was in excellent working condition and was fitted with a light coloured stock which resembled the wood on a broom handle.

Stocks are relatively easy to replace, and none of these anecdotes should dissuade anyone from acquiring a rifle from the CMP.
 

witchbottles

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I have no idea as to how many (if any) of the remaining CMP Garands are still in storage from the 1940-50's. Based upon the markings upon the CMP M-1's which some of my acquaintances have acquired within the last few years, it would appear that a number of these rifles have been turned in by NATO and other U.S. allies of the 1950's-60's, etc.
I also recall reading an article in the American Rifleman approx. 10 years ago in which the author described his experience of restoring a CMP M-1 which had previously been used by the Danish Navy (Marines?). This rifle arrived with a slightly oversized birch stock, and the author described his process of sending his rifle to James River Armory for a restoration including the replacement of the stock. Another person I know received a CMP M-1 which was in excellent working condition and was fitted with a light coloured stock which resembled the wood on a broom handle.

Stocks are relatively easy to replace, and none of these anecdotes should dissuade anyone from acquiring a rifle from the CMP.
completely agree, buy from them if possible. But you might be surprised how many collectors and or weekend rifle range geeks will not even consider manufacturing a new stock themselves. A product of our times, "instant gratification" and all that.

Hell, my most cherished item is the handmade stocks for a Mauser that took me about 8 months to turn,shape, checker, oil, sand, smooth, oil, and oil and seal. So glad I gave that rifle to my grandson when he graduated Boot Camp, It was a shooter with a 70 year old burled black walnut stock. Very nicely did it turn out and I learned a lot about woodworking along the way.

Nowadays, there are a flood of Martini-Henrys and Moison-Nagants out there. re-stocking them is also a straightforward project. But still, I like the idea of restocking with a period era wood blank that is at least as old as the rifle it is going on.

I'm pretty certain from my time as a conservator at local museums, the curators and collectors do this also- if they can't get an original radio from a B-24 Liberator, they at least get a radio console dating back to the 1940's that they can fit into the R/O station and restore, those are far easier to find.

and so on.
 

witchbottles

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Just because I love the photo, pretty easy to identify the tank. My real question is just how much trouble do you think the driver got into for rolling the damn thing upside down? :D
 

Paul M. Weir

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M4A1 with a Dingo behind. I suspect Sicily or Italy, because the M4A1 was the main version supplied in the DTO time frame. In the NWE the main British M4 was the M4A4 supplemented by M4A2s. The 2 tankies have the standard ETO Battledress but the British recon/Infantryman has short sleeves. So I am not inclined to Tunisia or NWE.
 

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What is the rod sticking out of the rear of the Sherman near the left-side (right-side in the photo because it's upside-down) track?

JR
 

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What is the rod sticking out of the rear of the Sherman near the left-side (right-side in the photo because it's upside-down) track?

JR
the photo was taken along the approach to the Gothic Line in Italy, The driver miscalculated the pitch angle of going off the roadside and the tank rolled onto its side, inverted and came to a stop on the elevated road embankment. The crew were unharmed, and were photographed here, shortly before the arrival of the recovery vehicle.

It is an M4A1 as Paul notes.

It could be a tow / recovery tool or attachment.
 
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