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U.S. Sherman and their variants


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to 172shermans.com

Website from Doug Chaltry

Information about the history of the Sherman Tank with available Sherman kits and his manufacturers.


to On The Way

review covering all of the Dragon Sherman kits


For more information about Sherman variants visit also the page from Albert Chen on this website:

Shermans built by Albert Chen

Shermans built by Albert Chen


Medium Tank M2 - M2A1

When the Second World War broke out, the United States had one of the smallest and most obsolete armored forces in the world. This was due to budget constraints and outdated military doctrines. In an attamp to upgrade its forces, The M2 and M2A1 medium tanks were developed from components of the M2 Light Tank. By the time these tanks were ready for production, events in Europe had shown just how obsolete they were and the M2 and M2A1 never saw combat, being relegated to the training role.

M2 and M2A1 - early & late type

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M2A1 - (scratchbuild)

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In August 1939 production of fifteen of these medium tanks was authorised at Rock Island Arsenal.Main armament of this 19 ton, six-man tank, was a 37mm gun. It also had no less than eight machine-guns. It was powered by a 350hp air-cooled radial engine and was the tank from which the M3 "Grant" and "Lee" and the famous Sherman M4 evolved during WWII.
The differents between the M2 and M2A1 are the turrets and some modifications.


Medium Tank M3 - General Lee(US) and General Grant(UK)

Since it was not possible to develop a new tank to replace the M2 which could carry a turret mounted 75mm gun, it was decided to design an interim tank until a 75mm turret could be developed. This result in the M3 which mounted a 75mm gun in a sponson on the right side and a 47mm gun in a revolving turret on the top of the hull.

M3 - General "Grant" (UK02 Milicast)
M3 - General "Lee" (US41 Milicast)

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The Lee/Grant had a crew of seven, a top speed of 24mph, weighed about 28tons and had a armour some 2.5 inch thick.
Based on the M3 there were many variants


Development

source squadron signal 2033

M3 Lee welded hull and M3A1 - cast hull - different side doors
M3A2 - welded hull - eliminated rivets and M3A3 welded hull with diesel engine - different rearside - deleted side and rear doors
M3A4 - welded and lengthened hull - new engine - deleted side doors and stowage boxes - M4 suspension
M3A5 - welded hull - rivetted - with diesel engine - different rearside - deleted side and rear doors
M31 ARV
M3 CDL

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M3 Grant - British attemp of the M3

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M31 ARV - Recovery, based on Mirage's M3 Lee. (The crane, and all conversions are scratch built, ESCI/Italeri hard plastic tracks (extra two links needed). The Mirage PE light guards came with the kit.

Model built by Albert Chen

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M33 - Prime Mover / Tractor - (Due to a shortage of prime movers in late 1943 a number of M31 were converted to M33 prime movers) - (pictures SquadronSignal 33)

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M3 - M16 The T16 was an attemp to use the M3 as a heavy tractor - (pictures SquadronSignal 33)

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M3 - ARV
Pictures from pavlikhobbykits.zdenny.cz

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Pictures from Milicast

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M3 CDL - (Canal Defense Light)

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M3 CDL - (Welded Hull and M4 suspension)
1/48 Model built by Marcos Serra

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M3A1 "Leaflet tank" - (Casted Hull and M4 suspension) - (American version of the CDL)
Model built by Albert Chen

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M3 Mine Clearing systems

M3 Grant Scorpion IV "Mine Clearing Flail" - (drawing G.Bradford)

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M3 with rotating boom system - (pictures SquadronSignal 33)

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M3 with T1E1 minerollers - (pictures SquadronSignal 33)

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Sherman Identification

M4A1 - Continental R-975 gasoline engine, cast hull.
  • The M4A1 was the only version with a completely cast hull.
  • The earliest type with the three-piece, bolted nose with M3 suspension.
  • The second and third types with single-piece, cast noses and M4 suspension. (second and third has different rounding)
  • Produced 9677 vehicles, whereof 6281 with 75mm gun and 3396 with 76mm gun.

    M4 - Continental R-975 gasoline engine, welded or composite hull

  • The M4 had the same engine deck as the M4A1, but with a welded hull.
  • The earliest type with the three-piece, bolted nose with M3 suspension.
  • The second and third types with single-piece, cast noses with M4 suspension
  • The M4 composite had a cast hull front, and a welded rear hull.
  • Produced 8389 vehicles, whereof 6748 with 75mm gun and 1641 with 105mm howitzer

    M4A2 - twin General Motors 6-71 diesel engines, welded hull

  • Has different unique engine deck.
  • Lend-Lease vehicle, using in Russian Army, British Army and US Marine Corps.
  • Produced 11.283 vehicles, whereof 8053 with 75mm gun and 3230 with 76mm gun

    M4A3 - Ford GAA V-8 gasoline engine, welded hull

  • Has different unique engine deck.
  • Standard Tank for US Army
  • Produced 11.424 vehicles, whereof 5015 with 75mm gun, 3370 with 76mm gun and 3039 with 105mm howitzer

    M4A4 - Chrysler WC Multi-bank engine, lengthened welded hull

  • The M4A4 had a hull that was substantially longer than the others, so both the welded and composite M4A4's should also be fairly recognizable (look at the distance between road wheels).
  • Lend-Lease vehicle, most used in British Army
  • Produced 7499 vehicles, all with the 75mm gun

    M4A5 - Not used for a Sherman vehicle, but used for the Canadian Ram Tanks.

    M4A6 - Caterpillar RD-1820 diesel engine, lengthened welded or composite hull

  • The M4A6 used an M4A4 composite hull with a distinctive engine deck. (Additionally, the M4A6 was used only for training units in the US, so it is rare to see photographs of this version.)
  • Only prototype and used as Trainings vehicles in the USA.
  • Produced 75 vehicles, all with 75mm gun

    M4A3E2 - "Jumbo" Heavy Assault Tank.

  • The "Jumbo" were up-armoured M4A3 tanks, with a new turret, heavy armour and 75mm gun.
  • 254 M4A3 were rebuild to M4A3E2

    Firefly

  • Was a British attempt to up-armouring Sherman vehicles with a 17-pounder AT-Gun.
  • Around 600 vehicles were rebuild. Most M4A4, but follow British information also some M4A1 and M4A2 vehicles.
  • Officially there were three types of Firefly: the Sherman IC (on the M4 hull), Sherman Hybrid IC (which used the M4 composite hull), and the Sherman VC (which used the M4A4 hull).

    Basic Hull Styles
    There were three basic hull styles: a cast hull (M4A1), a welded hull (M4, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4), or a composite hull (M4, M4A4 or M4A6). These different hull styles make it easy to identify the different Sherman variants:


    British Shermans

    The British used a different nomenclature to identify the variants of the Sherman:

    Name/Code Equipment
    Sherman IM4 with 75mm gun
    Sherman IBM4 with 105mm howitzer
    Sherman IBYM4 with 105 mm howitzer with HVVS
    Sherman ICM4 with 17-pounder gun
    Sherman IIM4A1 with 75mm gun
    Sherman IIAM4A1 with 76mm gun
    Sherman IIBM4A1 with 105mm howitzer
    Sherman IIIM4A2 with 75mm gun
    Sherman IIIAYM4A2 with 76mm gun and HVVS
    Sherman IVM4A3 with 75mm gun
    Sherman IVAM4A3 with 76mm gun
    Sherman IVBM4A3 with 105mm howitzer
    Sherman IVCM4A3 with 17-pounder gun
    Sherman VM4A4 with 75mm gun
    Sherman VCM4A4 with 17-pounder gun
    Sherman VIIM4A6 with 75mm gun
    Sherman VIICM4A6 with 17-pounder gun
    Code Equipment
    A:with 76mm gun
    B:with 105mm howitzer
    C:with 17-pounder gun
    Y:with HVVS suspension

    Bron: "On The Way", Squadron/Signal Armor 16 and other articles.

    Sher/parts/Vision-slot.jpg Sher/parts/bogie.jpg Sher/parts/VVSSTrack.jpg Sher/parts/Enginedeck.jpg

    M4

    Sher/parts/M4-42.jpg Sher/parts/7.jpg Sher/hull/1.jpg Sher/parts/M4-late-comp.jpg

    M4A1

    Sher/parts/M4A1-early.jpg Sher/parts/3.jpg Sher/parts/M4A1-late.jpg Sher/parts/4.jpg Sher/parts/M4A1-76.jpg Sher/parts/2.jpg

    M4A2

    Sher/parts/M4A2.jpg Sher/parts/M4A2-76.jpg

    M4A3

    Sher/parts/M4A3.jpg Sher/parts/6.jpg Sher/parts/5.jpg Sher/parts/M4A3-76.jpg Sher/parts/M4A3E8.jpg

    Bron: "On The Way", Squadron/Signal Armor 16 and other articles.


    Sherman in British Service

    Sherman MK-II

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    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    Sherman MK-III

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    Firefly V

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    Firefly 1C

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    Sherman Firefly Vc - M4A4 hull, 17pounder gun, different turret layout with square loader hatch, different enginedeck (Dragon Diecast 60251)

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    Sherman MK-III with "Fascine" - (Shermans MKIII which carrying fascines were adopted by the 1st Polish Armd Div in France and Holland in 1944. Apparently the Canadians also utilized the tank.)

    Model built by Franco Manzini, from Italy - (1/76 Airfix)

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    Sherman in U.S. Service

    M3A1 "Leaflet tank" - (American version of the CDL)
    Model built by Albert Chen

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    M4A1

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M4A1(76) VVSS - 76mm gun in T23 turret, with early round loader hatch - (reworked Trumpeter 07222)

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    Model built by Gianluca Trivero - 1/72 - Turret is Revell and the Hull is Italeri, the tanker is from Calibre 72

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    M4A1 - Canadian Anti Aircraft tank "Skink" - 4x 20mm gun (Possible with Polsten, Hispano-Suisa or Oerlikon guns), built on early M4A1 chassis - (Scratchbuild)

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    Comments - George Bradford
    Everyone has forgotten the Canadian "Skink", but they all remember the "Kugelblitz", even though it never saw action. At least the Skink saw a few weeks of blazing action in Europe! The Skink was built on the Canadian-built Grizzly Cruiser and has different drive sprocket, CDP track (CDP = Canadian Dry Pin)
    Later on the Skink "was" fitted with the later suspension and chevron track. There were about 10 turrets fitted to Grizzly chassis, but only 2 or 3 completed Skinks with AA guns installed in the turret. One Skink was sent to Britain for testing in September 1944, it later was sent to Europe for action trials against ground targets mainly. It arrived near Nijmegen with 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment (CAR) (1st Hussars) around February 6-11, 1945. Then with Fort Gary Horse to the Reichwald.
    There were some slight differences in the early Skink turret and the final production version. The turrets were assembled in Canada, Kitchener by Waterloo Manufacturing Co. It started out with Hispano-Suiza guns in September 1943. Then they considered Oerlikon guns. (none were available) Then they were changed to Polish designed Polsten guns firing 20mm Oerlikon ammo.


    M4A1(76) HVSS

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M4A1 - Mid type - 75mm gun in M34A1 mount, one piece transmission cover, M4 bougies - (reworked Trumpeter 07223)

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    M4A1 - with "Composite hull based on the M4" - 75mm gun, with oval loader hatch (Scratchbuild)

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    M4A1 - with "Composite hull and hedge row

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M4A2(76)

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M4A2(76W) Red Army

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M4A3 - 75mm gun, with oval loader hatch, different enginedeck (reworked Trumpeter 07224)

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    M4A3E8 (HVVS) - 76mm gun in T23 turret, with oval loader hatch, HVVS suspension, T66 Tracks (reworked Trumpeter 07224)

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    Sherman M4A4 - Lengthened hull, 75mm gun, different enginedeck - (Dragon Diecast 60284)

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    Sherman M4A4

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    Iwo-Jima Sherman

    Model built by Timothy Greenman - 1/72

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    M4A2 "Tarawa" w/ 55 gallons wading stacks

    Model built by Paolo Lavagnino from Italy - 1/72 Dragon

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    Sher/tarawa/07a.jpg Sher/tarawa/08a.jpg Sher/tarawa/09a.jpg


    M32 B1 Armoured Recovery Vehicle

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    The Sherman "Jumbo"

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    Sherman with wading thrunk

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    Sherman with 'Crocodile' flame thrower

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    Sherman "Crab" Mine exploder

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    Sherman "Aunt Jemina" - mine rollers

    Model built by Webmaster

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    Sherman "DD" Amphibian Tank

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    M7B1 "Priest" 105mm - with trailer

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    Medium Tank M4

    M4 - early model, 1942 production with 75mm gun (Airfix)
    M4A1 (early) - casted hull with M3 springs - British service - El Alamein (Scratchbuild)
    M4A4 - lengthened hull - (lend-lease UK and Russia) (Scratchbuild)
    M4A1/M4E1 with 76.2mm gun as "Firefly" (Scratchbuild)
    M4 - 75mm gun - Composite Hull (US22 Milicast)
    M4 - 75mm gun - Composite Hull (Model built by Albert Chen - USA)

    (He has scratchbuilt the model with help from the old Esci and the HAT Sherman)

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    M4A3E2 - "JUMBO" Assault Tank - widened tracks and extra armor (US3 Milicast)
    M4A3 with 105mm Howitzer (Nitto/Fujimi)
    M4A1 with 76mm gun with T23 Turret (Scratchbuild)
    M4A1E8 with 76mm gun and VVSS (Scratchbuild)
    M4A1E8 with 76mm gun and HVVS (Scratchbuild)

    Sher/M4-10a.jpg Sher/M4-2a.jpg Sher/M4-11a.jpg Sher/M4-12a.jpg Sher/M4-14c.jpg


    Other variants

    M4 with British Deep Wading Thrunking (wadingparts from Milicast)
    M4A1 "Calliope" - Rocket System (Esci)
    M4 Engineer tank with dozer-blade (Scratchbuild)
    M4 with AMRCR Mine Clearing system (mine clearing parts from Esci)
    M4A1 with "Aunt Jemina" Mine Clearing System (mine clearing parts from Alby)
    M4-DD with screens (Duplex Drive Tank) (Scratchbuild)
    M30 Gargo Carrier (Nitto/Fujimi)

    Sher/M4-15a.jpg Sher/M4-16d.jpg Sher/M4-17a.jpg Sher/M4-18a.jpg Sher/M4-19d.jpg Sher/M4Duck.jpg Sher/M4-23a.jpg


    Kangaroo and Ammunitions carriers

    M7 "Kangaroo" APC - based on the M7 "Priest"/M3 chassis (scratchbuild)
    US M30 Ammunition Cargo - (Fujimi)

    Sher/M4-7a.jpg Sher/M4-23a.jpg


    Self Propelled Guns

    M7 "Priest" SPG "Self Propelled Gun" - based on the M3 chassis (Matchbox)
    M7B1 "Priest" SPG with 105mm gun - based on the M4 chassis (Scratchbuild)
    M12 GMC (Gun Motor Carrier) with 155mm gun (Nitto/Fujimi)
    M40 GMC (widened M4A3 chassis with HVVS) and 155mm Gun (Long Tom) (Matchbox)
    M45 GMC (widened M4A3 chassis with HVVS) and 8-inch howitzer (Scratchbuild)

    Sher/M4-22d.jpg Sher/M4-21a.jpg Sher/M4-24a.jpg Sher/M4-26a.jpg Sher/M4-25a.jpg


    M10 - M36 Tank Destroyers

    M10 Wolverine Variants

    The 3in Gun Motor Carriage T35 was the prototype of the M10. He had a 3 inch (76 mm) gun in a slanted, round open dome that was developed from the dome of the M6 Heavy Tank . Between september 1942 and december 1943 5000 M10's built originally on the chassis of the M3 Grant , later on the chassis of the M4 Sherman

    The T35 was improved, there was a slanted surface placed on the Sherman chassis and round turret was replaced by a pentagonal cupola, this model was the 3in Gun Motor Carriage T35E1 mentioned. In June 1942 the name changed to 3in Gun Motor Carriage M10 and into production. - (source Wikipedia)

    - 3in Gun Motor Carriage T35 (Prototype) - Early production
    - 3in Gun Motor Carriage T35E1 / 3in GMC M10 (3in SP, Wolverine) - diesel engine (~ 5000)
    - 3in M10A1 GMC - Ford GAA gasoline (~ 1700)


    From T35 prototype to M10 Pilot model

    Sher/t35/01a.jpg Sher/t35/02a.jpg

    Sher/t35/03a.jpg Sher/t35/04a.jpg

    Sher/t35/05a.jpg Sher/t35/06a.jpg


    M10

    Model built by Kirill Shubnikov

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    M10 GMC "Wolverine" - Model built by Albert Chen

    achen/m10-01.jpg achen/m10-02.jpg achen/m10-03.jpg achen/m10-04.jpg


    M10 Achilles Variants

    - 17pdr SP. Achilles - M10 3in GMC armed with a 17 pounder Mk V cannon as used on the Sherman Firefly and British tanks. They can be recognized by the muzzle at the end of the barrel and a counterweight that is positioned slightly behind it.
    - Diesel was M10 17pdr SP. Achilles IC
    - Petrol M10A1 was 17pdr SP. Achilles IIC - (source Wikipedia)


    Achilles IIC (late version) - 1/72 Extratech - 21th anti-tank Regiment Royal Artillery. Guards Armoured Division tank destroyer battalion Holland/ Fall '44 - built by Gianluca Trivero

    Sher/achilles/01a.jpg Sher/achilles/02a.jpg Sher/achilles/03a.jpg Sher/achilles/04a.jpg

    Armourfast - "Achilles" - Model built by Albert Chen

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    M36 Jackson Variants

    The M36 Jackson was first in action in Europe mid-1944. The 90mm gun of the M36 Jackson outperformed that of the M10 Wolverine, but there were many casualties among the crews, through the open turret. The M36 was one of the few allied vehicles that German tanks from a distance could turn off.
    The last M36 Jacksons saw service in Yugoslavia in the nineties, fifty years after the first draft. This Yugoslavian M36's were equipped with Russian engines of 500 hp - (source: Wikipedia)

    - M36 : 90mm gun and turret on 3 "GM M10A1 hull (M4A3 chassis), 1298 built / converted
    - M36B1 : 90mm gun and turret on M4A3 hull and chassis, 187 built / converted
    - M36B2 : 90mm gun and turret on 3 "GM M10 hull (M4A2 chassis), diesel engine , 287 built / converted


    M36 GMC - Jackson with 90mm gun on M10A1 (M4A3) chassis

    Model built by Albert Chen

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    M36B1 - M36 turret with 90 mm gun on M4A3 chassis - (187 vehicles were built)

    Model built by Dangero - Armorama

    Sher/m36b1/01.jpg Sher/m36b1/02.jpg Sher/m36b1/03.jpg


    M36B2 - M36 with 90 mm gun on M10 (M4A2) chassis - (287 vehicles were built)

    Pictures from Vladimir Yakubov

    Sher/m36b2/01.jpg Sher/m36b2/02.jpg Sher/m36b2/03.jpg Sher/m36b2/04.jpg Sher/m36b2/05.jpg Sher/m36b2/06.jpg


    Other M10 Variants

    - M10 Dozer

    Sher/m10dozer/01.jpg Sher/m10dozer/02.jpg Sher/m10dozer/03.jpg Sher/m10dozer/04.jpg Sher/m10dozer/05.jpg Sher/m10dozer/06.jpg


    - Full-Track Prime Mover M35: Turretless M10A1 used as an artillery tractor - (Hauler kit 72005)

    Sher/m35/05.jpg Sher/m35/01.jpg Sher/m35/02.jpg Sher/m35/03.jpg Sher/m35/04.jpg


    - M10 with "Hedge" row

    Sher/m10hedge/01.jpg Sher/m10hedge/02.jpg Sher/m10hedge/03.jpg Sher/m10hedge/04.jpg


    - M10 with "Mine" plow

    Sher/m10mine/01.jpg


    - 3in SP Wolverine: Proposed Canadian-built version using a Ram tank chassis - a single prototype was built in 1942
    - M10 Self-Propelled Howitzer (ROC): Previously-demilitarized M10 transferred to China and then in 1949 regunned with modified ex-IJA 105mm infantry howitzers. Other modifications included a permanent turret roof with crew access/observation hatches, lighter but more impact-resistant armor platings, and a bow machine gun port. One prototype and 16 follow-on vehicles were made


    Canadian "RAM" Tank

    MK1 - Auxilary Turret and side doors (Milicast)
    MK1 - Auxilary Turret (Milicast)
    MK2 (Milicast)
    Sexton 25pnd Self Propelled Gun (Scratchbuild)

    A total of 1899 Rams of both Mark 1 and 2 were built and although they never saw service as gun tanks, they were used A.O.P. and Commandand Tanks in Normany. In addition to both types being converted to "Kangoroos", some were converted to "Badger" (Flamethrower) Tanks and as "Sexton" 25pnd SP's.

    Sher/MK1a.jpg Sher/MK2a.jpg Sher/MK3a.jpg Sher/M4-20d.jpg


    Canadian "RAM - Kangaroo"

    Based on the Canadian "RAM", the "Kangaroo"represents the first real Armoured Personnel Carrier, although Priests and Sherman had been converted for the APC role earlier in Italy and in the Normandy Campaign. Introduced in Sept.'44, they were issued to the 1ste Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment and the British 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment, both regiments being absorbed in December into the 79th Armoured Division. Proving to be very popular, they could carry an Infantry Section of eight men. The 79th Arm.Division used 300 Kangaroos in operations in N.W. Europe from December 1944 until the end of hostilities, including the assault on Le havre and finally to the capture of Hamburg

    Ram Kangaroo with side-doors based on the MK1 (Milicast)
    Ram Kangoroo without side-doors (Milicast)
    Ram Kangaroo based on the MK2 (Milicast)
    Ram - Badger Flamethrower (Milicast)

    Sher/MK1apca.jpg Sher/MK2apca.jpg Sher/MK3apca.jpg Sher/Badgera.jpg


    Medium Tanks T20 > T23

    As soon as the M4 was in production, work started on its replacement. There followed a number of different series of tanks, starting with the T20. Three differing models of the T20 were built, one with a 76mm gun and HVVS, one with a 75mm gun and HVVS and the third with a 3inch gun and a torsion bar suspension.
    A parallel project to the T20 and T22 series was the T23, which had the same vertical volute spring suspension as the Sherman

    T20 Pilot Model - (all models are built by Andrew Crutchley)
    T20 Pilot Model
    T20 Type E3
    T23 - Pilot Model
    T23 - Production model

    Sher/t20pilot1 Sher/t20pilot3 Sher/T20E3ea.jpg Sher/t23pilot1.jpg Sher/t23prod4.jpg


    Heavy Tank T28

    (Scratchbuild by Hans van Oerle) America did also try out a superheavy tank. This enormous 85-ton monster was the largest and heaviest American designed tank of World War II. Its used double springs based on the Sherman HVVS springs. Only two were built and the project was terminated in 1947.

    Sher/t2801.jpg Sher/T28a.jpg Sher/T28f.jpg Sher/T28ja.jpg Sher/T28ka.jpg


    And there are many, many more variants......


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