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Sherman Gyro-stabilizer

Discussion in 'The Tanks of World War 2' started by Oberstjon, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Oberstjon

    Oberstjon recruit

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    I'm trying to find info on the Sherman tank's main weapon gun stabilizer.
    More than once Ive heard of such a thing on WW2 Shermans. It was supposed to be a crude gyro stabilizer to allow fire on the move with some accuracy. Any Ideas?
     
  2. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    the crew never used it apparently as it was too much hassle

    FNG
     
  3. WO_Kelly

    WO_Kelly Member

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    Hard to reload when the gun was moving around as the tank moved. Even then it was not terribly effective. Still best way to get a shot off was to stop the tank and fire.
     
  4. Eric45

    Eric45 New Member

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    Hunnicutts Sherman makes particular note of the stabilizer. It did indeed work, at least when properly maintained and the troops were trained in its use. (Which was not always the case, see Page 215, Hunnicutt.) However, many troops did disconnect it due to the maintenance load. Nevertheless, it is clear that it was sometimes used in combat, and did provide a definite advantage. The late model shermans had a simplified version that required less maintenance. I do gather that its biggest advantage was a quicker shot after stopping rather then firing while moving.
     
  5. WO_Kelly

    WO_Kelly Member

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    Really? I always heard it was disconnected because of the difficulty in loading the gun while on the move?
     
  6. Eric45

    Eric45 New Member

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    I would imagine that was part of the decision as well, plus most M4's did more infantry support then moving combat against enemy tanks, so the stabilizer would be less useful in that role. I'm just speculating here. But at least some crews used it.

    Edit to clarify. Hunnicutt specifically mentions the later, improved version as a effort to reduce the maintenance requirements and improve reliability, so I gather this was a major complaint about the design.

    It was left off the M26, the M10 and M36 GMC's so it was not considered as useful as having a bigger gun.
     
  7. Oberstjon

    Oberstjon recruit

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    Any Idea what this equipment was called?
     
  8. Eric45

    Eric45 New Member

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    Hunnicutt simply calls it the Gyroscopic Stabilizer, I believe it was made by Westinghouse.
     
  9. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    LVT/A-4 amtankers used them with great success in the Phillipines with their short-barreled 75s.
    They sat off-shore and shelled Japanese intallations while bobbing up and down in the sea-swells. The gyroscopic stabilizers steadied them up to put rounds on target.
    I believe the outfit was the 777th... Army amtankers.

    Tim
     
  10. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    From "British & American Tanks of WWII" (Chamberllin & Ellis): Neither British or German tanks had this feature [gyrostabilizer], and American tanks from the M3 light and medium on had a definte tactical advantage in this respect, though gyrostabilizers were not, in fact, used as frequently as they could have been in combat.
     
  11. shermanologist on watch

    shermanologist on watch New Member

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    The stabilizer was probably more useful for the advantage it offered when the tank has just stopped; and I doubt the crew reloaded the gun when the tank was moving.
    It was an 'elevation only' stabilizer.
     

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