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Story Behind Sherman "Absentee" In Bastogne Museum

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Doc Sausage, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Doc Sausage

    Doc Sausage Member

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    Good evening

    Does anyone know the story behind the badly damaged Sherman, named "Absentee", in the new war museum at the Mardasson memorial in Bastogne

    I must confess I have read a lot of books about tanks being blown up and seen many tanks with holes from AP rounds in them but the scale of the damage on this one is so horrific it has shaken me rigid: as well as a shaped charge impact, the right side has a huge jagged hole smashed in it; the inside is peppered with spall and shrapnel and the left side is punched out splitting the welded seam.

    I wondered where and under what circumstances this tank was hit; I think I can guess what became of the crew, sadly.

    Thanks in advance
    Steve
     

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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    What is the serial number painted on her. The few photos of the Sherman I found on the net were too small or taken from a bad angle to read it.
     
  3. Doc Sausage

    Doc Sausage Member

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    I'm kicking myself, Takao, I have checked all the pictures I took and not one of them shows the serial number Grrr.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Not a chance of even a partial #?
     
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    i suspect it was just hit with an HE round rather than AP. The side armor is only 1.5 inches thick and not angled. It's a very vulnerable spot
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, I have found this...
    [​IMG]
    from http://www.bunker.nu/2014/10/vecka-39-arets-bunkerresa-tyskland-belgien-holland-del-3/

    So, examining a blown up of this picture I read 3022791.

    The number is confirmed in this video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnR_vPdNGmw

    With a little Google-Fu, i turned up this thread over on the Missing-Lynx forum
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/thread/1293646134/Sherman+%23+41+question%28s%29

    This thread also links to this one, but the picture links in the thread are all broken due to age(2007).
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/thread/1188833638/M4+-+US+6AD-69TB-No55%2C+Wardin%3C/a

    Regretfully this 3022791 does not appear to be the 3022791 at the Bastogne War Museum, or at least not the same turret on the tank hull.
     
  7. Doc Sausage

    Doc Sausage Member

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    I can see why you're an "Ace" Takoa, could it be the armoured equivalent of what we in the UK call a "cut & shut" i.e. two or more insurance write-off vehicles welded together and filled with bondo then sold on to an unsuspecting buyer.

    I was looking at the picture more closely after I posted the original question and I was wondering if it has been used for target practice after being knocked out; to take KBs point there appears to be at least 4 shaped charge (HEAT?) hits with 2 on the rear applique panel plus what would appear to be 2 kinetic hits, one just denting the rear applique the other just penetrating the original hull
     

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