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What's Up With These Shermans?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by scarface, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. scarface

    scarface Member

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    I was over reading The Historian's interesting and timely thread regarding a special TV broadcast regarding the discovery of some previously unknown German D-Day bunkers...Map Solves Mystery of D-Day Massacre

    ....anyhoo, in that thread, he posted a link to a page with this photo, which is a screen cap from Saving Private Ryan


    [​IMG]

    Now, whenever possible, I try not to get my history from the movies, but I thought this photo was interesting because it shows some modifications to Sherman tanks that I have not seen before - specifically, the the big-honkin' risers on the back end.

    Here's a detail

    [​IMG]

    Now, I have heard of (but never seen) a Sherman duplex-drive, which were fitted with auxiliary propellers and a waterproof, canvas 'gunwale' to displace enough water to float the tank and, theoretically at least, make it to shore.

    I've also, on this forum, read of the Sherman Fireflies, which, to my understanding, were British modified (i.e. upgunned) Shermans.

    Now, bearing in mind that these are pictures of movie 'props', they are undoubtedly trying to represent something that has a basis in fact The risers appear to be either schnorkels or exhaust risers -

    so, a quick, easy question to the 'big-iron' mavens on the board...


    ....whatupwitdat?????

    -whatever

    -Lou
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    What you see is a "deep wading" kit on a Sherman. I don't think this was actually used on D-day. What it does is allow the tank to wade in from a fairly deep off-shore surf. The big trunks you see cover the engine intakes. The exhaust is fitted with one-way valves to prevent back flooding from that side of the engine. The tank itself is sealed and a bilge pump is installed to keep flooding from happening.
     
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  3. Hawkerace

    Hawkerace Member

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    never noticed there was allied tanks in SPR besides the last bit.
     
  4. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    They were used on D-Day, as were the DD Shermans. The deep wading kits met with various degrees of success.

    After moving inland, the deep wading kits and DD skirts were removed. One thing to look for with DD Shermans is the idler wheel.
     

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  5. scarface

    scarface Member

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    Okay.... let's pretend, just for a minute, that I'm really stupid.




    ....which one is the 'idler wheel'?

    -whatever

    -Lou
     
  6. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    Right there......
     

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  7. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Heres a pic of Some DDs in the water...
    [​IMG]

    There was also a DD Variant of the Valentine...
    [​IMG]
    I would have loved to see the faces of the German defenders on D-Day when the saw the DDs rising up from the sea.
     
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  8. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    nice pics Joe!
     
  9. scarface

    scarface Member

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    Okay .... so, borrowing Joe's siggy-pic (becuz it was handy!:D)

    [​IMG]

    is this a DD because it has an idler-wheel?

    Thanks for educating me, Jim!

    And, Joe, I agree.... great pics!

    -whatever

    -Lou
     

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  10. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    bigfun & Scarface...


    never underestimate the power of Google! :D
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Lou mate, the 'idler' is the wheel at the opposite end of the track to the toothed drive wheel. It usually spins freely on it's axle as a handy place to hang the track on. Most all tanks have them.

    The DD Sherman's ran their propellers off the idler wheel, hence they're of a slightly different form to usual.

    The one's with the large scoops aren't 'DD' vehicles, they are 'just' prepared for deep wading.

    DD refers to this 'Duplex Drive', running on land by track and in water by propellers. They're the ones with the big pop-up canvas sides that form a boat of sorts, designed by the rather brilliant Hungarian born engineer Nicholas Straussler. Unlike the mere wading kit (scoops) that allows the machine to run in a few feet of water without swamping it's engine or exhausts, the DD Sherman, Valentine, and Tetrarch trial model could swim properly in deep water.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
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  12. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    Thanks Adam.

    Lou,

    Here is the layout:
     

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  13. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Glad to know my sig was of use. ;)
     
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  14. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    :) It was handy at the moment. Sorry.
     
  15. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    Here are some more shots of the deep wading trunks. They were also used in the PTO for obvious reasons. The first shot is of a Sherman lying in a flooded shell hole on a Normandy beach. The other two are I believe on Tinian.

    Enjoy.
     

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  16. scarface

    scarface Member

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    Thanks, guys. So, not to beat a dead horse, (but, hey, he's dead anyway!), then on the DD the engine drove the toothed drive wheel, which transferred power to the track, which turned the idler which was connected to the propeller shaft.

    Which takes me back to some war movie or other that I remember seeing in the distant past, where there were some tracked vehicles approaching the beach (although they weren't DD's and it was in the Pacific), and their tracks were kicking uip a big froth and I remember wondering how spinning their tracks generated enough forward motion to propel the vehicle to the beach.

    Now I know. Thanks, gents.

    And, Joe, your siggy-pic was invaluable.

    Feel free to use my TRR anytime!:D

    -whatever

    -Lou
     
  17. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    I've got to get better at multi-tasking!!
     
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  18. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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  19. Jim Baker

    Jim Baker Member

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    Lou,

    What you probably saw were LVT's like these. They are tracked landing craft and some versions had light tank turrets mounted. Look at the design of the tracks. They were indeed designed to propel the vehicle through the water.
     

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  20. scarface

    scarface Member

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    So.... the DD's propellers were geared to the engine, instead of the convoluted drive train that I enumerated above.

    OK.

    Thanks

    I think I'm just going to shut up now before everyone realizes just how ignorant I really am and kick me off the forum.

    Thanks for all your help, Jim - but I have a LOT of Googling to do!

    -whatever

    -Lou

    -Lou
     

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