Author Topic: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles  (Read 65510 times)

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2014, 12:01:05 PM »
You do know how tall the standard M3 medium was?  That's about half a metre taller!  The driving experience would be, to say the least, "interesting" while trying to find a hill to hide behind might be a bit difficult...   :o

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2014, 12:48:28 PM »
Yes, I do like it.  Turret looks fitting for a M3. 
One of the modern 25mm Bushmaster turrets on top and a 76mm main gun from late M4 or M41 would be nice upgrade.
Spread reactive armor around on hull.....

Offline dy031101

  • Yuri Fanboy and making cute stuff practical- at least that's the plan anyway
  • Prefers Guns And Tanks Over Swords And Magic
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2014, 01:34:06 PM »
An old idea of mine:



The new turret is that of a M8 HMC with an "aftermarket" armoured cover and having the howitzer replaced with a 6-pounder/57mm tank gun......
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 01:39:22 PM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2014, 11:09:21 AM »
Jumbo Shermans were heavily overloaded and very prone to mechanical problems.  The suspension/gear train/engine were pushed to their limits.  It was an emergency response to the need for an assault tank (and resulted in something extremely reminiscent of an "I" tank).  Personally, I think the US Army would have been better off adopting the Churchill Mk.VII.

Postwar, the Jumbos were scrapped because of their unreliability and because they didn't fit into post-war US Army thinking on how armour should be employed.  Of course, there was no guarantee the next war, like the last war, was going to conform to that thinking.  The M26 offered similar performance in everything except protection, so that was going to be the next assault tank.

I don't think that's fair, Rickshaw. The Sherman Jumbo was unreliable...compared to the standard M4A3. I've heard the late Jacques Littlefield discuss the M4A3E2 Jumbo and had very favorable opinions on it mechanically when compared to contemporary heavy tanks.  There were also numerous requests from US commanders for as many more Jumbos as could be procured. I've attached one such request from Eisenhower where he asks for as many as possible, armed exclusively with 76mm guns.

That brings up another good point in the comparison to the Churchill VII. You could arm the Jumbo with the 76mm gun, not so the Churchill. There's certainly no reason you couldn't have built Jumbos with HVSS suspension and the US had plans to do just that if the war had gone on significantly longer. As it was, only 61 Jumbos were lost in combat and the majority of the surviving serviceable Jumbos were shipped back to the US for conversion to HVSS-equipped flamethrower tanks for the proposed invasion of Japan.



Here's an example of one such Jumbo converted to the T33 flamethrower configuration with HVSS. The majority of Jumbos were never converted as the was ended before these plans could be put into effect. About 100 of them remained in US depots in 1948. These were eventually refurbished and reissued to National Guard units in the 1950s. Here's a picture of at least two with the Minnesota National Guard in 1955. They weren't declared obsolete until 1957.



The M4A3E2 would have been just fine with HVSS. The postwar Israeli M51 Super Shermans were even heavier at 46 tons and hundreds of them ran all over the world just fine for decades, boasting an over 90% serviceability rate three decades after being built and long after anyone operated significant numbers of Churchills. Heck, Chile operated them until 2005 and Paraguay operated VVSS Shermans until at least 2006.

The Churchill VIIs would have been far more of a headache. Even on the best of days they were mechanically troublesome and high maintenance. They couldn't be upgraded with 76mm guns, didn't share commonality with standard US Army M4A3 Shermans, and were more than 10 kph slower than the Jumbo. I really can't see any advantage over the Jumbo, especially in US Army service.



I think the worst thing to say about the Jumbo was that they never built enough of them.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2014, 01:06:36 PM »
No advantages, Logan?  The Churchill could go places the Sherman never could.  It could climb mountains which earnt it the nickname in Tunisia and Italy of "Mountain Goat".  I agree it couldn't be armed with a 76mm gun but it didn't need one.  It's role was infantry support - the same as the Jumbo's.  The 76mm HE round had significantly less HE filling than the 75mm round and much thicker walls, this made it less lethal.  Jumbos nor Churchills were intended to be taking on enemy armour.  They were intended to support directly infantry in the assault.

By war's end, the Churchill was very reliable, so much so that in the final advances into Germany it was actually running as far and averaging speeds equal to that of the Cruiser tanks (which included the Sherman) with few problems.   It had armour as thick and a suspension which was designed to carry it, coupled with a gearbox and engine which could propel it, if necessary up slopes no ordinary Sherman let alone a Jumbo could hope to match.  For the specialist role (for the US Army) of a "breakthrough" tank, IMO it made more sense to adopt the Churchill than use the uparmoured Sherman.  Just as they should have adopted the Churchill AVRE, rather than trying to use Shermans for such a role.

I'm not suggesting that the US Army abandon the Sherman, just that there was a better vehicle available for the assault role.

Online jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2014, 01:49:22 PM »
Riight Brian, let's create a whole new logistics chain to support a machine that has zero in common
with any other US armoured vehicle. Wasn't going to happen, the war was won by the Allies because of intelligent decisions on reliability, standardization and mass production, unlike the idiots in Nazi Germany who were so enamored of their own genius that they produced over-complicated, unreliable über-machines
that in some cases weren't even backwards compatable to earlier variants. Any push on the Allied side to
push orphan machines on any country's forces would have been a strategic blunder.

As the saying goes, amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics.

“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2014, 02:15:35 PM »
So, this would explain why the USAAF was willing to do exactly that, Jon when it adopted the Spitfire and the Mosquito for photo-reconnaissance?

What about the US Army's willingness to adopt the Sherman Firefly?

The reality is that a "whole logistic train" gets created when and if required to support a piece of equipment when its required by the military to do a job.

It's not as if it wouldn't be the first time the US Army had adopted a foreign piece of equipment, if they thought they needed it.

Generally, yes, it can cause problems if not handled sensibly but I believe the US Army could do that.  Its not as if I'm suggesting that they adopt the Churchill to replace the Sherman or anything like that.  I am suggesting that for a specialist role, there was no reason not to, except for the NIH issue.

Now as this is WHIF, imagine the US Army then being able to utilise the whole range of specialised armour which was successfully designed and built on the Churchill chassis and perhaps even contribute a few "Funnies" of their own.

Offline dy031101

  • Yuri Fanboy and making cute stuff practical- at least that's the plan anyway
  • Prefers Guns And Tanks Over Swords And Magic
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2014, 03:06:17 PM »
It would seem that Israel in its early struggles against its neighbours had a myriad of different armoured vehicles such as Patton, Centurion, and different models of Shermans.  They seemed to have done fine even while resulting logistical complication lasted.

Although it'd be conceivable that each family of tanks got upgraded to common standards so as to promote commonality......
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2014, 05:55:46 PM »
Actually how about a deep hull Churchill, with an additional 20 or 30 cm superstructure fitted above the tracks, using the Ford V8 of later Shermans which would also provide a larger diameter turret ring?

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2014, 12:03:06 AM »
Being able to climb steep mountains isn't the most valuable trait in Western Europe, however, and that's where the majority of US Army formations were fighting at that time. Despite that, the Sherman was no slouch in this area. The Sherman was noted by German in Italy for being able to climb mountains they could not. The US Army noted the same thing about the Sherman in Korea compared to the M26 and M46. Finally, the Israeli Shermans were used in the Six Day way to climb steep mountain trails that Centurions could not. The Sherman was good enough to handle the slopes encountered in Western Europe.



Doesn't need the 76mm gun? It looks like Eisenhower was wrong in the memo, I guess. That's all he wanted on Jumbos. As the US Army found out, you don't get to decide what threats you encounter. There's no "infantry only, please" box you can check before the battle.

Yes, I think it does show the US Army's willingness to adopt the Firefly. Or, more accurately, it's unwillingness. The 17pdr was the best AT gun in Western service from 1943-45. Why do you think none saw combat with the US Army in WWII? They didn't want the logistic headache. The half-hearted, way too late attempt to acquire too few Fireflies during the last year of the war is—if anything—evidence of the US Army's desire to complicate its logistics chain. And that was just a new ammunition type! The Churchill VII would have everything BUT a new ammunition type.



Now, I can see a limited adoption of the Churchill VII by US units in Italy where Commonwealth forces represented a larger percentage of the overall Allied strength, its low top speed was less of a disadvantage, it's mountain goat nature was more of an advantage, and the US wasn't sending new equipment their way, anyway. Even then, I think it's a bit of a wash. Also, I think the organization of Churchill variants into independent battalions of "Funnies" would also be fine, even for operations in NW Europe, but the US Army found that they really didn't need most of them. I think they were right. Crocodiles were useful, as were Sherman Crabs, but the Sherman with the dozer blade was about the only engineer tank the US really "needed". Things like the DD tanks, Leaflet tanks, etc. proved to be more trouble than they were worth for their very limited operations. They were "cool", but not worth the trouble.

It would seem that Israel in its early struggles against its neighbours had a myriad of different armoured vehicles such as Patton, Centurion, and different models of Shermans.  They seemed to have done fine even while resulting logistical complication lasted.


That's absolutely true, but none of those vehicles were as much trouble to maintain as the Churchill. Also, the only British tank of the group, the Centurion was much loved by the Israelis and certainly the best of the three, but that was only after the Israelis replaced the engine and transmission with American ones. The Israeli comments on the Meteor engine are not...flattering.

Again, as you note, they did what they could to standardize the types they had. They standardized on the HVSS and Cummins engine for all their myriad of Sherman variants. They replaced the guns on early Centurions and the M48s with the L7 105mm, gave them both the engine from the M60 (which they had just started using), and gave both the Centurion and M48 the same Allison transmission.

Finally, I don't know if you've ever been to Israel, but it's a VERY small country. You can get from the northern end to the southern end in just a matter of hours. Because of this, conflicts are—by their very nature—short, sharp engagements. As a result of all this, logistical variety is less of an issue than it was for the United States in WWII. Reliability is just as important, but it wasn't necessary for everything to be the same.

Cheers,

Logan

Online jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2014, 02:59:50 AM »
Poor examples Brian, the majority of the borrowed Spitfires (it was not officially adopted and never received a US designation) were operated in the UK and the F-8 Mosquitos were Canadian built and had Packard built Merlins. The handful of other borrowed PR Mosquitos were used in concert with the RAF meteorological flights. The logistics chain for both types was in place.

Using the Churchill in the field would have required adding a new support chain to an already complex, and often overtaxed, supply organization. Different engine, different suspension system, different fasteners etc., etc.

Logan's HVSS Jumbo is far more likely and logical.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2014, 08:14:07 AM »
Jon, I'd suggest you really don't understand how military logistics works.  Adding a new "supply train" isn't as difficult as you might believe, particularly if it's a specialist item.

You want another example, the 25 Pdr.  Used by US Army counter-battery units in Italy and NW Europe because it had a longer range than the US standard field gun the 105mm Howitzer.  Yes, they drew upon the existing British supply chain just as the two aircraft types did but they operated well away from the British Army, deep inside the US Army.  Operating the Churchill would have been done in a similar fashion.  A supply demand would come from a unit to a forward supply unit and from there to a rearward one, which would in turn make a demand on the nearest British depot where Churchill spares would have been stocked.   A certain level of spares would obviously be held at each supply unit and as they were depleted, they would be replenished from the rear as required.   In reality, it wouldn't matter where the stores originated, be it in the US or the UK as far as the user unit was concerned.  The US logistics system was quite capable of fulfilling such demands and massive quantities of spares were held along the logistics chain, stretching from manufacturer to forward unit.  It worked for US manufactured spares, why wouldn't it work for UK manufactured ones?   As we are talking relatively small quantities of vehicles, used in a specialist role, the US Army logistics system would have been able to cope with it IMO.


Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2014, 10:04:43 AM »
Like to see one of you excellent armor builders do a modernized M3.  Thermal sights, laser range finder, turret inspired by Bradley, 76/90mm main gun, reactive armor, appropriate satcom etc antennas.

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2014, 01:05:30 PM »
The Bradley turret is too large to fit on the turret ring of the M3 Lee, but you definitely do one of those little Sharpshooter turrets with the 25mm Bushmaster. You might even get an LAV-25 or Warrior size turret on it, but even those are probably too big.

I think about the coolest turret you could put on M3 Lee for postwar use, though, is the M163 20mm Vulcan turret, especially the Machbet upgrade with Stingers.



Lloyd Bridges never would've been killed if Lulubelle had had one of those!

Cheers,

Logan

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #64 on: July 04, 2014, 03:00:18 PM »
M163 20mm Vulcan turret - that works :)
LAV-25 or Warrior size turret should fit given the flexibilty of styrene/profile imagineering !
Do main gun and the rest to see how modernized the M3 can be.

A while back someone here did a 1970/80s modernized B-17 profile.  Loved it  8)
There is a SEA service F7F build too.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 03:07:32 PM by finsrin »

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2014, 03:30:21 PM »
Well, the way I see it, you've got 3 basic ways to go with the main armament in the hull.

The obvious upgrade is something like the 90mm Cockerill or similar 90mm gun. We know they fit in place of short 75mm guns, so there really shouldn't be any problem. That seems a bit boring to me, though, so I'd look at two other possibilities.



The first is something like the OTO-Melara Mod 56 105mm pack howitzer. There's a few advantages to this one, as well. One is the ammunition availability. You can use standard US 105mm ammo, which is readily available...anywhere, really. It's a definite firepower upgrade over the 75mm when it comes to HE. It's also capable of indirect fire, allowing you to use the M3 Lee as an SPG in a pinch. The other advantage is that the kind of countries that would be likely to retain the M3 Lee postwar (third world nations in Asia or South America) are the same nations that would be likely to have a few Mod 56s lying around.



The other option is to eschew any firepower upgrade and just go with a more sensible, smaller weapon that doesn't give you any less firepower, but does give you more interior volume and more interesting ammunition options. That is the British 76mm L5A1 or L23A1 gun found in the Saladin and Scorpion AFVs. They're more compact than the old M3 75mm gun, don't lack for HE, and fire the nifty little HESH round. Supposedly, Kuwaiti Saladins firing HESH knocked out Iraqi T-72s in 1990. That's a nice option the old 75mm doesn't have.

There are some other options that seem like they'd work for "fit", but extend too far forward and dig into the ground. The 60mm HVMS comes to mind, for instance. I just don't think it'd work.



Now, you want to know the totally crazy, Warhammer-esque option? Something stubby but huge like the 152mm Shillelagh or 165mm Royal Ordnance L9/M135.  Need that city block taken out? Bring in the M3 Lee.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline dy031101

  • Yuri Fanboy and making cute stuff practical- at least that's the plan anyway
  • Prefers Guns And Tanks Over Swords And Magic
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2014, 06:03:28 AM »
I just found out that there is going to be a movie centred around a Sherman tank crew called "Fury":

www.youtube.com/watch?v=q94n3eWOWXM


Panther and Tiger fans are "very active" in the YouTube comment section though  ;D
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 06:05:33 AM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
  • Its ZOTT!!!
    • My Artwork
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2014, 06:39:11 AM »
Yep, I started a thread on it awhile back.  8)

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4542.0

Appears the M4s and the Tiger are REAL!
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline wandering enginner

  • Imagination and modeling...the world trimbles
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2014, 08:38:08 AM »
Here are images of one of the evaluation test vehicles of the M7 Medium Tank "General Thomas" as it would appear during the Sicily campaign.  It is an Academy M10 chassis (with applique armor added on front and sides) with a Nichimo M4 turret with an aftermarket M1A1 76 mm L52 gun barrel that I lengthened by 5 caliber lengths to reflect the M1 76mm L57 gun.  Comments are welcomed.  Next in line is a M7 Firefly or M7 with all welded hull with T23 turret.
Your belief or disbelief in the facts does not change their effect

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #69 on: August 22, 2014, 11:15:00 AM »
Looks very convincing with your stowage arrangements.  Great work!
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2014, 12:00:55 PM »
Wow! Cool! 8)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2014, 03:09:48 AM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #72 on: September 30, 2014, 11:17:56 PM »
As this is a wiff site, how about the US, lacking a heavy tank of their own that could go head to head with a Tiger (as encountered in North Africa), adopted a licence built version of the Churchill to serve in that role of heavy tank and as a counter to the Tiger for the Normandy landings.  Raised engine deck to fit a US engine as well as other changes to simplify the logistics chain and improve reliability and performance of the base vehicle.  Perhaps a widened hull to permit an increase in turret ring diameter and the fitment of a 76mm gun as required, or at least a modified turret to permit the same.

Offline kim margosein

  • Newly Joined - Welcome me!
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #73 on: October 02, 2014, 10:08:49 AM »
Volkodev, by the time the Churchill modifications are completed, these vehicles would be facing T-34s in Korea.  Once you start making a change here and there, it never stops, especially since you would probably be building it with SAE spec fittings, etc.  Between the US and GB, there would be a lot of different construction techniques, off the shelf doodads, etc.  Anyway, the US had a heavy tank, the M6.  IIRC, they decided not to put it into production as more M4s could be built with a given amount of raw material, and transports could carry more M4s per a given ship's capacity.

However, this is a WHIF site.  Build what you want, how you want it, and ignore the trolls.

Online jcf

  • Global Moderator
  • Turn that Gila-copter down!
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #74 on: October 02, 2014, 02:33:37 PM »
This is not just a Whif site, it is open to any and all forms of modeling.

Anyhow, a modified Churchill post belongs in the Churchill thread, as it has nothing in common
with the M3/M4 family of medium armoured vehicles.

Churchill: http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=1936.0
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014