Author Topic: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles  (Read 29668 times)

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 #105 on: December 19, 2016, 11:23:18 AM »
Dear god no, something like that would just look at a 1 deg. side slope and topple over!

Makes me wonder though why they didn't just do a Ram, i.e. no sponson gun and a 6pdr or 75mm in the turret.  Loved the M-3 as a kid but the more I look at it the less sense it makes.  That the beauty of Morans videos, where possible he looks into the source documentation of why things were done, in this case the thinking was medium tanks were for infantry support therefore needed lots of anti infantry weapons, i.e. lots of machine guns and a field gun meaning the configuration was set by the time real world lessons showed that something like the Sherman was what was needed.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #106 on: December 19, 2016, 01:08:26 PM »
AIUI, the M3 medium was an emergency design while the final, M4 was worked out with it's main armament in a fully revolving turret.  The M3 Medium was developed from the M2.   The siting of the main gun in the hull led to all sorts of tactical problems, such as how to site the vehicle hull down, which in the M3 Medium left most of the hull actually exposed as it needed it's main gun to be able to fire.   It also led to hull weak points in and around the gun mounting (but we won't mention the inclusion of hull doors, which led to even worse weakness) and prevented the hull from being able to be fully sealed against the ingress of gas.

Personally, I've always felt that the vehicle sans main gun and turret would have made an excellent basis for an APC.  Admittedly with side doors for debusing it would still have been an improvement over the RAM Kangaroo.  If say, the MG turret from the M3 Lee was added to the hull top that would have been a large improvement.

It's best use as a gun tank turned out IMHO to be the SW Pacific/Burma theatre, where it's problems didn't affect it as greatly.

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 #107 on: December 19, 2016, 02:08:07 PM »
The M-3 was probably more the spiritual successor to the M-7 than anything else, an assault gun bodged into a tank that became an SPG.  Had they just made it a stug type it may have actually seen even wider service and been more useful.

Online Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #108 on: December 20, 2016, 12:50:22 AM »
Makes me wonder though why they didn't just do a Ram, i.e. no sponson gun and a 6pdr or 75mm in the turret.  Loved the M-3 as a kid but the more I look at it the less sense it makes.  That the beauty of Morans videos, where possible he looks into the source documentation of why things were done, in this case the thinking was medium tanks were for infantry support therefore needed lots of anti infantry weapons, i.e. lots of machine guns and a field gun meaning the configuration was set by the time real world lessons showed that something like the Sherman was what was needed.

It makes sense as long as you accept that the M3 Lee's turret ring was too small to accept an M2 or M3 75mm gun. There are clear examples where they were able to workably cram just such a gun in a turret with that diameter turret ring. In hindsight, I think something like the Ram II, but mounting an M3 75mm gun in the turret would have been the right way to go instead of the Lee, at least until the M4 Sherman was ready to go, but, again, that's with the benefit of hindsight. The Lee also had the advantage over the Ram of being designed originally in the riveted construction, which allowed it to get into production before the large hull castings of the Ram or the M3A1 Lee were ready. That's not to say that an equivalent couldn't have been developed, it's just that it wasn't.

Three years ago, I wrote a paragraph to close out a lengthy discussion where the various members of the TO&E Yahoo group were debating the merits of the M3 Lee. It still sums up my feelings on the tank pretty well and seems to apply here, too.

Quote
I think we're all saying the same things here, though, just in different ways and with different levels of enthusiasm. The M3 Lee/Grant was a very flawed vehicle; flawed in both concept and operation. It was a compromise at every level. Its layout, armament, and armor construction weren't what the designers wanted, let alone the users. But, it was the only thing available at the time. Also, when compared to its even more flawed contemporaries, it was the best thing available to British forces in North Africa until the advent of the Sherman tank, and it presented a serious threat to every German tank on the battlefield short of the Tiger. It was also the first British tank to pose a credible threat to German anti-tank guns. How does the saying go? In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. Well, for 5 months from May 1942 until October 1942, the Grant was the king of British tanks.

Cheers,

Logan

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 #109 on: December 20, 2016, 06:59:43 PM »
It would be interesting to compare the timings of the development of the M-3 to those of the 6pdr and in particular the US interest in it as a Tank Destroyer Gun, prior to its adoption as an infantry anti-tank gun.  I have a feeling the M-3 had already been baselined, if it wasn't already in production, by the time a US 57mm could have been available. 

This could have been an option for the M-3 medium (maybe even the M-3/5 light) instead of the 37mm and even provided the option of adopting the UK ROQF 75mm for any vehicle using the 6pdr.  The thing that struck me was the huge amount of 37mm vs 75mm stowage in the Lee/Grant, indicating that it was seen as the primary weapon rather than the sponson gun.  Perhaps it could even have been mated to a new turret on an evolved M-2 without a sponson gun at all.

That would have been interesting, a turretless M-3 medium assault gun operating along side a mechanically identical, structurally very similar M-6 57mm turreted tank.

Online Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #110 on: December 20, 2016, 10:01:47 PM »
I have a feeling the M-3 had already been baselined, if it wasn't already in production, by the time a US 57mm could have been available.


I can check in the great new book that I got a couple of months ago, but I strongly suspect that you're right. Heck, British 6 pdr armed tanks weren't really showing up on the frontlines before the Grant, either, so I can't imagine US production would have been faster.

That would have been interesting, a turretless M-3 medium assault gun operating along side a mechanically identical, structurally very similar M-6 57mm turreted tank.


Again, that sounds pretty similar to a Ram or even that M3 Grant command tank.





The Ram really was an impressive design and just as impressive is how quickly the Canadians got it into production. Even so, though, it barely beat the Sherman. I'm still surprised at just how short of a window the Lee existed for. It's such an interesting tank to read about, because even its designers didn't have much love for it. They knew it was completely a stop-gap; the best they could do with what they readily had on hand. It was a thrown together design that was largely intended to get modern-ish tanks on hand as quickly as possible to start getting production experience, training experience, and operational experience. US units in North Africa never even would have seen combat with the M3 Lee had the 1st Armored Division not been ordered to give up their M4 Shermans to the British in preparation for El Alamein.

Cheers,

Logan

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 #111 on: December 20, 2016, 10:30:22 PM »
On the 6pdr the US actually may have been able to get it into production sooner as the gun design was ready by 1940 and the issue preventing an earlier entry to service was the design of the carriage and also the urgent need to replace equipment lost during the battle of France.  The US had greater industrial capacity plus no urgent need to replace lost equipment, I suppose what it would come down to is when exactly the US became interested in the 57mm/6pdr.

Online Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #112 on: December 20, 2016, 10:35:37 PM »
And when the British transferred the design. But I agree it's a neat "what if" that might have been possible if the right decisions had been made in the right places at the right times.

Cheers,

Logan

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 #113 on: July 16, 2017, 09:19:46 PM »
Just had a thought on the Grant, how about a Grant Kangaroo with the sponson gun plated over and perhaps the 37mm turret removed as well, or at least replaced with something requiring less internal volume.

Offline Claymore

  • It's all done with smoke and mirrors!
  • Alternative History AFV guy
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #114 on: July 18, 2017, 06:22:44 AM »
Perhaps something a little like this...

Friendly fire isn't and suppressive fire rarely does!

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 #115 on: July 18, 2017, 03:52:41 PM »
Perhaps something a little like this...




Yep pretty much.

Offline ysi_maniac

  • I will die understanding not this world
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #116 on: September 12, 2017, 07:22:24 PM »
Two syrian possibilities.




Offline ysi_maniac

  • I will die understanding not this world
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2018, 09:26:45 AM »
Here, in first drawing, I combine the turret of M10 and the hull of M4A3E8, my favourite components in the vast and complicated (at least, for me) field of US armor during WWII. Second is a conversion in a kind of recce or command version, with gun reduced to 50 mm or so.



Offline ysi_maniac

  • I will die understanding not this world
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2018, 09:29:07 AM »
How about an M18 with an M4 Sherman turret?



Offline Twiddle

  • No, it's pronounced Frankensteen
Re: M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman Family of Vehicles
« Reply #119 on: September 23, 2018, 02:48:25 PM »
Updated power plant

Rooikat turret with 76mm gun
Kit instructions are not acceptable - let the imagination howl forth !