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M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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A-109E
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:46 pm
Post subject: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Period B & W photos of 3rd Armored Division M5A1 Stuarts show a piece of structure on the glacis plate forward and below the bow machine gun which seems to mystify the experts. This item seems peculiar to the 3rd AD only. Three examples of this follow:







Over on the missing-lynx ( www.missing-lynx.com ) forum there have been several discussions as to what, exactly, this item was. Anyone here know? Confused

One expert there thinks it was some form of guard which prevented wires strung across the road from catching underneath the barrel of the bow gun, lifting it up and slamming the receiver down into the Bog's lap. I don't think the location, design, or complexity of this item persuades me that this is its purpose.

The general concensus seemed to be that this was some form of bullet deflector, allowing the Bog to fire into its angled plate which then sent a spray of unaimed bullets down into a trench or foxhole. Perhaps more likely, this was intended to fire down over an obstacle the vehicle was crossing, bow high (such as a hedgerow), in an effort to keep the enemy's heads down while the tank was in this rather vulnerable position.

Does anyone have an opinion on this question? And, does anyone have any other photos of this piece of apparatus?

Enquiring minds want to know. Smile

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:09 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Bob,

I'm going to go with bullet deflector, as on this....


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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:28 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

I immediately thought the same thing. I could see it useful when the tank is climbing a hedgerow or crossing a series of rifle pits. Someone should have a picture of the M-2 Medium at Aberdeen with them on the rear corners allowing the casemate mounted 50 cals to hit anyone sneaking behind the tank
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:36 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

These?



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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:38 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Yep Smile

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:51 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

- bsmart
Yep Smile


Notice how I thoughtfully editted your Bentley GT out of the picture so no one would track you down by your license plate. Wink
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A-109E
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:31 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Thanks for your input, Doug and Bob; much appreciated! I was aware of the M2/M3 bullet deflectors and it seemed to me that the M5A1's item was too similar not to be a deflector.

I wonder why, then, the 3rd AD seemed to be the only unit which installed them on their M5A1s?

I've been laboring over a 1/6 scale M5A1 for almost three years now and need to add this device since the particular vehicle I'm replicating carried one. Anyone have any close-up photos of this item to aid in scratch-building one?

And Doug, we don't need Bob's license plate to track him down. We're going to inundate him in two weeks as the AMPS hordes overrun the APG restoration facility. You'll recognize me, Bob: I'll be the one with fixed bayonet.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:34 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

- A-109E
And Doug, we don't need Bob's license plate to track him down. We're going to inundate him in two weeks as the AMPS hordes overrun the APG restoration facility. You'll recognize me, Bob: I'll be the one with fixed bayonet.


Well, at a public meeting with a bunch of known rowdies, Bob will probably leave the Bentley home safe in the garage and take, oh say, a pickup truck so as not to seem too effete and uppity. Wink
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:17 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Actually I may not make it up to the Museum for AMPS. This weekend is the CDSG tour of the Coast Defense works in the Baltimore & Washington area including Ft Carroll (with possibly the most effective antitank ditch ever envisoned Smile And at the end of the month I'll actually be taking a (non armor oriented) vacation down to Orlando. so in between will probably be work around the house and catch up at work.

I understand there is at least one tour of the restoration facility planned for AMPS. I don't know if the Hetzer and other items in the warehouse will be available for viewing or not.

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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:18 am
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

A-109E,

I used a couple of pics in the Concord "US Light Tanks at War: 1939-1945". The section on the M3 has a couple of reasonably clear shots, albeit from a distance.

From what I could tell, it's not a very complex or robust construction. It looks to me like a square-ish hunk of steel supported by flat strap or angle iron.

I've seen several discussions about this online over the years, and recall that noone ever seemed to cough up a definitive photo or set of photos showing construction or design. So as long as it looks "about right" and you can justify it, you should be good to go.

CS

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A-109E
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:11 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

C/S,

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. I do have the Concord book, though, and the first black & white photo I posted above is an enlarged and cropped scan of the photo you refer to. I have (I think) everything in print on the M5/M5A1: some 36 commercial and military publications, including 355 blueprints and drawings from the Ordnance Department. Plus almost 1500 images and photos of the real thing. In all of this I can find only four photos of this bullet deflector, explaining, perhaps, why the subject comes up on various forums so often. It's rare, it's arcane, and it's poorly documented. This makes it an irresistable and fascinating subject for researchers and model builders.

My own take is that it is a bullet deflector, and I agree with you on its construction; but I think it must be angle iron for rigidity rather than steel strap, this material most likely taken from the scrap pile.

Here are two scans showing an earlier device fitted to certain M5s which is (most probably) a brush guard. The first is a line drawing from the Tankograd publication on the M5/M5A1, apparently a tracing of the other, which appears in Kurt Laughlin's excellent book "A Field Guide to the M5 Series Light Tanks and the M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage". This has been a great help to me during the course of my project and is highly recommended. Those with the interest can find it at:

www.formationsmodels.c..._Book.html





The problem with building a 1/6 scale model is that everything is so big that many details not evident in 1/35 scale are very large and pronounced and need to be carefully researched and excruciatingly detailed. For example, the track end connectors need two sets of foundry casting numbers, a detail not seen in smaller scales.



I was hoping that someone here had some rare close-up photo or other documentation showing the details of this deflector, since this frequently happens on forums like this.

So, I think I'll go with angle iron (brass angle strip) with weld beads (Miliput putty), and a steel deflector plate (.050 sheet styrene).

Thanks again for your input. Smile

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:32 pm
Post subject: Re: M5A1 Stuart bullet deflector

Bob,
Agree that hoopy item in the images just above is a brush guard for the bow MG. Easy for something to get under there and cause mischief...had this happen to an M60 MG on my ACAV once, since those pintle thingys are eccentric and there are protubeances on the hull top that can catch the shield and not let it turn freely. When it was over, we had a machine gun that could fire around corners Laughing (not really, it pretty much just tears the barrel out of the receiver on the '60).

D.
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