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M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?
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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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:04 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

I quickly went back to the books, counted 11 pictures of italian M10s in service, none had the counter-weight.

The demilitarization hypothesis so far is the only one that makes sense to me.

Massimo
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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:35 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

What I have read about Italian Sherman tanks and M10 SPGs is that they were demilitarized at the end of WW2 by torching a hole in the gun barrels. The Italians shrinked collars around these holed barrels to put them back into operation, or so the story goes. Many Shermans and M10s were retrofitted with Continental radial engines in Italy. The M10 at APG is thus converted also.

The Italians also fitted 75mm gun + mountings in Sherman tanks orignally equipped with 105mm howitzers. One of these is surviving in Monte Cassino.

Furthermore, Italy sold & shipped many Shermans to Israel.

Hope this helps,
Hanno
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piney
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:23 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

The Italians shrinked collars around these holed barrels


If this is true and I have no reason to doubt Hanno, this must have played hell with accuracy unless they put in a sleeve with new rifling. curiouser and curiouser

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:43 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

With all due respect to Hanno, it makes no sense at all to me,

Cutting a hole with a torch would take the temper out of the barrel, making it weaker and prone to bursting. You could argue the sliding of a collar over the damaged area would mitigate the weakness. You'd then have to fill the holes created, then run the correct broaches through to repair the rifling. If not done properly, the seal on the projectile would not function properly, causing blow by and premature erosion of the tube in the affected area, making the tube junk. This is a lot of trouble for an Army supported by the US with MAP (Military Assistance Program) after the war. I'm sure if they needed new tubes plenty were available to repair these vehicles. It would be a much easier way to bring these vehicles back into service. Now if they were a Country who was being embargoed and were desperate enough, it might make sense. But then, I'm sure there were plenty of stuff available from the Eastern Bloc at that time.

Although stranger things have been done in the past. I am not convinced these barrels were anything other than repair jobs for display purposes.

Somebody really needs to run a bore scope down the tube of the M10 at Aberdeen to settle this Laughing .

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:15 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

I was under the impression that the collars were to reinforce the barrels when the ammunition was 'improved' by increasing the amount of propellant in the cartridges...

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:20 am
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

What I have read about Italian Sherman tanks and M10 SPGs is that they were demilitarized at the end of WW2 by torching a hole in the gun barrels. The Italians shrinked collars around these holed barrels to put them back into operation, or so the story goes.

I never read about something like that in italian literature. I haven't seen any picture of italian Shermans and M10s in service with that kind of collars either. It smells like urban legends to me...


Many Shermans and M10s were retrofitted with Continental radial engines in Italy. The M10 at APG is thus converted also.

This is something I can definitely confirm, the italian army tried to as much as possible to use Continental engines everywhere. This is mentioned in literature, army manuals and interview with veterans


The Italians also fitted 75mm gun + mountings in Sherman tanks orignally equipped with 105mm howitzers. One of these is surviving in Monte Cassino.

Shermans with with 105mm were considered very valuable by the italian army. They were kept in service longer than their 75mm counterparts. Some authors say 105mm turrets were used for static defense lines at some point (same for M26 turrets), but it's hard to comment on this, because very little info is available on this topic.

Both the tank in Cassino and the one in Bologna (Museo Memoriale della Libertà) were turretless Shermans recovered long after the WW II from scrapyrads (turrets were used for static pillboxes?). They put an incorrect 75mm turret on top in order to "restore" them. The tank in Bologna is more documented than the one in Cassino, so we know its full story. See:
preservedtanks.com/Loc...p;Select=4

Furthermore, Italy sold & shipped many Shermans to Israel.

Could be that italian scrap dealers sold wrecks and parts to israel, but I never read or heard about the italian army doing that.
Around the 1948-50 period Aermacchi and FIAT sold planes to Egypt (FIAT G-55 and Macchi MC-205). Some Aermacchi planes waiting to be delivered to Egypt were lost because "someone" sabotaged them with bombs Rolling Eyes

Hope it will help

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:51 am
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

I think the main point here is to separate documented facts:

- Italian army tried as much as possible to use Continental engines everywhere

- Shermans with with 105mm were kept in service longer than their 75mm counterparts

- Both the tank in Cassino and the one in Bologna (Museo Memoriale della Libertà) were turretless Shermans recovered long after the WW II from scrapyrads

- Aermacchi and FIAT sold planes to Egypt (FIAT G-55 and Macchi MC-205)

From speculations

- 105mm turrets were used for static defense lines at some point?

- Italian scrap dealers sold wrecks and parts to israel?

Massimo
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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:18 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

I got the information on this subject from an Israeli book on the Sherman. Shortly after WW2, demilitarised Shermans from Italy were sold to Israel. You all know they made do with what little they had, and this indeed included hair raising modifications like shrinking collars around demilled barrels. Bear in mind that most if not all knowledge about modifications came from abroad, including up-gunning Shermans (France) and re-powering Centurions (Netherlands!).

Maybe Massimo can tell us more about the Italian army right after WW2. I know the Netherlands Army made do with ex-Canadian stocks, and it took some years before MDAP supplies came in. It would not surprise me the Italians had to make do with demilitarised equipment for the first few years.

Like Joe said, someone should do a thorough research on the M10 at APG. In the pre-internet days, it took me ages to find out that it had a radial engine and it was ex-Italian. Today we should be able to do something like this in days if not hours. . ..
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:58 pm
Post subject: Re: M10 at APG donated by the Italian Army?

Shortly after WW2 the italian army wasn't in a position to sell tanks to anybody, instead they assembled whatever they could recover from wrecks and scrapyards. As elsewhere in Europe, it took a few years for MDAP to kick in.

Again, I've seen plenty of pictures of M4, M10 and M36 in service with the italian army, none had any kind of collar around the gun. I also interviewed 3-4 tank officers that served in the fifities; they told me about retrofitting radial engines for standardization, none of them mentioned anything about the guns.

Could be Israel got tanks from Italy, but from private scrap dealers, not from "official" sources. Now, those could have been demilitarized in an aggressive way, but to assume the italian army had to face the same problem is pure speculation, until I see at least one single picture from the period, I will still consider it an urban legend.

Massimo
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