British names for M4 medium tanks
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#1: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:52 pm
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Hi Folks!

I am working on a listing of British names assigned to the M4 FOV of vehicles.

I am missing one name. While working my way through all the name for the different versions, I notice one vehicle that I have not been able to find a British name for.
I find that odd sense they named vehicles they never used and in a few cases were never build. For one example the M4A6 75mm version rearmed with 17 pdr AT gun!

I can not find a name for one vehicle that was built base on a British idea that just such a vehicle would be needed to attack the West Wall Fortications. The M4A3E2, which after the war became known by the nickname Jumbo.

Did the British miss this one or am I missing something?
Sgt, Scouts Out!


Last edited by Roy_A_Lingle on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total

#2: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Smashy PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:57 am
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- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Folks!

I am working on a listing of British names assigned to the M4 FOV of vehicles.

I am missing one name. While working my way through all the name for the different versions, I notice one vehicle that I have not been able to find a British name for.
I find that odd sense they named vehicles they never used and in a few cases were never build. For one example the M4A6 75mm version rearmed with 17 pdr AT gun!



You mean the Sherman VIIC?



I can not find a name for one vehicle that was build base one a British idea that just such a vehicle would be needed to attack the West Wall Fortications. The M4A3E2, which after the war became known by the nickname Jumbo.

Did the British miss this one or am I missing something?


With the availability of the Churchill I don't think the brits saw the need to buy this variant.

#3: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: tankbarrell PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:29 am
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I doubt the M4A3E2 was ever offered to Britain.
They were all Shermans to the British Army, regardless of type.

#4: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:47 am
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Hi Smashy! Hi Folks!

- Smashy

You mean the Sherman VIIC?


Sorry I guess I wasn't clear enough. I was using it as an example of a vehicle that was build in very limited numbers, never used by any one outside the states, but yet the British named the M4A6 75mm the Sherman Mark VII and then went on to name a M4A6 17 pdr the Sherman Mark VIIC.

- Smashy

With the availability of the Churchill I don't think the brits saw the need to buy this variant.


I can see your point about the Churchill, but the British assigned Mark numbers to every version including all of the ones they did not get/request/never built or used. Another example is the Sherman Mark IIB. A M4A1 with a 105mm how! Because of the gun mount, this was something that was possible, but AFAIK, this version was never put together. Again, the Sherman Mark IVB, the M4A3 with a 105mm how. A version that was built, but they never used.

That is my problem, a version that was built, but one the British never used, and never assigned a Mark number to. So my question about the M4A3E2, Did the British miss this one or am I missing something?

Sgt, Scouts out!!


Last edited by Roy_A_Lingle on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total

#5: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:02 am
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Hi Tankbarrell! Hi Folks!

- tankbarrell

I doubt the M4A3E2 was ever offered to Britain.


Very possible, I don't know. I do know the M4A3 75/76s were never offered.

- tankbarrell

They were all Shermans to the British Army, regardless of type.


I would like to suggest you check out "the Sherman, An Illustrated History of the M4 Medium Tank by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis. A very old book, might be impossible to find.

R.P. Hunnicutt's Sherman, A History of the American Medium Tank has a lot of the British Mark numbers but not all of them. Very costly book now days, maybe the local library might have one.

There are 20 M4 versions the British named "Sherman Mark ### (### = Roman numeral). Counting the M4A3E2 there are 21 versions of the M4 medium tank and there is my problem, 20 Mark numbers, 21 versions.

Spot Report!
Sgt, Scouts out!

#6: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Hanno_Spoelstra PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:41 pm
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Not sure what you are trying to prove. I have compiled a list of all British designations for US medium tanks and related AFVs:
web.inter.nl.net/users...bdesig.htm
"Paper" designations - i.e. given to tanks which were never supplied - are not listed to prevent confusion.

The British used 5 marks of Sherman. There are some sources stating stuff like "Sherman VI - M4A5 (paper designation to prevent confusion with Canadian production)" which is nonsense as the Ram Cruiser tank got the M4A5 paper designation. And "Sherman VII" for M4A6 which was not delivered. Where do the other Mark ### refer to?

HTH,
Hanno

#7: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Kurt_Laughlin PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:39 pm
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The M4A3E2 was a Limited Procurement Item for the USA. It may have just been too far out of reach to designate. Things like the M4A6 17lb are not unexpected because it was just extending an existing nomenclature scheme and there was no real harm in designating something that might be coming.

They could've just goofed up. After all, the US designation system used in WW II had been in place for over 10 years when the war started and they still hosed up tank designations. Diesel M3s should have been M3B1s. M4A3s should've been the M4B3. Large hatch hulls, 76mm, 105mm, and HVSS tanks should've been A1s, A2s, A3s, and A4s.

KL

#8: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:51 pm
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Hi Hanno! Hi Folks!

- Hanno_Spoelstra

Not sure what you are trying to prove.
"Paper" designations - i.e. given to tanks which were never supplied - are not listed to prevent confusion.
Where do the other Mark ### refer to?
Hanno


I am just trying to fill a couple of gaps. I am putting together a list for the Staff at the Fort Bliss museum to help ex-duck hunters get up speed on AFV facts. I will have to think about your idea for the "Paper" names. I guess I am going over board and maybe I need to cut back to reduce "confusion". The other marks I have are:

Mark IIB M4A1 105mm and IIC 17 pdr
Mark IVA M4A3 76, IVB w/105mm, and IVC w/17 pdr, Where is the M4A3E2 which I am guessing might have been a Mark IVD?
Mark V (Guards) M4A4 75 with Typhoon rocket launcher rails

Most of these came from Chamberlain and Ellis's book.

Still confuzed about the Sherman! PS Thanks for reminding me about your Sherman site.
Sgt, Scouts out!

#9: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Hanno_Spoelstra PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:35 am
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- Roy_A_Lingle
I am just trying to fill a couple of gaps. I am putting together a list for the Staff at the Fort Bliss museum to help ex-duck hunters get up speed on AFV facts. I will have to think about your idea for the "Paper" names. I guess I am going over board and maybe I need to cut back to reduce "confusion". The other marks I have are:

Mark IIB M4A1 105mm and IIC 17 pdr
Mark IVA M4A3 76, IVB w/105mm, and IVC w/17 pdr, Where is the M4A3E2 which I am guessing might have been a Mark IVD?
Mark V (Guards) M4A4 75 with Typhoon rocket launcher rails

Most of these came from Chamberlain and Ellis's book.

Still confuzed about the Sherman! PS Thanks for reminding me about your Sherman site.


Hi Roy,

Being confused about the Sherman is understandable. Many people have been and still are. When Chamberlain and Ellis were writing their books not everything was known what we know today. What I am trying to say is that in their time they were good books, but ongoing Sherman research has proven they were wrong in some cases.

Like Kurt says, the people shifting paper in the UK were merely extending an existing nomenclature scheme, and they often did so a long time before the tanks they designated actually became available. Some of the Shermans they made up a designation for never made it into mass production.

So when I compiled my list of British designations for US medium tanks and related AFVs from original source material, I did so with the benefit of hindsight and removed all the ones which did not make it into production and/or actual use. No-one is really interested to know what the paper pushers were dreaming up one day and discarding the next, are they?

If I may give you some advice: please do yourself and the people you are trying to educate a favour, and stick to what has been researched and documented already. Not trying to blow my own trumpet here, but I compiled that list and published it on my website as this information is not (correctly) covered in mainstream books or magazines.

HTH,
Hanno

#10: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: tankbarrell PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:33 am
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- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi Tankbarrell! Hi Folks!

- tankbarrell

I doubt the M4A3E2 was ever offered to Britain.


Very possible, I don't know. I do know the M4A3 75/76s were never offered.

- tankbarrell

They were all Shermans to the British Army, regardless of type.


I would like to suggest you check out "the Sherman, An Illustrated History of the M4 Medium Tank by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis. A very old book, might be impossible to find.

R.P. Hunnicutt's Sherman, A History of the American Medium Tank has a lot of the British Mark numbers but not all of them. Very costly book now days, maybe the local library might have one.

There are 20 M4 versions the British named "Sherman Mark ### (### = Roman numeral). Counting the M4A3E2 there are 21 versions of the M4 medium tank and there is my problem, 20 Mark numbers, 21 versions.

Spot Report!
Sgt, Scouts out!


Thanks, I've had those for over 20 years, about the same number of years I've had my Sherman V!

What I was referring to was your opening statement of ''British names assigned to the M4 FOV of vehicles.''

The only name assigned to the gun tanks was Sherman.

#11: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: bsmartLocation: Central Maryland PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:13 am
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I think there is some purpose served with discussing potential designations of variants not actually delivered to the British (or any other user) of a given tank. But in doing that I think the purpose and methodology of those designations needs to be kept in mind

As I interpret the British designations the Roman numeral indicated the primary version similar to the 'A' number of the American designation. The letter following the Roman numeral indicates the main gun installed with C for the 17 pdr being the most frequently seen.

I'm not sure the British used anything similar to the E designator of subtypes that the Americans used.

I think the M4A3E2 was a limited production subtype that were fully allocated so quickly to American units that the British never had a need to create a designation.

All this said I generally agree with Hanno about not confusing newcomers with the esoteric details that may be purely theoretical.

#12: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:42 pm
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Hi Tankbarrell! Hi Folks!

- tankbarrell

Thanks, I've had those for over 20 years, about the same number of years I've had my Sherman V!

What I was referring to was your opening statement of ''British names assigned to the M4 FOV of vehicles.''

The only name assigned to the gun tanks was Sherman.


I am sorry Tankbarrel! Now I understand your response and once again my muddy thinking and my poor writting skills have tripped me up.

You own a 1-1 scale Sherman V? I am so jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank You, Sir.
Sgt, Scouts Out!

#13: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Roy_A_LingleLocation: El Paso & Ft Bliss, Texas PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:14 pm
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Hi Hanno! Hi Folks!

- Hanno_Spoelstra

When Chamberlain and Ellis were writing their books not everything was known what we know today. ...... they were good books, but ongoing Sherman research has proven they were wrong in some cases.


It sounds like it is time to do some house clearing and make the wife happy. It's seams like every book I buy is wrong. O'well I can use the shelfs to display more 1/35 scale models. If my books are wrong, then that means a lot of the models are also wrong?

- Hanno_Spoelstra

No-one is really interested to know what the paper pushers were dreaming up one day and discarding the next, are they?


No-one? I was, that is why I made the mistake of asking, sorry.

- Hanno_Spoelstra

....... and stick to what has been researched and documented already.


I do not have the option any longer of tracking down original source documention and was relaying on published books. Books I am learning are wrong every time I turn around. Books it seams I have wasted my money buying and my time reading. Sorry I bothered you all.
Sgt, Scouts out.

#14: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: tankbarrell PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:58 pm
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- Roy_A_Lingle
I am sorry Tankbarrel!


No need Roy, I'm only pulling you leg! Twisted Evil

Yes I do have a Sherman V, restored from a wreck off an artillery range. It took me 4500 hrs of work and several years looking for parts.

Many of the mistakes written in earlier books get copied by later authors. That said, Hunnicutt is the reference, I refer to it all the time. I wouldn't worry about clearing out old books, they have a certain charm, especially when you are aware of the errors!


#15: Re: British names for M4 medium tanks Author: Hanno_Spoelstra PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:28 am
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- Roy_A_Lingle
No-one? I was, that is why I made the mistake of asking, sorry.


I am sorry Roy, but I understood you wanted to make a listing of British names assigned to the M4-series AFVs. That is what I provided you with.

Now I understand you (also) want to trace back all the steps taken of how the final result was attained? And have an answer why certain existing subtypes did not get a British designation, while others that did not make it into production did? If you want I can have a look if I still have copies of the material I used (though it might take a while as it is stored away), but I doubt it provides all the answers you're looking for.

Regards,
Hanno



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