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Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...
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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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:49 am
Post subject: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

The Mk IV

Thanks to Romanian hospitality and a lot of help from friends Florin, Iuliana (in a Herculean display of patience) and sources at the Military Museum of Romania-Bucharest (you know who you are…) we now know a lot more about two particular vehicles of interest there than we did previously. Interior access was made available to the Mk IV through the agency of museum administration, a pair of wirecutters, and a new seal, in addition to pulling a four page file on this vehicle.
From what we could discern from the file, the vehicle came to grief in the Battle for Moldavia, probably in late ’41. It apparently took a hit that resulted in the loss of the original turret (I didn’t see any obvious damage to the hull, inside or out) and the chassis may have come to be captured and used by the Russians for a period (possibly as a personnel or ammo carrier) as it was recovered with some Cyrillic overwriting on some of the operating controls (instruments are now absent). With the end of hostilities, it came to rest at the museum and a “donor turret” from unspecified sources came via the Romanian Military School to be installed on the chassis to complete the exhibit as it is seen today. From the pictures and examination of the interior turret ring area, it is my impression that the non-rotating turret was installed by suspending it above the hull (a normal turret ring and gear is absent) and shimming it up at four places which were then substantially welded in place. Long carriage bolts through the turret bottom lip secure it to the hull on the inside (I’m not clear if the holes for this were made for this purpose, or adapted from original turret ring mounting points). In any case, the turret is not going anywhere, least of all in traverse.
The turret traversing handle and gear is present, but has no turret ring to connect to. The gun appears normal and fairly complete. Co-ax and bow machine guns are fabrications, as is the turret bustle stowage box, added later for the purpose of display.
I don’t know what usual crew practice was, but I’m guessing that ingress/egress from the turret side doors was for cooling, rearming and emergency escape only. At 180lbs. I’m proportionate height:weight and there is no excess of space going in those turret doors. I could picture coming out and flopping on the ground in a hurry if the occasion called for it.
In the limited amount of time available, I looked everywhere I could think of for a readable data plate, but nothing like that was found (and may be irrelevant now that we know it’s a “combination” vehicle). I do have additional pictures of the interior that I’ll post as I get a chance. One very small plate in the driver’s area was completely obscured by rust and old paint and probably too small to have been a data plate.

The “Cut Sherman”

I have a little more information on the history of this interesting lend-lease vehicle, previously featured here in an old thread. As its display information plate indicates, it was recovered from the Prut River. Apparently, it was crossing on a bridge which failed due to bombing whereupon it fell in. Shortly thereafter, Russian forces recovered the intact turret, presumably for refitting another vehicle that had become a casualty or as a fixed emplacement (this detail is not known). After some time, a local sought and was granted permission to salvage the engine as a power source for industrial/farm use like a mill, irrigation, or just power generation. This is how the hull came to be cut at the rear and the engine removed from the drivetrain. Fuel for operation was cheap in the postwar era, what with refineries near at hand.
The rest of the hull, now on display, was recovered some years later and my host at the museum was a member of the recovery team. The hull reportedly contained a full combat load of main gun and MG ammunition. Propellant powder had become contaminated and was harmless, but the explosive projectiles were pulled and destroyed by the Civil Guard.

Many thanks to all those who made accessable the vehicles, notes and interior access so that we could get a better picture of the backgrounds of both.


Left front turret shim/weld:

Right%20rear%20turret%20shim/weld%20and%20fabricated%20turret%20bustle: Let's%20have%20a%20look%20inside...entry%20via%20right%20turret%20hatch: Turret%20right%20interior%20view,%20door%20closed.%20Note%20shim/weld%20point%20(shown%20previously%20from%20outside)%20and%20carriage%20bolts%20further%20securing%20turret%20to%20hull: Turret%20traversing%20handle,%20connected%20to...nothing: Views%20of%20TC%20hatch,%20right%20turret%20side%20door,%20and%20breech%20from%20left%20side: Driver%20and%20radio%20operator/bow%20gunner%20positions%20from%20turret%20rear,%20beneath%20breech: Driver%20position,%20left%20side: Driver%20position,%20looking%20right%20to%20empty%20instrument%20cluster%20and%20bow%20gunner%20position: Can%20I%20get%20a%20translation?%20After%20\"Attention\"%20and%20\"turret\",%20I%20can't%20make%20it%20out...
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:50 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Great Intell & good interior detail,.... Do you have an exterior shot of the Mk IV ?

Don
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

- Dontos
Great Intell & good interior detail,.... Do you have an exterior shot of the Mk IV ?

Don


Don,
Both the MkIV and the Sherm can be seen in this thread dating to '06:

www.com-central.net/in...mp;start=0

D.
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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Those are great pictures and I do hope they find that graffiti artist "Doug Kibbey" for painting his name on everything you see! Surprised
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:08 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Rolling Eyes ....Darn Tourists.... Rolling Eyes

Cool
Don
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:13 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

- JeffStringer
Those are great pictures and I do hope they find that graffiti artist "Doug Kibbey" for painting his name on everything you see! Surprised


Some of those pics might turn up in a work in progress by another member here and he gets first dibs on the "non-graffiti" versions. I hate having to do it myself, but such is the triumph of experience over high expectations. Wink
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:52 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Doug, great pictures and good detail on the current state of the vehicle. I am a bit confused though - you mention a battle in 1941, but the Panzer IV in that other thread is clearly an Ausf J, so built after June 1944. Apologies if I've misunderstood.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:00 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

- TrevorLarkum
Doug, great pictures and good detail on the current state of the vehicle. I am a bit confused though - you mention a battle in 1941, but the Panzer IV in that other thread is clearly an Ausf J, so built after June 1944. Apologies if I've misunderstood.


Trevor,
The turret, hull, or both? Note that this is a composite vehicle. I also do not know the date range of the conflict in Moldavia, but by sometime in '44, Romania was now fighting on opposite side.

Doug
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:14 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

I'm looking at the hull since you mentioned it has a donor turret. The hull shows the distinctive late pattern Pz IV idlers and sprockets, and the all-steel return rollers indicate Ausf J specifically. The fact that there are just 3 return rollers per side, and the style of towing lugs, actually imply a late production J, so probably late 1944 or early 1945. If you have a shot of the rear exhausts I could be more definitive.

See my text on the Ausf J here:

preservedtanks.com/Typ...0&Select=1

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:32 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Does any significance attach to the number of track support rollers? I notice that all the ones on your site have four and this one has three.
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Yes, that's what I meant about 3 return rollers per side - it indicates that this is a late production J, towards the end of the production run (where the priority was saving metal and time wherever possible).

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

Can you give an angle of the rear that your looking specifically for (and example would be helpful)? I have 2-3 eye level views from various angles, or do you need a "top down view" of rear deck? Might not have that, but maybe something close.

Engine (not gotten to int the thread yet) is of the single OHC type that is gear driven (one cam cover is off) so I infer this to mean it's of the later, higher output type.

This stuff get really fuzzy with parts swappin', both then and now. For example (from the AFV Interiors site): "It is sometimes very difficult to identify particular models of the Pz.IV because vehicles were sent back to Germany for repairing and at that time they were brought up to the current gun and armor standards. Because of this, you may find L/43 gun turrets on Ausf.D chassis, or even odder combinations, making technical identification of a particular very difficult on occasion. By the way, Will Phelps informed me that this particular vehicle, chassis 83072, was in action for no more than two months before it was captured by the British, and that explains the apparently excellent interior condition. Some sources say this tank simply ran out of gas, and others that there was a mechanical failure of some kind, but one way or the other it was probably captured during the German retreat after their disaster at Alamein."

As to the engine, I'll post what I've got so that maybe we can make this element. (Once this thread spreads over to "page 2" to keep the image limit from running afoul of the forum rules.) From the old "AFV Interiors" site, we find this:

The Maybach HL 120 TRM was a 60-degree, V-12, gasoline engine providing roughly 300hp at 3000rpm, although it was governed to 2600rpm most of the time. As you may recall, this same engine was also used in late model Pz.III tanks and other armored vehicles derived from these tank chassises, and this photo was taken of one of the engines destined for a Pz.III installation. In the Pz.IV, the Maybach was usually connected to a ZF SSG 76 transmission that provided six forward and one reverse speeds. The famous Maybach 120 TRM, developed specifically for tanks from an early airplane design, gradually became a fairly reliable power plant after it's initial over-heating problems were solved. The carburetors were a pair of Solex 40 JFF IIs, the starter a Bosch BNG 4/24, and the clutch a F&S La 120/HDA dry 3-plate, the total package capable of pushing the heavy Pz.IV along at 40kmp on roads and about half that speed cross-country.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

- TrevorLarkum
I'm looking at the hull since you mentioned it has a donor turret. The hull shows the distinctive late pattern Pz IV idlers and sprockets, and the all-steel return rollers indicate Ausf J specifically. The fact that there are just 3 return rollers per side, and the style of towing lugs, actually imply a late production J, so probably late 1944 or early 1945. If you have a shot of the rear exhausts I could be more definitive.

See my text on the Ausf J here:

preservedtanks.com/Typ...p;Select=1


I have some closeup shots of what seemed at the time to be important sprockets and suspension bits, particularly those with a number on them. That'll be for "round 2" of picture-nitpicking. I'm trying to make allowances for the uncertainties of war, and the fact that we had an official four page record of this vehicle produced (that I had the chance to examine, with a fluent speaker of the language, which isn't that difficult to read even for me) to refer to. When this thread blossoms into a second page, I'll get around to posting more pix. Thus far I have reason to believe I was getting as straight a story on the origins of these vehicles as far as is known and one could expect. If it doesn't conform to someones' chronology of events or vehicle development, that's beyond my control. All I know is what I was permitted to see, which was quite a lot.

If someone is privvy to more detailed info from official sources than I've been able to obtain, please feel free to make us aware of them. All that matters here is the facts.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:54 pm
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

That sure looks like a genuine MG34 barrel housing in the bow.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:36 am
Post subject: Re: Romanian (Bucharest) MkIV and Sherman update...

- Rikard_Hufschmied
That sure looks like a genuine MG34 barrel housing in the bow.


Their might be some authentic bits mixed with addon welded pieces. Both bow and co-ax stop a couple of inches inside the vehicle and are bent and look to have been "modified". It possible it's just the housing cut off and damaged/repaired over years. The flash suppressor bit looks more convincing than some parts of the shouds on close examination. I may have those in greater detail and will post when opportunity allows.
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