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M1 Heavy Tank
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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Location: The Great Satan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

Yo, 'Weed...I can't answer your question, but.....
I've often wondered just what an "assistant driver" actually does. I have one that rides in the car with me sometimes and it's not actually all that helpful....
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:48 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

Also refered to as the M6 Heavy tank. 3" main gun, 37mm coax. Codriver had twin .30 cal.. Some versions had a .50 cal in the rear of the turret that was also supposed to be an AA gun (yes under armor)

There is one left in the world. Want to guess where it's at? Smile

production was cancelled for a couple reasons. Main one was weight. Someone figured that for every one of these we could ship 2 Shermans. On top of that they knew that there would be problems unloading them in the war zone. Most ships of the era could only handle 35 tons or so even with heavy cargo gear. The Logisticians knew that there would not be any good port facilities with heavy cranes so it was decided to lower the priority of heavy tanks. There were also 'reliability problems' with the drive train. They tried several different combinations including electric motors. I think that it was only unreliable in terms of what the American army demanded since they knew how long the supply chain would be. I think that it probably was more reliable than the German heavy tank powertrains. I could see the 3"/37mm combo being replaced by a 90mm main gun in the production machines and we would have had something that could stand toe to toe with the German cats.

Can you tell I've alway liked it Smile It is a regular feature on my tours.

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Bob Smart (bsmart@xecu.net)
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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:51 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

Does your wave her arms about while describing something in the conversation? Rolling Eyes

I was never good with sign language! Laughing


Jeff
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David_Reasoner
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:00 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

I think one of the pilot models did indeed end up sporting a new turret with a 90mm (or maybe even 105mm?) gun and a large turret bustle. Vaguely remember seeing a photo in Chamberlain's British and American Tanks of WW2.

David
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

- David_Reasoner
I think one of the pilot models did indeed end up sporting a new turret with a 90mm (or maybe even 105mm?) gun and a large turret bustle. Vaguely remember seeing a photo in Chamberlain's British and American Tanks of WW2.

David


M6A2E1



"Only one was constructed. This tank was built to a specific need: to break tough defensive positions in Europe. The T5E1 105mm cannon was used and the turret ring increased from 69" to 80". The vehicle's height went up to 11' 5" as a result of the new turret. and the length (with the gun) went to just under 37'. A goal was to build 15 of these monsters and ship them quickly to the European theater. European commands considered this tank and promptly rejected it. The thought of a 154,000 pound vehicle that could only travel 18mph was considered too difficult to deploy."

TANKS! U.S. Heavy Tanks

The one at the Ordnance Museum is a T1E1 prototype (regular turret). This may be a pic of it on the old Mile of Tanks.



And this is just amusing:



Neil
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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:39 pm
Post subject: Re: M1 Heavy Tank

I think it was the British who convinced the U.S. to put the radio in the turret bustle for the Grant and soon after for the Sherman. Before that the assistant driver usually handled the radio work - which was probably more of a headache back-in-the-day than it is now. I hear for awhile the U.S. (and the Russians too) were very short on trained tank crews and the co-driver (hull mg) position often went vacant, or was filled by a mess cook or infantryman drafted into the position.

One reason why it took so long to discard the assistant driver position is that tanks are very maintenance-intensive machines. It usually took everybody working hard well into the night for things to be up and working the next morning. One less crew position meant one less pair of hands for maintenance duties. That's one criticism of recent efforts to field an autoloader-equipped tank with a reduced crew. 3 guys in the field just aren't enough to keep a tank ship-shape.
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