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American Locomotive: 1943

American Locomotive: 1943

January 1943. "New M-4 tanks, which will soon be hurling their might against the Axis, in the Schenectady, New York, plant of the American Locomotive Company." Photo by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information. View full size.


Transmission cover

The plate steel Sherman had these two basic types of transmission cover, with the later single piece versions being simpler to make and fit. But neither version was much good in regard to protecting the tank. Shermans had weak frontal armour and by the second half of the war, the main gun was inadequate too. Most German tank shells could smash through the front of these tanks, whereas the Sherman gun couldn't penetrate the frontal armour of the heavier German tanks, so would have to rely on a side or rear hit. Having said that, the Shermans were superior to German tanks in regard to ease of manufacture, reliability, speed and cross-country performance. And they helped win the war, whereas the German strategy of fewer, more powerful tanks was obviously a failure.

Which one these is not like the others?

I agree with Old Pics that #3 is clearly different. The front details (see my pic) are clearly different from #s 1,2,& 4 and do seem to match the "Composite Sherman" photo supplied by Tumbleweed1954.

Maybe they had a second (or third) line at ALCO doing the cast front ends?

As an aside, my grand aunt worked for ALCO in Schenectady during the 1930s as a company nurse. I think she had moved by the war years, though.

Plate Steel

I don't believe there is a composite Sherman in this photo. These are all made of plate steel. The composite Sherman had a cast front and plate rear. Here is a picture of mine of a composite Sherman: M4 Sherman Tank

Two variants of the M4 shown

The 1st, 2nd, & 4th are M4s (all welded hull and 75mm gun) and the 3rd is a M4 Composite (cast and welded hull with 75mm gun). Interesting how they would mix variants on the same production facility?? Also wonder about the different track on the 4th tank vs the others shown.

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