M4A2 questions

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Hosted by John Prigent and Steve Zaloga, this is a discussion group dedicated to the armoured forces of the many Allied nations of the Second World War.

M4A2 questions

Joined: December 5th, 2006, 11:49 pm

May 1st, 2012, 11:40 pm #1

I could use a little help for my M4A2 project. I have the Dragon 1/35 M4A2 PTO kit and want to either depict on Iwo,Guam or Tarwawa. I have both TWS fording sets and would like to use the 55 gal drum over the engine deck and the standard set up on the exhaust. Does this sound fesible? When did the Marines add re-bar to the hull to help hold on stowage? Did the tanks normally have all the tools attached? Did this version ever have the Stuart water tank on the rear like I have seen pictures of the M4A3's on Iwo?
Thanks in advanced
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal....
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Joined: July 30th, 2005, 4:16 pm

May 2nd, 2012, 12:27 am #2

The fuel drum stacks were peculiar to M4A2s of Tank Company 4th Marines and Tank Company 22nd Marines on Guam, and 3rd Tank Bn on Guam and Iwo Jima. The peculiar rig usually had fuel drums in both the normal stack positions, though 3rd Tank at Iwo did not have the full rig since they were unique in landing from LSTs after the assault landings. The forward stack was seldom photographed. It was jettisoned as soon as possible; like all air intake stacks it interfered with turret traverse, so you only saw it on the rare shot taken in the water (see first photo in photo set for Guam in my PTO book).

Note that markings were often company-specific: the old C/IMAC Medium Tank Bn elephant for some 3rd Tank vehicles, the rhino for Tank Company 4th Marines, et cetera.

Rebar on the sides? Not sure what you are talking about. 1st Tank in Korea used extra brackets to hold ammo and spare machine gun parts for the infantry, but that was Korea.

Tools were often not attached. They would be covered up anyway, and inaccessible under supplemantary armor. BUT units with M4A2s seldom used suplementary armor (exception was C Company, 4th Tank on Saipan and Tinian), so tools WERE attached on those. So put them on.

The water tanks were unique to the M4A3s of C Company, 4th Tank (M4A3s) on Iwo Jima, and were not seen on M4A2s.
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 1:15 pm

May 2nd, 2012, 1:14 am #3

I could use a little help for my M4A2 project. I have the Dragon 1/35 M4A2 PTO kit and want to either depict on Iwo,Guam or Tarwawa. I have both TWS fording sets and would like to use the 55 gal drum over the engine deck and the standard set up on the exhaust. Does this sound fesible? When did the Marines add re-bar to the hull to help hold on stowage? Did the tanks normally have all the tools attached? Did this version ever have the Stuart water tank on the rear like I have seen pictures of the M4A3's on Iwo?
Thanks in advanced
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal....
That kit is a large hatch, 47 degree hull M4A2. The Marines used those late production M4A2s only on Tinian, Peleliu, and Okinawa. For Tarawa, Guam or Iwo, you need the Tarawa M4A2 kit with the mid production small hatch hull. The large hatch Shermans used by 4th and 5th Tanks on Iwo were M4A3s.
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Joined: July 30th, 2005, 4:16 pm

May 2nd, 2012, 1:39 am #4

I'm not familiar with the specific kit, but if that's the case he cannot mate the hull with the unique fording trunks.... except in might have been.
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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

May 2nd, 2012, 8:42 am #5

That kit is a large hatch, 47 degree hull M4A2. The Marines used those late production M4A2s only on Tinian, Peleliu, and Okinawa. For Tarawa, Guam or Iwo, you need the Tarawa M4A2 kit with the mid production small hatch hull. The large hatch Shermans used by 4th and 5th Tanks on Iwo were M4A3s.
The 3rd TB had a handful of Late (Big Hatch ) M4A2 on IWO and photos (incl a colour one) exist so you can do one.
Al
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Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 10:18 pm

May 2nd, 2012, 4:46 pm #6

The fuel drum stacks were peculiar to M4A2s of Tank Company 4th Marines and Tank Company 22nd Marines on Guam, and 3rd Tank Bn on Guam and Iwo Jima. The peculiar rig usually had fuel drums in both the normal stack positions, though 3rd Tank at Iwo did not have the full rig since they were unique in landing from LSTs after the assault landings. The forward stack was seldom photographed. It was jettisoned as soon as possible; like all air intake stacks it interfered with turret traverse, so you only saw it on the rare shot taken in the water (see first photo in photo set for Guam in my PTO book).

Note that markings were often company-specific: the old C/IMAC Medium Tank Bn elephant for some 3rd Tank vehicles, the rhino for Tank Company 4th Marines, et cetera.

Rebar on the sides? Not sure what you are talking about. 1st Tank in Korea used extra brackets to hold ammo and spare machine gun parts for the infantry, but that was Korea.

Tools were often not attached. They would be covered up anyway, and inaccessible under supplemantary armor. BUT units with M4A2s seldom used suplementary armor (exception was C Company, 4th Tank on Saipan and Tinian), so tools WERE attached on those. So put them on.

The water tanks were unique to the M4A3s of C Company, 4th Tank (M4A3s) on Iwo Jima, and were not seen on M4A2s.
Howdy Ed, some of the 3rd Tk Bn vehicles had a raised rebar rail welded along the top of the rear hull in a "U" shape when viewed from above. It was fastened to short rebar posts welded to the hull top. There are some good photos of this feature in Dave Harper's "Tank Warfare on Iwo Jima" book published by Squadron. Perhaps some old Jarhead resurrected this rebar rail idea for the Korean festivites.
Outta here, Mike sends . . .
Last edited by Michael Mummey on May 3rd, 2012, 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 10:18 pm

May 2nd, 2012, 5:01 pm #7

I could use a little help for my M4A2 project. I have the Dragon 1/35 M4A2 PTO kit and want to either depict on Iwo,Guam or Tarwawa. I have both TWS fording sets and would like to use the 55 gal drum over the engine deck and the standard set up on the exhaust. Does this sound fesible? When did the Marines add re-bar to the hull to help hold on stowage? Did the tanks normally have all the tools attached? Did this version ever have the Stuart water tank on the rear like I have seen pictures of the M4A3's on Iwo?
Thanks in advanced
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal....
Howdy Joe, use that big hatch kit to do up a 1st Tanks hog of 1st MarDiv. I may have an extra Tank Workshop fording kit air intake that was used during the Peleliu campaign. You could also rob the styrene version from the Italeri USMC Pacific Sherman kit. I also have available for trade some of Dave Harpers dry transfer markings for 1st Tanks hogs from that battle. And Squadron is currently selling Dave Harper's "Tank Warfare on Iwo Jima" book for only $4.99, see herehttp://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=SS6096
It has great pictures of 3rd(M4A2), 4th(M4A3), and 5th(M4A3) Tank Battalion in action. I know you are itching to use that gift from the Chicago AMPS gang on the back of a USMC Sherman. To do so you will need to bust out an M4A3.
Outta here, Mike sends . . .
Last edited by Michael Mummey on May 3rd, 2012, 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 5th, 2006, 11:49 pm

May 3rd, 2012, 1:22 am #8

Thanks to everyone for the info. I have both TWS M4A2 fording trunk sets and Dave Harpers book. I am just covering my bases before I start down that road of AMS. I would like to know if you guys have seen any 1/35 rebar? Also do you guys know if Iwo was completely covered in volcanic ash or mixed with sand and dirt. Mike and Al you have made my day. So let's see if I can get it reeady for next years AMPS civil War General theme.
Thank you
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 1:15 pm

May 4th, 2012, 1:42 am #9

The 3rd TB had a handful of Late (Big Hatch ) M4A2 on IWO and photos (incl a colour one) exist so you can do one.
Al
Al: I am surprised to hear that, having never seen a pic of a big hatch M4A2 on Iwo, but on the other hand, it doesn't surprise me -- replacement vehicles to make up for combat loses and mechanical write-offs after Guam would likely have been large hatch tanks, now that I think about it.
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 1:15 pm

May 4th, 2012, 1:50 am #10

Thanks to everyone for the info. I have both TWS M4A2 fording trunk sets and Dave Harpers book. I am just covering my bases before I start down that road of AMS. I would like to know if you guys have seen any 1/35 rebar? Also do you guys know if Iwo was completely covered in volcanic ash or mixed with sand and dirt. Mike and Al you have made my day. So let's see if I can get it reeady for next years AMPS civil War General theme.
Thank you
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal
Having been to Iwo I'll take a shot at that one.

The "Black Sands" on Iwo are pretty much confined to the beaches themselves. The sand itself is charcoal gray in colorwith a bit of rust brown tinge to it (I'm looking at a vial of the sand as I type this). The sand is actually a mixture of coarse sand and pea sized rocks.

Once inland (about 75-150 meters from the waterline in WWII) the ground is a rocky light greyish tan soil similar to southern California. There ar ea lot of color images and films online that show this.
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