Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - The Israeli Shermans - May, 17th 2005
Posted on 05/16/2005 9:47:32 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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The American M4 Sherman tank has seen battle with the IDF in four major conflicts, from War of Independence (1948) to Yom Kippur War (1973), more than any other tank. It had also been modified and more sub-variants of it were produced more than any other tank in IDF service - from a main battle tank to engineer vehicle, self propelled gun and anti-radar missle launcher.
After the end of the second world war, thousands of M-4 Sherman tanks were taken out of service by the Allied armies. That made those tanks almost the only ones available to the young state of Israel - with it's economic struggles and the embargo on weapon sells to it by most countries.
The first Sherman tanks were bought during the 1948 War of Independence, from an Italian junkyard where they were awaiting their selling for scrap. The IDF eventually bought 35 of these, but only 14 were operational by the end of the war. Since these tanks had sabotaged guns, some were regunned with the Krup 75mm field gun.
During the early '50s, more M4 were purchased from various sources, and the Sherman became the standard tank in the Israeli armored units. In collaboration with France, the tanks were regunned with the M50 75mm gun (M-50) and, later, with a 105mm gun (M-51). Some "Super Sherman" tanks, armed with a 76.2mm (M-1) gun were also purchased.
The Sherman saw action in the 1956 "Kadesh" operation in Sinai, against the Egyptian army (who employed it's own version of the M-4, returreted with AMX-13 turret). In Six Day War (1967), Sherman brigades were still the mainstay of the Israeli armored forces, though more modern MBT's were in service at the time. In the Yom Kippur War (1973), Sherman tanks fought, as always, in the front lines. Fighting against Syrian and Egyptian T-55 and T-62 MBT's with a WW2 vintage weapon, the Sherman crewmen made true the motto of the IDF's armor corps: "Man is the steel".
No other vehicle in IDF use was modified and had so many variants based upon as the Sherman. Besides it's use as a tank, there were engineer variants, mine plowers, rescue vehicles, gun practice moving targets, self propelled guns, mortars and MLRs, ambulance and many more. The M-50/155 Howizter is another conversion of the M-4 Sherman. The M-50 155mm is an Israeli indeginious self propelled gun - a French 155mm howitzer was fitted on a Sherman chassis.
The medium Sherman tank is one of the many models built by the US Industry during WWII The M4s of which 49,000 were built from 1942-1945, were the tanks that finally managed to defeat the Nazi armour in combat in Europe and North Africa, and also against the Japanese Army in the Far East.
A 30 M4A1 tanks fitted with a 105mm Howitzer were purchased by the IDF from surplus warlike stores of the Allied Forces in Italy. The Americans had drilled a bore in the barrel in order to damage their combat fitness. The tanks Howitzers were repaired by the IDF in enough time to take part in the
War of Independence (1948) when only 3 M4a1 tanks where ready in the end of the war, this tanks participated in battles in the Negev and the Northern Sinai Peninsula. After the war in 1950's there were around two companies of this tanks. Israel purchase 40 M4A4 tanks with M4A1 engine from French.
M4A4 tank in Sinai Campaign (1956)
When the Sinai Campaign (1956) war broke out, Israel had 180 Shermans ready for battle of total 205 Shermans, during the Sinai Campaign (1956) war Israel captured M4A3 tanks from Egyptians.
The M4A1's cast upper hull gave it distinctive rounded edges. This makes it the easiest of Sherman tanks to identify. Other identifying features of M4A1, which it shares with M4, are the rear of the tank and engine access panels. There are twin engine access doors in the rear hull and air cleaners at the top corners of these doors. M4A1 had twin square muffler tailpipes at the top of the rear hull above the air cleaners, a steel-covered air intake behind the turret, and solid engine access doors in the rear deck behind the turret. The main gun in the first M4A1s built was the 75mm M2, which was shorter than the M3.
M4A1 Sherman tanks
The M4A3s were fitted with the heavy-duty suspension bogies and single-piece final drive and differential housing. The rear armor of the M4A3 reached below the sponson line, as on M4A2, but M4A3's rear deck engine grill doors ran from sponson to sponson. M4A3 also lacked the row of bolts that were embedded into M4A2's rear plate.
As the French policy towards Israel underwent a maior change, France agreed in 1950's to provide Israel with around 250 Sherman's (Supershermans). These were mainly M4A1 tanks, with 76.2mm M1 guns, and HVSS. The tanks were transferred to Israel in a clandestine operation lasting for several weeks, this tanks arrived directly to beaches in Israel in 1953-1954. They arrived just in time to participate in the Sinai Campaign (1956).
When the Sinai Campaign (1956) war broke out, Israel had 180 Shermans ready for battle of total 205 Shermans.
M4A1 & M1
B: Old turret
C: 75mm M3 gun
A: T32 turret
B: With commander's cupola and 76.2mm M1 gun
C: With cast hull
When the Arabs armies had received new Soviet tanks during the early 1950's, Israeli Sherman tanks were rapidly outclassed, being insufficiently armed for dealing with T-34 and T-85 tanks. This situation led to development of new improved Sherman tanks. The solution were 75mm CN 75-50 French gun with 1000 m/sec.
The prototype turret was sent to Israel in 1955, This gun was fitted in M4A4 and M4A3 tanks, first 50 M-50 tanks had VVSS and in middle 1961 there were 300 M-50 tanks ready with HVSS.
One of the best Kepts secrets in the Sinai Campaign (1956) was the participation of US made Sherman M-50 tanks on which the French mounted a 75mm gun. When the Sinai Campaign (1956) war broke out, Israel had 180 Shermans ready for battle of total 205 Shermans. M-50s were active combatans in the Sinai Peninsula and in the daring battle on the Roeifa Dam under the command of Moshe Brill. After many tracks and engine modifications by the IDF, they were used in the Six Day War (1967) and Yom Kippur War (1973).
When the Six Day War (1967) war broke out, Israel had 515 Shermans ready for battle of total 520 Shermans, and when the Yom Kippur War (1973) war broke out, Israel had 340 Shermans.
In 1983 Chile acquired a number of M-50s from Israel.
When the M-50 designed to defeat T-34 and T-85 tanks with the CN 75-50 gun, with appearance of T-54 and T-55 the new Arab tanks Israeli needed again new gun and as on M-50 Israel used French gun, the new 105mm CN 105 F1 gun. This gun was a 56 calibre and 6m long, firing a HEAT round with a 1000 m/sec. However, this gun could definitely not be installed in a Sherman turret, as this offered not enough recoil space. Israel then came up with a solution of their own: By shortening the gun to a 44 calibre gun (about 1.4 meters shorter) and accepting a lower muzzle velocity of around 800 m/sec. this odification, called the CN 105 D1 gun, could indeed be crammed into a T 23 turret.
This gun was fitted in M4A1 tanks with HVSS, 180 M-51 tanks were ready in late 1960's. The M-51 Sherman tank developed with French-Israeli collaboration of the basis of the US Sherman tank, mounted a long 105 mm gun. The tank also had installed a US diesel engine and wide track and suspension. The tank participated in combat during the Six Day War (1967). In the famous battle in the Dotan Valley, as well as in the Yom Kippur War (1973).
When the Six Day War (1967) war broke out, Israel had 515 Shermans ready for battle of total 520 Shermans, and when the Yom Kippur War (1973) war broke out, Israel had 340 Shermans.
In the mid to late 70s, Israel had supplied over 150 M-51 Sherman tanks to the Chilean army.
M-50 & M-51
A: Old turret
B: With counterweight
C: 75mm CN 75-50 French gun
A: 105mm CN 105 D1 gun
B: T32 turret
C: With commander's cupola, counterweight
M-60 is an Israeli modification of the M-50 and M-51 variant of the Sherman main battle tanks. In this version, the French gun is replaced by a 60mm HVMS gun, for use as a heavy support vehicle, and the engine is replaced with a variant of the same engine used in the Stingray tank.
Israeli HVMS (Hyper Velocity Medium Suppor) 60mm gun (as on M113 HVMS APC) was fitted in Sherman tanks that Israeli supplied to Chilean army. The HVMS gun was a small 60mm gun that provided high velocity kinetic energy projectiles to penetrate unheard of amounts of armour at considerable ranges.
Chile acquired from Israel 50 units of M-51 in the 1970s and 1980s, with a total of 50 units. These tanks arrived at Chile with 75mm gun (the same one installed in the AMX-13) that replaced later in 1980s by the new 60mm HVMS gun of hypervelocity. The trajectory of the projectile is so tense that it does not require of systems of fire control falsified, the substitution by a new motor, these tanks with the new 60mm HVMS gun were the answer to the T-55 Peruvian in the almost happened situation.
In 1983 Chile acquired a number of M-50s from Israel as well. By mid 1984, they had arrived without their 75 mm guns. The M-50s were fitted with a 60mm HVMS gun by the Chilean national arms industry at Fuerte Arteaga. This modification was developed by NIMDA Co. Ltd. of Tel Aviv, Israel. Although as many as 50 to 65 M-50s were acquired, 48 are now on strength.
They have a prominent engine exhaust on the rear deck.
The Chilean army in planning on replacing its old tanks by adding the Leopard 1, acquired from Holland, and retiring the M-51 and mounting their 60mm HVMS gun on the Piraña 6x6.
At the end of the 60's, the IDF realized that there is a growing need for a medevac armoured vehicle for fast evacuation of wounds from a tough terrain field. The vehicle had to withstand enemy fire, and be able to provide maximum protection and medical treatment to wounds.
Instead of investing great amounts of money and resources in developing such vehicle, it had been decided to use an existing platform, thus shortening the development process.
The Sherman 's battle tank platform was chosen for the task. The Sherman was largely available and the specific model was the M4A1, which was used in the past as a basis to the M5A1 model.
In order to utilize sufficient amount of space which is critical to the vehicle's main purpose, the engine was transferred from the tank's rear part to the front, leaving large room for the task of wound treating. The hull could now house a medical crew and 4 stretch beds.
Workshop unit 650 of the ordnance corps was assigned the task of the conversion of the Sherman platform into what would later be called the Ambutank.
In 1969, the first prototype of the Ambutank was introduced. This was the Ambutank VSS. It served in the IDF at the outset of the War of Attrition, at the southern front and at the northern sector of the Suez Canal .
At a later stage, the Ambutank was built on a Sherman platform with a Kamin's engine, and wide Horizontal Volute Suspension System ( HVSS) . The HVSS had a special hatch on its floor which enabled it to pick up victims without endangering the crew.
The Ambutank HVSS was produced in large scales, and was used during the War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War at the Egyptian front along the Suez canal .
Widespread us of the Sherman by Armoured and Artillery Corps in the 1950-60s prompted a decision of modify some of them for drivers training. This tank, already equipped with wide track and suspension and diesel engine, had its turret opening shut by a round steel plate with a central opening for the driving instructor. The one shown here was used by the Artillery School and then became a prime-mover.
This Sherman had its turret removed,and was installed with a hydraulic system capable of raising and observation device to a height of 27m. The system, that was engineered by ''EYAL'' Industries was reguisitioned by the IDF for use as a mobile look-out post along the Suez-Canal front, from the War of Attrition to the Yom Kippur War (1973)
In order to train gunners in shooting at a live target, the IDF installed stanted armoured plates on both sides of a Sherman tank. Due to lach of plates appropriate in size and thickness, use was made of panels of junked T-34 tanks which the IDF had captured in the Sinai Campaign (1956). This Sherman hull is still impregnated with the various typesof bullets fired during shooting practice.
I have some Israeli Sherman tank pics that I will try to post tonight after work.
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Foxhole.
When something big happensa blessing or a tragedywe recognize it immediately and respond with praise or pleadings to God. When we find a long-sought-after job, hear of a loved one coming to Christ, or get bad news from the doctor, we think of God and turn to Him. But in the little thingsthe routine, the mundane, the detailsit's easy for us to overlook that He is working (Jeremiah 32:19).
God is at work in the big and little things of the forest too. The big stuff, which is visible and colorful, is called duffthe partly decayed organic matter of leaves and sticks that covers the forest floor. But if you rake back the duff, you will find all sorts of important little things happening. The soil is rich and dark, and smells of life. It is filled with tiny plants, insects, and a variety of fungi. There under the duff they are performing an important function, for with them God is building the future forest.
The Lord works similarly with His people. Of course His eyes are on the big issues of life. But He's also at work "under the duff" through our everyday activities, preparing us for the significant tasks He has planned for us.
So when the mundane gets you down, thank God for what's under the duff. Dave Egner
And say, "Your will be done,"
For God's at work in everything
To make us like His Son. D. De Haan
Eyes of faith see God at work in everything.
How Has God Loved Us?
How Much Does God Control?
Good morning..off today and have to go to Wal-Mart and get a tire with a slow leak fixed.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on May 17:
1444 Sandro Botticelli Italian painter (Birth of Venus)
1741 John Penn US attorney (signed Declaration of Independence)
1749 Edward Jenner England, physician, discovered vaccination
1768 Caroline Brunswick, Queen Consort of King George IV
1812 Joseph Warren Revere Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1880
1836 Joseph Norman Lockyer discovered Helium/founded Nature magazine
1846 Edmund Bishop English secretary of Thomas Carlyle
1850 Antonio Scontrino composer
1878 Conway Tearle US actor (Klondike Annie, Should Ladies Behave?)
1886 Alfonso XIII Borbón King of Spain (1902-31)
1900 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Iran's spiritual leader (1979-89)
1908 Zinka Milanov Zagreb Yugoslavia, soprano (Ljublama Opera 1927)
1911 Maureen O'Sullivan Boyle Ireland, actress (Tarzan, Pride & Prejudice, The Quiet Man)
1912 Archibald Cox 1st Watergate special prosecutor
1931 Dewey Redman jazz musician
1934 Earl Morrall NFL QB (Lions, Giants, Colts)
1936 Dennis Hopper Dodge City KS, actor (The Shining, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider)
1941 Malcom Hale trumpeter
1942 Taj Mahal New York NY, singer/songwriter (The Real Thing)
1945 D A S Pennefather Major-General/Commandant (General Royal Marines)
1953 Kathleen Sullivan Pasadena CA, newscaster (ABC-TV, CBS Morning Show)
1956 "Sugar" Ray [Charles] Leonard Palmer Park MD, welter/middle/light-heavyweight boxing champion (Olympics-gold-76)
1963 Brigitte Nielsen actress (Red Sonja, Rocky IV, Domino)
1974 Marcia Turner Cambridge MA, Miss America 1976 Peter Devine New York NY, fencer-foil (Olympics-96)
WOW! What a great T-shirt! I wonder who made it? Probably some great artists.
I'm wearing mine! :-)
Mornin', snippy. Gettin' hot out here, especially with the kevlar on.
Hey! Nice T-shirt!
Rain is supposed to end by Thursday and then they're predicting a week of warm and sunny weather. :-)
No Les Schwab in your area? ;-(
During a 1987 deployment, STARK was struck by two missiles fired by Iraqi aircraft. The fires that resulted claimed 37 lives, and only the heroic action of the crew saved the ship. Today the only remaining sign of this tragic event is the memorial engraving mounted in the midships' passageway, which lists the names of the lost shipmates.
Morning Cannoneer No. 4.
Keep that kevlar on, we want you back hoome.
Wow! That's an eye-opener! I'm afraid to hit the "hugh size" link.
Morning tanker Feather
It's the same image.
Whoa! Beautiful shot of the Nimitz, what a great flag-o-gram. If I click on the 'hugh' size will my computer blow up?
Nice shirt. :-)
Good morning Mayor. Thanks for the update you posted the other day.
Good morning Aeronaut.
Good morning Gail. Enjoy your day off.
Oh how nice to set aside a day for peasants. Extra rations?
Hope you all have plenty of good drinking water.
Good morning tanker feather.
It has the same effect as FORMAT C:\.
I just got back from a dentist appointment. The hygenist said I have a few areas in the upper left part of my mouth that need working on.
Wether's nice here today. forecast high upper 70's. Rain forecast for tommorow.
free dixie NOW,sw
Great thread today. I learned all this stuff when I was active duty, but I never did commit it to long term memory. It is MUCH more insteresting in this format!
That's the "All Hands on Deck" size.
Nice flag-o-gram this morning.
Hello, pleased to meet you.
Hi miss Feather
Why didn't I think of that?
I'm afraid to click on the "hugh" size. :^)