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.
Gratuitous advice to Sharon: Don't look back: the Abbas abyss of Gazahkstan looms full of Katyusha rockets to shoot down with your Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).