Tank "Sherman": drawings. Engine tank "Sherman"
Despite the fact that in the 20s-30s of the twentieth century, the Americans conducted rather intensive work in the field of tank building, and the famous “Christie” constantly presented new ideas, there was little real value for tanks there. So, by the beginning of the Second World War, there were no more than 400 vehicles of this type in the US Army, and only 18 of them were in the medium category.
But after the invasion of Germany into Poland and France and the events that followed, attitudes towards armored vehicles changed dramatically. Already in 1941, the production of the model M-3 started. This tank was quite original, as it had two guns at once: a 75-mm cannon and a 37-mm cannon. Since the first one was installed in the sponson, they really only used a 37-mm cannon, which at least could be turned. In addition, the height of more than three meters made the "General Lee" a great gift to the German artillery.
Having understood this, in the autumn of the same year, the Americans began intensive work in the field of creating a new, more maneuverable and adapted machine for modern combat. So there was a Sherman tank.Perhaps it was the best American armored vehicles of that period.
New approach to the creation of the body
To simplify and speed up production, the hull was made of rolled sheets of armor steel. In contrast to the "straight-line" Germans, US engineers placed the top sheet at an angle of 47 °, its thickness was 50 millimeters. Stern plates were located at an angle of 10–12 °, the sides were straight.
The thickness of the side and stern sheets was 38 millimeters, on the roof - only 18 millimeters. Fastening the bow of the hull to the power elements of the bolted. Note that the frontal part was assembled at once from seven rolled billets, so that the manufacturers had a difficult task to ensure the highest quality of welds. We can say that they coped with the task perfectly.
Why such a conclusion? In the small village of Snegiri there is a monument of two Shermans. Their hulls were rusty from the rust layer for a long time, but the welded joints are still in perfect condition.
It should be noted that the Sherman tank of the 1943-1944 release is distinguished by an additional armor plate on the starboard. This was done in orderto place on the floor of the fighting compartment an additional set of shells (to ensure the security of the ammunition). One pad welded to the left side.
However, it didn’t help much against the Tigers cannons: the history of the Sherman tank knows many times when their shells hit the car through. But this could be said about any Allied tank, with the exception of the IS-2 and Pershing, which appeared at the very end of the war.
We can say that the duel - the Sherman tank against the Tiger in most cases ended with the victory of the latter. The M-3 cannon pierced this model of a German tank from the distance of a pistol shot, while the German KwK 36 L / 56 gun could effectively hit the Sherman from about a kilometer away.
Tower in the tank "Sherman" cast, cylindrical. Mounted on a hinge support. Its frontal and side parts were protected by armor 75 and 50 millimeters thick. The stern of the tower was 50 millimeters thick, the roof was 25 millimeters thick. Mask guns were best protected, since the thickness of the armor in this place was 90 millimeters.
As you can see, the Sherman tank (the drawings of which are in the article) was not very different in terms of protection against the legendary domestic T-34.Despite the statements of the American designers about the invulnerability of the mask of the gun, during the whole war there were several times when the enemy’s shells pierced the mask. It is this, as a rule, that caused the death of the loader.
This was especially vivid in the Normandy: the Panthers and Tigers easily hit the Sherman tank. The fury of General Eisenhower was beyond description. Presumably, it was he who forced scientists and engineers to hurry with the development of a normal tank with a good cannon, which could fight on an equal footing with German counterparts.
In principle, the general did not achieve much success: "Pershing" appeared only at the end of the war, and he treated the heavy tanks quite arbitrarily.
The American tank "Sherman" was armed with standard:
- The main weapon is the M3 gun. Caliber 75 mm, subsequently introduced a long-barreled modification on 76mm.
- Large-caliber machine gun "Browning" M2NV, located directly above the hatch of the tank.
Do you play World of Tank? "Sherman" in this game, according to the balance of weapons, approximately corresponds to the T-34, which reflects the real state of affairs. So, the “American” armor-piercing projectiles were much better-quality than domestic ones, but they pierced a thinner armor.On the other hand, domestic products were better in ballistics, only tankers themselves rarely saw such shots, since tungsten carbide used in their manufacture was very scarce and expensive.
Useful properties of armor
Tank "Sherman" had a good reputation among domestic tankers. And it's not just the convenience of internal equipment. So, the Americans had no problems with nickel and other armor additives. As a result, their armor was viscous: even in the case of penetration of the hull, if the projectile did not kill someone from the crew or did not disable the engine, the tank continued to perform the combat mission.
Domestic cars had solid armor. If a shell pierced it (even in an area free of the engine or crew), a whole hurricane of small scale fragments raged inside the car. Many tankers were killed or maimed for this very reason.
Crew working conditions
By the way, how did the crew of the Sherman tank feel? It is quite decent when compared with the conditions of Soviet cars. First, everyone noted the high quality of surveillance devices, which is why tankers always had an excellent overview.In addition, in addition to the main engine, a small gasoline engine for the generator of the charging station was mounted in the tank. How was this valuable?
The fact is that the tank always needed a charged battery. To charge it on the T-34 in the parking lot, it was necessary to waste the main engine. As a result - a huge overconsumption of fuel and the exhaustion of the already meager service life. Finally, inside the tank "Sherman" was much more spacious, and the quality of the finish was higher.
In the back of the Sherman building there was a niche where a full-time radio station was installed. The entrance hatch was located on the roof of the tower and was closed with a double-wing lid. There was mounted turret anti-aircraft machine gun. This “Sherman” tank was different from the Soviet cars, on which the machine gun was mass-produced only after the appearance of the IS-2. Since 1943, the tower began to complete the oval hatch, designed for landing-disembarking loader.
The fact is that the loader himself, the radio operator and even the mechanic simply could not get out of one hatch. Why did a mechanic crawl through him? It's simple: often the gun was jammed as a result of a successful hit.the enemy, after which the driver simply could not use the exit intended for him.
Soviet T-34 tankers suffered greatly from the tower’s gas pollution. The fact is that the fans, borrowed from BT, “hung out” somewhere in front of the tower, while the breech of the cannon strongly stood back. The installation capacity was so-so, and therefore most of the powder exhaust remained right there.
Americans with their M-3 had about the same problem. But it was decided just the same in the "Sherman", installing just three fans, protected by armor caps.
Did different tank modifications differ from each other?
Note that during the Second World War, the following modifications of the Sherman tank existed:
- M4. Notable for the carburetor engine Continental R-975 and a simple welded body.
- M4A1. The engine is the same as in the previous case, but the casing is cast.
- M4A2. Differs diesel engine General Motors 6046 (he was loved by Soviet tank crews), the body is welded.
- M4A3, ("Sherman 3"). The tank was completed with the power unit Ford GAA carburetor type. Standard body, manufactured by welding.
- Tank "General Sherman" M4A4. Again, diesel RD-1820. Also made by welding.
- M4A6. Similar to the previous species in all.Represents late, post-war modification. Differs more adaptability and workmanship, the best radio station was installed on the machine.
In addition, there was a “theoretical” model of the Sherman tank, M4A5. This name was reserved in case the company that manufactures American cars will be opened in Canada. These plans were not destined to be realized, but the name was never used. More precisely, the Canadian version (Grizzly 1) was actually produced from September 1942 to autumn 1943, but then the release was curtailed, since American supplies more than covered the needs of the country.
Despite this diversity, outwardly, these models practically did not differ from each other (except for the excellent shape of the tower). The exception is the M4A1, which stood out sharply from the others with its cast case. The placement of the units, the instrument and the undercarriage on all the Shermans were absolutely the same. It should be noted that the American machines differed significantly from their Soviet and German counterparts in that they were regularly equipped with overhead sets of armor.
Tanks of the first series had inspection gaps in the front sheet.Only then they were completely covered with covers and set up periscopes. Subsequently, the slope of the frontal armor also changed significantly: it was 47 °, and it became 56 °. It is for this reason that the average performance has a car in the game "World of Tanks." "Sherman" there is largely consistent with the T-34. However, this is true (judging by the recall of veterans).
In general, the tank M4 "Sherman" - a phenomenon in some way unique, since so many engines that were installed on it, was not anyone. What caused this? It's simple. Until the Second World War, it seemed to the Americans that they did not need medium and heavy tanks in principle. The emphasis was on the development of aviation and the fleet, and in this area they coped perfectly.
When medium tanks were needed, the question arose of which engines to use for them? Aviation, of course, since the aircraft manufacturing factories in America were abundant enough. By the way, precisely because of the star engine, which was installed on the first Shermans, the car turned out to be high, because otherwise the motor would simply not fit in there.
In addition, a “civilian” transmission was used, initially adapted for mass and cheap trucks.Its dimensions were large, since the designers in this case did not particularly bother with its compactness. However, the "Sherman" - a tank, whose characteristics are fully consistent with the spirit of the time. In particular, the Germans also massively used truck parts to design the Pz.II, one of the most popular cars of the era.
Why did so many power plants be used? Everything is also simple. During the war, the Americans not only needed airplanes themselves, but also supplied them to their allies. Accordingly, those companies that manufactured engines for them, worked at the limit of capabilities. Often, tanks simply did not have planned for the design of the engines, because of what they had to look for analogues. However, first things first.
Characteristics of power plants
On the first modifications, that is, on the M4 and M4A1, put a star-shaped aircraft engine Continental R975 C1. He developed 350 horsepower, the number of revolutions equaled 3500 rev / min. For comparison, the B-2 of the legendary T-34 developed an operating power of 400 horsepower, delivering 1,700 rpm.
Detailed history of the engine "Wright" (Continental)
Initially, this engine was used for light airplanes. To make him the engine of the tank "Sherman", engineers took a lot of work.For example, it was necessary to “screw” the gearbox, which, for obvious reasons, was not needed by the plane. In addition, it was necessary to dramatically increase the torque at low revs, as well as create a normal air purification system (dust clouds are rarely found in the sky), simultaneously reducing the amount of oil consumed by the engine.
After a year of work, bench tests were conducted, on which the engine showed quite acceptable results. In 1940, the M2, the common ancestor of "Li" and "Sherman" with the Wright motor, was run-in at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. In addition, in the tests participated the British cars, which next to the American tank seemed "sluggish." The military were satisfied, they liked the model, which would later be called the Sherman tank. The reviews were very good, it was recommended to adopt the car soon.
The total weight of the power plant was 515 kg. It should be noted that aviation fuel with an octane rating of at least 92 should be used as fuel. The compression ratio was 6.3: 1.
However, further tests showed that the military early rejoiced: at the slightest increase in the mass of the tested machinethere was a shortage of power, and the cooling system could not cope with the increased load at all. In addition, due to the increase in temperature in the carburetor itself, the density of the air entering it sharply decreased, due to which the power dropped dangerously. In such conditions, the engine of the Sherman tank could only work for 100 hours, after which it needed a complete overhaul.
Reorientation of production
Due to this circumstance, it was decided to take the production from Wright and transfer the issue to a larger company Continental. It was assumed that at its plants will be made at least a thousand engines per month. By the way, for all the previous time, "Wright" released only 750 engines.
New engineers eagerly took to remove flaws design. Firstly, the cooling system was redesigned. Secondly, they developed a new air purification filter. Finally, the production itself established strict requirements for the tolerances of the parts produced, due to which the overall quality of the engines increased significantly.
The M4A2 was equipped with a six-cylinder GM 6046 six-cylinder diesel engine. The engine developed power of 375 horsepower.The number of revolutions - 2100 rev / min. As we already said above, our tankers liked the engine for its unpretentiousness, reliability and maintainability. Moreover, its lifespan is several times higher than that of the T-34. In fairness, it is worth noting that these two medium tanks rarely endured more than three or four battles at the beginning of the war.
By 1944-1945 and 1946 (the war against Japan), the B-2 engine was somewhat brought to mind, making the difference not so noticeable. Thus, the Sherman tanks in the Red Army, together with Soviet equipment, reached Manchuria on their own. Special claims to the cars of the Soviet or American production was not.
Tanks with what engines were delivered to our country?
It is officially considered that only this model was supplied in the USSR under lend-lease. But some Soviet tank crews describing the M4 Sherman tank said that “it flared up like a match”. Often there are also references to gasoline engines. All this suggests that the M4 or M4A1 were also supplied to the Soviet Union.
In addition, it can be assumed that a certain amount of Shermanov gasoline came to our country from England, where the USA supplied both diesel and petrol modifications (British troops were equally provided with gasoline and diesel).The Americans themselves used mainly gasoline modifications. The only exception was the Marine Corps, which had an unlimited supply of ship diesel fuel.
Actually, this is why the diesel Sherman was so popular in our country. Tank in the USSR (as in the USA) until about the 30s was considered an auxiliary unit, a consumable item. When it took something more serious, it turned out that there was simply not enough gasoline for tank hordes. It was necessary to use diesel fuel, which in those years was considered a waste of oil refining.
The most "advanced" was the model M4A3. For her, a specially designed V-shaped eight-cylinder Ford GAA engine. Its power was 500 horsepower. The most complex and cumbersome was the design of the M4A4: five automobile engines (conventional, serial) set the tank in motion. Just imagine what and how the unfortunate mechanics said that they had to repair this engineering miracle in the event of a breakdown.
Where are these cars now?
And where can you see the Sherman tank today? Fury (the historical facts in this film are more or less close to reality) shows these cars in the cinema.In the troops of Paraguay (as of 2013) there are still as many as four such tanks. A lot of half-submerged and half-destroyed cars are found on the coast of the Philippines, where the Shermans were massively used to break through the defenses of the Japanese. "Sherman" advertises the game World of Tanks, where it is quite popular.