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Armor/AFV: IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]
Armor and AFVs of the IDF army from 1947-today.
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M51 question
Buckeye
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 06:00 PM UTC
Would an M51, based on the M4A3, retain the original M4A3 engine deck?
Kelley
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 06:35 PM UTC
John, I'm at work and don't have my refs in front of me, but if I remember correctly, the very early production M51's did still use the original engines. So yes it is possible for them to have had the M4A3 engine deck. Tho they all were modified w the HVSS suspension.

Mike
SabIngaMartin
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 07:21 PM UTC
No,
Robert
m4sherman
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 08:36 PM UTC
John,

All the M4A3's supplied to Israel from France, or purchased as "scrap" were converted to the M4/M4A1 radials, and later to the diesel engine.

Tks,
Randy
Kelley
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 08:47 PM UTC
Ok, I was wrong. I knew they still had the radial engines, thought that meant they'd have the "normal" engine deck. Sorry John.

Nice reply Robert. Since you obviously are the expert here, could you possibly elaborate?
m4sherman
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 09:12 PM UTC
Kelly,

I don't think you were wrong, IDF Shermans are a nightmare sometimes. Last year I thought they only had late hull M4's and M4A1's. I had no idea there were M4A3 hulls converted.

From what I have learned the French had to convert their M4A4's to the radial because there were no spare parts for the multi-bank. Later, for similar reasons they, converted their M4A3's to the radials. The US was very stingy with M4A3 spares at that time.

There are several M4A4's in France showing how those tanks were converted to the radial. Unfortunately I have found no good pictures of an M4A3 conversion, but it must have been done like the M4A4's.

There are pictures of an M4A3 with a radial engine deck on display in France, but that tank is probably a display put together with what was laying around because the lower hull rear does not look like it was modified, and the engine deck plates were not fitted properly.

Tks,
Randy
SabIngaMartin
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Posted: Friday, January 06, 2017 - 05:23 AM UTC
Mike
He ask yes or no Q thus I say the answer no, it was early in the morning and I was going out.

The M51 that were based on M4A3 hulls were only with diesel late engine deck.
Robert
HunterO4
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 10:08 AM UTC
I am confused, are you all saying that the M-51 had the welded hulls of the M4A3 & M4A4s, not just the cast hulls of the M4A1s?

Is there any photographic evidence of this, where??
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 12:34 PM UTC
An old full color book called The Great Tanks had a beautiful color frontispiece spread of an M51 built from an M4A3. There were a handful converted.

As an aside I've always suspected a few slick M4 were really engined with the Ford engine after the war to make M4A3. I've seen a few M4A3 early on display where the whole engine deck and rear of looked like it had been cut off and put back on.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 01:54 PM UTC
This web-site:
http://indy-amps.weebly.com/m4a3-conversion-to-an-m51-degum-gimel.html
claims that this image:

shows an "M4A3 conversion to an M51 Degum Gimel"
There is also this text on that web-site:
"The tank pictured above from the third production batch of M51ís (Degum Gimel), indicated by the full stowage suite, spare track mounted on the turret and the reinforced muzzle brake. From my other references it appears that there were only 50 welded hull M4ís converted to M51ís, the rest built on big hatch M4A1 hulls."

The rest of the page is about modelling one of these M51's

His words, not mine ...
/ Robin

Edit: Better version of the same image:



At least IDF had access to both types of hulls:
ReluctantRenegade
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 04:46 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I am confused, are you all saying that the M-51 had the welded hulls of the M4A3 & M4A4s, not just the cast hulls of the M4A1s?

Is there any photographic evidence of this, where??





Kelley
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 06:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike
He ask yes or no Q thus I say the answer no, it was early in the morning and I was going out.

The M51 that were based on M4A3 hulls were only with diesel late engine deck.
Robert



Ok, thanks for that Robert.

Best,
Mike
iakarch
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 06:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

John,

All the M4A3's supplied to Israel from France, or purchased as "scrap" were converted to the M4/M4A1 radials, and later to the diesel engine.

Tks,
Randy



As Randy says, the engine deck used depends on the period you want to depict. Israel rebuilt the Shermans and continualy upgraded them. A M51 could be converted from any not just a M4A3. There were a lot of M4A1 based M51s.
SabIngaMartin
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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 07:33 PM UTC
No not all kind of hulls
M50 tanks were converted from any hulls
While MOST of the M51 tanks were based on hulls of the M4A1 late 76 HVSS hulls that been called by IDF as M1 Super Shermans and M4A1 late 76 VVSS hull that were modified to carry the HVSS during the modification line of the M51 tanks. There were handful M51 that were converted at the end of the modification line using some late M4A3 / M4 hulls that been already in service in IDF as tanks and carry the Con. Radial engine with M4A1 style engine deck.
For more info see the SabIngaMartin books Lioness and Lions of the Line vol 1, 2, 3 and 10.
Robert
Dr. Robert Manasherob
www.sabingamartin.com