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M6 series heavy tank ammo stowage?


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shapeshifter #1 Posted Jul 08 2015 - 08:03

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There exists some question on exactly where the ammo was stowed on these tanks. Being able to climb into the last T1E1 existing would probably clear this up but as I will never have that opportunity and have not seen any pictures taken of inside the drivers compartment of these area's and not having found copies of the other reports done on these tanks, this is the best I can do.

 

 

When Aberdeen was testing the T1E2 pilot (M6) in 1941 they ended up moving the ammo storage from the sponsons to run beside the hull floors to mirror what production tanks would look like.

 

September 1941

 

"During this operation it was noted that, in traversing uneven terrain, the bogie wheels rise and contact the hull. damage has been done to the left front bogie tire by a bolt securing the ammunition boxes which pretrudes beneath the tank. Very likely it will be necessary to provide stops for the suspension arms."

 

April 1942.

In April they were ordered to ship the tank to GM for testing but to remove everything like the guns and stowage items first.


"In order to complete removal of ammunition boxes the two (2) 3" racks running parallel to the hull along the floor had to be cut out in sections and will require re-welding."

 

 

Here we can see one of the racks near the driver, the other would be on the opposite side of the hull behind the co-driver.

 

 

The thing is they seem to refer to the area behind the armored track plate as the sponson as well In the M6/M6A1 manual as well as what you would traditional think of as a the sponson.

 

 

Here we have the ammo and their locations listed.

 

 

Let's assume when they say sponson they mean in the armored compartments behind the track.

 

 

# 6,7 and 8 are the only ones accessible from the outside.

 

 

So how would the layout look?

Stowage

 

Bow of tank, small pockets
1.  cal .30    4,000 in pocket in bow of vehicle.
2. cal. 45    600? in pocket in bow of vehicle.

 

Center of driving compartment (assuming 5 ready rounds in turret)
3. 3-in        35 in sponson on left of driving compartment
4. 3-in        35 in sponson on right of driving compartment

 

Center hull, Rear of turret
5. empty?
6. Carbon Dioxide cylinders mounted in the right sponson. midway between the front and rear of vehicle.

 

engine area
7. AGU (Auxiliary generator unit) Located in the left rear sponson, located behind compartment plate in the left track armour plate.
8. Accumulator sump tank for HYCON system. located in lower right rear sponson. access to the tank is provided from within the engien compartment or by removing the protective compartment plate from the right track armor plate.

 

Note again they specifically say in the manual numbers 6. 7 and 8 are located in the sponson.

 

#6

 

 

#7

 

 

#8

 

 

Using the M6A2E1 hull model just to get the more detailed tracks to visualize here.

 

 

 

The MG ammo seems to indicate this the best, they say they are in pockets inside the sponson of the bow of the vehicle. well the normal sponson area does not extend to the bow of the vehicle.

 

 

They can't stick the ammo in the sponson as far forward towards the bow either as that would block hatch access. So if they really were in the upper sponson you would think they would have to be somewhere center line of the turret in the sponsons to not block off that area.

 

 

Rough diameter of the opening the 3-In rounds could have been shoved in. this is from a very early design drawing of the hull 1941, so things probably changed.

 

 

From the hull side to the outer track armor plate there is roughly 30.75 inches in depth.

 

 

Cartridge for the 3-in MK II was 4.27 inches at it's widest. 35.54 inches in length for a complete M62 APC round

 

This would leave 4.79 inches sticking out of here

 


Edited by shapeshifter, Jul 22 2015 - 06:53.


stalkervision #2 Posted Jul 08 2015 - 12:31

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 Very nice research job. We need you on the Serbian development team ! 

shapeshifter #3 Posted Jul 10 2015 - 00:31

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Viewed from above, if you removed the tracks.

 


Edited by shapeshifter, Jul 11 2015 - 04:26.


stalkervision #4 Posted Jul 10 2015 - 01:22

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wow I really wish I could clone you here to do other tanks !

shapeshifter #5 Posted Jul 10 2015 - 02:06

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View Poststalkervision, on Jul 09 2015 - 19:22, said:

wow I really wish I could clone you here to do other tanks !

 

lol thanks. This is still all an educated guess with the little data I have.

 

Would love to get my hands on the T1E1 report or the M6/M6A1 test report from the national archives to see if they confirm it.



collimatrix #6 Posted Jul 19 2015 - 04:46

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View Poststalkervision, on Jul 08 2015 - 12:31, said:

 Very nice research job. We need you on the Serbian development team ! 

 

 



660driver #7 Posted Jul 21 2015 - 03:40

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Would love to get my hands on a real m6! The manual would be cool too!

shapeshifter #8 Posted Jul 22 2015 - 06:58

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View Post660driver, on Jul 20 2015 - 21:40, said:

Would love to get my hands on a real m6! The manual would be cool too!

 

http://www.ibiblio.o...dfs/TM9-721.pdf

 

 



660driver #9 Posted Aug 27 2015 - 03:22

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Wow! Way cool shapeshifter thanks! Looks like a lot of the reprint international harvester manuals a guy ends up with unless you can find originals.

shapeshifter #10 Posted Jan 24 2016 - 05:30

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Item  No. 3

 

Stowage. Three compartments are formed on either side of the tank by castings which protrude beyond the side plate between the suspension units. These compartments house Co2 bottles, auxiliary generators and ammunition. Stowage has not yet been completed with the exception of ammunition. 75 rounds of 3" are carried.

 






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