Thursday, 24 March 2016

Sherman Conversion

Long time readers already know about Chasovkinov's rather unconventional plan to make the two-gunned ST-II tank. However, this wasn't his first foray into unusual designs. Back during the years of the war, he saw observed Soviet officers preferring the heavier 85 and 100 mm tanks of domestic designs and relegating Lend-Lease vehicles with more humble armament to the second line and thought of some solutions. One was to simply install T-34-85 turrets on Sherman hulls. The was much more interesting.

Chasovnikov and another engineer, Kazarin, proposed converting Shermans into SU-85 or SU-100 SPGs, killing two birds with one stone: raising the firepower of the tanks and freeing up T-34 chassis so more T-34-85 tanks could be produced. The freed up turrets (it's unclear from the sketch, but he was not, in fact, planning to make a supersized M3 Lee) would be installed as fortifications.

Of course, this "solution", as well as many other genius proposals did not specify where the authors were going to get thousands of new guns or the factories that could perform this conversion. In addition, M4A2(76)W tanks started shipping soon after, making this ridiculous proposal completely unnecessary.