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M-4 Sherman Tank Crew Equipment

A typical checklist of equipment a crew of a Sherman M-4 Medium tank crew was provided comes from "Screwdriver" Sam Graf.  It is as follows:


Driver - one fire extinguisher, one blackout lamp, one flagset, three goggles, five safety belts, five helmets, one canvas bucket, one pair asbestos gloves, one hair brush, one hammer 32 oz., one pliers (slip-joint), one pliers (side-cutting), one screwdriver heavy duty (5"), one screwdriver 11", one crescent wrench (8"), one crescent wrench (12"), one plug wrench differential 3/4", one chisel, one padlock and key, one each socket wrenches - 1/2'' 3/4", 11/8", 1 1/2'', 15/16", one file, one ratchet, one flexible handle 12", one "T" handle 11", one "T" handle 17", one engine open end wrench 15/16" x 1", one engine open end wrench 5/8" x 3/4", one allen wrench 21”, one M-4, A-l Medium tank.


Bog: one tarpaulin, one crank, one ax, one crowbar, one pick with handle, one shovel, one sledge hammer, one track wrench, one track jack and fixtures, one set leather straps, one first aid kit, one tripod, one pintle, one elevating mechanism, one tripod cover, one muzzle cover (bow-30 cal.), one 30 cal. machine gun, one 30 cal. M.G. spare barrel and case.


Cannonier: one radio receiver, one interphone amplifier, one fire extinguisher, six periscopes M-6, six ammunition boxes (30 cal.), three ammunition boxes (50 cal.), one water can (5 gal.), one muzzle cover (30 cal. turret gun), one muzzle cover (50 cal. turret gun), one 50 cal. M.G. cradle, one 50 cal. M.G. mount, one tool box w/o contents, one 3" screwdriver, one extractor lk, lv, 30 cal., one chamber cleaning brush (M-6 30 cal.), three copper bore brushes M-2, 30 cal., two copper bore brushes M-9, 50 cal., one 30 cal. M.G., one 30 cal. M.G. bolt assembly and case, three antenna sections (MS 51, 52, 53), one antenna cover (BG-56-A), one antenna rope, one BC 603, one BC 60. 


Gunner: one periscope M-4, two flexible nozzles, one canvas tool roll, one rope homolite starter, one breech cover 75 mm, one muzzle cover 75 mm, one rammer staff 75 mm three sections, one bore brush and cover 75 mm, one set jointed cleaning rods and case 50 cal., one set jointed cleaning rods and case 30 cal., one rectangular oiler and chain and cap, one flashlight, one 50 cal. machine gun, one hand microphone T-17, four throat microphones T-30-Q, four cords CD-318, five cords CD-307, five headsets HS-18.


Added to the above list of equipment that a tank crew had to have was the personal equipment and possessions for each man of a crew of five.  No tank can function without the lubricants, fuel and ammunition necessary to make it a fighting machine. One look at all the equipment and supplies, plus the amount of cubic feet of space taken up by the human crew, does not leave much space in the already cramped quarters of a M-4 Sherman tank. Understanding this, it is easy to see why the men of a tank battalion who don't ride in tanks (such as supply, maintenance, drivers, cooks and clerks) are so very vital to those who do. Men in these support type jobs rarely get the glory that the fighting men do (or the generals that lead them), but they suffer the same conditions in combat as the “fighting men”, and their jobs are just as important to the success of the unit. To a tanker who is low on ammo or out of gas, or has a mechanical breakdown, and is cold, hungry or sick or even dead, these support people are angels from above, especially as these conditions usually occur while a battle is in full heat and all hell is breaking loose.



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