Friday, August 2, 2013

Help Identify Tank Photo and Theories Please

I would like to nail down the type of tank this is, perhaps an M4A3E8?  Or a Jumbo?  The turret looks different and the gun barrel longer?  

My grandfather took it.  He was in 12th Armored. However, that doesn't mean this tank was part of that unit.  Also, I'm not sure if this is France, Germany or Austria.

But also, it's an interesting picture because there appears to be a plank/board going out to the open hatch.  Also, the drivers hatch appears to be open.  But it appears the tank is moving based on the water flow.  

I'm imagining this tank either got stuck and they've gone back to try to retrieve it. Or, it drove on what they thought was a frozen creek, fell through and have returned in Spring to get it. 

This division took part in the Nordwind battles and experienced the same winter of Battle of the Bulge - some of the lowest temperatures on record at the time. Very likely it could be the winter scenario I'm mentioning.  On their attack on Herrilsheim, they had to wait for 10" of snow to melt before they could recover the bodies of the fallen because it was so cold and some bodies were covered with snow.  And the fact that they had to wait for the Steinwald to be cleared of German MGs to safely work the area.  But that's another story for another post.

What's your theory on the tank situation?


  1. Can't see it being a Jumbo as I think looked like a beefed up standard Sherman. This one looks like a later model.

  2. It is a M4A3 with a 76mm. Looking at terrain and the fact the barrel is not damage supports your idea that it was probably during the winter that the tank drove out on some ice and sank.

    The tank is not moving, the distrubance of the water is from the water flowing around the turret and across the deck of the tank.

    As for what they were doing, i can't say. My guess would be removing anything savagable or preparing the tank to be towed out once one or two ARVs shows up.

  3. "the ice is too thin!!? Rubbish, it would hold ten times the weight of this tank!!"