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Foghorn Leghorn

Calling all Shermaniacs. Sherman Kangaroo info needed

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To cut a long story short, I read a piece in FSM April 2018 by Andy Cooper who built an M4A2 Kangaroo. I didn't think any Sherman Kangaroos existed (assuming you discount the RAM Kangaroo) but it seems they did, so I want to do one in 35th.

 

I only found 2 refs on the web, this refers to the story around the conversion to Kangaroos

 

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/spoelstra/g104/apckang2.htm

 

The second ref covers building a wargame version using the M4A2 large hatch 47degree Sherman as a basis

 

http://tinyhordes.com/rubicon-sherman-kangaroo-conversion/

 

I'm guessing this is the wrong version Sherman as (I think) all the 47degree M4A2s went to Russia .... and the first link also mentions the Sherman III as the donor tank. Half way down the page is a pic of the Kangaroo and it looks like an M4A2 small hatch but I can't tell if it's a cast nose or bolted.

 

Does anyone have any more info on the Sherman Kangaroo, does the pic show a small hatch early M4A2? Is it a cast nose or bolted?

 

TIA

Neil

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Posted (edited)

The lend leased 76mm gun version of the M42A was mainly used by Russia.

M4A2 = Sherman III

M4A2 (76)W = Sherman IIIA

M4A2(76)W HVSS = Sherman IIIAY

 

Doing some searching, the M4A2 conversion to kangaroo was done only in the Italian theater in preparation of the '45 spring offensive.  The number seems to have been about 75 vehicles, and have found what is believed to be a partial list of serials belonging to the 14th / 20th Kings Hussars:

T145478, T145519, T146076, T146766, T146841, T149353, T149357, T149604, T149610, T149641, T150785, T150842, T152496, T152509, T152897, T224410, T224419, T229540, T229547, T229623.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/viewtopic.php?f=47208&t=79444&p=632836&hilit=m4a2+kangaroo#p632836

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/viewtopic.php?f=47208&t=88144&p=893194&hilit=sherman+kangaroo#p893194

 

Post War, Canada also converted some of their M4A2(76)W HVSS to kangaroos when their Shermans were deemed obsolete.

 

Unfortunately, none of this reveals the question about specific type of M4A2 in terms of hatch size and nose type.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Star Decals has a kangaroo among one of their Kiwi armour sets, though they are unsure if it is Sherman I or III:

s-l1600.jpg

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG

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Cracking info there, Jack.

 

I continue to be amazed with the research that's available out there (the Missing Lynx link), with people managing to piece together tank serial numbers for an unusual (and small volume) tank conversion.

 

The Star sheet is extremely useful as it shows:

 

1. It's green. In Andy's FSM piece he admitted he used artistic licence to do a desert scheme, they may well have had that scheme at some point but the decal sheet shows at some point they were green.

 

2. It's got a cast nose

 

3. It's got a partial wading trunk

 

4. They surivied until 1945

 

5. It shows badge info.

 

Many thanks for the info :thumbsup2:

 

Neil

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I know very little about Kangaroos, hoppity or APC's, but apart from the Ram and Sherman types, there appears to have been another type, based on Priest SPGs. A couple of years ago at Telford, I picked up an Italeri kit of this. There's only one set of markings in the kit and they are a bit vague. They are fro a Canadian Kangaroo in Europe.

 

John.

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Per Mike Starmer's research, vehicles in Italy were supposed to be finished in a single colour of olive (S.C.C. 15) after a memo, or such thing, dated around June/July 1944. 

http://www.mafva.net/other pages/starmer camo.htm

Of course dust and local conditions could heavily alter the colour and appearance.

 

Little bit more info on the Sherman Kangaroo units from the MapleLeafUp forum, about 2/3 down the page:

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3573&page=2

 

Seems the two Kangaroo regiments were part of 9th Armoured Bde. at the start of 1945, but markings are somewhat a guess:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/viewtopic.php?f=47208&t=62703&p=142393&hilit=4th+hussars+kangaroo#p142393

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/viewtopic.php?f=47208&t=60314&p=62522&hilit=4th+hussars+kangaroo#p62522

 

regards,

Jack

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1 hour ago, Bullbasket said:

I know very little about Kangaroos, hoppity or APC's, but apart from the Ram and Sherman types, there appears to have been another type, based on Priest SPGs.

 

Indeed yes, I built Italeri's kit many moons ago. Apparently it's not that accurate but at the time when I built it, it was the only M7 out there. Academy's Priest may be a better place to start from but refs/pics of M7 Kangaroos are hard to find as well.

 

The first link in my original post also covers the M7 Kangaroo if you want more info, maybe I'm sad (but then I am a modeller) but I find the background info that it gives, facinating.

 

Neil

 

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot, I also came across one M7 Kangaroo photo which had been converted to a command/signals vehicle

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1 hour ago, JackG said:

Little bit more info on the Sherman Kangaroo units from the MapleLeafUp forum, about 2/3 down the page:

Yeah, it seems they would have been painted green.

 

Thanks for the links Jack, I'll dig a bit more.

 

Apparently some turretless shermans were also used as liason or signals, correction, for sappers

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Yes, no doubt Shermans with removed turrets had many uses, but I think those specifically used as troop carriers were labeled as the kangaroo?

 

If it is just a Sherman without it's turret that qualifies for a possible model build, you can also look at captured use:

http://beutepanzer.ru/Beutepanzer/us/M4_sherman/shermanturettles-01.htm

sherman-01.jpg

 

The above photo is captioned as belonging to sPz.Abt 508, a heavy tank unit that operated in Italy until it's surrender in May 1945.

 

regards,

Jack

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10 hours ago, JackG said:

Yes, no doubt Shermans with removed turrets had many uses, but I think those specifically used as troop carriers were labeled as the kangaroo?

 

If it is just a Sherman without it's turret that qualifies for a possible model build, you can also look at captured use:

 

 

It's probably time to confess that I have a fetish for turretless tanks (Allied stuff) so any turretless Shermans  are of interest. I've now got all the bits together to do an ARV and I'm at the same stage with a Stuart recce. Now I need to collect bits for the Kangaroo...

 

Interesting pic of the german Sherman showing a hatch on the turret ring, although it's not the full size of the ring.

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It looks like the original split-hatch commander's cupola from the turret.  One supposes that the turret ring is plated over.  The Germans were always short of ARVs, and a Sherman is no use as a gun tank without ammunition.  Beute Shermans were used as gun tanks, Fireflies being especially prized.  But with the Germans largely stalled or in retreat from about the time Shermans appeared, the chances of capturing ammunition stocks were low and not enough tanks were captured to make a gun conversion programme viable.  Likewise spare parts. 

 

But several do seem to have been converted to turretless ARVs in NWE.  I understand that the M4A3 was especially prized in this role because of the 500BHP engine.  The one in the picture above is a radial M4, strangely devoid of applique patches.  Diesel M4A2s were of limited use because diesel was very much a minority fuel in the Wehrmacht, and while they were able to make synthetic petrol (and depended very heavily on it throughout the war), I don't believe they were able to make synthetic diesel once imports of oil were completely cut.

 

Your Italian Kangaroos would certainly have been small-hatch hulls.  We received only a very few (half a dozen or so) large hatch M4A2(76) HVSS but I don't believe they were ever deployed.  Now, as to which configuration of small hatch hull, i.e. which factory built them, that's an entirely other question..........  The most obvious (but certainly not the only) difference will be the driver's hoods: cast or welded.  But as we received M4A2s from all the producers of that model, I suppose any are fair game.  Possibly still including DVs: remanufactured DV M4A2s were still being delivered to the UK as late as Sept 44.  And I wouldn't entirely rule out the 3-piece nose either.  Many of those went to Italy and, again, tanks came out of remanufacture still with the 3-piece nose if it or the final drives inside did not need replacing.  Indeed, one might think that the oldest models might have been the ones converted to kangaroos.

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Once again, some great info, many thanks :thumbsup2:

 

That's a good call on the hatch, kinda makes sense

 

I think I'm narrowing the project down to a small hatch (non DV) with cast nose but, as you say, they might have used the most knackered M4s so a bolted nose may have been possible.

 

Kit wise, I need an interior so I reckon the best financial option will be an Academy M10/Achilles married with a Tamiya M4 early. The M10 will donate the interior, nose, suspension (for straight return rollers) and engine deck. Using the Tamiya will keep the price down instead of a Dragon Sherman III. Other bits and pieces should be do-able.

 

Neil

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