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Grant ARV Mk I


ColonelKrypton
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Sometime ago I stumbled across a picture of an ARV variant of the Grant referred to as a Grant ARV Mk I.

 

Further described as T-23673, a Baldwin built, radial engine Grant converted to Armored Recovery Vehicle prototype and is a much simpler ARV design than the M31 Lee ARV.

 

I have managed to find a several pictures of this machine, four in total which is enough to work from but it is would nice to have a few more.   

 

Other than http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/tankrecovery/m31_trv.html and the few pictures I found on the Imperial War Museum web site are there any other references for this one of a kind war time prototype?

 

cheers, Graham 

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David Doyle's book on the M3 has four photos of T-23673, I guess the same ones that you have already. Port front quarter, port rear quarter, starboard side and front, viewed from up a ladder?

 

The text reads "There was only one Grant based ARV and that was the solitary Grant ARV Mk.1 T-23673. After trials, it was ultimately decided that a recovery vehicle based on the lower profile Churchill tank was preferred and no further Grant ARV Mk.1s were produced"

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Thank you Bertie.

 

Yes, the same four pictures I have already found. It was a one off prototype so I didn't expect to find much.

 

It is amazing that you can find a great deal of information on some one off prototypes and other short run production types nearly nothing. Luck of the draw I suppose.

 

I will keep peering into dark corners and look under rocks, you never know what you might find.

 

cheers, Graham 

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A few Grants were converted and used mainly for training according to Brian Baxter's book "Breakdown - A history of recovery vehicles in the British Army". It has one photo of a Grant towing a Diamond T and trailer loaded with a Churchill. Brian was a curator at the REME Museum.

 

Cheers

 

Phil

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The available photos give a good idea of the outside configuration and we know what the standard Grant interior looked like.  But there must have been an internal winch of some sort, most probably of UK manufacture rather than US.  Ammunition bins doubtless removed but probably stowage for other gear. 

 

I wouldn't mind betting that the interior might be very much the same as the Cromwell ARV MkI, but pictures of that seem to be non-existent too.  Ultimately any interior would be conjectural, however.

 

The references to other Grant conversions might also mean the 8 Australian Armoured Recovery Vehicle (Aust.) No. 2 and No. 3, although these were actually built on Lee hulls. One went to New Guinea but the rest stayed in Australia.  The 6 No2s had an internal engine for the winch and the 2 No3s had a main engine PTO winch drive.  Australia also built Grant Dozers with the M1 dozer kit intended for Shermans, a single Grant BARV (still exists!) and 14 of their own version of the Sexton, the Yeramba.

 

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(The copyright caption on this image is incorrect and not legal BTW.  It is so old as to be out of copyright years before the claimed start date).

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the interior layout would certainly be a best guess and as you suggest much would likely have been removed as no longer being needed.

 

I am not so sure about an internal winch however.  From what little text I have found and the one picture showing a A frame mounted to the front of the vehicles, it looks as though the initial intent was to use a simple A frame with block and tackle / chain hoist or a portable winch

 

Now, given the time line being around late '42, what colour would this vehicle be painted?

 

Given that this vehicle is reported to have been a lend lease Baldwin built Grant manufactured sometime in late '41 or early '42 would the prototype vehicle have remained in whatever colour it was shipped in or would it have been re-painted when the modifications were done?

 

cheers, Graham 

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Grants were specified to be produced in Khaki Green 3.  NOT the Olive Drab No9 usually depicted by us modellers as worn paint under the N Africa repaint.  There is reference in the Dewar papers to some early Grants destined for the desert possibly being finished in the commercial colour Coronado Tan, as were the early cash Diamond Ts.  It is possible but unknown that the remaining Grants produced at Baldwin after Lend-Lease production harmonisation might have been OD. 

 

Although Grants remained British contract tanks, that harmonisation led to the last 83 being produced as diesel Grant IIs rather than petrol Grant Is because DoD had instructed Baldwin to cease petrol M3 production in favour of diesel.  So a colour change is also feasible.  Baldwin was the only plant to produce both Lee and Grant.

 

But as the ARV is a Grant I, Khaki Green 3 looks favourite.

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