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A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Sherman V CDL prototype - case report

      My new project will be this rare thing, which was manufactured only one unit (and which is known only one photo):  The British Sherman V (M4A4 DV) CDL.
Sherman V (M4A4 DV) CDL
          This girl will continue my series of CDL vehicles. I guarantee that will be the most difficult. because the source material is very minimal.
      First of all, I would like to thank two colleagues who allowed the completion of this project: Rob Erwin, who provided me a few years ago the resin conversion kit of M4A4 early DV (he was still owner of Formations) and John Tapsell, who provided me historical and technical data of his own research on the CDLs tanks.
Thank you, Gentlemen !!!
      The birth of the concept of getting illuminate a nocturne battlefield began a long time ago... In the WWI era, Oscar De Thoren idealized to mount an armoured light in the sponson of a Mk IV Male tank (six tanks assigned to project in 1918 but project abandoned in 1919). But the idea remained...
      Three Renault UE Tractors were converted by De Thoren Syndicate in mid 1930s and demonstrated to both French and UK governments (lamp fitted behind crew compartment with generator mounted on trailer) arousing little official interest.
      The inexhaustible De Thoren recommended the use of Vickers Medium Tank for pre-war Night British tank and again, the idea was not accepted. British preferred the idea of using light Carriers (Bren carrier type vehicle).
Types of turrets:
Type A- The first prototype CDL turret (Type A?) apparently was designed to fit in A9 cruiser tank. 100 ordered for fitting to Valentines but not produced.
Type B - turret fitted to Matilda,  Churchill and some early M3 american Lees. In the Churchill tanks a special 12 inch high collar had to be fitted to the hull to allow the turret to be mounted
Type C - designed for use on Landing Craft - six prototypes built and 212 ordered (project cancelled after testing)
Type D - reworked Type B turret fitted only to M3 - with welded up escape hatch and pistol port, dummy gun (also internal changes)
Type E - twin lamp turret (1 US version and two British versions)
Type E special stowage - modified US T23 turret converted to mount CDL lamp in the right side of mantlet and 75mm gun M6 gun
Type F - not produced but was a new version of Type D with the escape hatch and pistol port eliminated from the casting
     Also was proposal for an 'airborne' CDL. A lightweight version mounted on a Carrier for use by Airborne forces.
-Wooden mock-up of Centurion turret with CDL lamp and 17 pounder gun fitted (also a second version that was only a 'paper' project.
-External CDL unit fitted to the side of a standard Centurion turret - full size working model of lamp unit built.
                                                                                                                                                          (font: John Tapsell)

      As we have seen, several vehicles were tested on the function of illuminators tanks on night battlefields: Matildas, Churchills...But what best fits the function was the M3 Lee / Grant.  
Matilda CDL
Churchill CDL (model kit)
M3 Lee CDL - T10 Leaflet
M3 Grant CDL
      Since the M3 tank was becoming obsolete, studies began to develop a CDL turret for installation on the Sherman chassis. The first design, started in June 1943, mounted two arc lamps in a large cast turret. The operator sat in the center with a lamp compartment on either side. Both lamps were stabilized in elevation, but only a manual turret traverse was provided. A single .30 caliber machine gun was fitted in a ball mount near the center of the turret face with a plug type view port on the upper right. A circular escape door was installed in the rear wall of the operator's compartment.
      The lighting system of a Sherman CDL consisted in two light projectors that through prisms and mirrors, reflected strong light beams through vertical slits in the front of tower. This permitted illuminate the battlefield at a time that night vision technology in low visibility was crawling. The power of each projector was  13 million candlepower (12.8 million candela) searchlight.
M4A1 Sherman CDL - E type
      The two lamps required a 20 kilowatt generator which was driven by a heavier power takeoff arrangement from the main engine. One of these turrets was installed on an M4A1 chassis and tested at Fort Knox from May through June 1944. Designated as the "E" vehicle, it also was referred to as the M4 Leaflet, double unit. Two similar vehicles were designed in Britain based on the M4A4 (Sherman V) chassis. The British turrets were assembled by welding, with laminated and casting portions of armour. Were similar in design with a single machine gun in front.

      The first Sherman V has a turret with a single operator. This vehicle was built and tested. 

      The second British turret would have 2 men, with a bustle which provided a seat for the tank commander above and behind the CDL operator. This second project It was never built.
      The tests in Britain and at Fort Knox showed the new CDL to be much more mobile than the M3 version. its armor protection was better, but the lack of a heavy gun was the deciding factor, An essentially unarmed armored searchlight was considered a waste of good tank chassis and no further vehicles were built. To correct the shortcomings of the "Es" vehicle, a new CDL design based on the Sherman was started in May 1944. Designated as the"E vehicle with special stowage", it mounted a single light unit coaxially with an M6 lightweight 75mm gun. But this is an another history...


Sherman V (M4A4) CDL - E type turret
Type CDL Medium tank
Place of origin                       England
Service history
In service1944 - only test
Used by            England
  • World War II
No. built   1 prototype
Mass30,3 ton
Width2.62 m
Crew3 (commander, driver,
 assistant driver/bow gunner)

Armor12.7 mm minimum
Up to a maximum of 77.8 mm
2 x projectors with  13 million candlepower 
(12.8 million candela) searchlight

.30 caliber Browning 
Chrysler A57 30 cylinder gasoline
370 hp at 2,400 rpm
Power/weight13.49 hp/short ton 
TransmissionSpicer manual synchromesh
transmission, 5 forward and 1 reverse gears
SuspensionVertical volute spring suspension (VVSS) 
Fuel capacity605 litres
170 km
Maximum speed40–48 km/h) on road
      For this project, I'll use the fantastic conversion kit for M4A4 DV from Formations:
The upper and lower hull Formations...
M4A4 DV Formations...awesome stuff...
The E turret for American M4A1 CDL Shermie...
The British turret is similar in size but different in shape and building
      The British turret It will be built in scratch, based on photos and technical reports. Unfortunately, the only known photo is the one that heads the article.
Circles and shapes in plasticard
1st circle: turret ring
2nd circle: the tower portion to rid the splash-guard of the upper hull
3rd shape: turret floor.
all togheter and glued in position...
Building the turret...hmmmm...seems to me too big..
Side view; notice the hole for the british all round cupola
rear view...
plasticard with 2,mm thick
delimiters of the spotlight cuts ...
plating the turret...
Hmm...definitely this turret is getting very large.
I think I'm building the tower for two men .
Delimiters in position...
Hmmm...the casting front portion of turret became very rounded ...
Testing in the hull...
The front portion is very rounded. I will correct with acrylic ...
      In my opinion, the turret got too tall. I will remove the rear bustle and lower the roof. I'll cut the plastic with my Dremel with saw disc....
Fixed. Notice the MG mantlet, the new shape of the frontal part and the
new roof with cupola hole repositioned ...
Bird view. Notice the absence of bustle...
Much better!!!
Right side view
Front view

Left view
rear view. Notice the bolted hatch fron Churchill
Top view...kawai !!!
Suspension and bogies from my spare parts box: Dragon
roof ventilators from AFV Churchills
All round vision cupola from Tamiya
The girl is growing...MG's from RB Models
aerials made with accupunture needles...
Rear tool box from Churchil (AFV)
details and details...
      After that, I painting the turret and hull with white primer to unify the vision and detects irregularities ...
The snow-white!!
Notice the irregularities of acrylic.
This is typical because the method of application: drops of material...
Again, the flaws of my corrections. Sanding time...
      And...Bronze green Vallejo:

Future for decals...
      Markings: as usual, I drawing a profile as reference (I allowed myself a certain artistic freedom):
Sherman V DV - CDL - 1st prototype
front view

Next step: weathering...
weathering in process..Notice the details
in the turret's top
Tools and roll bed...
Value Gear stuff...
Rhinestones Clear Flat as headlights
      And the Girl is ready:
Sherman V CDL (Canal defense Light)  prototype
with "E"  British turret
England, July - 1944.

Sherman V CDL (Canal defense Light) - left side

Sherman V CDL (Canal defense Light) - right side

Sherman V CDL (Canal defense Light) with Kojak
and Rover, the dog.
British Sherman V CDL and American M4A1 E type CDL
cousins-sisters ...

Sherman V CDL , M4A1 E type CDL and  M3 T-10 Leaflet CDL
size comparison
Thanks for following, boys !!!