The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
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.

M32B1 Tank Recovery Vehicle - case report

      A Tank Recovery Vehicle (TRV) is an armoured vehicle used during combat for recovery or repair of battle-damaged and inoperable armoured fighting vehicles. The terms "Armoured Recovery Vehicle" (ARV) and "Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle" (ARRV) are also used.

M32B1 TRV - 3/4 front view
History of Recovery Vehicles:
- WWI - Early models
      During the World War I, some British Mark IV heavy tanks were fitted with jibs to produce "Salvage Tanks", but the majority of their work was at the tank parks in aid of maintaining and repairing damaged tanks.
British Mk IV tank with crane...
      The first true ARVs were introduced in World War II, often by converting obsolete or damaged tanks, usually by removing the turret and installing a heavy-duty winch to free stuck vehicles, plus a variety of vehicle repair tools. Some were also purpose-built in factories, using an existing tank chassis with a hull superstructure to accommodate repair and recovery equipment. Many of the latter type of ARV had an A-frame or crane to allow the vehicle's crew to perform heavy lifting tasks, such as removing the engine from a disabled tank.
An American exemple of TRV: M31 TRV
A German exemple: Bergepanther
A british example: Cromwell ARV towing a Pz IV
- Postwar
      After World War II, most countries' MBT models also had corresponding ARV variants. Many ARVs are also equipped with a bulldozer blade that can be used as an anchor when winching or as a stabiliser when lifting, a pump to transfer fuel to another vehicle, and more. Some can even carry a spare engine for field replacement, such as the German Leopard 1 ARV.

M32 TRV:
      The M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, or M32 TRV, was a variant of the M4 Sherman Medium Tank chassis with the normal turret replaced by a fixed turret, in a different format on the top of the hull and the installation of an 5,5 m A-frame crane and 27 ton. winch. The M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle slowly replaced the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle, starting in 1944.
      The A-frame crane was mounted to the front of the hull, but folded in a tilted-back position for travel or for towing.
M32 with A frame in tilted-back position
      The winch on the M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle could be attached to a load in the front or rear, over the crane or through an aperture on the front armor.
M32 front armour - notice the aperture, the armoured flap and
the absence of of the steel cable rollers and its frame.
The M32 front with flap closed and the frame for steel cable.
About 1562 units were built, the total of all variants and a number of manufacturers. U.S. Allies, including the British and French received some of the M32 Tank Recovery Vehicles.

M32 types;
  • M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, or M32 TRV, based on the M4 Sherman tank chassis and small hatch hull  with turret replaced by fixed superstructure, An M1 81 mm mortar was also added into the hull, primarily for screening purposes - 163 built.
  • M32B1 - M32s converted from M4A1s Shermans with small hatch cast hull (some converted to M34 artillery prime movers) - 1055 built
  • M32A1B1 - M32B1s with HVSS, later removing the 81 mm mortar and incorporating crane improvements.
  • M32B2 - M32s converted from M4A2s with both small hatch and big hatch 47 degree hull- 26 built
  • M32B3 - M32s converted from M4A3s with both 47 and 60 degree hulls - 318 built.
  • M32A1B3 - M32B3s with HVSS, with the 81 mm mortar.
  • M32B4 - M32s converted from M4A4s - ?? built.
     As the M4 Sherman evolved, the changes were passed on to the M32 TRV. The M32 and M32B-series were earlier models with VVSS suspensions. The M32A1-series are later models with a HVSS suspensions. The armament of the M32 TRV consisted of a .50 cal. M2 machine gun on a turret ring mount, plus an M1919A4 .30 cal. machine gun in a ball mount in the right front of the hull. An 81mm mortar was mounted on the hull front, just ahead of the turret, to lay down obscuring smoke. The mortar was eliminated in later production.
M32B1 - 3/4 rear view
M32B1 with crane in position

M32B1 Tank Recovery Vehicle
TypeRecovery tank
Place of origin                        United States
Service history
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ProductionJun 1943 - Jun 1945
Number built    1055
Variants see text
Weight28 t
Length5.92 m (without sandshields)
Width2.68 m (without sandshields)
2.10 (tread)
Height2.73 m with crane lowered
6.40 m crane top, lifting posit.

Armorfront: 61 mm Steel
M1 mortar 81mm
1 x MG .50 cal 1 x MG .30 cal
EngineM-31:Wright (Continental) R975 EC2
400 hp - gasoline 
TransmissionSynchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Suspensionvertical volute spring
Fuel capacity662 liters gasoline
190 km gasoline
Speed40 km/h (road)
22 km/h (off-road)
Controlled differential

The kits:
      To build this project, I used the Italeri kit:
M32 Italeri kit.
      Odd the Italeri have chosen the big-hatch version to represent a vehicle WWII. Much has been discussed about the existence or not of this version in WWII. Here some pictures that our friend Emanuel Morales "Zeke" sent us about the presence of M32B1 big-hatch operating in Europe. Thanks, Zeke !!
M32B1 big-hatch: a true oddball!!
Zeke pic
      But I'll do my model representing the most common version (small-hatch). For this, I change the Italeri's big-hatch upper hull for an old resin M4A1 hull small-hatch. The Italeri kit also lacks a well-detailed interior...
Old stuff: stamped bogie wheels and a resin hull small hatch M4A1
Testing the parts: resin and plastic togheter...
Small hatch...the most common hull!!!
This hull I casting  years ago with polyurethane resin. The problem were
some flaws in the casting, which repaired with dental acrylic (in pink)
      Gents, I dont take pics of the intermediary steps of this building...sorry ... But this is the girl with olive drab and with decals, after Future.

I scratch a trailer, based in Ben-Hur one...
The trailer will transport tools and stuff from Italeri's Field Tool shop kit

scratching a fuel hose ...
final results...

The trailer with stuff...

And the Old Baldy was born!!!
The name is in Kojak's honor!!
M32B1 Old Baldy - France, 1944.

      Well, there this, my friends !!!
See you soon, in my next project... Cheers !!!

8 comentários:

  1. Wow Marcos amazing work and very very interesting for me. I have also this kit but I never began this project because I didn't had good documentation about this nice girl but now with your nice article I have a good reference to do the beast. It was a very good idea to add a trailer with all the tools needed to do recovering. Many thanks my friend and I send you all the best from Belgium.

  2. Este comentário foi removido pelo autor.

  3. Hi Marcos, I frequently follow your builds, but only seldom comment them, sorry! I like this build a lot, first because it is once again so weeeell done, and then because you're tackling an ole friend of mine: I am a huge fan of the Italeri tanks and vehicles of the 1980ies (my youth and high time as a modeller...), as they were of a high quality at affordable prices and wit a reasonable number of parts. Nowadays one would usually at least replace the tracks and maybe the gun Barrels and a few more parts, but I think, they're still good builds! My favourite in that range: M47 Patton. I also always liked and still like their M32, but never got one, as I always read that there never existed a version like the one presented by Italeri. Now you write that Italeri's hull is wrong for a wartime-version, but not for a post war-version: Did I get you right? If so, where do I find good reference for the version offered by Italeri, for a build OOB? Thank you in advance and good builds!

  4. Hi, Marcos.
    Very well job, once again,
    10 points and parrot character you, reasons is all this work steps
    I will post on Finn-fb link to this page

  5. @Alain:
    Thanks a lot...I'm happy to help ... And feel free to write, always ... Hugs !!!

    Richard...I like old kits, too... Turn them into something more detailed is always a guarantee of many hours of fun with low costs !!! For me, this is very important!!! About large hatch M32B1, I found this pics, in Armorama: as the coleague says: Never say never!!!

    Thanks and it's a honor, Maximex... Big hug, my Finn friend!!

  6. Beautiful work, Marcos! And with all these pictures of the process, plus history, it's quite a performance, great!

  7. Thanks a lot, Sergei !!! Hugs my friend !!!