DISCLAIMER:
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.
ATENÇÃO:
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.

M4A1 (75) Sherman Duplex Drive (large hatch) - case report

Tankers!!!
      Time to visit one of the most curious versions of this Allied battlehorse: The M4A1 (75) Sherman Duplex Drive (large hatch). To the sea!!!

M4A2 Sherman (75) Duplex Drive 
History:
      DD or Duplex Drive tanks, nicknamed "Donald Duck tanks", were a type of amphibious swimming tank developed by the British during the Second World War. The phrase is mostly used for the Duplex Drive variant of the M4 Sherman medium tank, that was used by the Western Allies during and after the Normandy Landings in June 1944.
      DD tanks worked by erecting a 'flotation screen' around the tank, which enabled it to float, and had a propeller powered by the tank's engine to drive them in the water. The DD tanks were one of the many specialized assault vehicles, collectively known as Hobart's Funnies, devised to support the planned invasion of Europe.
Principle of buoyancy of a DD tank. In this case, a M4 Sherman
The beginning:
      Amphibious tanks were devised during the First World War; a floating version of the British Mark IX tank was being tested in November 1918, just as the war ended. 
British Mk IX Duck amphibious tank was launched on Hendon Reservoir (also known as the Welsh Harp)
reputedly on 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day) in the fog.
      Air-filled drums, used by the Royal Navy and known as Camels were used to support it in the water with paddles fitted to the tracks to drive it along. Known as the Mark IX Duck it is said to have broken down in the middle of the Reservoir and having to be hurriedly pulled ashore before it sank. Although it was stored at Dollis Hill for some time after the war it doesn’t seem to have been used again.
      Development continued during the interwar period. As tanks are heavy for their size, providing them with enough buoyancy was a difficult engineering problem. Designs that could float unaided were generally small and light with thin armour, such as the Soviet T-37A amphibious light tank.
Soviet T-37A amphibious light tank in the winter
     Heavier vehicles, such as the experimental, British AT1* had to be so large that the design was impractical.
Medium AT1* - side view and under trials
    The alternative was to use flotation devices that the tank discarded as soon as it landed - the approach adopted by the Japanese with their light Type 2 Ka-Mi and medium Type 3 Ka-Chi amphibious tanks.

      In Britain, the Hungarian-born engineer Nicholas Straussler developed collapsible floats for Vickers-Armstrong that could be mounted on either side of a Light Tank Mark VI to make it amphibious.
Nicholas Peter Sorrel Straussler
Born: 7 May 1891, Hungary - Died 3 June 1966, London
      Trials conducted by the British War Office showed that such a tank, propelled by an outboard motor, 'swam' reasonably well.
Light Tank Mark VI with side collapsible floats in trials...
    The system was unsatisfactory in other ways, due mainly to the unwieldy bulk of the floats that were big enough to float a tank - these were each roughly the size of the tank itself. In practice, there would be severe difficulties in transporting enough floats, even collapsed ones, to move a large unit of tanks across a body of water. Also, such floats made a tank too wide to launch from an off-shore landing craft, making their use in amphibious landings impractical.
      In 1940, Straussler solved the problem by devising the flotation screen - a device which folded and was made of waterproofed canvas. The screen covered the top half of the tank effectively creating a "canvas hull", greatly increasing the vehicle's freeboard, and providing buoyancy in the water. When collapsed, it would not interfere with the tank's mobility or combat effectiveness.
      The first tank to be experimentally fitted with a flotation screen was a redundant Tetrarch light tank provided to Straussler. Its first trial took place in June 1941 in Brent Reservoir (also known as Welsh Harp Reservoir) in north London in front of General Sir Alan Brooke (at the time General Officer-in-Command Home Forces). The reservoir had been the location where trials of the floating version of the World War I, Mark IX tank took place, 23 years earlier. Satisfactory sea trials of the Tetrarch took place in Portsmouth Harbour.
Light tank Tetrarch: left: standard version - right: DD version
    A prototype of a Duplex Drive Valentine tank began trials on 21 May 1942, although it subsequently sank (during a trial in which it was subject to machine gun fire). In June 1942, permission was given by the Ministry of Supply for the manufacture of 450 Valentine DDs.
Valentine DD tank with screen lowered, 79th Armoured Division School,
Gosport, England -  14 January 1944
      It later became clear that the Sherman was more suitable for use with a screen than the Valentine and the DD screen was adapted for the Sherman by April 1943. One reason for this was that the Sherman could move in the water with its gun forward ready to fire as soon as land was reached. The Valentine was also an older and generally inferior design.

Training
     Valentine DDs were used for training and the majority of the American, British and Canadian DD crews did their preliminary training with them. Crews learned elementary phases of the DD equipment at Fritton Lake, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Here they learnt to waterproof and maintain their tanks, use Amphibious Tank Escape Apparatus, launch from mock up LCT ramps and navigate around the two and a half mile lake. After two weeks of training at Fritton, the crews moved to Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire for three weeks of intensive training from landing craft. The DDs would be loaded on the hards at Stokes Bay, and launch into the Solent.
In preparation for the Normandy landings, the 13th/18th Hussards trained with DD Valentines.
Training was carried out in choppy water in the Moray Firth.
      They would form up in echelon, cross 1,100 m of water and land at Osborne Bay on the Isle of Wight. The regiments would then move to Combined Training Centres, such as at the Moray Firth in Scotland and Barafundle Bay in Wales to train with other elements and units, during which period crews incurred several losses. The sunken wrecks of at least 10 tanks, lost during training, are known to lie off the British coast. Another sunken DD tank remains at the bottom of Fritton Lake.
Valentine DD tank being reversed into a landing craft (LCT 882)
79th Armoured Division School, Gosport, 14 January 1944
Valentines DD tank getting reversed to a landing craft (LCT 782)
79th Armoured Division School, Gosport - January 1944
The Sherman DD:
      Modifications to the Sherman included the sealing of the lower hull, the addition of the propeller drive and the addition of Straussler's flotation screen around the hull, together with its inflation system. The base of the canvas flotation screen was attached to a horizontal mild steel boat-shaped platform welded to the tank's hull. The screen was supported by horizontal metal hoops and by 36 vertical rubber tubes. A system of compressed air bottles and pipes inflated the rubber tubes to give the curtain rigidity. The screen could be erected in 15 minutes and quickly collapsed once the tank reached the shore. In practice there was about 0.91 m of freeboard. In combat, the flotation system was considered expendable and it was assumed the tank crew would remove and discard it as soon as conditions allowed. In practice, some units kept the flotation equipment and their tanks were used in several amphibious operations.
Sherman M4A1 DD with screen erected...
      A pair of propellers at the rear provided propulsion. One problem presented by the Sherman was that the configuration of the transmission (gearbox at the front) made it impossible to take a drive-shaft directly from the gearbox to the propellers. The solution to this was to have sprocket wheels at the rear of the tank so power was delivered to the propellers by the tank's tracks. DD Tanks could swim at up to 4 knots (7.4 km/h). Both the commander and the driver could steer in the water, although with different methods. A hydraulic system under the control of the driver could swivel the propellers; the commander from a platform at the rear of the turret, where he could see over the skirt, could contribute by operating a large tiller.

      The first DD Shermans produced by the British were used by both British and US units. Later production was by both the US and the UK. British Shermans were Sherman II (M4A1) small and large hatch, Sherman III (M4A2) and Sherman V (M4A4) conversions. The United States used the M4A1  small and large hatch and M4A2 for their conversions.
M4A2 Sherman DD - early version - building by Firestone’sOhio plant based on British plans.
Notice the front transmission cover with 3 parts
M4A2 Sherman DD - early version
Same vehicle above - front view

Shermans M4A1 DD ready for action. The first and the last are large hatch and the
middle is small hatch.
Pic from my friend Mark Haines !! Thanks, man!!!
    Experience from D-Day led to an improved, Mark II version of the DD Sherman. The screen was extended and strengthened by fixing to the turret, a new type of bilge pump fitted and a second set of hydraulic steering controls was fitted at the commander's station, although his tiller was retained. An air compressor replaced the air cylinders that provided the pressurized air to erect the screen. After D-Day US Army interest decreased, looking for other options, but the British 
      While in Europe the US Army used Sherman DD design, in the Pacific LVTs were equipped with armor and guns to support landings up to the sea line; from the sea line tanks were supposed to support infantry.
LVT(A)-1 armed with 37mm gun and two .30 MG  Brownings in the rear
Other DDs tanks:
     Designs and plannings were made to give the Cromwell and Churchill the DD treatment, but these were never completed.

   A floating, flame-thrower equipped version of the Universal Carrier was tested, as was a flamethrower-equipped DD Sherman. This towed an armoured fuel trailer, like those used by the Churchill Crocodile. The trailer, in the water, was supported by an inflatable flotation device.

Combat use:
      The main use of DD tanks occurred on D-Day. They were also used in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France, on 15 August 1944; Operation Plunder, the British crossing of the Rhine on 23 March 1945 and in several operations on the Italian Front in 1945. DD Tanks were sent to India, the 25th Dragoons were trained in their use, but planned operations against the Japanese in Malaya never occurred.
American M4A1 (75) DD small hatch without the canvas screen
St. Fromand, France, Normandy 1944.
Notice the G.I. with Springfield sniper rifle
D-Day:
      The DD Sherman was used to equip eight tank battalions of American, British, and Canadian forces for the D-Day landings.
British M4 Sherman DD in training for D-Day landings.
      They were carried in Tank Landing Craft, also known as Landing Craft, Tank (LCT). These could normally carry nine Shermans, but could fit fewer of the bulkier DDs. British and Canadian LCTs carried five tanks, the Americans carried four as their LCTs were shorter at about 37 m.
      The DDs would typically be launched around 3 km from the shore, swim to the beaches and overpower the German defences. The tank's record was a mixture of success and failure, although they are mainly remembered for their disastrous performance on Omaha Beach.

Sword Beach
  • On the British Sword Beach, at the eastern end of the invasion area, the DD tanks worked well, as the sea was reasonably calm. The DD tanks from 'A' and 'B' Squadrons of 13th/18th Royal Hussars were launched 4 km from shore. Five could not be launched as the leading tank on its LCT tore its screen - they were later landed directly on shore - one tank sank after being struck by an LCT.
Sword Beach - Lion-Sur-Mer. Two Sherman DD of 13th/18th Royal Hussars abandoned in the beach.
Notice the large amount of abandoned material on the beach - 14 June, 1944.

 Sherman DD tanks of 'B' Squadron, 13/18th Royal Hussars in close combat in Riva Bella, near Ouistreham.
Normandy, June 1944.
Gold Beach
  • On Gold Beach, the sea was rougher. The tanks of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry were launched late, about 640 m from the shore. Eight tanks were lost on the way in and by the time the remainder landed, Sherman Crab (mine flail) tanks had already destroyed the German artillery and machine-gun positions that would have been their objective. Sea conditions meant the tanks of ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons, from the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards were landed in the shallows. They then drove onto the beach with their screens up so they would not get swamped in the breakers. German anti-tank guns caused heavy losses in some sectors of the beach but the assault was successful.
Sherman DD from 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards abandoned at Sword Beach
She managed to swim to the beach, but it jammed on the soft ground....
A M4A1 (75) DD from  4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards passing through Douet.
Notice the flotation screems removed.
Douet, Normandy - 25 june 1944.

A (very rare) M4A1 (75) DD big hatch leading a more commom M4A1 (75) DD small hatch
of Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry traveling by roads near Villier-Bocage
 Between Aunay-sur-Odon and Le Mesnil-Auzouf.
Normandy, 4 August 1944.
Pic from Dennis Oliver (Thanks a lot, Dennis!)
Juno Beach
  • On the Canadian Juno Beach, The Fort Garry Horse and the 1st Hussars were equipped with DDs, but only those of the 1st Hussars could be launched. They were assigned to the 7th Canadian Brigade, at the western end of the beach. Some of the tanks were launched at 3,658 m and some at 700 m; twenty-one out of twenty-nine tanks reached the beach. The 8th Canadian Brigade, at the eastern end of the beach, was forced to land without DD tanks because of rougher seas. They suffered heavy initial casualties, but were still able to make good progress.
Canadian Sherman DD from 1st Hussars roaring through the streets of Courseulles sur Mer.
Normandy, june 1944 - Juno Beach.
Utah Beach
  • On Utah Beach, the DDs were operated by the 70th Tank Battalion. Armoured support was reduced by four DDs when their LCT was lost when she's hit a mine. The remaining tanks were launched 15 minutes late 914 m from the beach. Twenty-seven out of twenty eight reached the beach but confusion caused by the massive smoke screen meant they landed around 1,829 m from their aiming point and saw little German opposition. 
M4A1 (75) DD small hatch from Co. A, 70th Tank Battalion was stuck in the soft ground
while moving over the Utah Beach.
M4A1 (75) DD large hatch "ALOUISE" belonging to the 70th Tank Battalion
supporting infantry, just after leaving Utah Beach.
Normandy, 6 June, 1944.
The same M4A1 (75) DD large hatch "ALOUISE" - 70th Tank Battalion, few days later...
Notice that the tank no longer shows the canvas screens, which were discarded as soon as possible,
by the danger of fire in combat. The tank carries the infantry while passing by German prisoners ...
Pic show by Niels Henkemans (Thanks a lot, Niels!)

Omaha Beach
  • At Omaha Beach almost all of the tanks launched offshore were lost, their absence contributing to the high casualty rate and sluggish advance from that beach. The first wave at Omaha included 112 tanks: 56 from each of the 741st and 743rd Tank Battalions. Each of these battalions had 32 DD and 24 other Shermans (including many Sherman bulldozers for clearing obstacles). Starting at about 0540, the 741st Tank Battalion put 29 DDs into the sea, but 27 of these sank, the remaining two made the long swim to the beach. Some of the crews of the sinking tanks managed to radio back and warn following units not to launch so far out. The remaining vehicles of the 741st Tank Battalion and all tanks of the 743rd Tank Battalion, (except for the four aboard one LCT that was hit by artillery fire just off the beach), were landed directly on the beach, starting at about 0640. DD Tanks were designed to operate in waves up to 0.3 m high; however, on D-Day the waves were up to 1.8 m high. These were much worse conditions than the tanks had been tested in and hence they were swamped. Also, the tanks of 741st Tank Battalion were launched too far out: about 4.8 km offshore. These factors also exacerbated the inherent difficulty of steering a 35 ton "vessel" with a low freeboard. The crews were equipped with DSEA emergency breathing apparatus capable of lasting 5 minutes, the tanks were also equipped with inflatable rafts. Some sources claim that these life-saving measures were ineffective; this was contradicted by the testimony of survivors. Most of the crews were rescued, mainly by the landing craft carrying the 16th Regimental Combat Team, although five crewmen are known to have died during the sinkings. Until very recently it was believed that most of the DD Shermans of the 741st Tank Battalion were sunk almost immediately. Some stayed afloat for a matter of minutes; according to the crews one tank swam for 15 minutes, another: "We weren’t in the ocean [sic] 10 minutes when we had a problem". Tanks at the other four beaches suffered no such problems. 
    •  "The landing craft carrying them were drifting away from the target beach - forcing the tanks to set a course which put them side-on to high waves, thus increasing the amount of water splashing over and crumpling their canvas skirts. Two tanks – skippered by men with enough peacetime sailing experience to know not to turn their sides to the waves - actually made it to the beach. It had been widely believed the other tanks sunk almost immediately on leaving the landing craft, but our work showed some had struggled to within 1,000 metres of dry land."
A M4 Sherman DD with two M4 Shermans with wadding gears.
Omaha beach- 6, june - 1944.

Another M4Sherman DD stucked in Omaha Beach

One of famous pics of Robert Capa about Omaha beach landings
Notice the two DD tanks going out of the bloody Omaha beach...
      In the entire D-day operation, 290 DD tanks were used. Out of those, 120 were launched at sea, for which at least 42 sank. Approximately 140 DD tanks were launched in very shallow water or directly on the shore. The American DD tanks suffered 38% loss due to sinking, versus the British and Canadian which lost 31% due to sinking. The difference was that the American losses were all concentrated in one battalion.

Operation Dragoon
      The Operation Dragoon landings took place on 15 August 1944 between Toulon and Cannes in southern France. A total of 36 DD tanks were used by three American tank battalions – the 191st, the 753rd and the 756th. The 756th had eight tanks that were launched 2,286 m from the beaches; one was swamped by the bow-wave of a landing craft and one sank after striking an underwater obstacle.
American M4A1 (75) DD large hatch at Alpha Yellow Beach
St. Tropez, Southern of France - 15 August, 1944.
Pic from Steven Zaloga (Thanks a lot, Steve!!)
       The twelve tanks of the 191st battalion were all landed on or close to the beach. Five of the C Company tanks of the 191st were immobilized by mines. The 753rd battalion had 16 tanks, of which eight were launched at sea and successfully reached the shore, eight were landed directly on the beach later in the day.
M4A1 (75) Sherman DD in the beach. Operation Dragoon, France - 15 August 1944
M4A1 (75) DD “Donald Duck” small hatch tank of the 753rd Tank Battalion
St. Raphael - Southern France, on August , 1944.
Northwest Europe
      The Staffordshire Yeomanry were converted to DD tanks after D-Day and trained initially at Burton Upon Stather, near Scunthorpe, before moving with them to Belgium. From early September they were based at Elewyt at Lac d'Hofstade. On 26 October 1944, they undertook a 11 km swim across the Western Scheldt to attack South Beveland, during the Battle of the Scheldt. The DD Tanks' longest operational water crossing took place without casualties, but they had great difficulty in landing - 14 became bogged down in mud and only four were available for action.  Operation Plunder, the Rhine crossing, began on the night of 23 March 1945. As well as the Staffordshire Yeomanry, DD tanks equipped the American 736th and 738th Tank Battalions and the British 44th Royal Tank Regiment.
Shermans DD of the Staffordshire Yeomanry prepare for the Rhine crossing
Operation Plunder - German, 23 March, 1945.
      Some tanks were lost in the river, but the crossings were considered a success. The tanks were launched from points upstream from their objectives, to take account of the Rhine's strong current. Mats laid at the objective points (carried across beforehand by Buffalos) allowed the DDs to climb the steep, muddy banks of the river.
M4A1 DD tank of the 738th Tank Battalion with Patton’s 3rd US Army
Braunshorn , 24 March, 1945 during the Rhine-crossing operations.
Notice the extended end conectors in the tracks and the Commanders all-round vision cupola.
      The DD's last combat swimming operation was the Staffordshire Yeomanry's crossing of the River Elbe at Artlenburg on 29 April 1945.

Italian campaign
      By February 1945, the 7th Queen's Own Hussars in Italy had been trained and equipped with DD tanks, both Shermans and Valentines. DD Shermans were successfully used in the crossing of the Po River on 24 April. On 28 April, those tanks still able to swim were used in an assault across the River Adige. During this operation, Valentine DDs were used to transport fuel (their only known use on active service). The tanks continued to be used in combat in the advance towards Venice. There were no further swimming operations, but it was found that the folded flotation screen offered a large seating area, making the tanks useful troop transports.
M4 Sherman DD of the 7th Queen's Own Hussards giving a ride of 8th Indian Division
Notice the track extenders, locally made and essential for that terrain
Near Venice, Italy - 1945.
Specs:
Sherman DD tank
Service history
In service1944–1950s
Used byUnited Kingdom
Canada
United States
Wars                            World War II
Production history
DesignerNicholas Straussler
Designed1941–44
VariantsDD Valentine,
DD Sherman,
Specifications

Speed4 knots (7 km/h) swimming

The building project:
      Many, many years ago (I think more than 15 years ...), I received as gift from a fellow modeler a chassis and an upper-hull of a Sherman M4A1 DD large hatch made by Resicast. 
The original complete kit. My kit was only the upper hull, chassis and transmission cover.
      Since they were just those pieces, the thing was forgotten inside a closet....  Four or five year ago, through another friend, I got some Resicast pieces, like the transmissions boxes,  the propellers and, especially, the canvas screen lowered, because my intention would be to build the version with the canvas lowered and not without the canvas, like the pieces that I won . At that time, Resicast no longer made the large hatch version and sent me to the small-hatch version (which is almost the same thing ..). And again, those resin parts stayed in my closet, waiting for the time to grow...
      But, other day, while as I waiting for the decals of the Tempo to be ready, I opened the cabinet thinking about a new project, I stumbled at the old cardboard box with the pieces of M4A1 DD and asked: "Why , not??"
      And with the SAS motto in my mind (Who dares, wins!), I decided to face this challenge: turning a bunch of misshapen pieces into a true WWII hero.

      To the sea, Tankers!!!

     After cleaning the resin parts, I began to glue the pieces together with cyanoacrylate.
My kit: upper hull, chassis and transmission cover...

Time is cruel: Cronos never forgives anything !!!

But let's roll up our sleeves and work !!! Pieces aligned and glued !!
      You must have noticed that my upperhull came without the engine hatches. Time to cannibalize other pieces: An old upperhull of Italeri M4A1 scrap from other conversions, was the first victim !!! Poor girl!!!
The Resicast's canvas screen part. Hannibal, the cannibal in action in the upperhull!!!

Notice the two "U" white strings glued to the front angles of the metal skirt at the front.
Plastruct stuff!!
    Now, let's put it all together to get the model well aligned and solid ... Parts "sewn" with cyanoacrylate ....
The canvas screen in the upperhull!!
      Hannibal strikes again!!  Time for an Academy girl suffer at the hands of the vicious cannibal: I need VVSS suspension with horizontal return roller bracket!!
Heavy duty bogies, with return roller assembly in horizontal bracket

In this step, alignment is essential !!
      As my model is an M4A1 large hatch, the turrets of these models shows 75mm guns with loader hatch, thickened cheek and high bustle. Tamiya's M4A3 turret was "elected" in my spare box to be modified to this standard...
      Here is the result (so far ...) of the devilish feast of Hannibal Lecter !!
(Beware !! Shocking scenes ...)

      From now on, only the propellers remain as Resicast pieces... The rest will be all done by scratch work !!! Ends the "Era of  Hannibal"...  Frankenstein enters!

      The Tamiya turret don't have extra armour in the cheek. Kiko's time!!
making cheek in the Tamiya's M4A3 turret!!!

The Frankenstein is growing!!!



      It is very gratifying when we find different details when examining real photos: note these points of support for the structural reinforcements of the canvas screen in the M4A1 DD large hatch turret:
Notice the turret's detail: right side

left side

Done!!
       Time to scratch the cylinders of compressed air, manometers and lines of compressed air, for the erection of canvas screen...
Valves, air compressed lines and manometers...

Uff...very complex, but...going...
      And to relax a bit of the complicated details of the nose of the M4A1, we will start to make the steering system of the duplex drive:
Watch out for the great White Whale, helmsman !!!
The front struts under scratch...

Side view!!!
       But, now...


      I'm going to try to use my (few) skills as a sculptor: epoxi putty
The "front upper deck" of the canvas screen...

Glued in position!! I think it's acceptable ......


      Another big part missing:
Holly crap!!

Well...There this!!
More details in the front hull...
Headlights and siren in position...

The rear auxiliary screen in position, glued!!
      More details:
Details in the rear deck...

Notice the arms of canvas screen, folded in the side of the upper hull...left side

Arm of canvas screnn - right side

Arms of the rear, folded in the lower position...

top view...

Stearing bar in the rear right deck. I dont like the clamps in the turret's rear...

Notice the details on the hull and turret...

Stearing bar (yellow) in the rear platform in the turret bustle...

Notice the big arms os canvas screen in the rear deck...


The girl is almost ready for primer...

Dry-run of the propellers...
      And finally...Paints !! I've heard a lot of modelers saying that they do not like unicolored paintings, which are annoying or boring ... I already think the opposite: I love working in shades of monochrome paintings (although I do not really like the famous Color Modulation pattern ... I think it's very artificial ...). Olive drab time!!!
      My girl will represent the vehicle ALOUISE, the 2nd vehicle of A Company, belonged to 70th Independent Tank Battalion, 1st American Army, when she landed on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.
M4A1 (75) DD large hatch "ALOUISE" belonging to the 70th Tank Battalion
supporting infantry, just after leaving Utah Beach.
Normandy, 6 June, 1944.
The same M4A1 (75) DD large hatch "ALOUISE" - 70th Tank Battalion, few days later...
Notice that the tank no longer shows the canvas screens, which were discarded as soon as possible,
by the danger of fire in combat.
      As always, I like to make a profile that serves as a guide with the colors and markings of my vehicles. I would especially like to thank the colleagues who helped me in the research of this vehicle: Mike Haines, Dennis Oliver, Steven Zaloga and mailnly Niels Henkemans, who helped me immensely in the elaboration of the details of this profile.
     Thanks a lot, Gents!!!


Joe Peckerwood, the bellicose turtle, mascot of the
70th Independent Tank Battalion
"Strike swiftly"

Olive drab: starting with colors...or...color!!


      Canvas screen under khaki painting... Painting made with brush and steady hand !!! ufff


Notice the blacks, in the screen, road wheels and MGs...


      The canvas was a little "grizzly" in my opinion. When I saw the screenss preserved today, I realized that there was a clear, predominant ochre tone ...
Valentine DD - notice the canva's color...

Sherman DD preserved at Bovington - color of the canvas....
      Time to touch up and refine the colors. I thought it got much better and more real ...

An ochre touch...much better, IMHO!!
      Colour recipe of canvas screen:

      The markings for ALOUISE:




      And after the weathering, the M4A1 (75) Duplex Drive (large hatch) ALOUISE - 70th Independent Tank Battalion - 1st American Army - 2nd tank - A Company - Utah Beach - June 6, 1944.
M4A1 (75) Duplex Drive (large hatch) ALOUISE
70th Independent Tank Battalion - 1st American Army
2nd tank - A Company - Utah Beach - June 6, 1944.











M4A1 (75) Duplex Drive with Kojak and Rover, the dog.

Kojak in the Commander platform... A happy guy!!!

M4A1 (75) Duplex Drive with Caterpillar D-7 bulldozer: two specialized girls,
in size comparisom

M4 Aunt Jemima mine exploder and M4A1 DD.
Again, two specialized busy girls...

M4A1 (75) Duplex Drive (large hatch) ALOUISE
70th Independent Tank Battalion - 1st American Army 
2nd tank - A Company - Utah Beach - June 6, 1944.

Thanks for following!!!