Sherman Crab

TheCollectioner

Le Teich, France

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Sherman Crab Special Purpose Mine Flail Tank, which was part of the British “Funnies”, special purpose vehicles developed at the eve of D-Day. The Crab was the combination of a south African mine flail design, perfected by the British which mated the system with the M4 Sherman (British designations were Crab Mk I and Mk II corresponding to the Sherman marks, in US ordnance they were designated “Mine Exploder T2 Flail and T4"). Previously the system was already tried by the Matilda Scorpion in North African Campaign at El Alamein in the fall of 1942. The system was alos tried on turret-less Valentine and Grant tanks. Major A.S.J. du Toit designed the rotating drum that was carried by hydraulic arms, battering the dirt with heavy chains to detonate mines. The concentration of 43 chains, and fast move make all buried mines explode with a quasi certainty in the width of the tank, allowing others tanks and infantry to follow in its path. It took time to streamline the mechanism, keeping its turret, allowing it to work on a uneven ground, and drive power being taken from the tank’s engine. The Crab became the #1 mine warfare tank of allied forces, used on all European fronts until May 1945. About 1,000 has been converted by state factories in UK.

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sherman crab m4 crab mine flail

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