|"10 Camouflage of
17-pr Gun Mounted in Sherman Tank.
The 17-pr gun barrel
is approx twice the length of that of the 75mm gun previously mounted.
A tank so armed is therefore easily recognisable and when used in support
of tanks armed with 75mm gun, is likely to be a target for concentrated
In early October, 1944,
G(Cam) Eighth Army were asked for advice on the disguise of the 17-pr gun.
Two methods have been
adopted as follows:-
A false muzzle brake
is fitted approximately half-way along the barrel; its distance from the
turret being equal to the length of a 75mm gun. The forepart of the barrel
is then "countershaded" with white paint to reduce its visibility. The
result is an apparent reduction in the length of the barrel. The use of
the false muzzle brake was found essential to provide a clear cut termination
of the untreated portion of the barrel.
A dummy 75mm gun is
mounted on the wireless box at the rear of the turret. When the tank is
not in action the turret is reversed. The dummy gun is then at the front
of the tank and the 17-pr is concealed with foliage behind. Method A can
be employed alone, but its use was also recommended in conjunction with
Method B to disguise the 17-pr when in action and to reduce visibility
of the portion which cannot be covered when the gun is not in action.
17-prs on Sherman tanks
are therefore being treated as in Method A whether Method B is employed
A demonstration of both
methods was given at RICCIONE on 18 Oct. It was attended by representatives
from armoured formations etc., who were asked to state which of the two
methods was preferred. Method A met with general approval, whereas reactions
to Method B were, as was expected, somewhat varied.
Objections to Method
B included the following:-
(a) The danger of both
guns being observed.
(b) The possible difficulty,
in close country, of rotating the turret in order to bring the 17-pr into
(c) The probable adverse
effect on confidence of tank crews of moving into action with the turret
and 17-pr in the reverse position. Method B, however, was thought good
enough to make it worth while manufacturing dummy 75mm guns for use when
thought practicable. It was considered that, whatever its limitations might
be, it was at least a good method of concealing the identity of the 17-pr
Sherman in any concentration area under observation.
50 dummy 75mm guns have
been manufactured up to the present date and 24 have so far been fitted.
Copy of a drawing issued
to formations showing methods of painting the barrel and fitting of dummy
75mm gun is shown at Appendix "F".
|Drawings in Appendix F:
||"Method of painting
in conjunction with false muzzle brake"
||"Method of fixing dummy
75mm gun on rear of turret"
||"Position of 17 pr when
not in action"
Peter's note: "the three sketches in Appendix "F" are scanned from
a photocopy of the original at the Tank Museum and tidied up using PaintShopPro.
The text is all new as the original was not always clear.
The Appendix also included five photos, showing both Methods fitted
to a Sherman Ic Hybrid T-263260 (serial is on left hand side applique armour
panel in white, fancy lettering). My photocopy is not good enough to copy
again. The photos show (my comments in brackets) -
75mm gun fitted to rear of turret. (front half of tank from the left,
which looks almost like a normal 75mm although it sits too far forward)
Close up view of 1. (right hand side taken from about 3 o'clock of the
Camouflaged 17-pdr. (Distant shot showing how effective the scheme is)
Dummy Muzzle Brake on 17-pdr. (close up from left and below of the new
General view of camouflage technique. (left front three-quarter view
showing countershaded barrel). Note the different styles of 17-pr and 17-pdr,
I have copied them as written."