DDay Sherman Help

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Thundergrunt, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member

    Hello All

    Looking for some help as to which Commonwealth units on DDay used the Sherman II DD Tanks. I have read Somewhere that they were a mixed batch of Sherman II's and V's. is there strength to this and if So who used them. I am not super positive as a new armor guy but I think the 1st Hussars and Fort Garry horse had the SH V DD's But as for 13/18 HUssars, Notts Yeomanry and 4/7 Dragoons I dunno but thinking maybe as they landed in the Assault wave with the 50th and the 3rd am I right in thinking this?? Please any help would be grateful. Also what Markings did 4/7 Dragoons have I have seen a picture of of one that was in the Style of 13/18 and ERY but no mention of Color.

  2. Pak75

    Pak75 Member

    You have almost got it!
    The British problem was that prior to D-day there were not enough M4A4 DD tanks available. The Americans had to supply 80 M4A1s from their allocation and the 79th Armoured division training school had to supply its tanks used for training.
    According to a letter 17 May 1944 from RAC, brigades had following DDs:

    8th Armd Bde (Gold) 80 M4A1 + 5 M4A4
    4/7 Royal Dragoons
    Sherwood Rangers

    27th Armd Bde (Sword) 42 M4A4 ( two not yet received) for 13th/18th Hussars
    Staff Yeomanry as follow up were wading tanks Sherman III
    27th Armd Bde normally used Sherman III

    2nd Canadian Armd Bde (Juno) 85 M4A4

    The intention was to give each DD squadron 20 tanks on D-day (one over the establishment) as one LCT had space for another tank but breakdowns, losses in training etc meant that only 13/18th Hussars in 27th Armd Bde and Fort Garry Horse in 2CAB took in 40. The British were scrambling right up to the last minute to get as many DD tanks in the assault as possible, whereas the Americans had over-ordered and had surplus that was not used on Omaha and Utah.
    Aixman likes this.
  3. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member

    Pak 75

    Thanks so much for the Info it is most valueable. No would you happen to know their markings of the 4/7 or Sherwood Rangers, I have seen the Standard Tac Markings on the 24th Lnacers Vehicles but read theat 4/7 and Notts not sure used Non Standard marking as in 13/18,ERY, and 144 RAC is that true??

    thank you again.
  4. Pak75

    Pak75 Member

    I am not an expert in field of markings and there are more knowlegeable people on this and other forums, but this is what i know...

    The Brigade markings were as follows:
    27th Armd Bde - dark blue shield with white sea horse that has a yellow spine

    8th Armed Bde - yellow disc with stylised red brown fox head.

    I don't think that regiments had their own emblems painted on tanks.

    Battlefield identification of regiments within the brigade was by colour and style of tactical numbers on sides of turret plus tactical sign. Senior regiment had red tac signs, 2nd senior yellow and junior regiment blue.
    RHQ - hollow diamond emblems
    A sqdn - hollow square
    B sqdn - hollow triangle
    C sqdn - hollow circle

    A small red square with white unit number was painted on front and rear.

    Not sure what you mean by non standard markings as this would not have been allowed. Differences would be very minor. 13/18 Hussars used tactical numbers that were in outline only, whereas other regiments used solid numbers.
    Have a look at various modelling forums on net, they are a good source of information.

  5. Arty

    Arty Member


    The information you’ve posted regards the spare DDs is truly a revelation. I had deduced that the DD equipped Regiments probably had spares on hand prior to 06June however until now I had not seen any formal evidence of them.


  6. I have been looking for one such M4A4 (Sherman V) DD in 8 Armd Bde ever since Pak75 posted his earth-shattering post above. but did not realise I had one under my nose all the time...

    Here it is, one sorry Sherman V DD from 4/7 DG on KING RED soon after D Day, maybe as early as 7 Jun:
    Sherman V DD 4-7 DG KING RED.jpg

  7. Arty

    Arty Member

    Didn't we already have one?

    Gold area - post battle - Austin K5 of 3 CLY & DD Sherman V DD No. 42.jpg
  8. Yep, I had quite forgotten about No.42! Maybe it's actually the same tank (same gun mantlet...), seen before and after it was rammed by LCT(A) 2233 since it has changed its 'sinking' side in-between, as well as its apparent angle on the beach.

    Here's the complete image:
    Sherman V DD 7 fouled by 2233 LCT(A), KING RED - ATB-DDT&N p463.jpg

    This does not explain what 2233 was doing on KING RED, but this is another story...

  9. Arty

    Arty Member


    We discussed this back in July 2014! The photo first 'arrived' in the Sword Beach thread. Initially, it was decided it could not be the Gold area because it was a Sherman V DD, not a Sherman II DD. So that factual error became the wrong train of thought. So this one wasn't actually resolved at the time...

    Back in 2014 it was correctly mentioned that Sherman V DD #42 of B Sqn 13th/18th Hussars was probably the mount of Temp Capt William Wormald - who personally reported getting off of (Queen) beach. So was this DD was photographed in the Sword area?

    Though... it was planned that 153 Inf Bde of 51st Highland Infantry Division were to land through Juno not Sword. And that’s what they did. And, after 3 CLY landed on 07June they were in support of the Battalions of 153 Inf Bde. The 3 CLY war diary (curiously) tell us that the LCT's carrying them layed off "some miles to the West of 'M' & 'O' beaches" adding "GRAYE-SUR-MER...where we scheduled to land.” Thus it's highly likely that the photo showing a 3 CLY lorry ‘parked’ next to a Sherman V DD has nothing to do with Queen beach or the 13th/18th Hussars.

    So maybe, the Juno area then. Of the DD's of Fort Garry Horse & First Hussars we have very few pics – however none that I’ve seen have a turret number in the style of #42 seen in the pic.

    Or perhaps the Gold area (where the 3 CLY War Diary 'told us' where the photo was taken in the first place!). So, possibly #42 belonged to the Sherwood Rangers, or, 4th/7th RDG. After all we have documentary proof that 8th Armoured did in fact have Sherman DD II’s & a few V’s.

    Sherwood Rangers? Sadly, I've seen just one pic of a Sherman II DD of the unit which shows its turret number - however the turret number style is very different from #42.

    4th/7th RDG? We have a fair number of pics of 4th/7th RDG Shermans taken at the time - with the same style of turret number. Aside from the fact that there’s that slightly soggy looking Austin K5 of 3 CLY ‘parked’ next to it....

    Back to the War diary of 3 CLY, it tells us that after sailing for France on 06June, two overloaded LCT's returned - carrying most of 3 CLY's Sherman Vc's & the CO's tank (however the CO managed to jump ship on to an LCT going to France!). That's quite a lot of Shermans to be re-shuffled - not leaving a huge amount of room for many three ton lorries. The two 'missing' LCT's had put their loads ashore by 08June - but the 3 CLY War Diary does not say specify where, nor does it mention any lost vehicles.

    Meanwile the War Diary refers to the regiment landing near...“MONT FLEURY LA RIVIERE, about 5 kilos West of our allotted beach. This caused some confusion, the tide being on the make but about half way up. With the exception of one scout car and three 3-ton lorries all vehicles landed safely, the deepest wade being about 4ft 6ins.” The lorry in the photo doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in a hurry ie. with it’s rear end in the sea. Methinks this lorry may have been dragged up onto the beach, and is now starting to dry out.

    Which is a very long winded way of saying, yep I pretty sure that Sherman V DD #42 belonged to 4th/7th RDG. However if it's the same DD as that with LCT(A) 2233 parked on it, then it's turned around 180 degrees.

    Umm err, I've only just noticed this....

    Close up of NAM 104773 - 07June - LCT(A) 2233 in background.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Even more interesting to some is the Austin K5 6pdr anti tank portee with soft top cab and converted to GS role. Post 7.

  11. Arty

    Arty Member


    Yes indeed, for those so enamoured by Austin K5’s, this must be surely a very 'stimulating' pic.

    And it was indeed you who posted this esoteric delight back on 15July2014 - doesn't time fly!

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019

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