DD Shermans?

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by GillT, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. GillT

    GillT Member

    (Hope this is the right place to post this?)

    I'm currently sorting through a bunch of my Dad's photos, taken whilst he was in India with the 25th Dragoons, 1945-47. I've come across several photos of these tanks - he was a driver/mechanic - and on the reverse of this one he's written "DD Shermans Madh Island, March 1947". I'm assuming he was part of the activity recorded on the newspaper clipping in the same envelope and though I know he drove a Sherman tank, I'm wondering what the DD means? Does it refer to the covering? I'd love to know more!

    image0-020a.jpg image0-020b.jpg image0-042.jpg
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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    DD tank - Wikipedia
    DD or Duplex Drive tanks, nicknamed "Donald Duck tanks",[1] 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.

    dd sherman tanks - Google Search

    If you search this site then you will find a few references to your subject - http://ww2talk.com/index.php?search/497069/&q=dd+sherman+tanks&o=relevance

  3. GillT

    GillT Member

    Well, thank you TD! That explains these two pics then!

    image0-030a.jpg image0-031a.jpg

    Best wishes,
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  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Nice pictures, Gill! :)
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    You might need to change the first photo around by 180 degrees as it is posted upside down

    It should look like

    There are a number of members here who are tank nutters so expect a few more comments

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  6. GillT

    GillT Member


    (thank you :blush:)

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Its only Australian ones that look as your photo does :lol:

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  8. Hello Gill,

    Thank you for posting these photos. If you have more we would be most interested to see them as well, because at least one of the tanks looks like it could be a Sherman Mark III DD, which was not ready for D Day in Normandy, but came in operation later. Any additional photo would help identify the type(s).

    Thanks again,

  9. GillT

    GillT Member

    Michel, let me see what I can find.

    image0-027a.jpg image0-028a.jpg image0-029a.jpg image0-032a.jpg image0-033a.jpg image0-034a.jpg image0-035a.jpg

    In order, this is written on the reverse side of the photos:
    i) Dinapore June 1947
    ii) Patna May 1947
    iii) A 'Buffalo' amphibious tank, Madh Island March 1947
    iv) Madh Island 1947 D/D S.
    v) A DD in the water, Madh Island March 1947
    vi) On Flats, Bombay-Kirkee, April 1947
    vii) Flats, Feb 1947

    Hope you find something interesting there.

  10. Thanks a lot Gill!

    This 'Buffalo' is a Landing Vehicle Tracked, Mark III or LVT(3) Bushmaster, and the Sherman DD on the flatcar is indeed a Sherman Mark III DD (US designation M4A2, which was diesel powered as opposed to the other models of the Sherman tank).

    The triangle just above the main gun on photo (vi) means that the tank belongs to the first squadron in the regiment (usually called 'A' Squadron).

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Very interesting Gill.

    Photos 1 and 2 are Humber armoured cars.
    3 is a Buffalo tracked amphibian. Not really a tank since they are not normally armed or armoured. Used to carry troops and supplies etc.
    7. Even more pedantic. This is a well rather than a flat since the centre of the wagon is low. This allows a tall vehicle like the Sherman to pass under bridges, tunnels, gantries etc.

    Thank you for sharing them.


    I thought I had beaten Michel this time.
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  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Great stuff, Gill. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm intrigued by DDs in postwar India. Not somewhere I associate with the type?
  13. GillT

    GillT Member

    Glad there was something interesting there, Michel! The triangle confirms that yes, he served in A Squadron.

    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge. It seems that several of these photos were taken in March 1947, possibly during the "Combined Operations" reported in that newspaper clipping in my first post, when perhaps a variety of amphibious vehicles were involved? The caption beneath the photograph states "Another picture and story on page 7" but sadly, I haven't come across that clipping yet (if he saved it, that is...) If anyone has access to the Times of India from March 20 1947, then perhaps there's more info there ;)

    Actually, I have the regimental journal for July 1946 and inside are so many details of the activities of each Squadron, including exercises and troop movements. I have only that one issue though - again, the journal for July 1947 would probably have an accurate report of what was going on. I wonder if it's available anywhere (maybe in the Regimental archive?)

    Finally, yes, I thought it was strange to be carting these tanks all around India as they did, but someone suggested on the other thread (in the Burma/India forum) that there might be some river crossings to be made, where these vehicles might come in handy?
  14. REME245

    REME245 Member

    Both of the Humber's look like the Canadian production version know as Fox.
  15. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I agree, REME. All the Humber armoured cars had a cannon of some sort as the primary weapon, while the Foxes had a machine gun.
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There are a few films on youtube of "DD Shermans", "DD Valentines" etc. and some modern ones including diving on their wrecks:

    DD Sherman - YouTube

    As well as the wading ones too, that some other regiments used:

    "The Sherman tanks with the extended exhaust pipes for the amphibious landing, that could have made a difference on Omaha beach on june 6th 1944 are landing here in an exercise on the British coast during operation Tiger. The landing at Slapton sands."

    Bovington has an example of the DD Sherman:

    I imagine they'll do a "tank chat" on them one day:
    David Fletcher's Tank Chats - YouTube

    Ps. the Bovington/Tank museum website says: "Experiments continued until 1946" just above the Section on their "VEHICLES FEATURES" there - so it might be worth emailing them your 1947 info - or a link to this thread? as they might change this to "Experiments continued until 1947" maybe? :)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  17. GillT

    GillT Member

    Ramiles, thanks for adding to my list of "further reading" ! I feel totally unqualified to advise the Bovington Museum of any discrepancies, but having shared photographs etc here, I'm happy for you better informed people to add to the general knowledge base if you feel it would be useful.

    Further to the Times of India photograph, I did a quick search for any archives and turned up this report from the Singapore press at the time, which sheds a little more light on what was going on:
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  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Looking closely at that video, ostensibly of the Slapton exercise, it shows up all sorts of limitations of this type of landing - slow lumbering progress with deep track furrows on a shingle(?) beach, tank slewing as it tries to exit the LCT and, for one brief moment, almost broaching. Can't exactly have filled the crew with confidence for the 'real thing' and shows why so much effort was put into finding good stable sand beaches for the real Landings.

    Dad did his tank wading Drivers training at Instow where the beach is remarkably similar in texture/structure to Jig Green sector of Gold Beach where they actually landed.

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