Tank Recovery Vehicle M321-6

M32: General
Date of first acceptance March 1944 Total acceptances 563
Manufacturers
  • Pressed Steel Car Co.
  • Federal Machine and Welder Co.
M32: Dimensions
Combat weight 62,000lbs
28,100kg
Height 104.1875"
264.6363cm
Hull length, without sandshields 232"
589cm
Width without sandshields 103"
262cm
Tread 83"
211cm
Ground clearance 17.125"
cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 13.3psi
.266kg/cm²
M32: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in ring mount M49 on turret 300 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow 2000 rounds 20° left, 25° right
(manual)
+20° to -10°
(manual)
81mm mortar Front hull 30 rounds 7.3125°
(manual)
+80° to +40°
(manual)
M32: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 2.0"
5.1cm
56°
Lower front 2.0"
5.1cm
0° to 56°
Sides 1.5"
3.8cm
Rear 1.5"
3.8cm
0° to 10°
Top .75"
1.9cm
83° to 90°
Front floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
Rear floor .50"
1.3cm
90°
M32: Automotive
Engine Continental R975 C1; 9 cylinder, 4 cycle, radial gasoline
Horsepower Net: 350@2400rpm
Gross: 400@2400rpm
Torque Net: 800 ft-lb@1800rpm
Gross: 890 ft-lb@1800rpm
Fuel capacity 175gal
662L
Transmission Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M32: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 3 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
1 at rear of each bogie
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth front drive Adjustable at rear of track None
M32: Track
T48
Outside guide, double pin, chevron, rubber
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
T49
Outside guide, double pin, parallel bar, steel
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
T51
Outside guide, double pin, smooth, rubber
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
T54E1
Outside guide, double pin, chevron, steel
Width 16.56"
42.06cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 79 Ground contact length 147"
373cm
M32: Performance
Max level road speed 24mph
39kph
Max trench 74"
190cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 24"
61cm
Min turning diameter 62'
19m
Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~120mi, roads
~190km, roads

The M32 was based on the medium tank M4. The gun turret was replaced with a nonrotating turret which was welded up from flat plates on early vehicles, and later vehicles had rounded plates forming the turret front and sides. An A-frame crane was hinged at the front hull, and was folded back over the vehicle and locked by another A-frame hinged on the rear plate when traveling. The crane struts were increased from 4.5" (11cm) diameter to 5.5625" (14.129cm) during the production run. The crane could lift 30,000lb (14,000kg) if stationary, and 20,000lb (9000kg) if the load needed to be moved. The front and rear suspension bogies were locked if it was necessary to lift loads over 10,000lb (4500kg). A 60,000lb (27,000kg) winch was installed behind the driver's seat. The thirty 81mm mortar rounds were smoke shells for providing cover if recovering a tank under possible enemy observation.

The M32B2, 26 of which were produced by the Lima Locomotive Works starting in June 1943, was based on the hull of the M4A2 Sherman.

M32B1 was converted from M4A1. One thousand fifty-five M32B1s were manufactured by the Pressed Steel Car Company, Federal Machine and Welder Company, and Baldwin Locomotive Works from December 1943. Staring in May 1945, Baldwin converted 37 M32B1s to M32A1B1 standard by replacing the vertical volute spring suspension with horizontal volute spring suspension. The newer Sherman combat tanks were also using HVSS, so parts commonality was maintained. The 81mm mortar was deleted from later production M32A1B1s, and the crane lifting boom was eliminated from the right crane strut and replaced with a raising sheave mounted on the center of the hull front.

M32B3s were converted from M4A3 Shermans by the Lima Locomotive Works and the Pressed Steel Car Company beginning in May 1944. Starting in March 1945, Baldwin and International Harvester converted eighty M32B3s to M32A1B3s. The M32A1B3 was analogous to the M32A1B1.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1994. Reprinted with permission from Sherman, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1994, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, 2nd edition 1944, volume 1. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Ordnance Technical Division, 1 June 1945.
  3. Tank Data, vol. 2. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: US Army Ordnance School, Jul 1958.
  4. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.
  5. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  6. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M4 Medium Tanks." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 11 Feb 2001. 21 Feb 2001 <http://www.shadowsfolly.com/WWII/USA/MediumTanksM4.htm>.

Last updated 20 Nov 2015.
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© Copyright 2001-15 Chris Conners