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M32B1 ARV (Front view, right side)

 
 

Front view, right side

Picture courtesy of Henrik Juul-Lauritzen, Holstebro

 

Danish Army Specific: Along with the Centurion MK III, Denmark received 1 (perhaps 2) M32B1 based on the M4A1 chassis in 1953. The ARV was superseded in 1957 by the Centurion ARV Mk II.
Historical
: Development of the M32 recovery vehicle, based on the M4 Sherman, was authorised April 19th 1943. The "T5" series vehicles were to be fitted with a fixed turret, a simple "A" frame crane and a 60.000 pounds capacity winch. All the major variations of the M4 were considered for modification: M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3 and M4A4. These were to become the T5, T5E1, T5E2, T5E3 and T5E4 pilot TRVs respectively and, following their standardisation, the M32, M32B, M32B2, M32B3 and M32B4, Tank Recovery Vehicle.
The turret was removed and replaced by a fixed superstructure with a rounded front. Brackets were attached to the hull sides to which a A-frame jib was pivoted. The jib was laid alongside the superstructure when not in use. A winch was mounted inside the hull, behind the drivers seat, and could be used for pulling or, in conjunction with the crane, for lifting.
The suspension was designed so as to have the springs locked out of action and thus give a more stable platform for winching and lifting.
The first M32 variation to roll out of the assembly line was the diesel powered M32B2 (M4A2 based). Lima Locomotive Works produced 26, from June 1943 to August 1944.
Pressed Steel Car Company began production of the cast hull M32B1 (M4A1 based) in December 1943 and by the end of December 1944 a total of 475 vehicles had been produced.
In addition, Federal Machine and Welder built an unspecified quantity (November 44 - May 45) and Baldwin Locomotive Works, 185 vehicles (November 44 - June 45).
The production of the (M4 based) M32 began by Pressed Steel Car Company in March 1944 and a total of 163 vehicles had been produced by the end of that year.
In addition, a mixture of 400 M32 and M32B1s were produced by Federal Machine and Welder from November 44 to May 45.
The last M32 variation to be produced was the M3A3 based M32B3: Pressed Steel Car Company made 298 vehicles from May to December 1944 and Lima Locomotive Works 20 (June - August 1944). The long-hull, Chrysler engined M32B4 (M4A4 based) did not reach production.
In August 1944, U.S.M.C. requested 50 M32B3s, equipped with the horizontal volute suspension system (HVSS). The pilot models were designated T14E1 and production models M32A1xx. Baldwin Locomotive Works converted 37 M32B1 to M32A1B1 and produced 80 M32A1B3s during 1945.
By the late 40s, nearly all M32s were rebuilt to 'A1' standards by adding the horizontal volute suspension system (HVSS). Also a large towing hook was mounted at the rear of the hull.
Length: 5.23 m (203 inches).
Width: 2.68 m (104 inches).
Height: 2.74 m (106 inches).
Weight: 28.000 kg (61.600 lb.).
Armour
: 13 - 51 mm (0.5 - 1.9 inches) max.
Engine
: 9-cylinder Continental, type R974-C4, 15.980 cm3 (975 cubic inches) displacement, air cooled.
Horsepower: 400 at 2.400 rpm.
Transmission: 5-speed.
Transfer case: None.
Electrical system: 24 volt, negative ground.
Brakes: Mechanical, controlled-differential.
Fording depth:
without preparation: 1.07 m (42 inches).
with deep water fording kit: N/A.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 651 liter (143 gallons).
Range: 165 km (103 miles).
Crew: 5.
Armament: Armed with a 81 mm mortar, 1 7.62 (cal .30) and 1 12.7 (cal .50) machine gun.
Additional: Also in service with Austria, Brazil, Israel, Japan and the former Yugoslavia.


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