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|M4 Tractor, High Speed, 18 tons|
M4 high speed tractor with 90-mm ammo box
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||US Army |
|Wars||World War II|
|Produced||March 1943-August 1945|
|Variants||90 mm antiaircraft gun tractor |
155 mm gun or 8-inch howitzer tractor
|Mass||31,400 lb (14.2 t)|
|Length||210 in (5.33 m)|
|Width||97 in (2.46 m)|
|Height||99 in (2.51 m)|
|Crew||1 + 11|
|M2 Browning machine gun|
|Engine||Waukesha 145GZ OHV I6 gasoline engine|
210 hp (156 kW)
|Suspension||Vertical volute spring|
|100 mi (160 km)|
|Maximum speed||35 mph (56 km/h)|
Design and developmentEdit
The M4 was based on the chassis and drive train of the obsolescent M3 Light Tank which introduced the trailing idler. One variant was designed to tow the 90 mm anti-aircraft gun, and another was for the 155 mm gun or 8-inch howitzer. The rear compartment carried the gun crew and other equipment and some later variants included a crane to assist with heavier projectiles. Two types of ammunition boxes were used on all models: a 90 mm box with side "tailgates" to access 90 mm shells pigeon-holed in the sides, and a combination box for 155 mm or 8-inch ammunition.
The M4 was built by tractors manufacturer Allis-Chalmers of West Allis, Wisconsin, starting in 1943 and was in U.S. military service until approximately 1960. After WWII, under the US Mutual Defense Assistance Program, M4s was supplied to Greece, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Yugoslavia and Pakistan and several other states friendly to the USA. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 the Pakistani Army used M4 Tractors to haul their M115 Howitzers to the battlefield of Chamb and then to the front at Lahore during the fighting with Indian troops.
- M4: base model. 2,464 were configured to tow the 90 mm antiaircraft gun, while 3,088 were configured to tow the 155 mm gun or 8-inch howitzer
- M4C: The "C" designation indicates spare ammunition racks configured in the crew compartment.
- M4A1: The "A1" modification designates the wider suspension used for the "duck bill" tracks mirroring the E9 modification on Sherman tanks. 259 were built in 1945, and were used post-war as a prime mover for the M23 ammunition trailer in M40 Gun Motor Carriage sections.
After the war many types of these tractors were stripped of their military components and used for log skidders and power line construction. Many were used as carriers for rock drills, used in logging road construction in British Columbia. The first prototype was designed in the early 1960s by G.M. Philpott Ltd. of Vancouver, BC, and Scott-Douglas Industries, who supplied the M4 Carrier. It was used by MacMillan, Bloedel, and Powell River Company at their Juskatla, BC logging operation. Many improvements were made and when Finning Tractor later bought G.M. Philpott, the machine became the Finning Tank Drill. At least 500 were built, many of which are still in service. The original Finning Tank Drill was replaced by the M32F and M40F Tank Drills, which used larger Sherman tank carriers. At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, at least two refurbished M4s were used by the airport fire brigade in the 1960s and '70s.
- Armed Forces Military Museum, Largo, Florida.
- Fort Sill Museum, Oklahoma.
- Gunfire Museum, Brasschaat, Belgium.
- National Military Museum in Soesterberg, The Netherlands.
- Batey ha-Osef Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Nebraska.
- Marshall Museum in Lexington, Virginia.
- private collection in Colorado.
- private collection in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- private collection in Grand Prairie, Texas.
- private collection in Leicestershire, UK.
- private collection in Maaldrift, The Netherlands.
- private collection in Molsheim, France.
- private collection in O'Neill, Nebraska.
- private collection in Orlando, Florida.
- private collection in Troyes, France.
- private collection in The National Military Vehicle Museum, South Australia
- Trewhitt, Philip (1999). Armoured Fighting Vehicles. p 307: Dempsey-Parr. ISBN 1-84084-328-4.CS1 maint: location (link)
- American AFVs of World War II, Ed. by Duncan Crow, Doubleday, 1972, pp. 2–5
- "Modelbouw, jan korte, brandweer amsterdam, brandweer schiphol, beba, behoud erfgoed brandweer amster". www.modelbouwjankorte.nl.
- "US Army M-4 High Speed Tractor". olive-drab.com. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- "TM-9-2800-1947 Military Vehicles". US Dept. of the Army. 27 October 1947. Retrieved 28 Oct 2014.
- TM 9-785 18-Ton High Speed Tractors M4, M4A1, M4C, M4A1C
- SNL G150
- the Field Artillery Journal, September 1945 references the M4A1 as an ammunition hauller for M40 Gun sections.
- Doyle, David (2003). Standard catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles. Kraus Publications. pp. 402–403. ISBN 0-87349-508-X.
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