[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TLDR: An M4A1 Sherman modified to use the T16 Halftrack’s suspension system.
The M4A1 “Centipede”, similar to the M4A2E4, was one result out of a series of suspension replacement tests performed on the Sherman series of tanks throughout the 1940s. The objective of this test in particular is unknown as well as is the reason why the T16’s (a prototype vehicle) suspension system, of all systems, was chosen. Regardless of the reason, tests were still carried out at Aberdeen and the tank did function, however, it was very quickly found out that the suspension system of a halftrack wasn’t suited to serve on a medium tank. In other words, the system was severely overloaded.
A quote from R.P. Hunnicutt’s Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank: “Several attempts were made to adapt suspension systems from other vehicles to the Sherman. One of these used components from the half-track truck T16 manufactured by Diamond T. Two modified half-track suspension units replaced the three standard bogies on each track. The modifications included the replacement of the half-track’s double support rollers with single rollers similar to those on top of the early Sherman bogies. An additional roller was attached to the hull between the two suspension units. The standard 16-9/16 inch tracks with 79 shoes per side were used and brackets were welded between the the tank hull and the rear suspension units. Installed on an M4A1 named ‘Centipede’, this arrangement was tested at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Appearance alone should have been enough to kill the project, however, it was considered unsatisfactory mainly because of its badly overloaded condition.”
Place in War Thunder:
I, personally, find this Sherman modification most suited as a Rank II 3.0 squadron vehicle. The vehicle itself isn’t very unique and thus doesn’t hold any consequence for not getting it. It doesn’t make an individual feel pressured to join a squad just to get it, as opposed to the BMP-2M, A-4E Early, and Leopard 2 PL. Squadron vehicles should be just little inconsequential rewards that you get for being a part of a squadron. Vehicles like the Me 262 A-1a/U4, Pr. 35, and IJN Shimakaze are perfect examples of this. They have tech tree equivalents. The Centipede does as well, one that’s objectively better at that. Since it’s a low tier vehicle as well, it’s not like any new players will being tanking American win-rates. This vehicle would also add to the sparse American 3.0 ground line-up.
Armament: 75mm M3 cannon, 1x 12.7mm HMG, and 2x 7.62mm MG
Dimensions: 5.84m, 2.62m, 2.74m (L,W,H)
Armor: Same as M4A1 (75) in-game
Ammunition: Same as M4A1 (75) in-game
Speed: 38lph (Potentially slower due to the overloaded suspension)
Here is a better quality version of the photo above. The brackets and odd suspension system are clear as day.
Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank by R.P. Hunnicutt
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