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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
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M551 Picture- Vietnam
jwest21
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 09:30 AM UTC
I plan to build this M551 using Echelon's decals, but had 2 questions

1) what is the box on the front left of the turret? It looks like the frame for the screen was altered to hold it. based on the size, wouldn't it interfere with the turret tranverse?

2) Looks like they put wood pallets over the glass on the front hull, but all I can make out is the slats. I can't tell what is running perpendicular holding the slats. Any suggestions?

Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 10:13 AM UTC
If you enlarge the photo, and take a close look, I think the box you are seeing is an upturned C Ration box wedged between the headlight frame and the crew added chain link cage support. There might be another sheet of something along with it, canít be sure from the photo, as the light is glinting off it whatever it is. But for sure, thereís a cardboard box behind, about the size of a C-Ration box, like the one in the crew added bustle rack. As for what looks like pallets over the front swim plane window, itís pre-fab, corrugated- interlocking construction sheeting, commonly used for lining the inside of prepared fighting positions, or for roofing. It looks like there are two sheets there. I donít remember the name of this stuff, but it slips together on the ends, interlocking for a long run. But it looks like this crew has found another purpose for it. On many VN Sheridans, it was also common to find a length of rolled up ďchain linkĒ or ď cycloneĒ fencingĒ along with metal fence posts. This was used to join with other vehicles fencing to form a tight perimeter at night around a lager (a circle of tracks, weapons pointed outward). So it wasnít uncommon to find engineering/construction materials atop these vehicles. In this case it might serve another purpose other than to protect the window, but itís anybodyís guess what.
VR, Russ ,
jwest21
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 12:05 PM UTC
Thank you. On the sheeting, so is it just wood slats? on each sheet, what connects the individual slats to the one next to it? or is it one piece and actually metal?
jwest21
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 12:09 PM UTC
Is this it? Or a variation of it?

https://www.efficiencyproduction.com/products/trench-shoring/end-shores/
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 02:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thank you. On the sheeting, so is it just wood slats? on each sheet, what connects the individual slats to the one next to it? or is it one piece and actually metal?



Itís metal, in a one piece sheet, but there are two sections (sheets) stacked on the swim vane in the photo, and yes, itís similar to the shoring material in your link, same purpose, but I think the one in your link has a little deeper corrugation. Iíve seen it post-Vietnam, in engineer units, who use it to shore up the sides of trenches and fighting positions, especially in loose soil. As I recall, itís painted light forest green on one side, galvanized on the other side in a dull gray color. Itís also used as bunker/fighting position roof material with sandbags stacked on top, but it requires bracing and multiple sheets.
VR, Russ
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 05:12 PM UTC
This type of sheeting was sometimes used as standoff armor on M113's :




These were originally M8A1 steel landing mats :



Many were recycled after the war :




H.P.
VANDY1VX4
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 05:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

This type of sheeting was sometimes used as stand-off armor on M113's :



H.P.



The Above M-113 has the Viet Nam era PSP Marsden matt M8A1

https://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/7845-viet-nam-era-psp-aka-marsden-matting-name/?tab=comments#comment-112524
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 06:57 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The Above M-113 has the Viet Nam era PSP Marsden matt M8A1



PSP = Pierced (or Perforated) Steel Planking. The M8A1 is not pierced/perforated...

On a side note, it Marston Mat not Marsden Matt...

H.P.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 09:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The Above M-113 has the Viet Nam era PSP Marsden matt M8A1



PSP = Pierced (or Perforated) Steel Planking. The M8A1 is not pierced/perforated...

On a side note, it Marston Mat not Marsden Matt...

H.P.



Frenchy to the rescue again! Yes, I agree, they are two different things. The Kaiser steel PSP M8A1 Marston mat and the corrugated landing mat are different. On the other hand, I think thatís the heavier M8A1 Marston mat on the side of the M113. More likely, these are being carried on the M113 and the Sheridan for traction purposes, I donít think itís really thick enough to provide much stand-off against the hull like that, but maybe, I suppose anything helps when it comes to repelling RPG rounds. In the case of the Sheridan, itís not being used for any stand-off purpose.
VR, Russ
Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 06:15 AM UTC
I agree one cannot be 100 % sure, but I've got no doubt about these two





I've got a few other M48 pics showing PSP used instead of M8A1 mats.

H.P.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 07:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I agree one cannot be 100 % sure, but I've got no doubt about these two





I've got a few other M48 pics showing PSP used instead of M8A1 mats.

H.P.



Yes, I have to agree, that sure does look like itís used for stand-off (the second photo didnít come through though). Interesting, all the photos Iíve seen of M-48s in VN, this is the first Iíve seen it used that way. I have the book Vietnam TracksĒ, and nobody even mentions it there. Leave it to Frenchy to again come up with the evidence. If youíve ever read any of Clive Cusslerís Dirk Pitt novels, thereís a researcher in them who has a vast library and knowledge of Marine history that everybody goes to for researchó his name is Perlmutter. Iím beginning to think Frenchy is our ďPerlmutterĒ!
VR, Russ
Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 08:08 AM UTC
Thanks for the kind words Russ (I know Cussler's novels BTW )

H.P.
m75
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 08:26 AM UTC
Does the M113 photo suggest that the TC's weapon is a 40mm grenade launcher?
Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 08:50 AM UTC
I guess it could indeed be a (XM182 ?) 40mm automatic grenade launcher in a "Okinawa" turret.

Here's another example :


H.P.
zapper
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 10:16 AM UTC
Seem more like somebody is firing a hand held M60 from the turret. That would explain why the guy sitting next to the turret is handling a belt of 7,62. In addition, the empty ammo can holder of a .50 cal mount can be seen.

As for the mat section on the APC, my understanding is that they were carried by armour units mainly as construction material. Dig a hole, put the matting over the hole and then pile some sandbags ontop, and you had your bunker for the night while operating outside bases. A field luxury when you have a vehicle to carry the lodad for you.

The "bazooka plates" on the M48 is an exception to this of course. While not common, the idea appeared on more than just one vehicle (this time with holes):


I think that Birdwell in A Hundred Miles of Bad Road crewed a M48 with bazooka plates for a while. A good read if you're into the topic.

Cheers,
/E
18Bravo
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 10:46 AM UTC
I've wanted to do one of these M 48's for almost two decades. Ever since I did my Suez French M 47 which only used two pieces of the metal PSP, I've had a bunch left over. The metal ones are far better than the Italeri plastic ones. Maybe I'll rotate that project idea back to the top ten.
jwest21
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Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2020 - 12:10 PM UTC
Thanks.guys...some good material here
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, May 08, 2020 - 08:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The Above M-113 has the Viet Nam era PSP Marsden matt M8A1



PSP = Pierced (or Perforated) Steel Planking. The M8A1 is not pierced/perforated...

On a side note, it Marston Mat not Marsden Matt...

H.P.



Frenchy to the rescue again! Yes, I agree, they are two different things. The Kaiser steel PSP M8A1 Marston mat and the corrugated landing mat are different. On the other hand, I think thatís the heavier M8A1 Marston mat on the side of the M113. More likely, these are being carried on the M113 and the Sheridan for traction purposes, I donít think itís really thick enough to provide much stand-off against the hull like that, but maybe, I suppose anything helps when it comes to repelling RPG rounds. In the case of the Sheridan, itís not being used for any stand-off purpose.
VR, Russ



PSP is real hard on jet aircraft when landing. Most of the bigger air strips went to a flat metal plate by 1966 to fight the tire problems when landing. The flat plate was actually stacked up everywhere from being replaced with concrete runways. We used to get it by the truck loads and then used it for everything under the sun. Not sure it was steel, as it never rusted. Finished in a deep grey color, and flat on both sides. Makes great stand off armor, yet is light enough to handle easily. I've seen the slated seats from a duce and a half used, and even the pallets arty rounds are shipped on. You use what you can get your hands on! PSP plate was often used on chopper landing pads, and it often was recycled into stand off armor. It had it's advantages, but the newer stuff would handle a hit better. PSP was not much better than tin roofing material, but made you feel a lot better when the sun went down! The idea was to make the RPG round go off as it went into the plate. The later stuff did much better with the dual layer. We used it on bunker roofs with a layer of clay filled sand bags ontop of it. If done right it also stops water leaks.
The real issue with any of the above was anchoring it to the track hull. You almost always have to make the brackets out of steel or aluminum, and weld them to the hull. Then bolt or weld the plate to them. Sounds simple, but it isn't. Plus it's whatever you can find in the junk pile to work with.
gary
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, May 08, 2020 - 09:09 AM UTC
just to add to the above:

That's a 3/4 CAV track! They used a good lot of M48a2's, so keep that in mind. That looks like a Headquarters track as it's not all bent up from busting jungle. I suggest you all read Dwight Birdwell's book. It's a fast read as you can't put it down once you get in country. I know his old Sargent Major very well, and he promised me pictures once he gets healthy again (not the virus). Dwight was a legend in the summer of 68; yet was a solid hundred fifty miles south of me (or far more). We called him "Nine Lives!"
In my A.O, me never saw much stand off armor. Didn't work well on a 75mm recoilless rifle, let alone a 90mm! Kinda depends on you locale. In the Rubber Plantations, mines were the hot item. Samething up north. I don't care how thick a plate you hang on the side of a 48; a command detonated 155 round will turn it into toast. Worse yet a 500lb. command detonated bomb! I preferred to travel via foot when possible, as one fool like me was a useless target.
gary