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76mm Sherman Tank ammunition in Korea

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  • 76mm Sherman Tank ammunition in Korea

    Does anyone have information on the types of ammunition used in the M4A3E8 Sherman tanks during the Korean War. To be exact, had the army developed a better HE round by then and was a WP round also available? These were both shortcomings of the M1A1 gun during WWII. I'm curious if they had been rectified.

    Also, I'm assuming they were still using the M93 HVAP rounds and the were issued in quantity by then. Is that the case or does anyone know?
    --Tobias Gibson
    On the web at: Blindkat.hegewisch.net

  • #2
    Dont know about the ammo, but I believe the first M4A3's in Korea were those of the 24th Infantry's Tank Company. Which was a "colored outfit" back then.
    Last edited by Skoblin; 05 Sep 12, 01:10. Reason: quotation marks added to clarify specific use of the term "colored"

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info, Bubba. I've actually found the info. By Korea, they had worked out the details of the WP ammo and the HE rounds. They also seem to have settled on HVAP round. When I get a chance, I'll post the details.
      --Tobias Gibson
      On the web at: Blindkat.hegewisch.net

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blindkat View Post
        Does anyone have information on the types of ammunition used in the M4A3E8 Sherman tanks during the Korean War. To be exact, had the army developed a better HE round by then and was a WP round also available? These were both shortcomings of the M1A1 gun during WWII. I'm curious if they had been rectified.

        Also, I'm assuming they were still using the M93 HVAP rounds and the were issued in quantity by then. Is that the case or does anyone know?
        Yes, the HVAP rounds were developed in 1944 and were still good enough to burn through the armor of Soviet supplied T-34 tanks in Korea. There were also white phospherous and high explosive rounds for the 76mm main guns. Ralph Zumbro's book Tank Aces goes into great detail, regarding telling the story of the re-creation of the US Army's tank force, that was cobbled together out of nothing when the Korean War began.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
          Yes, the HVAP rounds were developed in 1944 and were still good enough to burn through the armor of Soviet supplied T-34 tanks in Korea. There were also white phospherous and high explosive rounds for the 76mm main guns. Ralph Zumbro's book Tank Aces goes into great detail, regarding telling the story of the re-creation of the US Army's tank force, that was cobbled together out of nothing when the Korean War began.
          Rhanks for the tip. I'll pick it up.
          --Tobias Gibson
          On the web at: Blindkat.hegewisch.net

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          • #6
            Apparently, the US Army literally had to take Pershing tanks down from their monuments to refurbrish them and get them ready for commitment to Korea. Likewise the "Easy Eight" Shermans. The Japanese automotive works and heavy equipment commands were crucial in getting alot of these worn out tanks combat ready. Tank battalions were literally thrown together from nothing in those first bad days of Korea. Companies of M-24 Chaffee tanks were thrown into tank battalions and suffered heavy battle losses because their low velocity 75mm gun could not penetrate the frontal armor of a Soviet made T-34 tank.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheBubba View Post
              Dont know about the ammo, but I believe the first M4A3's in Korea were those of the 24th Infantry's Tank Company. Which was a colored outfit back then.
              Really?

              John

              Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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              • #8
                That is what they called those units back in the day.
                Last edited by TheBubba; 02 Sep 12, 07:05.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheBubba View Post
                  Dont know about the ammo, but I believe the first M4A3's in Korea were those of the 24th Infantry's Tank Company. Which was a colored outfit back then.
                  Tank Companies for the Infantry Regiments were not established in Korea until after the Chinese entered the war.
                  Kevin Kenneally
                  Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                  Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheBubba View Post
                    That is what they called those units back in the day.
                    How long ago was that? Would you go to the Civil War forum and drop a few n-----'s because that's what they called them back then?
                    John

                    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                    • #11
                      I am not about to get into a race baiting war with you.

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                      • #12
                        Black units in the US Army were still in existence at the beginning of the Korean War and were officially referred to as "colored units". Using this term in its historical context does not suggest that a member is a racist. End of story.

                        ACG Staff


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                        • #13
                          Okay, from what I've read, when hostilities began, the Americans had no actual combat units in Korea. The 24th Regiments was quickly deployed without armor support. Soon afterwards a few Armor Companies which were equipped with M24 Chaffees was deployed in support of the the 24th Regiment.

                          The M24 were the only operational tanks in the area and had been performing occupation duties in Japan.


                          The light Chaffees were chewed up by T34-85s as their main gun wouldn’t penetrate the T34 armor.

                          Soon afterwards, three M26 Pershings which were being used as monuments in Japan, were refurbished and cobbled together and sent to Korea to give support to the woefully inadequate Chaffees. Unfortunately when they rebuilt the Perhings, they couldn’t find proper fan belts and the Pershings quickly broke down and were abandoned before they could actually engage the enemy.

                          By July 1950, 54 M4A3E8 Shermans had been made ready for combat through “operation roll-up” and these tanks became the newly formed 8027 Medium Tank Battalion. A Co, 8027 MT BN of was quickly sent to Korea with the 1st platoon being attached to the 19th Infantry and the 2nd platoon being attached to the 27 infantry. The rest was held in Reserve. These were the first medium tanks to actually engage the enemy with actions taking place near Chungam-ni and Chindong-ni.

                          On 4 August 1950, the rest of the battalion arrived and the 8027th was re-designated the 89th Tank Battalion.

                          The 19th Inf Regiment was part of the 24th Inf Division.
                          The 27th inf Regiment was part of the 24th Inf. Div.

                          The 89th Med Tank Bn. would eventually be assigned to the 25 Infantry division.


                          As for the 24th Infantry Regiment (not the 24th Infantry Division) the unit had been part of the segregated Army which by executive order was desegregated on February 1, 1947. While it was still primarily African American in make up, it was no longer a "Colored Regiment" The unit was actually deployed as part of the 25th infantry Division in late June 1950.

                          The First unit to be deployed and see action was Task Force Smith comprised mainly of the 1st Bn, 21st reg, 24th Inf. Div. and led by its Battalion Commander LTC Charles Smith.
                          --Tobias Gibson
                          On the web at: Blindkat.hegewisch.net

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blindkat View Post
                            Okay, from what I've read, when hostilities began, the Americans had no actual combat units in Korea. The 24th Regiments was quickly deployed without armor support. Soon afterwards a few Armor Companies which were equipped with M24 Chaffees was deployed in support of the the 24th Regiment.

                            The M24 were the only operational tanks in the area and had been performing occupation duties in Japan.


                            The light Chaffees were chewed up by T34-85s as their main gun wouldn’t penetrate the T34 armor.

                            Soon afterwards, three M26 Pershings which were being used as monuments in Japan, were refurbished and cobbled together and sent to Korea to give support to the woefully inadequate Chaffees. Unfortunately when they rebuilt the Perhings, they couldn’t find proper fan belts and the Pershings quickly broke down and were abandoned before they could actually engage the enemy.

                            By July 1950, 54 M4A3E8 Shermans had been made ready for combat through “operation roll-up” and these tanks became the newly formed 8027 Medium Tank Battalion. A Co, 8027 MT BN of was quickly sent to Korea with the 1st platoon being attached to the 19th Infantry and the 2nd platoon being attached to the 27 infantry. The rest was held in Reserve. These were the first medium tanks to actually engage the enemy with actions taking place near Chungam-ni and Chindong-ni.

                            On 4 August 1950, the rest of the battalion arrived and the 8027th was re-designated the 89th Tank Battalion.

                            The 19th Inf Regiment was part of the 24th Inf Division.
                            The 27th inf Regiment was part of the 24th Inf. Div.

                            The 89th Med Tank Bn. would eventually be assigned to the 25 Infantry division.


                            As for the 24th Infantry Regiment (not the 24th Infantry Division) the unit had been part of the segregated Army which by executive order was desegregated on February 1, 1947. While it was still primarily African American in make up, it was no longer a "Colored Regiment" The unit was actually deployed as part of the 25th infantry Division in late June 1950.

                            The First unit to be deployed and see action was Task Force Smith comprised mainly of the 1st Bn, 21st reg, 24th Inf. Div. and led by its Battalion Commander LTC Charles Smith.
                            Wow, your post is so confusing about the 24th Infantry Regiment.

                            The deployment of US Army forces from Japan to Korea was a very interesting event.

                            All Infantry Regiments had only two battalions as a part of the TO&E from the WWII draw down. The 24th Infantry Division deployed from Japan with the 21st Infantry & 19th Infantry Regiment (filled out by troops from the 7th Infantry Division to make them almost full; the 27th Infantry Regiment (Three battalions) deployed from Okinawa to Korea.

                            The second US Division to deploy to Korea was the 1st Cavalry Division, that landed in Pohang and immediately backed up the 24th Division.

                            The third US Division to deploy from Japan was the 25th Infantry Division being filled out with members of the KATUSA organization and the 7th Infantry Division; the US 24th Infantry Regiment (Colored) was "over-strength" by 400 soldiers. This unit was placed in the center of the 25th Division's line, and wasa very unreliable fighting the North Koreans on the western perimeter of the Pusan Pocket.

                            As for the US tank situations, the M26s were shipped from the USA (exccept three vehicles from Japan).The M4A3E8s that you mention above were rebuilt in the Depots of Japan and did not arrive in Korea until July 31st. This unit (8072nd) was under the command od LTC Dolvin, who flew with many other soldiers from Fort Hood Texas (2nd Armored Division) to Japan; arriving on July 19th. This unit was NOT a trained tank unit, but filled out with soldiers from many different service jobs.

                            The 8072nd A Company lost 4 of their 10 tanks in their first battle against the North Koreans; this was also a battle that saw the loss of all M8 Scout Cars from the 8066th Mexhanized Recon platoon. The rest of the 8072nd arrived in Korea by August 4th.

                            The early days of this war saw the US Army unprepared for combat; but through control of the air, the North Koreans were forced to continue their attacks, movements and resupplies at night. This gave the UN forces the time needed to get fighting soldiers into the theater to stop the North Koreans. Also, the Naktong River was a natural defensive line and the North Korean supply lines were well over 300 miles long over rough, unimproved roads. If you have ever been to Korea, and walked these battlefields, you would understand the terrible cost of fighting in Korea. I have.
                            Kevin Kenneally
                            Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                            Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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                            • #15
                              I have several books in digits, that can be sent to give better information. Send me a PM with your email and I'll send it out to you.
                              Kevin Kenneally
                              Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                              Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

                              Comment

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