There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

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There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

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There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Bryan45 » February 13th, 2018, 10:22 am

Vinyl tops in NOS condition are easy to find and cheap, but what happened to all the doors, side curtains, and seat backs? I can't imagine the tops alone were produced in so much greater quantities than the other items.

And M416 trailers. In my unscientific research, it's easier to find a M151 for sale than a M416. Where did all the 1/4 ton trailers go? I"m sure there were more M151s produced than trailers, but since there was no demil order on the trailers, there should be more of them out there.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Horst » February 13th, 2018, 10:37 am

good question. I know that the "Barstow" 151s were coming to Europe with NOS tops and NOS fording kits but no side curtains at all. Makes me think that some USMC jeeps were never issued with side curtains or doors. They also don't have a heater anyway.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby rickf » February 13th, 2018, 10:40 am

I can't really answer the top question but for the trailers they were bought buy the hundreds by the Jeep crowd and trashed on the rocks and trails. 15-20 years ago you could buy these trailers from DOD and DRMO back in the good ol days before Government liquidation for under 100.00 all day long. I bought a lot of 5 for 75.00 in the mid 80's. I had a 4x4 shop back then and sold them to the Jeep guys.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Rustman » February 13th, 2018, 10:52 am

As recently as five or six years ago I'd see them painted red and parked against the back fence of a small town fire department. Guessing they got them through GSA then never really used them.

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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Mark » February 13th, 2018, 11:00 am

I thought the 151 was primary built for service in Vietnam?, though bases around the world used them, the doors,side curtains would restrict your vision?Also you wouldn't need a heater in Vietnam? Of course what I am saying is based on speculation, what do I know???
Last edited by Mark on February 13th, 2018, 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby muttguru » February 13th, 2018, 12:01 pm

Mark wrote: Of course what I am saying is based on speculation, what do I know???


Mark....
you know more than you realize :D

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Always wanted - Details and pictures of M416 Trailer data plates & M151 data plates & body-tags for my research. Thanks!

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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Bryan45 » February 13th, 2018, 1:07 pm

Thanks for sharing, Ken. I've always thought the side closures would be more helpful in the rain than in cold temps.

I have a set of the metal for the vinyl doors, but have never had the vinyl.


Rick- I've only been a M151 owner since 2004, I didn't realize M416s were common through DRMO prior to that. Good info.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Lindsay36551 » February 13th, 2018, 6:39 pm

Just put the whole kit on mine for the winter Rally.
Feels like your in a phone booth!Very hot and no breeze !!
I figured not many people down here have seen one this way!
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby m3a1 » February 13th, 2018, 8:40 pm

And there is another way to think of these tops, doors and assorted odds and ends. When one is in a place where the shooting can start at any moment, one of your primary concerns is not getting bottled up in a vehicle when the fecal material hits the fan. AND, you keep your personal kit ready at hand in case you have to bail out.

By way of example, consider the amount of space that an M4 mount and its struts take up in the MUTT. We think of it as a burden, having to climb over and around that kit while the top is on and we rightly object to it because, let's face it...it's purty near impossible. Ask the question, "how did they do it?" and you're probably asking the wrong question. Gun trucks are about guns and mobility and little more. In reality, it wasn't a concern...there was no top while the gun was up and probably no top even when the gun wasn't up. You'd just git in where you fit in.. over a fender or whatever. A truck equipped with such weapons was expected to be ready to fight, otherwise...what is the point?

I talked to a fellow who participated in Reforger. Tops and doors were expressly verboten, despite the weather. Whoever made that call had almost certainly been to see the elephant and wanted his boys to figure out how to stay warm and dry without all the niceties. Kinda makes that hot floor pan between the seats and a shelter half over one's legs look pretty good, doesn't it?

Happily, we're all pretty much enjoying our trucks in relative safety so we sometimes have to work very hard to get into the mindset of what it meant to be in one of these trucks when equipped for the variety of jobs each truck may have been called upon to do. In my humble opinion, it is something we should all give some serious thought to when equipping or interpreting our trucks for others to see and enjoy. So, if you're putting a gun mount on your truck you should be thinking about things like, where would additional ammunition and other kit attendant to the running of that gun be stowed? How would those items be kept ready at hand and yet, not underfoot? If the truck had a ROP kit, how would that affect the lay of the gun and would it mean a different riser for the mount or perhaps a different mount altogether? Would the truck's windshield usually be kept up, down, or be left completely off? There's a terrific photo at the very top of this page that, when I see it, speaks volumes about how little creature comforts meant to the people who ran that gun truck. That truck had one main purpose....to get that gun to the fight. Everything was secondary to that. They didn't love that truck. It was just a tool of the trade.

So, if you're hanging every imaginable accessory on your truck to the point that it looks like a Christmas Tree, you're probably headed in the wrong direction for a realistic in-country presentation. As a private security contractor (and not a vet) my personal experience in Afghanistan was that our trucks were absolutely business-like and very spartan and we were prepared to dump the fill in our Warlocks (which were far too cumbersome to handle, dismounted) and abandon those rigs at a moment's notice if it came right down to saving our lives.

Just something to think about.

My commentary is not meant to poo-poo those who really get into the business of kitting out their trucks. By all means, go ahead and do it if that is what makes you happy because being happy is really what having these trucks is all about but, if you are looking for realism, less is more.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on February 14th, 2018, 10:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Mr. Recovery » February 13th, 2018, 9:44 pm

In Germany in the 60s we didn't have tops or side curtains and doors :)

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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby rickf » February 14th, 2018, 9:52 am

But you had windshield heaters! When you look at all the old newsreels from WWII you always noticed the Jeeps running around with no tops. And it was VERY cold in the winter there. My Father in Law was in the Battle of the Bulge and he told me about the vehicles and the hard times once he saw mine. He told me if the tank crews took their gloves off and touched anything inside the tank their skin froze instantly to the metal and they had ti rip it away from the surface. He was Infantry so I don't know who had it worse.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby m3a1 » February 14th, 2018, 11:00 am

Oh yeah! There's a terrific photo (I think it can be found in the Time-Life series) of a Sherman completely covered in frost. Not ice. Frost. It looks like the whole thing was dusted with powdered sugar and man, those men look c-o-l-d!

Speaking of crew-comfort items that never really got used, I have some post-war hoods for the forward hatches of a Sherman Tank. The device consists of a windshield in a metal frame with a wire defroster built into it, a tiny wiper and wiper motor and a bellows style canvas hood much like you would find on a baby carriage and a power cord that plugs into a light bulb receptacle. Somebody thought that was a good idea and in a way, it was....and yet....it wasn't.

The Sherman's radiator draws air from the crew compartment and exhausts it to the rear, which means, if you're operating that beast in the the rain, or snow, or dust with an open hatch, a terrific amount of air is drawn into those openings and along with it....rain, snow, or what have you.

I have driven a Sherman in the rain. The rain comes in straight down and sideways all around the hatch due to the airflow. It's like having your face turned toward a shower head. The crew always takes a beating.

Of course, the other drawback was, with the hood down, the driver had absolutely no peripheral vision. So there you are, occupying German after the war with your bloody great tank. The streets are narrow and icy and people are going about their daily business, and they're always in the way. Do you think the company commander is going to want to be processing reparations paperwork for tanks damaging things because the driver's want to stay dry and have their gee-whiz hoods installed? Nope. Like our tops, I dare say those lovely little hoods were also verboten.

And then there's the practicality of it. You're in a tank that has a reputation of burning quite well and again, you're occupying Germany, post war and (contrary to popular belief) there was quite a bit of activity taking place against the new government and anyone who supported it. With that device installed, it would be extremely difficult getting out of the tank. Heck, it's difficult even with nothing in the way!

So, the rule of thumb is, the crew's comfort almost always come second to the vehicle's purpose.

Love the photo of the MUTT in the snow!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby rickf » February 14th, 2018, 12:39 pm

From what my Father in law told me, he had German soldiers offering up their guns and surrendering en mass at the end. They wanted nothing more than to go home! Most of them were forced into the service as it was. Both he and my father, who was there in 45-46 said it was quite peaceful once Hitler went down. I have no way to verify what they said since they are both gone. We d have a couple German members but I am not sure it is a subject they are comfortable with. By the way, My father in law stayed in close contact with a lot of those same German soldiers throughout the years, three of them came to his funeral, two who had moved to this country and one who came here from Germany at 92 years of age just to go to the funeral!
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby Bryan45 » February 14th, 2018, 1:48 pm

Thanks for sharing these stories and experiences, gentlemen. It's this type of conversation that's not covered in many, if any, history books.
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Re: There are a few things that surprise me about the M151

Postby raymond » February 14th, 2018, 10:58 pm

My father was a tank commander in WW2 in Europe. 1st Infantry Division, 745th Tank Battalion. "Our Tracks Lead to Victory". His unit was composed of Sherman M4A3, otherwise known as an "assault gun". It was a M4 Sherman with a standard turret fit with a short barreled 105 mm gun. The 745th, as part of an infantry division and not an armored division, worked in close support for infantry. He always said the tankers felt sorry for the ground soldiers and the ground soldiers felt sorry for the tankers. He said the only thing that made a bigger target was tank support vehicles. Those carried the gasoline and ammo. He said NOBODY wanted that duty. Was at the Bulge, hedgerow country, the breakout, Falaise Pocket, etc. Also said the Germans surrendered en-masse after they crossed the Rhine at Remagen and raced across Southern Germany into Western Chechoslovakia. Said that almost every town would still have some die-hard as a sniper. By this time, the war was won and nobody wanted to be the last to die in the outfit, so nobody would go in after them. They would use loud speakers to tell the sniper to surrender. Invariably they would not. Tanks would be called in to fire white phosphorous shells into the building, setting it ablaze. If anyone attempted to flee or even surrender, they would be shot. They had already been given a chance. He said he was told that using white phosphorous shells for such was against the Geneva Convention, but again, by then the war was won and nobody wanted to do ANY house to house.

Here is their history.
Look at the Assault Gun Platoon, page 8, the back row, third from the left. Sgt. Abel.

http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/cgi/viewco ... ww_reg_his

At the end of the war, he said things with the Russians quickly escalated, even before the surrender. Another war, this time an armored war, was thought to be just over the horizon. He was given command of a tank destroyer for a short time.

Also said that the worst thing he ever had to do in his life was turn Checkoslovakia over to the Russians. By this time, everyone in Europe knew what happened when the Russians moved in. As soon as word spread, there was panic and fear in the population. He said you have never seen so many people moving in you life as those trying to get out before the Russians took over.



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