Track link types for Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) 

Unless noted otherwise, all track links are of the outside guide, rubber bushed double pin type.

Introduction :

A Sherman track is made of shoes. A shoe is an assembly of one link, two connections (a.k.a. end connectors), two wedges and two nuts.
The shoes have a part number, as well as the links. For example, the T41 track is made of a 
shoe having the part number D37889 and a link having a part number C73922.

An Aberdeen Proving Ground report on track projects listed the following VVSS types developed for the M3 and M4 medium tanks:
T32E1, T33E1, T35, T35E1, T36E2, T36E3, T36E4, T36E5, T37, T37A, T37E1, T40, T41, T41E1, T41E2, T41E3, T45, T47, T47E1, T48, T48E1A, T48E1B, T49, T50, T51, T53, T53E1, T54, T54E1, T54E2, T54E3, T56, T56E1, T59, T59E1, T60, T61, T62, T63, T65, T67, T74.

Those in bold were approved for production.
Picture Type  Description
 
Rubber blocks
 
T41 T41 D37889 shoe, C73922 link
Rubber tread links 
width: 16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/8"

Flat reversible rubber tread (photo courtesy of Massimo Foti).
Produced until
at least March, 1943.

Weight : 10,1 kilos / 22,26 Lbs
WE210

WE210
Rubber
Standard
WE210
Rubber tread links 
width: 16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/8"

Non-reversible rubber tread with 'double I' pattern. Officially listed as 'Rubber Standard' but better known by its part number WE210 (being an assembly of four track links). Made for the Commonwealth Armies, fitted to Grant and Ram tanks.


























The period photo shows an M4A2 of the Polish 2nd Armoured Brigade, 4th "Scorpion" Armoured Regiment in Monte Cassino, Italy, 1944. This Sherman is fitted with WE210 tracks, most probably stripped from a Lee/Grant tank.
https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/222516:2/
T51 T51 D48076 shoe, C95147 link
Rubber tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Flat non-reversible rubber tread. Replacement of T41, tread with thicker rubber to prolong track life.

Note that the photo shows a track fitted with extended end connectors ("Duckbills")

Weight : 12,2 kilos / 26,89 Lbs

Rubber chevron

T48 T48 D48067 shoe, C106350 link
Rubber tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron rubber tread. This link was the longest in production of the rubber tread types, as post-war production T48 tracks with wide guide horn connectors have been spotted.

Weight : 12,7 kilos / 28 Lbs

Steel chevron

T54E1 T54E1 D58628 shoe, C106443 link
Steel tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron steel tread, composite welded links. 

Note: a variation of this type of track has been spotted on an ex-British Sherman V fitted with T49 track. It is constructed like the T54E1, but instead of a chevron, it has three bars welded on the tread plate. Thus it looks like T49 track, but it is not.

Weight : 16,5 kilos / 36,38 Lbs

T54E2 'cuff design' 
T54E2 
D50172 shoe, C95326 link
Steel tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron steel tread (composite welded links?). First steel tread link, known as 'cuff design' (later designated T54E2). Designed and manufactured by Chrysler. First fitted to Shermans on 01-10-1942. Replaced by a 'rolled section track' (originated by Mr. Weckler) in the Spring of 1943.
T56E1 T56E1 D58642 shoe, D58660 link
Steel tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron steel tread, composite bolted links (notches in chevron to accommodate bolts).

Note: both T56 and T56E1 seem to be based on rubber block track links. The frame of the rubber block link is not cast in rubber, but clad with a straight and chevron steel tread, respectively. The tread plates are fastened with three square-headed bolts.

T62 T62 D65978 shoe, C139333 link
Steel tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron steel tread, composite rivetted links.

Weight : 17,8 kilos / 39,24 Lbs
T74 T74 7067581 shoe, 7067681 link
Steel tread and rubber top links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Chevron steel tread, rubber top.
Spotted in post-war use with wide guide horn end connectors.

Weight : 16 kilos / 35,27 Lbs

Steel Bar Cleat

T37 T37 
A.S.F.
D47901 shoe
Steel tread links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-7/16"

Straight steel tread, hollow cast steel link. Limited use only.

Ram tanks: supplied as spare only.
T47 T47 D48072 shoe, C55597 link.
The T47 road face looks essentially like the T56.

Steel tread and rubber top links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Straight steel tread (three square dimples between bars), rubber top.
T56 T56 D58641 shoe, C106496 link.
Looks like the T47.
Straight steel tread, composite bolted links.
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Weight : 17,8 kilos / 39,24 Lbs
T47E1 T47E1 D48086 shoe, C106370 link
Steel tread and rubber top links 
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Straight steel tread (recession between bars), rubber top.
T49 T49 D48073 shoe, C106358 link
Steel tread links
width: 16-9/16"; pitch: 6"; pin diameter: 1-1/4"

Straight steel tread, cast steel links (looks like T47E1), but without the rubber pad on the top.

Ram tanks: supplied as spare only.

Note: a variation of this type of track has been spotted on an ex-British Sherman V fitted with T49 track. It is constructed like the T54E1, but instead of a chevron, it has three bars welded on the tread plate. Thus it looks like T49 track, but it is not.

Weight : 16 kilos / 35,27 Lbs



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