This is one of the mysteries which
have remained unsolved for years. This device is usually located on the
final drive housing just below the hull MG mount. It comes in various shapes
and forms, the most common being an L-shaped piece of metal with several
teeth cut into the vertical edge. Pete Harlem
named it the "comb device" since it looks a bit like a comb on a rooster's
head. Another version is made from sheet metal and curved rod stock, while
they also come as more elaborate, hinging designs.
|This is the most common
type of "the comb", with respect to shape, location, and vehicle application.
To date, this is the only image showing the comb found in a Technical Manual - though there is no explanation for its use.
|This is another version, made of sheet metal and curved rod stock. Different manufacturing method, but stil performing the same function as the one shown above.|
|This is a completely different
version of the "comb". The strip hinges through 90 degrees from perpendicular
to the plane, down to the surface to which it is fitted. It folds down
between two lips where it can be fixed with a piece of wire or similar.
When folded down, the teeth are also pointing downward, which concur with
the most widely seen version.
The example shown left is located in front and below the driver's hatch, to the left of the tank. Another example has been found fitted between the headlight guard and the siren guard on the left front glacis.
While on his extensive trips around the USA, Joe DeMarco found this comb variation on various rebuilt & modernized Shermans.
|Yet another variation, though
it works the same as the hinged version shown above. It also hinges at
the top, but has its "teeth" on the outside. It is located below and in
front of the hull machine-gun mount, to the right of the vehicle.
This example is fitted to an ex-Canadian Army M4A2(76)W HVSS.
This type can also be found on Sexton 25 pdr SP Guns.
The comb device has been spotted on the following vehicles:
Gradually, the case for the shipping brake lock has been documented:
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