M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle, or M32 TRV, was a variant of the M4 Sherman Medium Tank chassis with turret fixed in place and the installation of an 18 foot A-frame crane and 60,000 lb winch. The M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle slowly replaced the T2 (M31) Tank Recovery Vehicle, starting in 1944.
Tank Recovery Vehicle, M32B1 based on the M4A1 Sherman Medium Tank.
The A-frame crane was mounted to the front of the hull, but folded back to the rear in a horizontal position for travel or for towing. The winch on the M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle could be attached to a load in the front or rear, over the crane or direct. To prevent movement during lifting operations, track chocks were used since no spade was provided.
About 1562 units were built, the total of all variants and a number of manufacturers. U.S. Allies, including the British, received some of the M32 Tank Recovery Vehicles.
Today in WW II: 6 Oct 1939 In a Reichstag speech, Adolf Hitler reveals plans for a Jewish enclave in Poland for millions of Jews from Germany, Poland and other lands, a plan understood as a huge concentration camp. More↓
As the M4 Sherman evolved, the changes were passed on to the M32 TRV. The M32 and M32B-series were earlier models with tracks 16 9/16 in wide. The M32A1-series are later models with a 23 in wide track.
The armament of the M32 TRV consisted of a .50 cal. M2 machine gun on a turret ring mount, plus an M1919A4 .30 cal. machine gun in a ball mount in the right front of the hull. An 81mm mortar was mounted on the hull front, just ahead of the turret, to lay down obscuring smoke. The mortar was eliminated in later production.
Tank Recovery Vehicle, M32 Characteristics
Length (sandshields removed)
233 7/16 in
Width (sandshields removed)
105 1/2 in
Height (turret top, crane lowered)
107 3/4 in
Height (crane top, lifting position)
26 mph, governed
Range (average conditions)
Table based on M32A1 values. Other models had slightly different dimensions, different engines and other details.
Manuals for the Tank Recovery Vehicle, M32
TM 9-738 Tank Recovery Vehicles M32, M32B1, M32B2, M32B3, M32B4 (9 Dec 1943)
TM 9-1725 Ordnance Maintenance: Ordnance Engine Model R975-C4 ( Continental)
TM 9-1731D Ordnance Maintenance: Azimuth indicators M20, M21 for tanks and GMC
TM 9-1750, 1750A,B Ordnance Maintenance: Power train unit for medium tanks M3, M4 and modifications
TM 9-1750C Ordnance Maintenance: American Bosch magnetos
TM 9-1750D Ordnance Maintenance: Accessories for Wright R75-EC2 engine for medium tanks M3 and M4
TM 9-1750K Ordnance Maintenance: Tracks and suspension, turret and hull, for M4 and modifications
TM 9-1825B Electrical Equipment (Auto-Lite)
TM 9-1826B Carburetors (Stromberg)
TM 9-1828A Fuel Pumps
TM 9-1829A Ordnance Maintenance-Speedometers, Tachometers, and Recorders
Supply Catalog SNL-G-185,6,7,8
These manuals listed for the Vehicle, Tank Recovery, M32 Series in TM 9-2800-1 dated February 1953.
T-5 prototype of the M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle (M32 TRV), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, September 1943.
An M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle uses its crane to remove the damaged turret from a M4A3 Sherman tank during the Korean War.
M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle on road to Hamhung, Korea, 10 November 1950.