Sailing, Sailing, Over The Salty Sea

I remember reading in the past that bringing equipment such as tanks in ships over the ocean causes metal parts to rust. I don’t know the full story, so I thought somebody would know more.

My current project is a Pershing tank taken to Korea. The M26 Pershing book of photographs that I have has an illustration of a Pershing with rusty tracks, tow cable, and exhaust pipes, this scene taking place in Remagen, Germany. I know it is only an illustration but I prefer not to guess.

I can’t speak directly to your scenario, but obviously salt water = corrosion.

I can easily see this being the case if equipment was being transported in the holds of vessels that had inadequate, or non existent environmental controls.

Remember, tracks and cables aren’t painted, so bare metal is more prone to corrosion than painted surfaces like armour plate. My understanding is that exhaust manifolds tend to rust due to prolonged exposure to heat though I can’t comment on the science specifically.

This wouldn’t even need to be as a result of salt water exposure. It rained and snowed a lot in Korea. Exposed mild steel is going to rust no matter what in those conditions.

Vehicles being shipped overseas are usually prepped for ocean journeys as much as possible. Depending upon its destination, a vehicle depot or straight into operations, will determine how much weatherproofing is installed on the vehicle.

Not that it’s important but just in case you are curious, what causes rust on exhausts for two reasons. 1) it removes any paint that was there, melting it off, 2) iron is constantly reacting with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide, more energy from more heat allows this reaction to happen faster and more aggressively. It’s the reason you use a shielding gas like nitrogen in welding to block oxygen from reaction with the iron under very high temp

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Yay knowledge! See, that doctorate is paying dividends already!

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A hand saw left outside overnight in a humid climate will usually be rusty in the morning.
Doesn’t need to cross a salty ocean …

Marine tanks heading to Korea from CA suffered from a flooded ship hull and caused all kinds of issues for them. Had to bake dry the radio electronics as I recall. I don’t know if there was any photos after the incident. I will have find the passage again in Marine Tank Battles Korea by Ed Gilbert (RIP).

So if it happened once I am sure it happened elsewhere.

I was thinking of the inevitable water getting into a ship even if there are no leaks in the hull, water would come in when a ship is loaded or unloaded.

A guy at Missing-Lynx has a similar idea, but w/a Sherman.

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Here is a good article on 1st Marine Tank Battalion in Korea, 1950. There are plenty of photos to help for reference.


Thanks. BTW my idea is to have a Pershing from the first few months of the Korean War, while they still retained their WW2 appearance, which is my theme. I haven’t found any shirtless or T-shirted tanker figures yet though.

Try looking for Verlinden WWII US PTO or USMC tank crew

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As I recall A Co 1st Tanks moved the .50 cal post to front of the TC hatch before moving back and the gun removed for all tanks to cut down on TC WIA.

Unfortunately the Verlinden products I bought in the past proved to be overscale.

How about Panzer Art?

wire rope (cables ) are almost always made from stainless steel, but will still rust. Always kept coated with grease. The clevises are chrome moly steel and will rust. Painted ones will chip and flake pretty easy when used, so you also coat them with grease (brown, green, or even red). This is standard practice when using wire rope and clevises.

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