M4 Sherman Mine Exploder T1E3 Clears A Road in Beggendorf

M4 Sherman medium tank Mine Exploder T1E3 (later designated M1 Roller) of 738th Tank Battalion (Special), attached to the 3rd Armored Division, VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group, clears a road of mines. The 738th was one of two tank battalions to operate the T1E3; both were broken up and attached to units as needed. Nicknamed "Aunt Jemima" for the resemblance to a stack of pancakes turned sideways, the pressure of the heavy armor discs would set off the mines; the discs had to be periodically replaced when damaged. The T1E3 lacked the off-road performance of the Mine Exploder T2 Flail (British designation Sherman Crab Mark I). The heavy discs were difficult to maneuver. The bumper on the back of the tank is for another tank to push the T1E3 because of the weight of the discs. Experimental versions were fitted with serrated discs, but only the T1E3 saw combat. Beggendorf was captured on October 6, 1944, but clearing mines continued throughout the war. Some areas of Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany and other World War II belligerents are still mined; thousands of misfired shells and mines are dug up each year and kill or wound people to this day.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Army
Date Photographed: 
Monday, December 11, 1944