M-32B1 “Earthworm” gallery

This image shows the first T1E1 “Earthworm” device mounted on an M-32 armoured recovery vehicle, which would later be replaced by the M-32B1 variant derived from the M-4A1 Sherman medium tank.
The “Earthworm” ensured a more than 3 meters wide safe path after passing through roads. The mines were a fearsome obstacle to any force in a rapid advance over enemy territory, and they were a constant concern of the Allied Command.
During WWII, a multitude of systems were developed to open the way through minefields, but they were not always effective. With the T1E1 device sufficient reliability and effectiveness was achieved to be deployed in an appreciable amount.
In January 1945, during the last stage of the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans were undermining the main lines of communication as they retreated. This fact forced the deployment of a large number of vehicles like this M-32B1 with the T1E1 “Earthworm” device, to make the allied advance as safe as possible.

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