duckbills

Our duckbill set sells for $14.95 plus postage separately or $12.95 when ordered with one or more of our track sets. 

Duck Bills Only -
Duck Bills & Other Tracks -

duckbill information

The Sherman’s relatively narrow 16.5 inch track width resulted in relatively high ground pressures compared to other era tanks, particularly the T 34 and Panther tanks. As a result they were more prone to bogging down in soft or wet soil conditions. Yankee ingenuity came to the rescue in the form of the extended end connector. This was a modified standard end connector with a metal extension that projected out to effectively increase the track width by an additional 3.5 inches. Since the piece resembles the shape of a duck’s bill, troops began calling the devices “duckbills”. Surprisingly, when they were introduced, there was no standardization. A large portion of the duckbills used in Europe starting in the fall 1944 were locally produced. At the time, the Army needed large quantities of duckbills fast due to the muddy field conditions being encountered that was bogging down the tanks and hence, reducing the mobility of the armored units. To meet demand, the Army relied on local manufacturers in France and Belgium to produce the extenders locally. This diversity in manufacturing sources resulted in five distinct variations in detail and design as these local manufactures modified the basic design to suit their production capabilities. Of the five variations, two were the most common. The first and most widely used version was a cast steel part that was an integral part of the track connector. The second type was a piece of heavy sheet metal bent around and bolted to the end connector. The Panda duckbills represent the integrally cast duckbills which, with its many slight variations among manufacturers, appears to be the most common type used.