The M4 Sherman, officially Medium Tank, M4, was the most widely used medium tank by the United States and Western Allies in World War II. The M4 Sherman proved to be reliable, relatively cheap to produce, and available in great numbers. Thousands were distributed through the Lend-Lease program to the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union. The tank was named by the British for the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.
The M4 Sherman evolved from the M3 Medium Tank, which had its main armament in a side sponson mount. The M4 retained much of the previous mechanical design, but put the main 75 mm gun in a fully traversing turret. One feature, a one-axis gyrostabilizer, was not precise enough to allow firing when moving but did help keep the reticle on target, so that when the tank did stop to fire, the gun would be aimed in roughly the right direction. The designers stressed mechanical reliability, ease of production and maintenance, durability, standardization of parts and ammunition in a limited number of variants, and moderate size and weight. These factors, combined with the Sherman's then-superior armor and armament, outclassed German light and medium tanks fielded in 1939–42. The M4 went on to be produced in large numbers. It spearheaded many offensives by the Western Allies after 1942.
When the M4 tank went into combat in North Africa with the British Army at El Alamein in late 1942, it increased the advantage of Allied armor over Axis armor and was superior to the lighter German and Italian tank designs. For this reason, the US Army believed that the M4 would be adequate to win the war, and relatively little pressure was initially exerted for further tank development. Logistical and transport restrictions, such as limitations imposed by roads, ports, and bridges, also complicated the introduction of a more capable but heavier tank. Tank destroyer battalions using vehicles built on the M4 hull and chassis, but with open-topped turrets and more potent high-velocity guns, also entered widespread use in the Allied armies. Even by 1944, most M4 Shermans kept their dual purpose 75 mm gun. By then, the M4 was inferior in firepower and armor to increasing numbers of German heavy tanks, but was able to fight on with the help of numerical superiority and support from growing numbers of fighter-bombers and artillery pieces. Some Shermans were produced with a more capable gun, the 76 mm gun M1, or refitted with an Ordnance QF 17-pounder by the British (the Sherman Firefly).
The relative ease of production allowed large numbers of the M4 to be manufactured, and significant investment in tank recovery and repair units allowed disabled vehicles to be repaired and returned to service quickly. These factors combined to give the Allies numerical superiority in most battles, and many infantry divisions were provided with M4s and tank destroyers.
After World War II, the Sherman, particularly the many improved and upgraded versions, continued to see combat service in many conflicts around the world, including the UN forces in the Korean War, with Israel in the Arab-Israeli Wars, briefly with South Vietnam in the Vietnam War, and on both sides of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
U.S. design prototype
The U.S. Army Ordnance Department designed the M4 medium tank as a replacement for the M3 medium tank. The M3 was an up-gunned development of the M2 Medium Tank of 1939, in turn derived from the M2 light tank of 1935. The M3 was developed as a stopgap measure until a new turret mounting a 75 mm gun could be devised. While it was a big improvement when tried by the British in Africa against early German tanks, the placement of a 37 mm gun turret on top gave it a very high profile, and the unusual side-sponson mounted main gun, with limited traverse, could not be aimed across the other side of the tank. Though reluctant to adopt British weapons into their arsenal, the American designers were prepared to accept proven British ideas. British ideas, as embodied in a tank designed by the Canadian General Staff, also influenced the development of the American Sherman tank. Before long American military agencies and designers had accumulated sufficient experience to forge ahead on several points. In the field of tank armament the American 75 mm and 76 mm dual-purpose tank guns won the acknowledgement of British tank experts. Detailed design characteristics for the M4 were submitted by the Ordnance Department on 31 August 1940, but development of a prototype was delayed while the final production designs of the M3 were finished and the M3 entered full-scale production. On 18 April 1941, the U.S. Armored Force Board chose the simplest of five designs. Known as the T6, the design was a modified M3 hull and chassis, carrying a newly designed turret mounting the M3's 75 mm gun. This would later become the Sherman.
The Sherman's reliability resulted from many features developed for U.S. light tanks during the 1930s, including vertical volute spring suspension, rubber-bushed tracks, and a rear-mounted radial engine with drive sprockets in front. The goals were to produce a fast, dependable medium tank able to support infantry, provide breakthrough striking capacity, and defeat any tank then in use by the Axis nations.
The T6 prototype was completed on 2 September 1941. The upper hull of the T6 was a single large casting. It featured a single overhead hatch for the driver, and a hatch in the side of the hull. In the later M4A1 production model, this large casting was maintained, although the side hatch was eliminated and a second overhead hatch was added for the assistant driver. The modified T6 was standardized as the M4, and production began in February 1942 The cast hull models would later be re-standardized as M4A1, with the first welded hull models receiving the designation M4. In August, 1942, a variant of the M4 was put forth by the Detroit Arsenal to have angled, rather then rounded hull and turret armor. The changes were intended to improve the tank’s protection without increasing weight or degrading other technical characteristics.
As the United States approached entry into World War II, armored employment was doctrinally governed by Field Manual 100–5, Operations (published May 1941, the month following selection of the M4 tank's final design). That field manual stated:
The armored division is organized primarily to perform missions that require great mobility and firepower. It is given decisive missions. It is capable of engaging in all forms of combat, but its primary role is in offensive operations against hostile rear areas.
The M4 was, therefore, not originally intended primarily as an infantry support tank; in fact, FM 100-5 specifically stated the opposite. It placed tanks in the "striking echelon" of the armored division, and placed the infantry in the "support echelon". A field manual covering the use of the Sherman (FM 17–33, "The Tank Battalion, Light and Medium" of September 1942) described fighting enemy tanks when necessary as one of the many roles of the Sherman, but devoted only one page of text and four diagrams to tank-versus-tank action, out of 142 pages. This early armored doctrine was heavily influenced by the sweeping early war successes of German blitzkrieg tactics. By the time M4s reached combat in significant numbers, battlefield demands for infantry support and tank versus tank action far outnumbered the occasional opportunities of rear-echelon exploitation.
United States doctrine held that the most critical anti-tank work (stopping massed enemy tank attacks) was primarily to be done by towed and self-propelled anti-tank guns, both of which were referred to as "tank destroyers", with friendly tanks being used in support if possible. Speed was essential in order to bring the tank destroyers from the rear to destroy incoming tanks. This doctrine was rarely followed in combat, as it was found to be impractical. Commanders were reluctant to leave tank destroyers in reserve; if they were, it was also easier for an opposing armored force to achieve a breakthrough against an American tank battalion, which would not have all of its anti-tank weapons at the front during the beginning of any attack.
|In service||1942–1957 (United States)
1945–present (Other countries)
|Used by||United States, and many others (see Foreign variants and use)|
|Wars||World War II, Indonesian National Revolution, Greek Civil War, 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Revolución Libertadora, Suez Crisis, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Six-Day War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Yom Kippur War, Iran–Iraq War, 1958 Lebanon crisis, Lebanese Civil War, Cuban Revolution, Nicaraguan Revolution|
|Designer||U.S. Army Ordnance Department|
|Manufacturer||American Locomotive Company, Baldwin Locomotive Works, Detroit Tank Arsenal, Federal Machine and Welder Company, Fisher Tank Arsenal, Ford Motor Company, Lima Locomotive Works, Pacific Car and Foundry Company, Pressed Steel Car Company, Pullman-Standard Car Company|
|Unit cost||$44,556–64,455 in 1945 dollars, depending upon variant ($607,861-879,336 in 2017 dollars)|
|Produced||September 1941 (prototype)
February 1942–July 1945
|No. built||49,234, excluding prototype|
|Variants||See U.S. variants and foreign variants|
|Weight||66,800–84,000 lb (33.4-42.0 short tons, 30.3–38.1 metric tons) depending upon variant|
|Length||19 ft 2 in–20 ft 7 in (5.84–6.27 m) depending upon variant|
|Width||8 ft 7 in–9 ft 10 in (2.62–2.99 m) depending upon variant|
|Height||9 ft 0 in–9 ft 9 in (2.74–2.97 m) depending upon variant|
|Crew||5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, assistant driver/bow gunner)|
|Armor||12.7 mm (0.5 in) minimum
Up to a maximum of 177.8 mm (7.0 in) depending upon variant
|75 mm gun M3 (90–104 rounds)
76 mm gun M1A1, M1A1C, or M1A2(71 rounds)
105 mm howitzer M4 (66 rounds)
|.50 caliber Browning M2HB machine gun (300–600 rounds),
2×.30 caliber Browning M1919A4machine guns (6,000–6,750 rounds)
|Engine||M4 and M4A1 model: Continental R975-C1 or -C4 9 cylinder radialgasoline engine,
350 or 400 hp (261 or 298 kW) at 2,400 rpm
M4A2 model: General Motors 6046twin inline diesel engine; 375 hp (280 kW) at 2,100 rpm
M4A3 model: Ford GAA V8 gasoline engine; 450 hp (336 kW) at 2,600 rpm
M4A4 model: Chrysler A57 30 cylinder gasoline engine; 370 hp (276 kW) at 2,400 rpmM4A6 model: Caterpillar D-200A (Wright RD-1820) 9 cylinder radial diesel engine; 450 hp (336 kW) at 2,400 rpm
|Power/weight||10.46–13.49 hp/short ton (11.53–14.87 hp/metric ton) depending upon variant|
|Transmission||Spicer manual synchromeshtransmission, 5 forward and 1 reverse gears|
|Suspension||Vertical volute spring suspension(VVSS) or horizontal volute spring suspension (HVSS)|
|Fuel capacity||138–175 U.S. gallons (522–662 litres) depending upon variant|
|100–150 miles (161–241 km) on road depending upon variant|
|Speed||22–30 mph (35–48 km/h) on road, depending upon variant|
This M4A4 has extra armor plates in front of crew hatches.
The first production of the Sherman took place at the Lima Locomotive Works, producing them for British use. The first production Sherman was given to the U.S. Army for evaluation, and the second tank of the British order went to London. Nicknamed Michael, probably after Michael Dewar, head of the British tank mission in the U.S., the tank was displayed in London and is now an exhibit at The Tank Museum, Bovington, UK.
In World War II, the U.S. Army ultimately fielded 16 armored divisions, along with 70 separate tank battalions, while the U.S. Marine Corps fielded six Sherman tank battalions. A third of all Army tank battalions, and all six Marine tank battalions, were deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO). Prior to September 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had announced a production program calling for 120,000 tanks for the Allied war effort. Although the American industrial complex was not affected by enemy aerial bombing nor submarine warfare as was Japan, Germany and, to a lesser degree, Great Britain, an enormous amount of steel for tank production had been diverted to the construction of warships and other naval vessels. Steel used in naval construction amounted to the equivalent of approximately 67,000 tanks; and consequently only about 53,500 tanks were produced during 1942 and 1943.
The Army had seven main sub-designations for M4 variants during production: M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A5, and M4A6. These designations did not necessarily indicate linear improvement; in that "M4A4" did not indicate it was better than "M4A3." These sub-types indicated standardized production variations, which were in fact often manufactured concurrently at different locations. The sub-types differed mainly in engines, although the M4A1 differed from the other variants by its fully cast upper hull, with a distinctive rounded appearance. The M4A4 had a longer engine system that required a longer hull and more track blocks, and thus the most distinguishing feature of the M4A4 was the wider longitudinal spacing between the bogies. "M4A5" was an administrative placeholder designation for Canadian production. The M4A6 had a radial diesel engine as well as the elongated chassis of the M4A4, but only 75 of these were ever produced.
While most Sherman sub-types ran on gasoline, (the Continental-produced 350 or 400 hp (261 or 298 kW) Wright R975 Whirlwind 9 cylinder radial gasoline engine, the 450 hp (336 kW) Ford GAA V8 gasoline engine, or the 370 hp (276 kW) 30 cylinder Chrysler A57 multibank gasoline engine) the M4A2 and M4A6 had diesel engines. The M4A2 was powered by a pair of GMC 6–71 two-stroke inline engines, that produced a total of 375 hp (280 kW), while the M4A6 used an RD-1820 (a redesigned Caterpillar D-200A radial diesel engine, adapted from Wright Aeronautical's Cyclone 9 nine cylinder radial aircraft engine.) that produced 450 hp (340 kW) The M4A2 and M4A4 were mostly supplied to other Allied countries under Lend-Lease. The term "M4" can refer specifically to the initial sub-type with its Continental radial engine, or generically, to the entire family of seven Sherman sub-types, depending on context. Many details of production, shape, strength, and performance improved while in production, without a change to the tank's basic model number. These included more durable suspension units, safer "wet" ammunition stowage, and stronger or more efficient armor arrangements, such as the M4 "Composite", which had a cheaper to produce cast front hull section mated to a regular welded rear hull. British nomenclature regarding Sherman variants differed from that employed by the U.S. A 24-volt electrical system was used in the M4.
|M4||75 mm||welded||gasoline Continental R975 radial|
|M4(105)||105 mm howitzer||welded||gasoline Continental R975 radial|
|M4 Composite||75 mm||cast front, welded sides||gasoline Continental R975 radial|
|M4A1||75 mm||cast||gasoline Continental R975 radial|
|M4A1(76)W||76 mm||cast||gasoline Continental R975 radial|
|M4A2||75 mm||welded||GM 6046 diesel (conjoined 6-71s)|
|M4A3(75)W||75 mm||welded||gasoline Ford GAA V8|
|M4A3E2 "Jumbo"||75 mm (some 76 mm)||welded||gasoline Ford GAA V8|
|M4A3(76)W||76 mm||welded||gasoline Ford GAA V8|
|M4A4||75 mm||welded; lengthened||gasoline Chrysler A57 multibank|
Early Shermans mounted a 75 mm medium-velocity general-purpose gun. Although Ordnance began work on the T20 medium tank series as Sherman replacements, ultimately the Army decided to minimize production disruption by incorporating elements of other tank designs into the Sherman. Later M4A1, M4A2, and M4A3 models received the larger T23 turret with a high-velocity 76 mm gun. Later, the M4 and M4A3 were factory-produced with a 105 mm howitzer and a distinctive rounded mantlet, which surrounded the main gun, on the turret. The first standard-production 76 mm gun-armed Sherman was an M4A1, accepted in January 1944, which first saw combat in July 1944 during Operation Cobra. The first Sherman to be armed with the 105 mm howitzer was the M4, first accepted in February 1944.
From May to July 1944, the Army accepted a limited run of 254 M4A3E2 Jumbo Shermans, which had very thick hull armor and the 75 mm gun in a new, far better protected T23-style turret, in order to assault fortifications. The M4A3 model was the first to be factory-produced with the horizontal volute spring suspension (HVSS) system, beginning in August 1944. With wider tracks to distribute weight, and the smooth ride of the HVSS, it gained the nickname "Easy Eight" from its experimental E8 designation. The M4 and M4A3 105 mm-armed tanks, as well as the M4A1 and M4A2 76 mm-armed tanks, were also eventually equipped with HVSS. Both the Americans and the British developed a wide array of special attachments for the Sherman, although few saw combat, remaining experimental. Those that saw action included a bulldozer blade, the Duplex Drive system, flamethrowers for Zippo flame tanks, and various rocket launchers such as the T34 Calliope. British variants (DDs and mine flails) formed part of the group of specialized vehicles collectively known as "Hobart's Funnies" (after Percy Hobart, commander of the 79th Armoured Division).
The M4 Sherman's basic chassis was used for all the sundry roles of a modern mechanized force: roughly 49,000 Sherman tanks, plus thousands more derivative vehicles under different model numbers. These included the M10 and M36 tank destroyers; M7B1, M12, M40, and M43 self-propelled artillery; the M32 and M74 "tow truck"-style recovery tanks with winches, booms, and an 81 mm mortar for smoke screens; and the M34 (from M32B1) and M35 (from M10A1) artillery prime movers.
|M4||Pressed Steel Car Company
Baldwin Locomotive Works
American Locomotive Co.
Pullman-Standard Car Company
Detroit Tank Arsenal
|6,748||July 1942 – January 1944|
|M4(105)||Detroit Tank Arsenal||800||February 1944 – September 1944|
|M4(105) HVSS||Detroit Tank Arsenal||841||September 1944 – March 1945|
|M4A1||Lima Locomotive Works
Pressed Steel Car Company
Pacific Car and Foundry Company
|6,281||February 1942 – December 1943|
|M4A1(76)W||Pressed Steel Car Company||2,171||January 1944 – December 1944|
|M4A1(76)W HVSS||Pressed Steel Car Company||1,255||January 1945 – July 1945|
|M4A2||Fisher Tank Arsenal
Pullman-Standard Car Company
American Locomotive Co.
Baldwin Locomotive Works
Federal Machine and Welder Co.
|8,053||April 1942 – May 1944|
|M4A2(76)W||Fisher Tank Arsenal||1,594||May 1944 – December 1944|
|M4A2(76)W HVSS||Fisher Tank Arsenal
Pressed Steel Car Company
|1,321||January 1945 – May 1945|
|M4A3||Ford Motor Company||1,690||June 1942 – September 1943|
|M4A3(75)W||Fisher Tank Arsenal||2,420||February 1944 – December 1944|
|M4A3(75)W HVSS||Fisher Tank Arsenal||651||January 1945 – March 1945|
|M4A3E2||Fisher Tank Arsenal||254||May 1944 – July 1944|
|M4A3(76)W||Fisher Tank Arsenal
Detroit Tank Arsenal
|1,925||March 1944 – December 1944|
|M4A3(76)W HVSS||Detroit Tank Arsenal||2,617||August 1944 – April 1945|
|M4A3(105)||Detroit Tank Arsenal||500||May 1944 – September 1944|
|M4A3(105) HVSS||Detroit Tank Arsenal||2,539||September 1944 – June 1945|
|M4A4||Detroit Tank Arsenal||7,499||July 1942 – November 1943|
This kit was created with the cooperation of two very good manufacturers
- HIGHLY DETAILED MODEL
- PHOTO-ETCHED PARTS INCLUDED
- WORKABLE TRACKS INCLUDED
In conclusion is very impressive and large model
And here too you can see that the manufacturers chose to invest precious time and thought in the excellent design of this product
This kit is very rich and has great historical value
The tank was used between 1942 and November 1943
He participated in 16 wars and defeated other opponents as well as military operations he was involved in
Its outstanding advantage is high speed, attack, defense and rapid armament.
The tank engine is 370 horsepower which gave it a maximum speed of 48 km which was very fast for those years.
Even in long and difficult battles he gave protection for a long time.
And although he required regular maintenance every few days to maintain high driving speed and maximum protection managed to leave strong enough to continue fighting in poor and difficult terrain
And as opposed to large, powerful tanks, it was small, very fast and powerful, and it frightened tanks larger and stronger
The tank crew includes 5 people including the tank commander
With a range of 241 miles gives him a short-term advantage but it was a clear advantage
And is still considered one of the most successful tanks in the world
7499 M4A4 units were built
The cost per tank is between $ 50,000 and $ 650,000 as of 1945
The package is large and impressive with a beautiful graphic picture
A detailed and easy to understand booklet
With a bold and clear black lettering
This product gives a great deal of respect and appreciation to a tank that is very significant, firm, fast and stable,
Olive green olive oil is very high quality and gives a natural and realistic coloring base
There are several pages with coloring instructions for several types of finishes.
He took special supplements such as a tank commander on a scale of 1/35 and a metal cannon.
quality of the kit is very high
parts detail is very good
accuracy is very good from the smallest parts to the largest parts
This kit gives great value for money and an important historical and educational value
It is highly recommended