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M4 Sherman Medium Tank

M4 Sherman Medium Tank

The M4 Sherman medium tank pictured here was the main tank used by the US Army in World War II. Its namesake was the Union General William Sherman of the American Civil War. Almost 50,000 were produced during the war years in many variants. The British were the largest recipient of Lend-Lease Shermans with some going to the Red Army and China as well. The Sherman was strong enough to face the relatively smaller German tanks in North Africa but found themselves gravely overmatched when they started running into the Tiger I and Panther heavy tanks in Europe. Sheer numbers and air superiority helped the Sherman spearhead the highly mobile Allied offensive in Europe despite this disparity. The crew of five had at their disposal a 75mm main gun, a .50 caliber Browning, and two .30 caliber Brownings. Later models of the M4 were equipped with a 76mm main gun with better armor penetration which helped level the field against the German heavies. The mechanical reliability, durability, ease of maintenance and standardization of parts were among the strong points that made the M4 Sherman so successful during the fast-moving Allied offensive. The 347th Ordnance Depot Company was in direct support of the Third Army from August 1944 on, and the M4 Sherman was one of many fighting vehicles that they carried parts for.


Sources: Doyle, David. U.S. Military Vehicles Field Guide. Iola, WI: KP Books, 2005.
"M-4 Sherman Tank." Olive-Drab.com. September 18, 2009. Oct. 14, 2010. http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_m4_sherman.php3
"Medium Tank, M4/M4 (Sherman) Medium Tank." MilitaryFactory.com. Oct. 14, 2010. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=40