Preserved Military Vehicles - Sherman M4A1
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Research Library. Model Room. Book Heritage Flight. Book Aircraft for Air Shows. Military Vehicles Rental. Kilroy Coffee Klatch. Student Art Contest. Speaker's Bureau. In addition, they have Co-ax and Hull MGs to ward off enemy infantry. All the Sherman tanks are medium tanks. They can be either deployed as formation support for another unit or as a separate formation:. The tank has comparable front armour to uparmoured Panzer III 6 and superior side armour to most of the German tanks 4 compared to 3. Added into the anti-personnel firepower is the excellent.
The differences between Shermans fielded from American formations is the loss of the Stabiliser, which reduces the volume of cannon fire on the move, this was commonly disabled by British crews even if supplied. Heroics were sometimes called for, but the respect between the opposing sides of the Desert War often meant evasion or captivity was not so bad, better than the cold certainty of being dead. The M4A3E2 Jumbo variant also has the same increased protection, making it more difficult to blow up than the older variants.
The platoon box sets also contain rare earth magnets and US Army decal sheets. The assembly itself is straight-forward, though some care is necessary when attaching the gun barrels to their locations. The included Browning M2HB AAMGs are often bent in not convincing angles and lack details - the best solution is replacing them with plastic machineguns. These sets have been available since and they contain two turrets for each tank - the 75mm gun turret and the 76mm gun turret.
A mm howitzer turret can be built instead of the 75mm gun turret - the 75mm gun barrel has to be replaced with the howitzer mantlet with the short barrel. Additional armour plates are included for the front and the rear hull, if an uparmoured tank is planned to be built. It is assembled in a similar way to the M4A3, just the sprue contains fewer parts and only one turret. All the US Army tanks and military vehicles deployed to Europe between and , as well as to the Northern Africa between November and , were overall painted Lusterless Olive Drab as their standard colour.
It was a compromise between typical earth colours and foliage colours in temperate areas. It was inexpensive to produce, as it used a mix of just two pigments: ochre and black. Since March , the orders were given to add camouflage patterns to armoured vehicles and some units did apply improvised camouflage on their vehicles, though no official pattern was specified, so the camouflage patterns varied from one vehicle to another.
During the Winter in Western Europe, the vehicles were also winterized with whitewash. American Shermans usually had white American stars painted on turret sides, hull sides and the glacis plate. This variant was employed in three-vehicle "assault gun" platoons in tank battalions  to provide close fire support and smoke. Armored infantry battalions were also eventually issued three of these Shermans. The opening in the front of the M4's turret for the main gun was covered by a rounded Early Shermans that had a periscopic sight for the main gun mounted in the turret roof possessed a small When the Sherman was later fitted with a telescopic sight next to the main gun, a larger The turret side armor was This turret's armor was It had an The Sherman's glacis plate was originally The M4, M4A1, early production M4A2 and early production M4A3 possessed protruding cast "hatchway" structures that allowed the driver and assistant driver's hatches to fit in front of the turret ring.
In these areas, the effect of the glacis plate's slope was greatly reduced. Later Shermans had an upgraded glacis plate that was uniformly The new design improved overall ballistic protection by eliminating the "hatchways", while also allowing for larger hatches for the driver and bow gunner.
The cast hull M4A1 for the most part retained its previous glacis shape even after the larger hatches were introduced; the casting, irrespective of the larger hatches, sat 37 to 55 degrees from the vertical, with the large majority of the piece sitting closer to a 55 degree angle. The transmission housing was rounded, made of three cast sections bolted together or cast as one piece.
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It ranged from The M4 had a hatch on the hull bottom to dispose of spent shell casings and to provide an emergency escape route. In the Pacific, Marines often used this Sherman feature in reverse to recover wounded infantry under fire. The armor of the M4 was effective against most early war tank and anti-tank weapons,  but needed a compound angle to resist later German tank and anti-tank guns. The distinctive protruding "hatchways" of the early Sherman compromised the 56 degree-angled glacis plate, making them weak points where the effect of the glacis plate's slope was greatly reduced.
In comparison, from a sample of 5 Panzer IV's, 4 tanks burned 80 percent and 1 tank remained unburned, following an average of 1. The Panther tank burned 14 times 63 percent from a sample of 22 tanks and following 3. Army study in concluded that only 10—15 percent of wet stowage Shermans burned when penetrated, compared to 60—80 percent of the older dry-stowage Shermans.
Later models moved ammunition stowage to the hull floor, with water jackets surrounding each stowage bin. The practice, known as wet stowage, reduced the chance of fire after a hit to about 15 percent.
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Fuel fires occasionally occurred, but such fires were far less common and less deadly than ammunition fires. Tankers described "fierce, blinding jets of flame", which is inconsistent with gasoline-related fires. Upgrades included the rectangular armor patches protecting ammunition stowage mentioned above, and smaller armor patches in front of each of the protruding hatchway structures in the glacis in an attempt to mitigate their ballistic weakness. Field improvisations included placing sandbags, spare track links, concrete, wire mesh, or even wood for increased protection against shaped-charge rounds.
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In the only study known to have been done to test the use of sandbags, on March 9, , officers of the 1st Armored Group tested standard Panzerfaust 60s against sandbagged M4s; shots against the side blew away the sandbags and still penetrated the side armor, whereas shots fired at an angle against the front plate blew away some of the sandbags but failed to penetrate the armor.
Earlier, in the summer of , General Patton, informed by his ordnance officers that sandbags were useless and that the machines' chassis suffered from the extra weight, had forbidden the use of sandbags. Following the clamor for better armor and firepower after the losses of the Battle of the Bulge , Patton ordered extra armor plates salvaged from knocked-out American and German tanks welded to the turrets and hulls of tanks of his command.
Approximately 36 of these up-armored M4s were supplied to each of the three armored divisions of the Third Army in the spring of They were considered "highly successful". In its initial specifications for a replacement for the M3 Medium Tank, the U. Army restricted the Sherman's height, width, and weight so that it could be transported via typical bridges, roads, railroads and landing craft without special accommodation.
This greatly aided the strategic, logistical, and tactical flexibility and mobility of all Allied armored forces using the Sherman. The British officer commanding the trial concluded "They are utterly reliable I do not think they are quite as good as the Cromwell across country when they are running on rather worn rubber tracks and the going is greasy, neither does one get as smooth a ride, but they appear so infinitely superior in every other way particularly in reliability with a minimum of maintenance that this cross-country consideration is completely overweighed.
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The Sherman had good speed both on- and off-road. Off-road performance varied. In the desert, the Sherman's rubber-block tracks performed well; while in the confined, hilly terrain of Italy, the smaller and more nimble Sherman could often cross terrain that some heavy German tanks could not. Albert Speer recounted in his autobiography Inside the Third Reich:.
On the southwestern front Italy reports on the cross country mobility of the Sherman have been very favorable. The Sherman climbs mountains our tank experts consider inaccessible to tanks. One great advantage is that the Sherman has a very powerful motor in proportion to its weight. Its cross-country mobility on level ground is, as the 26th Panzer Division reports, definitely superior to that of our tanks. However, while this may have held true compared with the first generation German tanks, such as the Panzer III and Panzer IV, comparative testing with the second generation wide-tracked German tanks Panther and Tiger conducted by the Germans at their Kummersdorf testing facility, as well as by the U.
Lieutenant Colonel Wilson M. Hawkins of the 2nd Armored Division wrote the following comparing the U. M4 Sherman and German Panther in a report to Allied headquarters:. It has been claimed that our tank is the more maneuverable.
In recent tests we put a captured German Mark V [Panther] against all models of our own. The German tank was the faster, both across country and on the highway and could make sharper turns. It was also the better hill climber. This was backed up in an interview with Technical Sergeant Willard D. May of the 2nd Armored Division who commented: "I have taken instructions on the Mark V [Panther] and have found, first, it is easily as maneuverable as the Sherman; second the flotation exceeds that of the Sherman.
Staff Sergeant and tank platoon sergeant Charles A. Carden completes the comparison in his report:. I have seen in many cases where the Mark V and VI tanks could maneuver nicely over ground where the M4 would bog down. On one occasion I saw at least 10 Royal Tigers [Tiger II] make a counterattack against us over ground that for us was nearly impassable. Army issued extended end connectors, grousers or "duckbills", to add width to the standard tracks as a stopgap solution. Duckbills began to reach front-line tank battalions in July , and were original factory equipment for the heavy M4A3E2 Jumbo to compensate for the extra weight of armor.
The M4A3 76 W HVSS Shermans and other late models with wider-tracked HVSS suspension and twin road wheels on each axle — rather than the single road wheel of the VVSS suspension designs — corrected these problems but formed only a small proportion of the tanks in service even in At least 57 or Shermans were also delivered to other U.
A similar vehicle was developed in Canada from January , known as the Ram tank. Like the Sherman, this developed from the M3 Lee's chassis and its powertrain , but like the Sherman, was based with a fully rotating turret. Suspension units and roadwheels remained the M3 vertical volute pattern, with the idler above the mounting bracket, rather than the M4 development with the idler moved behind the mounting bracket to give more room for suspension travel.