Thursday, August 23, 2012

M4 Sherman

The M4 Sherman was a medium tank of U.S. production, in World War II and the Korean War was used. Was named the vehicle - the most produced U.S. tank of World War II - after General of the Army William T. Sherman (1820-1891).

M4 Sherman

M4A1 as a museum vehicle

Main Features

5,84 m
2,62 m
2,74 m
30.3 Ton
Armor and armament

38–76 mm
Main armament
1 × 75-mm gun M3 L/37, 5
Secondary armament
1 × 12.7-mm M2 Browning
2 × 7,62-mm- M1919 Browning -MG

9 Zylinder-Ottomotor (Star Motor) 350 PS
Vertical cone suspension
Top speed
40 km / h
Power / weight
11.5 hp / tonne
190 km


  • 1 History
  • 2 use in the Army
  • 3 versions
  • 4 modifications based on the M4
  • 5 Specifications
  • 6 See also
  • 7 Others
  • 8 Literature
  • 9 Weblinks
  • 10 References


The first prototype of the M4 was developed in 1941, based on the prototype T6, and produced since February 1942 series. Sherman's name he got into service in the British Army .There he stood in the Second Battle of El Alamein, the first time in the fight.
Armament and armor corresponded to the then state of the art, but they were rather average. Its great advantage was the self-stabilizing horizontal cannon, low production costs and the wide-scale production of high standardization of components. Month to 2,000 units have been produced. Because of the many companies involved in the production of the M4 was equipped at the same time with different engines, which led to differences in quality. The frontal armor was 91 mm at the gun shield, 76 mm on the turret front and 63 mm at the front hull. This was sufficient for the North Africa-use of 1942, made ​​the Sherman but the war has gone increasingly vulnerable.
In the German-speaking internet sometimes the claim is found, the first versions of the Sherman would more often due to their very unreliable 425-horsepower Chrysler caught gasoline engine without any enemy fire and brought their ammunition to explode. This can not be confirmed by sources from the English-speaking world, there are different engines for their high reliability and long life blessed.
A known weakness of the early M4 was the high probability of explosion of ammunition after a hit, which then also put the engine on fire. Had this problem but many tanks of the belligerent nations, only in the products from the beginning of 1944 M4 was this weakness resolved by the installation of water tanks to the storage areas for ammunition. This as "wet stowage" designated system reduced the risk of fire after a hit in the fighting compartment by more than a factor of four. Because these fires of Sherman has in the crews and the nickname "Ronson" (lighter brand) and get to the Germans "Tommy cookers".
From the end of 1943 was the Sherman the heavier German tanks ( Panther , Jagdpanther , Tiger , King Tiger , Jagdtiger ) in combat far inferior, so under ideal conditions could even a single Panzer VI "Tiger" a Sherman Association inflict its superior firepower heavy losses . The high production rate of the M4 and in comparison to the German vehicles easy repair and maintenance offset the difference in quality by massive numerical superiority.
End of 1943, a Sherman variant was added in development, mainly in the artillery can be used, but it should also be suitable for antitank. She was with a 105-mm howitzer fitted, which had a better impact, but against Tiger and Panther was still inadequate. That led to a frontal attack of the heavier German tanks had little chance of success. The standard tactic was therefore to air support or artillery to request or use the numerical superiority of the Sherman to flank the enemy's superior vehicles. In an attack on the flanks or rear and Panther and Tiger were vulnerable. This tactic, however, led to high losses among Shermanbesatzungen that but had to be taken into account for lack of better vehicles.

The Sherman Firefly was a British reconstruction, in which the tube of the 17-pounder anti-tank gun replaced (76.2 mm L/55), the 75-mm gun. This gun was able to penetrate even heavier German tanks at normal combat distances frontally. The armor protection of the Firefly was not increased, so that he had the fire sensitivity of the M4.
The Israeli army modernized in the 1960s, most of their Sherman tanks. These "modern" Shermans (M50 "Super Herman" or M51 "Isherman") are the Israelis still have in reserve. Chile should have bought some of Israel and they also possess. Even those Shermans went to a Christian militia in southern Lebanon fought on the side of the Israelis. This is the Sherman in 1990 during fighting north of Beirut have used rather unsuccessful.

Use in the Army

The Wehrmacht captured tanks (" Beutepanzer ") of type M 4 Sherman for the first time in early 1943 during fighting in Tunisia. Several of the captured Shermans were the German Reich to Heereswaffenamt transported (HWA) to investigate them. From early 1943 until the surrender in 1945, translated the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS captured Sherman tanks of the different versions under the name Panzerkampfwagen (PzKpfw.) M4 748 (a) at the front. Shermans were captured during fighting in North Africa, Italy, western and eastern fronts. The Shermans were as battle tanks, armored recovery vehicles and ammunition used tractor. When not used as the main battle tank of the Sherman's turret was removed. At the 10th SS Panzer Division "Frundsberg" and the armored brigade 150 times ten Shermans were in combat. For all other German units less Shermans were deployed, mostly unique pieces. It Shermans were also used by non-armored units, which had captured those tanks. Sun began the fifth Parachute Division six times and the 281st Infantry Division (Eastern Front) five Shermans one. To prevent that now used on the German side Shermans attacked by his own troops were marked them with oversized bar crosses .


Sherman M4 A1

A British Sherman tanks of the Royal Hussars 13ten/18ten in action against German infantry. Normandy 10, June 1944

  • M4 - first standardized version that still later went into production (from July 1942); welded rolled steel tub, VVSS drive (Vertical Volute Spring Suspension - Vertical cone suspension), air-cooled Continental - Wright -9-cylinder radial engine R975 C1 or C4 with 400 or 460 hp; from February 1944 transition to armed with 105-mm howitzer, last versions with HVSS (Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension - Horizontal cone suspension); partly instead of the straight nose plate structures made ​​of cast steel were welded on, like the hull of the M4A1, this variant commonly referred to as "hybrid".
  • M4A1 - the first mass-produced version, technically identical to the M4, but with cast steel tub, VVSS suspension, in January 1944 change to "wet stowage" and installing the 76 mm gun in a new tower, with final execution HVSS
  • M4A2 - used as a single version of a diesel drive, consisting of two six-cylinder engines of the type General Motors 6-71 together with 375 hp, welded rolled steel tub, VVSS, from February 1944 installation of the new tower with 76-mm weapons and "wet stowage", HVSS partly as a post-war rebuilding. Most 76-mm-vehicles were delivered to the Soviet Union, where the tanks are preferably used in the guards regiments.

30-Zylindermotor des M4A4

  • M4A3 - with Ford V8 engine (GAA V8 with 450, later 500 hp), rolled steel tub with a slightly modified rear, from 1944 change in the inclination of the Wannenbugs and installation of "wet stowage", a new tower and new weapons, final execution as the first with HVSS.
This version was developed by the U.S. forces and the Korean War used.
  • M4A4 - with a 30-cylinder "multi-bank" - row radial engine from Chrysler. The construction of 20.6 liters and an output of 425 PS consisted of five paired rows of six cylinders; prolonged rolled steel tub, just under the Lend-Lease Act provided, the basis for most "Firefly" - tags, exclusively VVSS (eventual rebuilding after the war, and not standard), taken in 1944 from the production
  • M4A5 - American term for the made ​​in Canada very similar RAM . This was never used in combat.
  • M4A6 - prototype with a 450 hp Caterpillar diesel engine RD-1820, from the 9-cylinder radial engine Wright R-1820 was developed. Cannon and armor like M4A4, but heavier because of the diesel engine. Only about 75 were produced.

Modifications based on the M4

Major modifications were based on a modified M4 tank were:
  • M10 Wolverine and M10 Achilles (first wore these the powerful 76.2-mm cannons in an open tower)

  • The T14 was an armored version of the M4 assault. 1943, two prototypes were built. He was driven more heavily armored (133 mm) and of a Ford GAF ​​engine with 520 hp. With the 75-mm gun, he had a weight of about 42 tons.

  • Based on the M4A3 was the M 31 "Demolition tank" developed. Addition to the 75-mm gun of M had 31 a 2 × 183-mm rocket launcher. This model was armored slightly stronger, had a weight of 35 tons and was as Breakthrough Tank provided. Motorized he was with a 500-hp Ford GAF ​​V-8 engine. Production was 1944/45 does not go beyond a few prototypes.


Sectional drawing of an M4

Sherman M4A1
Sherman M4A3
0 Main Features

five men
Combat weight
30,4 t
33,7 t
Ground Pressure
1,1 kg/cm2
0,77 kg/cm2
5,89 m
7,54 m
2,62 m
3 m
2,74 m
2,97 m
Ground clearance
43 cm
Chain width
22 cm
58,4 cm
0 armament

Main armament
7.5-cm L/40 cannon
7.62-cm gun L/52
Secondary armament
MG zwei Browning M1919
Kaliber 0.30-06 (7,62 mm)
ein MG Browning M2
Kaliber .50 BMG (12.7 mm)
Combat load HW
97 bullets
71 bullets
Combat load MG
5050 income
6850 income
0 Performance

Ford V8 Gasoline engine
15.9 the
17.9 the
Bore / Stroke
127/140 mm
137/152 mm
maximum speed
400 PS
500 PS
Output per liter
25.2 PS / l
27.9 PS / l
Power to weight
13.2 hp / t
14.8 hp / t
five forward, one reverse gear
Top speed
40.2 km / h
41.8 km / h
Fuel storage
662 l
636 l
Reach Road
193 km
161 km
Range site

Coil springs
100 cm
91 cm
0 Panzerung

50,8 mm
50.8 to 108 mm
When page
38,1 mm
When Heck
38,1 mm
When roof
19 mm
When soil
12.7 to 25.4 mm
Tower Front
76,2 mm
63.5 to 88.9 mm
Tower page
50,8 mm
63,5 mm
Turret rear
50,8 mm
63,5 mm
Tower roof
25,4 mm