Its length with gun was 24 feet, eight inches, and the hull length was 20 feet, seven inches. Its width was eight feet, nine inches, and its height was 11 feet, 2. Its armor plating was up to 3.
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Its maximum road speed was 30 miles per hour, and its fording ability was three feet. It could surmount a vertical obstacle two feet high and a trench 7 feet, five inches wide. Against those 40, Allied Shermans, the Nazis fielded but 1, Tiger and King Tiger tanks and 4, Panther tanks, for a grand total of 6, Some estimates of Sherman wartime production reach an astounding 50, Thus, its new design was developed too quickly and the normal, slow-moving series of developmental stages was cast aside in favor of getting the M4 into immediate mass production.
The Allies paid for this hasty decision later on in the summer of in the fields and hedgerow country of embattled Normandy against far superior German armor. On the pro side of the ledger, the M4 Sherman was technically uncomplicated, reliable, and mechanically well constructed. It also helped that the Allied air forces enjoyed a huge aerial superiority over the virtually beaten German Luftwaffe. Working in tandem with well-coordinated Allied infantry, artillery, and air forces, the plentiful and trusty Shermans were able to vanquish most German armored formations simply by ganging up on them in overwhelming numbers when all else failed.
Another drawback was that, unlike the German tanks and the Soviet-built T medium tank, the Sherman made a far more visible target in combat because of its height.
Powerplants for U. Although originally designed for aircraft, the Ford 8 cylinder was gasoline fueled and had gross horsepower. Following testing, the engine was authorized by January for Sherman usage by the U. Testing was completed at the General Motors Proving Ground, with minor changes being made. By September , fully 1, tanks had been constructed when Ford ceased production.
M4 Sherman Tank | The National WWII Museum | New Orleans
This was taken over by the Detroit Tank Arsenal and also the Fisher Tank Arsenal, and by mid there were already numerous other changes. Sherman tanks were also produced in Canada under license agreement.
The original M4 was debuted on August 31, , with final characteristics completed on April 18, at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The first pilot M4 was finished on September 2, , and then put into mass production during February The M4A5 was an administrative placeholder for Canadian production, and the M4A6 also elongated the chassis but totaled fewer than tanks. Author David Irving has noted the shortcomings of the Sherman in combat along with the painful awareness of Allied commanders and tankers in the field.
There was no doubt that, in Normandy—as at Anzio—the Americans were finding that their weapons were inferior…. For the Americans, too, however, the most serious headache was the superiority of the Panther. Pilot production on the Sherman tank began in November , just before the U. Both models entered quantity mass production by the early summer of It was also following El Alamein that the vaunted combat vehicle received its first close reexamination.
One improvement in its armor that was recommended was the welding of one-inch-thick reinforcing plates on the outside of the hull, where they would protect drivers and the ammunition supply.
Lend-Lease Sherman tanks
The applied plates became a very distinctive feature of the Sherman from then on. This same post-combat examination revealed but one serious weak point overall—that it caught on fire too easily when hit. In addition, if the floor escape hatch was open, it created a chimney effect, thus making the fire itself far worse. Thus, even before the end of the North African campaign most tankers welded the escape hatch shut, and the U. Army gave the Sherman, too soon as it later developed, its seal of approval. In late June , the U. Army Ordnance Corps accepted a limited run of M4A3E2 Jumbo Shermans with extremely thick armor and the new high-velocity 75mm or 76mm gun in the new and heavier Ttype turret to be used in attacking fortifications.
It was also the first to be factory produced with the new HVSS suspension with extra wide tracks for lower ground pressure. The Sherman chassis also undertook many other roles, including acting as minesweepers and self-propelled guns. M93 Hypervelocity Armor Piercing HVAP ammunition, a new projectile that could pierce the turret of the Panther tank at longer ranges than the more standard Sherman ammunition, was standardized for the 76mm gun by July , but its distribution was limited to U.
The use of High Explosive HE ammunition was preferred because antitank rounds punched cleanly through the thin armor of the Japanese tanks light tanks of s era design without necessarily stopping them. Although the high-velocity guns of the tank destroyers were useful for penetrating fortifications, Shermans armed with flamethrowers also destroyed Japanese fortifications. There was a variety of types of flamethrowers, differing primarily in the type and location of launcher, and the U.
Because of its propensity to catch fire, the Sherman soon gained several nicknames. As for the cause of the fires, U.
Army research proved that the major reason was the use of unprotected ammunition stowage in sponsons above the tracks. The common myth that that the use of gasoline engines was a culprit is unsupported. Green series ; no. Army -- Equipment and supplies -- History -- World War, Sherman tank -- History. Sherman tank -- Equipment and supplies.
World War, -- Tank warfare. El Alamein, Battle of, Egypt, Tanks Military science -- Markings. Notes Formerly CIP. Includes bibliographical references. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. These online bookshops told us they have this item:.
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