75th Anniversary of the first Sherman tank being used!
09 January 2017
The M4 tank was first issued to the US Army and Marines after they entered World War 2 in 1942 and is arguably described as the best tank used during WWII due to its easy production, its reliability and its upgraded weapons that allowed it to fight comfortably against the German Panther and Tiger Tanks.
It was the most advanced tank of its time and included an advanced radio system and intercom. It also was advanced in having a single cast of the upper hull and the Germans were unable to reproduce the design as they did not have the technology to produce a single cast at such size. It was not commonly known as the Sherman until after WWII and many variants were produced in line with different warzone requirements. Its variants ran from the first M4A1, originally based on an M3 model, and ran through to post war models like the M4A3 76 HVSS used by the US army. The vehicle was also popular for the standardisation of its parts, meaning that hatches, guns and turrets could easily be replaced and also used in upgraded models.
The Sherman’s reputation became slightly tarnished as it was known for catching fire when hit with armour piercing rounds, leaving the crew to swiftly escape or be burned inside. This earned it the additional nickname of the ‘Ronson’ after a lighter company renowned for ‘lighting first time, every time’. Despite these issues, when the Sherman entered combat in 1942 it had better armour and weaponry and was more manoeuvrable than its counterparts. When the British upgraded to the 76mm gun, it outmatched the German Panther in combat. The ability to produce Sherman parts in any factory was very new at the time and gave the Allied force a great advantage over the Germans who were unable to do the same.
Some Sherman’s were put to commercial use after the war and used for both construction and demolition. The vehicle is still highly collectable and is famous for being Oddballs tank in ‘Kelly’s Heroes’. Several real Sherman’s were also used in the more modern war movie ‘Fury’.
If you have any photos or old pictures of the Sherman tanks that you have seen on your travels or if you own one as part of your collection and have photos if it, then we’d love to post them up and help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the M4 going into battle!