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The M4 Sherman Tank Epic Information Thread.. (work in progress)


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(M4A3E8, ultimate production Sherman) This is a work in progress, please feel free to comment, or help me with info and links.     Click here to see the new The Sherman Tank Websit

Hey guys, here's the first part of my new section in the Sherman doc, on Marine use of the Sherman.    I'm going to update the main post tonight. I've update every section in the doc with more info

Man, you can use a Sherman for anything!

There were a bunch of companies that got their start converting M4's and the semi-related gun tractors into a variety of construction and mining vehicles.

Some, like Memphis Equipment while no longer dealing with tanks still offers reman/lightly modded surplus military vehicles for industrial and mining use.

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There were a bunch of companies that got their start converting M4's and the semi-related gun tractors into a variety of construction and mining vehicles.

Some, like Memphis Equipment while no longer dealing with tanks still offers reman/lightly modded surplus military vehicles for industrial and mining use.

 

if you think about it, with the way the upper and lower hulls were joined, and the use of a driveshaft and front final drives and transmissions probably made the chassis pretty easy to modify. 

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Hey guys, here's the first part of my new section in the Sherman doc, on Marine use of the Sherman. 

 

I'm going to update the main post tonight. I've update every section in the doc with more info and cleaned it all up. I think I'll wait to finish the Marine section before I send it to Walt for the version on his awesome site. 

 

Sherman use by the United States Marines:

  Most people have the idea the Marines used the M4A2, and only the M4A2, and list things like it was a diesel like Navy landing craft used as the reason the marines chose the tank.  The real reason they got A2, was that’s what was available when they asked, there wasn’t much choice involved, and they should feel lucky the army didn’t dump Lee’s on them. At various times the Marines also used M4A1s, and M4A3, all with the 75mm gun.

 

USMC-C-Tarawa-1.jpg

USMC-C-Tarawa-2.jpg

 

  Tarawa, November 20-23rd 1943: The first Marine use of the Sherman was on Tarawa. The tanks were M4A2 small hatch tanks, these tanks were issued with no training, and the crews of the I Marine Amphibious Corps Tanks Battalion had sixty days in the states to learn how to use their tanks. Then the island they ended up pre landing had no place for them to drive the tanks to train on them. So they went into combat with no real training with the Marines they were going to fight with. The tanks had no waterproofing, and no deep wading trunks, and could only drive through 40 inches of water. They also had the same problem the Army had in Europe, the tanks radios were not on the same frequency as the infantry units below the battalion level. They could talk to aircraft though. Oh, and only sent one company to support the landings.  C Company of the 2nd Marine tank Battalion had 15 tanks.   All the tanks had names starting in the letter C.  HQ for the tank battalion was almost entirely killed off and their radios lost during the landing so each platoon fought its own war.

 

  1st platoon reinforced with two HQ tanks drove in on the reef and lost three of six tanks to shell craters and swamping. There were scouts sent ahead, but the markers they placed in many cases floated away, and most of the scouts were killed by enemy fire.  The three surviving Shermans were named, Cecilia, a command tank. It linked up with China Gal, and they try and find a way inland. They had trouble getting inland, having to avoid many dead and wounded marines. The seawall, wrecked LVTs and other obstacles prevented the tanks from moving freely as well. While trying to find a way in Chicago took on water and shorted out.

 

 

  China Gal and Cecelia manage to find a way inland, and found nothing but Japanese troops, and when  a Japanese tank, a Type 95 Ha-Go, wheeled into view, it got of the first hit, and got very lucky, its 37mm round hit Cecelia in the main gun and wrecked it. The rifling was damaged, and the breach was open so fragments bounced around the turret and scared the hell out of the crew, but no one was hurt. China Gal blasted the Japanese tank. Cecelia raced back to the beach to check out the damage, and then later hooked back up with China Gal, the company commander jumped from the tank with the disabled gun into China Gal.  They spent the rest of the day working with the gyrenes blasting Japanese pill boxes, Cecelia using just her machine guns. They worked between Red-1 and Red-2 the rest of the day.

 

  2nd Platoon first tank off LCM sank up to turret killing it. The next to LCMs tried another spot, and first LCM took damage and sunk on a reef, blocking the, the second managed to back a little way out before taking fire and sinking as well. The tank in this LCM managed to get out, and onto to the reef, only to drown in hidden shell hole moments later.

 

  The rest of the 2nd platoon made it ashore on beach Red-3 and moved across Red-2 to hook up with their infantry. These tanks were ordered to support an infantry assault across the islands airfield, and ended up out in front of the marine grunts. One took a bunch of fire and tried to back up and fell into a shell crater and rolled over.  The other was damaged by a Japanese soldier with a magnetic mine, and then shot up by a hidden AT gun.  They were in the fight for 20 minutes or less. I suspect since the tanks names didn’t make it into the book I’m using as a reference that no one from either crew lived to tell the tale.

 

 

  3rd Platoon re-enforced with one HQ tank managed to get all four tanks ashore, and had less trouble doing so than the other two platoons. Their Good fortune ended their though. Cannonball, a command tank with the platoon leader aboard, Condor, Charlie and Command and Colorado were the names of the five M4A2s that made it ashore. The commander on Red-3 ordered the tanks to move out ahead of the infantry, with no men in close support, and for the tanks to kill anything they found.

In under an hour, Condor was knocked out, how it was knocked various in the reports, some claim a US Navy dive bomber took it out, but photos of the wrecked tank make it look like an AT gun or infantry close assault took it out. Cannonball took some damage from and AT gun, and in trying to get out of its line of fire managed to fall into a ditch filled with Japanese fuel drums. Apparently fire from a Navy fighter ignited the fuel, but the crew got out.  The survivors from both crews were trapped behind enemy lines for a while. Charlie got taken out at close range by an AT gun. The Jap AT gun put multiple rounds through the tanks side. Commando lived up to its name, ranging far ahead of the Marine lines and racking up two AT guns, and five pillboxes before enemy fire knocked it out.  Colorado had a gasoline bomb thrown on it, but the driver raced back to the beach and drove into the surf, putting out the fire.

 

 

  By nightfall, only Colorado, China Gal and Cecelia were operational, and China Gal and Cecelia tied into the Marine lings on Red-1 and Red-2, and Colorado did the same on Red-3. Things were all messed up, lots of ships had just dumped whatever cargo was easiest into the LVTs and other boats moving things into shore and there was a lot of trouble getting the things the tankers were going to need. The most important being main gun rounds for the tanks M3 75mm guns. Late that night heavy Japanese machine gun fire rained down on the base of the pier that they were using to bring in supplies. Colorado was sent to help, and shut the Japanese machine guns down soon after.

 

 

  Things had gone poorly for the Marine tankers, but not just them, the attack was so disorganized due to much higher than expected casualties, the Marines only had a small toehold on the island, and a Japanese counter attack during the night would very likely have rolled the Marines right back into the water. Luck was on the Marines side the Japs were even more screwed up and couldn't manage one.

 

Day 2:

 

  The Marines started trying to bring in more troops at dawn. These troops were met by a hail of machine gun fire from the Red-1/Red-2 junction. Cecelia, still without a working main gun was dispatched to engage the Japanese machine gun positions at the junction. The tank was only in action for a short time before it slid into a shell crater and its electrical system shorted out. The tank was at a steep enough angle the turret could not be rotated with the manual traverse, and had to be abandoned. I’m not sure if it was shock from the impact when it slid into the shell crater, or if there was water in the hole deep enough to flood the tank.

 

  The M4 hero of the day was China Gal, around 1100, she hooked up with a bunch of gyrene grunts and they attacked south from Red-1 towards the Green beaches. They never actually moved along the beach though, they stayed inland, behind the Japanese positions facing the beach, basically attacking from the Japanese defensive lines rear and flank. Two hours later, they had rolled up the whole western shore, opening the way for more troops to come in, and not under murderous fire. In many cases China Gal had to drive right up to the well-hidden concrete bunkers and blast them through the front slit, or rear door at point blank range to kill them. That night China Gal pulled almost all the way back to Red-1 and holed up with a few infantry around. They slept under the tank and would be back in action in the morning.

On day two, Colorado spent the day on Red-3 trying to kill Japanese positions at the base of the Burns-Philp Pier. Several of these positions had been wiped out the day before and re occupied by the Japanese over the night. Colorado worked closely with a bulldozer, the tank would move in close and blast the machine gun position and then the dozer would cover it over with sand, whether the Japanese inside were dead or not.

 

  They worked out a system with the marine scouts who had led them in on the reef. The few that survived were used to scout targets for the tanks. The tankers made at least one of these scouts ride in the tank and show them were the action was from the inside at least once. The tank crews wanted to give the scouts an idea of how blind  they really were, so he could appreciate and take it into consideration while they scouted.

 

 

 

  The scouts worked out a system where they would get the tanks attention by beating on the hull with a spent 75mm shell,  because they rang like a bell, and could be heard inside the tank, and then using his rifle to indicate a target. He did this by aiming at the target, and then they would hold up fingers for how many yards away the Japanese soldiers were.  This worked well enough, but ringing the shell/bell on the hull put the ringer in danger of enemy fire.  Of course, once he got the tanks attention, if was the Japs shooting at the scout who had to be worried. These men would also drag dead and wounded marines from the path of the tank.

 

 

  When the progress on the Green beaches was noticed, it was decided to send in 1st Battalion 6th Marines and B Company 2nd Tank Battalion ashore there, B Company was made up of light tanks.  One of the first LVT’s in hit a mine on the reef and blew up, once again losing a lot of important communication gear. Due to the heavy presence of mines on the reef and beach, 1/6 diverted north, delaying the landings, but ultimately coming ashore as an intact fighting unit, the first of the invasion.

The 1/6 landings went relatively well, but the light tanks of B Company had a lot of trouble. They came in on the wrong tide, and only one platoon would make it onto the reef, only to be 700 yards from shore, and high tide coming. The rest of the of B Company was diverted Red-2, landing before 1st Platoon got onto the reef.

 

  All five M3A1 light tanks from the 1st Platoon got onto the reef, but only two would make it to land, the rest drowned in hole in the reef. The rest of the company got ashore only to lose another tank in a shell crater, leaving only two running.  The light tanks laagered in an abandoned Japanese airplane revetment and their crews dug foxholes under the tanks for the night. Crews that lost their tanks, dug in with other crews, under their tanks. At night, anything that moved got shot at, so everyone made sure they had a hole by nightfall. A few more lights from B company would arrive before nightfall, but the rest still remained offshore.

 

  As night fell on the second day, it was clear the Marines were winning, but it was also clear a whole hell of a lot of Marines had been killed. One of the infantry commanders still alive, Lieutenant Colonel David Shoup, issued a report that did not mention anything about a group of Marines being cut off holding a particular section of the island in it and concluded it with “Casualties: many. Percentage dead: unknown. Combat efficiency: we are winning. Lt, Col Shoup.”

 

 

Day 3:

 

At 0200 more B Company light tanks arrived off Red-2 and started to land and immediately started having problems. Of the first two lights ashore, one shorted out is electric system and was towed ashore by the other, only to be lost to enemy mortar fire. All through the night more B Company lights tried to get to shore. One platoon lost three out of five light tanks to drown out electrical system or other water related problems. By Morning they had five M3A1 tanks from two platoons ashore.1

 

  Later that morning 1st Battalion, 8th Marines attacked the Japanese positions at the base of the pier at the junction of Red-1/Red-2. They five light tanks supported the attack, and much like their larger cousins in C Company, the tankers found it hard to find anything to shoot at, so infantry scouts would often climb into the cramped tanks and lead them to the targets. When the targets turned out to be a pill box or bunker, it was found even firing point blank into the embrasures bunkers with little success. They found using 37mm canister rounds at point blank range, fired through an opening worked well enough. They lost a M3A1 to a Japanese soldier who dashed out and threw some kind of explosive onto the engine deck, blowing the engine up and setting the tank on fire. They lost another light to a mortar attack as well.

The light tanks would be pulled out and replaced by SPM, was an lightly armored LVT with a 75mm howitzer in a small turret. These vehicles fared little better than the light tanks.      

 

  China Gal would be called upon to help an attack reach the group of trapped marines. Elements of two companies from 1st Battalion 2nd Marines had managed to push to the center of the airfield on D-day. The Japanese figured out these marines had pushed far ahead, and attacked behind them, cutting them off. These Marines attacked to the south the next day, trying to break out while the other marines tried to fight to them. The attack to save them faltered, leaving them in the nearly 200 Marines of 1/2 still trapped, now in a 200 by 50 yard area of thick bushes and underbrush, and they were low on ammo.

 

  A little after 0800 China Gal, and the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines started an attack to relieve the trapped Marines. They also had seven more light tanks from B Company who had made it to shore helping. Major Jones, the commander of 1/6 kept tight control on the tanks, not letting any get further than 50 yards in front of the advancing gyrenes. Jones improvised a way to keep in communication with the tanks and kept one light tank back at his HQ to use its radios to control the other tanks. They attacked along a very narrow front, only about 100 yards wide. Even with the improved communications with the infantry through the use of the light tanks radios, right up at the front edge were the tanks were actually fighting, the commander of China Girl still found it necessary to open his hatch to talk to the Marines outside. To make it safer, the commander of the Sherman would rotate the turret, so his hatch was to the rear, then pop the hatch and rotate the cupola, the early split hatch commanders cupola rotated, to use one of the upright hatches to shield them from fire.

 

  The tank infantry team advanced steadily, losing no more tanks, and crossing 800 yards, they relived the cut off Marines by 1100. By this point the Marines supply lines had stabilized and a good flow of supplies was making it ashore, but one thing was not. Ammo for the M3 75mm gun was not in the cargo being sent from the ships offshore. This forced the tankers to scavenge what they could from the knocked out and drowned tanks.  The two operating M4 tanks would be reduced to firing 75mm pack howitzer ammo, it didn't seat right, and they didn’t know how it was fused, but it kept the main guns in action.

     

  Back at the junction of Red-1 and Red-2, where a large Japanese bunker complex, which included the Japanese Commanders command bunker, was still holding the Marines off. At 0930 a lucky mortar round took out one of the bunkers, causing a huge secondary explosion, this allowed Colorado to move in and knock out the other bunker guarding the main one. While the fight went on, the two B Company light tanks left in the area were used as ambulances, hauling wounded Marines back to an aid station.

 

 

  As night fell, the Jap strong point with the huge bunker still stood. The M4 was used to haul supplies up to prepare for the next mornings renewed attack. Late that night at 0400 almost 400 Japanese troops rushed the Marine lines, attacking B company 1st Battalion 6th Marines, and the Marines won the fight, but it had come down to hand to hand combat.

 

Day 4: 

 

  At 0700 on the morning of the 4th day of the battle, Navy aircraft bombed the hell out of the last of the japs holding out on the south east part of the island, a long narrow section, ending in the sea. The air attack was followed by marine artillery and naval gunfire support. One of the Pearl Harbor survivor battleships was off shore to deliver the fire. The USS Tennessee would remain offshore until December support the Marines through the mop up operation.

 

  Freshly landed, 3rd Battalion 6th Marines passed through marine lines, heading for the Japanese strong point points on the east side of the Island. Colorado, China Gal and seven light tanks led the attack. They moved in a tight formation of tanks and infantry and rolled up the Japanese troops. The fight had left the Japanese, and many committed suicide. By 1310 the Marines had 3/6 had reached the eastern end of the island. The two M4A2 tanks proved to be decisive weapons at this stage, tearing through the last of the Japanese resistance in the area.

 

 

  The last area the Japanese were still holding out in, at the junction of Red-1/2, with the big bunker, the area responsible for the majority of the Marine casualties. With only the support of a pair of SPMs the Marines finally crushed these last Japanese holdouts by 1305 when the Island was reported secure.

 

 

  The cost had been one third of the landing force becoming casualties, 1696 killed and 2101 wounded.

 

  The Marines salvaged all the M4A2’s they could and took them back to the LSD Ashland, and they were rebuilt in Hawaii and used in later battles. One M4A2 remains on Tarawa, Cecelia, no matter how hard they tried she wasn't going to come out of the shell hole, and as of 1992 she was still there, a steel monument to the Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who died taking the Betio, Tarawa Atoll.

 

tumblr_mekigv3Z7o1r9943oo1_1280.jpg

 

  The Marines learned a lot of hard lessons about using tanks at Tarawa, the biggest problem was communication with the supporting infantry units. Another big problem was the vulnerability of the tanks to water damage. It was also clear, the infantry units needed to train with the tanks they would be supported by in combat. The Marines of C Company had been thrown into combat with little training on the tanks, but still proved to be key players in the conquest of the island. The Marines would begin applying the lessons they learned, but not before their next use of the M4, this time M4A1s at Cape Gloucester, a swampy, jungle island in the Solomons, and not the best place for any tanks, but the M4 would prove it worth there as well.

 

       

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It's hard not to anthropomorphize an inanimate object like a tank when it is the five men inside working with the infantrymen around it and the commo guys behind who were the real heart and soul of the vehicle. But I wonder what happened to the actual "China Girl" tank. I'm sure the Marines who were working with it had a great deal of affection for it.

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It's hard not to anthropomorphize an inanimate object like a tank when it is the five men inside working with the infantrymen around it and the commo guys behind who were the real heart and soul of the vehicle. But I wonder what happened to the actual "China Girl" tank. I'm sure the Marines who were working with it had a great deal of affection for it.

 

Well, it's been a few years since I read Gilbers Marine tanks Battles of the Pacific, but that's what I'm using as a reference, with Tanks on the Beaches as well. If I run into what happend to her, I'll let you know. She very well could have seen action again on Eniwetok, at least that's were one of the crew members, the Company Commander, Ed  Bale, who also commanded Cecelia, until he took over China Gal.

 

China Gal implies the original Commander or one of the crew was a China Marine at one time, a rare thing since the 4th Marines died on in the Philippines at the start of the war.  

 

It really helps you take in the information when you read it then think about how to compress it down to a much shorter article.   Oscar Gilbert's books are really good reads though. 

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Read a biography on Chesty Puller, it seems that a lot of career Marines were shuffled around between different stations and units. The Chinese Embassy detail was a pretty cushy gig; albeit one that required a lot of spit-and-polish. The romanticizing of Asian, and particularly Chinese women was also a cultural phenomenon at the time. And young men of the day were no doubt familiar with "Oriental" characters from movies/novels like the Fu Manchu series.

 

But I like your hypothesis Jeeps.

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Read a biography on Chesty Puller, it seems that a lot of career Marines were shuffled around between different stations and units. The Chinese Embassy detail was a pretty cushy gig; albeit one that required a lot of spit-and-polish. The romanticizing of Asian, and particularly Chinese women was also a cultural phenomenon at the time. And young men of the day were no doubt familiar with "Oriental" characters from movies/novels like the Fu Manchu series.

 

But I like your hypothesis Jeeps.

 

I should read it again, it's been years! heh. 

 

Here's what China Girl probably looked like. 

 

Tarawa10May07_001.jpg

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Tanks a lot Jeeps. Now I have to go back and re-read 'The Corps' series by W.E.B Griffin.

 

 

Those are some of my favorite fiction of all time. Though I think the real W.E.B Griffin is dead, or so old he can't write anymore, and stopped writing the Corps Series himself by the last two books.  I've read most of his other stuff, I like the Brotherhood of War almost as much, but the rest is kinda meh. 

 

Also Mark II of this section will be a tad better, I find a nice site with info on Tarawa and it has some nice maps. Also, I can't find the Sherman on Google earth, so it's either gone on not visible in Google earths level of detail. 

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Those are some of my favorite fiction of all time. Though I think the real W.E.B Griffin is dead, or so old he can't write anymore, and stopped writing the Corps Series himself by the last two books.  I've read most of his other stuff, I like the Brotherhood of War almost as much, but the rest is kinda meh. 

 

Also Mark II of this section will be a tad better, I find a nice site with info on Tarawa and it has some nice maps. Also, I can't find the Sherman on Google earth, so it's either gone on not visible in Google earths level of detail. 

His books Counterattack and Battleground are almost directly responsible for the single best mark I ever received in High school. I wrote a 27 page essay about air power use on Guadalcanal that got me a 93 % final mark in 20th Century World History.

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His books Counterattack and Battleground are almost directly responsible for the single best mark I ever received in High school. I wrote a 27 page essay about air power use on Guadalcanal that got me a 93 % final mark in 20th Century World History.

Also, Wendell Fertig was a badass. SF before SF was cool.

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His books Counterattack and Battleground are almost directly responsible for the single best mark I ever received in High school. I wrote a 27 page essay about air power use on Guadalcanal that got me a 93 % final mark in 20th Century World History.

 

Nice, I always like Bill Dunn, and the Pickering Kid was alright, sometimes. 

 

They were part of what inspired me to start my own WWII fiction story about Marine pilots flying in the later parts of the solomons campaign.  And thats why I spent thousands of dollars on books about the campaign. 

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Also, Wendell Fertig was a badass. SF before SF was cool.

 

Yeah it's really a shame he didn't receive more official recognition for what he accomplished. But he wasn't a real soldier in in the Hudson High crowds eyes so, no general stars for him. 

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Just added this section, supplied by Priory

 

Shermans in allied use: Poles, Danes, Frogs and Reds, and Pilipino and Chinese too. Plus post war Sherman use around the world!

 

This section was done with info written by Priory_of_Sion

 

Australia:

Despite contributing many men to the Allied War effort and having more than 750 M3 Medium tanks, Australia only received a grand total of 3 M4 Shermans. The first M4 was an M4A2(75) received via the British in mid 1943. The vehicle was trialed north of Melbourne until the middle of 1944. Two more M4s, this time 2nd generation M4A1(75)s also from the British in order to compare the M4 with the Churchill in New Guinea. One of these vehicles had a composite hull. The Australians also brought their M4A2 to the trials as well. The M4A2 was fitted with steel tracks which were worn down quickly and the M4A2 was removed from the trials. The M4A1s were deemed superior to the Churchill in reliability and visibility but the Churchill’s greater slow speed maneuverability, armor, and terrain clearing properties had the Australians wanting over 500 Churchills which was later reduced to 51 by the end of the war. After the war one M4A1 was used as a target but the M4A2 and the composite hulled M4 were saved and are on display in Australia.  Source: 1

 

China:

Chinese forces aligned with the KMT received 34 M4s along with other AFVs during WWII. These saw against the Japanese in China and Burma. M4s were used by the Chinese nationalists during the Chinese Civil War against Communist forces. The PRC is not known to have operated the M4. Taiwan/RoC still operates the M36 on islands close to the mainland.

 

Cuba

 Cuban forces received 7 M4A3(76)Ws in 1957 and saw action during the Battle of Santa Clara against rebels led by Che Guevara. The rebels captured the vehicles and rode victoriously into Havana on the Shermans including one vehicle being the ride of Fidel Castro. Under Castro’s Govt. the M4s were quickly phased out of service in favor of Soviet tanks such as the T-34/85 and the T-54/55. It is believed an M4 was used by the Cuban Army against the invasion at the Bay of Pigs before being completely replaced.

Source: 1

 

Egypt:

 Egypt possessed a number of M4s from Great Britain after WWII and used at least 3 of these in the 1948 war against Israel. Egypt received more M4A4s and M4A2s from Britain after the war, but soon supplemented its armored forces with Soviet armor.

 

In the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israeli forces knocked out or captured 40 M4 mk. 3 tanks in Operation Kadesh. Just before the Suez Crisis, Egypt then a number of M4A4s converted in France adding the AMX-13’s FL-10 turret to the vehicle as well the M4A2’s GM 6-71 twin diesel engine. The gun on the FL-10 turret, the SA50, was basically the same weapon as the 75 mm gun on the Israeli M-50 “Super Shermans” At least one of these vehicles saw fighting in 1956. These M4s along with older model M4s saw fighting in the 1967 War. Around 50 of these vehicles were lost in the conflict to Israeli forces. By the 1973 War, the M4s had been entirely replaced by Soviet Armor.    Sources: 1 2

 

India:

Indian units during WWII were equipped with Sherman Vs from Lend Lease to fight in Burma. After WWII, these Sherman Vs were kept in service with the Indian Army after independence and were in use well into the 1960s. India also bought 200 M4A1E4(76)s and M4A3E4(76)s from the US in the 1950s. A number of M4s were modified with the French 75 mm CN 75-50 cannon and the Soviet 76 mm D-85 cannon. These modifications were likely done in India and acquired the guns from their own AMX-13 and PT-76 tanks.

 

Indian Shermans found their use in the 1965 War with Pakistan who also had M4s along with M48 Pattons. 332 Indian M4s were present in the conflict and helped provide support to the Centurions in the Battle of Assal Uttar which dozens of Pakistani vehicles were destroyed. M4s remained in service with the Indian Army until 1971. India also possessed a number of Sexton SPGs which were in service until the 1980s.  Sources: 1

 

Iran/Iraq:

Iran received an unknown number of M4A3(105) and M36s from the United States after WWII and were at least still in use in 1980 as Iraq had captured a number of M4s and M36s during the Iraq-Iran War. These Iranian M4s seem to be the last M4s to see combat. Iraq also captured at least a single Israeli M-50 Sherman as well during its involvement in the Israeli-Arab Wars. These do not seem to be used in either Gulf War by Iraq.  Sources: 1 2

 

Japan:

In its campaigns against enemies armed with the M4, the Japanese never seemed to have captured an intact Sherman. It wasn’t until 1954 when Japan received 254 M4A3E8s from the US in order to build up the JSDF. These M4s were replaced by the indigenous Type 61 tank during the 1960s. 

 

Nicaragua:

Nicaragua received 4 M4A1E4(105) Shermans from the United States. These were in service during the Nicaraguan Civil War in which M4s were used in Urban Warfare against the FSLN until 1979.

 

Paraguay:

Paraguay received 3 M4 VC Fireflies from Argentina in the 1970s and these were later replaced by 3 Argentinian Sherman Repotenciados armed with the French 105 mm gun along with other Argentine upgrades. It is still believed that these M4s are still in service.

 

Pakistan:

Pakistan was on the receiving end of the largest single postwar M4 purchase in which 547 M4A1E4(76)s were given to Pakistan by the United States during the 1950s. Around 300 M4s saw their fair share of combat in the Indo-Pakistan wars in both 1965 and 1971. After 1971 war the Pakistani Army retired the M4 from service.

 

Peru:

Peru received a total of 51 M4A3 Shermans from deals from the US after the Rio Pact was signed in the late 1940s. They were replaced by T-54/55s by 1978.

 

South Africa:

South African units during WWII used M4(75) as the mainstay of 6th Armored Division in the Italian Campaign. South Africa’s 6th Armored also had a number of Sherman “Fireflies” and M10 in service in Italy. These vehicles were left in Europe, but in 1946 the South African Army purchased 67 M4 1As(armed with 76 mm guns), 15 M4 1B(armed with the 105 mm), and 15 M4 1C(armed with the 17 pdr).These were eventually replaced by Comets and later Centurions as South Africa’s main battle tank. The M4 1Bs saw their service life extend into the 1970s, but the 1A and 1C were retired after being training vehicles in the late 1960s.     Source: 1

 

Syria:

Syria is to have believed to possess 51 to 52 M4 Shermans in the early 1950s. It is not believed they saw any significant combat with the Syrian Army in its wars against Israel. A picture of a turretless Syrian M4 exists and is believed to be converted from a vehicle left by the Allies after WWII, but its true designation and purpose is obscure.    Source: 1

 

Turkey:

Turkey, despite being neutral until 1945, requested for nearly 500 M4s to create 2 armored divisions in 1943. Turkey did receive 34 M4s that were no longer fit for service, but 25 of which were integrated into two armored  brigades after supposed maintenance in 1943.     Source: 1

 

Uganda:

In 1969 Uganda purchased 12 M4A1(76)W tanks from Israel with slight modifications such as smoke dischargers and a new radio, soon before Idi Amin took over the Ugandan govt. These were the first armor to see service ever in Uganda and were used as a propaganda tool of Amin’s regime. It is believed some of these M4s saw combat in Uganda’s invasion of Tanzania which M4A1s and T-34/85s led the Ugandan Army, but were beaten by the Tanzanians which had Type 59s.. In the conflict the M4s went months without maintenance and nearly half of the original 12 vehicles were likely lost in combat. After the war, and the overthrow of Amin, an M4A1 was used in General Tito Okello’s coup of Uganda, and a reported 3 were in possession of the Army in 1999.    Source: 1 2

 

Yugoslavia:

During WWII, the Balkans saw intense combat between the Yugoslav Partisans and the Axis powers and their puppets. As Tito gained enough power and prestige to be recognized as the true leader of Yugoslav resistance. After the war the defiant Tito withdrew from the USSR’s influence and acquired American vehicles, including the M4A3E4 which were originally fitted with the M3 75 mm gun but were retrofitted with the M1A1 76 mm gun. This gave the Yugoslavian M4s an appearance of being “fireflies” which they were not.

 

Yugoslavia also attempted to use the M4 to develop their own vehicles. The first attempt was the M-634 which mated the M4 with the T-34’s V-2 diesel engine. This project, codenamed “Violin” was initiated in 1956 and saw a limited production of 5 vehicles . Many minor issues plagued the project which lumbered on and spawned side projects such as an upgunned M4, a bridge-layer, and an armored dozer. The M-634’s V-2 was marginally better than the original Ford GAA, but the project was cancelled in 1966 as the effort seemed to be a drain on time and energy. The proposed upgunned M-634 was given the designation SO-122 as it was armed with the Soviet A-19 122 mm cannon, which was used on the IS series of tanks as the D-25T. The SO-122 was completed in 1961 and tested the following year. It was originally developed as a tank destroyer, but as tests revealed the A-19 lacked the penetration of the D-10 100 mm gun, the SO-122 was regarded as a infantry supporting SPG. It only had 2 degrees of gun depression and 10 degrees of elevation which limited its utility such as lacking the ability to fire indirectly. It was able to reach speeds of 42 to 50 km/h with the V-2R engine. The SO-122’s turret was highly modified to fit the A-19 with up to 30 round of 122 mm ammo and a gunsight taken from the Su-100. The bow machine gun was removed from the SO-122 to make room for more ammo. The total weight of the vehicle was 33.5 tons. 96 SO-122s were planned but the project was cancelled alongside the M-634 and scrapped. Another SO-122 project existed which sought to place the M-38 122 mm howitzer onto a turretless M4, this never made it past the prototype stage.

 

Yugoslavia used other variants of the M4 such as the M36, the M36B1, and M32B1. An interesting project the Yugoslavs did with the M36 was they attempted to mate the M36 with the T-54’s V-55 engine, much in the same way the M-634 was created. This saw limited production. The M36s continued to see service with Yugoslav forces until its dissolution. Many factions used M36s during the 1990s conflict in former Yugoslavia.   Source: 1 2

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So I was just searching on the M4 Sherman I ran into this. I hadn't seen these images before. 

 

1413193899738_Image_galleryImage__MANDAT

 

1413199464939_wps_55_MANDATORY_BYLINE_PI

These were lost when the ship they were on was sunk in september of 1944. These are M4A1 76 W tanks, and note how the engine deck plates are cracked and crushed in on the first pic. They must have bounced off each other as they fell out of the hold. 

 

Anyway, here's the story. 

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So I was just searching on the M4 Sherman I ran into this. I hadn't seen these images before. 

 

1413193899738_Image_galleryImage__MANDAT

 

1413199464939_wps_55_MANDATORY_BYLINE_PI

These were lost when the ship they were on was sunk in september of 1944. These are M4A1 76 W tanks, and note how the engine deck plates are cracked and crushed in on the first pic. They must have bounced off each other as they fell out of the hold. 

 

Anyway, here's the story. 

I'll take "pictures that make me sad" for $500, Alex..

 

Wonder if they'd be annoyed if someone went and fished up those M4's..

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I'll take "pictures that make me sad" for $500, Alex..

 

Wonder if they'd be annoyed if someone went and fished up those M4's..

 

 

It is a little sad, but it's also a pretty cool artificial reef.  Though I think they said 67 meters and I think that's a bit deep for most normal SCUBA people. 

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