Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Sherman Tank

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a movie called "Fury".  It stars Brad Pitt and is about a Sherman tank crew towards the end of the war.   It was a pretty good movie but a little graphic.  The language was pretty colorful but then again, if I were a Sherman crew that survived to that part of the war, the last thing I would care about is my language.
 As a result, I've been wanting to take pictures of my diecast Sherman.
 The M4 Sherman was designed by the US Army Ordnance Department as a replacement for the M3 Lee Medium tank.  The main difference between the Sherman and Lee was that the Sherman's main gun was mounted in a fully traversing turret versus the side mounted one on the Lee.  It was also equipped with a gyrostabilizer giving the crew a reasonable chance of accurately firing the gun on the move.  Design work began in 1940.
 The first tank rolled off the Lima Locomotive Works and was given to the Americans for evaluation.  Subsequent tanks were sold to the British.
 The initial Shermans were powered by gasoline engines.  This proved to be a vulnerability early in the war, so some models were switched to diesel engines.
 The Sherman fared pretty well against the earlier German tanks but not so well against the later model Tiger and Panther tanks.  The Shermans had to close distance with the Tigers and Panthers in order to penetrate their armor.
 This fact caused the Sherman leaders to use mass tactics.  A couple Shermans would have to distract the Germans while others came in to flank the enemy.  This was not good for the men who crewed the tank.  Still, it wasn't a bad tank because it was fairly reliable and could easily repaired.
By the end of the war, almost 50,000 Shermans were produced.  They saw service in the US Army and the armies of many of our Allies.

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