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Medium Tank M4A2E1
The Medium Tank M4A2E1 was a version of the Sherman tank that was powered by a General Motors engine developed from a marine diesel engine.
The General Motors 16-184A was a vertical four bank 16 cylinder marine diesel engine, produced for use in US Navy 110ft submarine chasers. The V8-184 was developed by GM as a private project, and was basically half of the 16-184A. It was a water cooled V-8 engine that provided 600 gross HP at 1,800rpm.
In September 1943 the Ordnance Committee decided to order the V8-184 and install it in a medium tank. Two engines had been delivered by February 1944, and one was installed in an M4A3. This required another 11in to be added to the back of the tank, and the type had a sloped rear plate.
The prototype underwent tests at the Aberdeen Proving Ground between May 1944 and March 1945. It gained the M4A2E1 designation on 20 July 1944, during these tests.
The new engine performed well. It had a high power to weight ratio, and gave the M4A2E1 much better performance than the standard Sherman. During the tests the tank drove 2,914 miles without any serious problems. At the end of the trials it was suggested that more research should be carried out into the use of two stroke diesel engines in tanks, while the 16-184A marine engine was considered for use in heavy tanks.
Medium Assault Tank for the British
When the British Military Mission arrived in the United States in late 1940, they expected production of British tanks to begin in American factories. The plan was to repeat the situation in WWI, where the USA built British and French designs. However, in the 20 years that passed the USA turned into a powerful industrial nation, which could develop weapons that were, at the very least, no worse than British ones. The idea to produce British tanks was declined, which didn't stop the British from ordering the Grant I, a British take on the American Medium Tank M3. Special assault tanks were also ordered by the British. Let's take a look at the Assault Tank T14 and its companion, the A33 Excelsior.
An alternative to the Excelsior
As you know, the British had three types of tanks during WWII: light, cruisers, and infantry tanks. Production of light tanks ceased pretty quickly. Cruiser tanks were very mobile, but protection was poor. As a result, they were vulnerable to even light antitank guns (37-50 mm in caliber). Infantry tanks were the opposite: protection was key at expense of mobility. Infantry tanks were meant for battlefields similar to those seen in WWI.
Fighting in France showed that the concept of the infantry tank was a mistake. The Germans quickly found a way to deal with the Infantry Tank Mk.I and even the superior Infantry Tank Mk.II. The latter, better known as the Matilda, was rehabilitated in North Africa during Operation Compass, where they could fight without fear. This streak of good luck ended in the summer of 1941, when full scale combat against the German Africa Corps began. The issue was not just in the better training of the German forces compared to the Italians, but better anti-tank weapons. With a top speed of 20-25 kph, infantry tanks made an excellent target on open terrain. This was also true for the Valentine tank, which made its debut in the second half of 1941.A33 Excelsior assault tank, the British analogue of the T14. The first prototype had the same running gear as the T14
Of course, the British military didn't sit still. Having analyzed the experience in battle, they came to the conclusion that one of the greatest issues with infantry tanks was their low mobility. Of course, production of infantry tanks didn't stop, and a third infantry tank, the Churchill, still entered production. However, work on an alternative began. This tank was supposed to combine the best qualities of cruiser and infantry tanks: thick armour and good mobility. It is not surprising that the newest cruiser tank, the A27 or Cromwell, was taken as the starting point.
Several assault tanks on the Cromwell chassis were considered in 1941-42. The A33 developed by English Electric was chosen. This tank, known as the Excelsior, was the only one built in metal. American influence was already felt at this point. The suspension and tracks of the Heavy Tank T1, better known as the Heavy Tank M6, were used. In addition to using a tried and true solution, the British also improved parts commonality, as shipments of the M6 were expected through Lend Lease.The first Assault Tank T14 prototype, ALCo factory, summer of 1943
The use of the Heavy Tank T1 running gear elements was just the beginning of the Anglo-American cooperation on assault tanks. Negotiations between the British Tank Mission and the American Ordnance Committee to conduct joint development of an assault tank began in 1942. The British decided to have a backup plan. They had more than enough cause to be worried: the A27 program was stalling, not to mention the assault tank on its chassis. The capacity of British tank industry was also not limitless, and the Americans would have been unlikely to agree to produce a British design.
The result was to develop an analogue to the A33 on the chassis of the American Medium Tank M4. Unlike the Medium Tank M3, this tank had its main gun in the turret, and its characteristics surpassed those of British tanks. A meeting between representatives of the British Tank Mission, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and the Ordnance Committee was held on March 30th, 1942. A final decision was made regarding the development of an assault tank. Two prototypes each of the A33 and the American analogue would be built and tested jointly. The British would then pick the vehicle that suits them the most.
A heavy tank from a medium one
The development of an American analogue of the A33 was given to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The Ordnance Committee gave this tank the index T14 in May of 1942. This was not an easy task. The increased mass meant that the suspension of the Medium Tank M4 could not be reused as is. None of the existing engines were acceptable, as the tank needed not just armour, but mobility. A top speed of 24 miles (38.5 kph) per hour was required, and the requirements for armour resulted in a mass increase of about 15 tons. The Medium Tank M4 had to be seriously reworked.The tank turned out to be significantly lower than the Medium Tank M4. The height of the T14 was just under 2.5 m
A draft of the Assault Tank T14 project was prepared by APG in June of 1942. The initial proposal used leaf springs in bogeys similar to those used by the M4. The Ford GAA, used to power the M4A3, was the most suitable engine. However, it was not powerful enough, and the proposal included supercharging it to 520 hp. This variant was called Ford GAZ. The APG also proposed to later replace it with a V12 engine, which was not yet available.
The transmission was taken from the M4, but altered to support the more powerful engine and heavier mass. The hull and turret changed significantly. The A33 used the hull of the Cromwell as a starting point, but American designers acted differently. The T14 hull was longer, wider, and lower. This was essentially a new tank that used some components of the M4. American engineers approached the task of improving armour very rationally. Instead of just slapping more armour all around, the increase in protection came from sloping of the armour. The thickness of the front plate was the same as that of the M4 (51 mm), but it was sloped at 60 degrees from vertical. The greatest increase in mass came from better protected sides. The upper sides became 51 mm thick and sloped at 30 degrees. The running gear was protected with skirt armour. The total thickness was 76 mm. The thickest part of the hull was the transmission cover: 102 mm. The bow machine gun mount, driver and assistant driver's hatches, and engine compartment changed drastically.The final variant of the T14 used tracks and road wheels from the Heavy Tank M6
The turret was also significantly altered. The turret ring remained the same, but the turret became much larger. This was due to much thicker armour (102 mm instead of 76) and some vagueness regarding armament. The initial plan was to give the tank a 75 mm gun, but an alternative option, a 105 mm howitzer, was introduced in July of 1942. A 90 mm gun with AA ballistics was also considered as an option. The ideas of additional guns remained on paper, but still led to a larger turret, which resulted in increased mass.The tank was powered by a 520 hp Ford GAZ (supercharged Ford GAV) engine
The level of interest that the British took in this tank is highlighted by the fact that plans were made in May of 1942 to order 8500 of them. The Americans themselves were sceptical. They did not expect the American army to need such a tank. The Assault Tank T14 was being built exclusively for British needs. Meanwhile, the design kept changing, and was only approved in April of 1943. The running gear changed significantly in the meantime. The road wheels and suspension came from the Heavy Tank M6 (T1 in documents). Instead of a Browning M2HB, the more usual M1919A4 was used, but with a sight that American tanks did not have. The AA gun was also replaced with an M1919A4. The approach to building the hulls changed as well: the prototypes would have welded hulls, but the production tanks would have cast hulls.
Reinforcement without success
Aberdeen Proving Grounds was no longer alone in its work on the Assault Tank T14 as of June 1942. The American Locomotive Factory (ALCo) was selected as the contractor for production of the tank. This was not new to them: ALCo was already involved in M4A2 production, with the first tanks coming off the assembly lines in September of 1942. ALCo was also responsible for putting the finishing touches on the project. Due to various corrections made to the T14 project, ALCo would begin production by the start of the summer of 1943. Work on the A33 was also moving slowly: English Electric assembled the first prototype on November 11th, 1943, half a year later.The first prototype of the Assault Tank T14 at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, August 2nd, 1943
The final mass of the T14 was just over 42.6 tons. This was 2 tons more than the A33, but recall that the ancestor of the A33 was 3 tons lighter than the M4. The power to weight ratio was 12.2 hp/ton, an acceptable result considering the increase in protection. The ammunition capacity was a little less than on the M4: 90 75 mm rounds and 9000 machine gun rounds. A British 2» bomb thrower was fitted in the roof of the turret with 12 rounds stored on board. Since the tank was built for the British, it had a British radio: the Wireless Set No.19, a typical British tank radio of the era. There was also a British style storage bin behind the turret bustle.A storage bin behind the turret bustle, a typical feature of British tanks
The Assault Tank T14 with registration number 3062372 arrived at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds on July 29th, 1943, after having gone through factory trials. The tank had already driven for 160 km. The second prototype arrived a month later, August 26th, with 133 km on the dial. Despite initial plans, the tank was not sent to the UK immediately, but was first subjected to tests at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The first tank travelled for 562 km, the second for 770 km.In addition to the cannon and machine guns, the T14 had a bomb thrower in the left side of the turret
The tank attained a top speed of 38.5 kph on a concrete highway. This was a good performance, but a rare achievement on the tank's part. The trials of the T14 turned into an ordeal. Problems with the running gear and drivetrain began as soon as the tank left the highway. 14-hour off-road trials that had to be stopped after just 5 hours are a good example. The road wheels which successfully supported the weight of the M6 were quickly deformed on the lighter vehicle. The tracks also gave big problems. Trials showed that the tracks slip off easily, especially on soft soil. Putting them back on was very difficult. The front of the tank became covered in mud during driving. The front mudguards were changed on the first prototype to help with this.Condition of the road wheels after driving for only 5 hours off-road
There were complaints not just about the running gear, but also the armament. The bow gun mount had many issues. It was impossible to remove without taking off the sight. The bulge to accommodate the bow gun weakened the front armour significantly. The poor design of the bow gun mount also threatened to injure the assistant driver long before he arrived at the battlefield. The ventilation system was also heavily criticized. Gunnery trials showed that a significant amount of fumes gathered inside the tank while shooting, to the point where it was impossible to remain inside, a curious result considering the presence of two exhaust fans. Complaints about the sights were also made, and the ammunition racks also received reviews that were far from favourable.Slipping tracks were a common phenomenon when it came to the T14
Trials ended on November 15th, 1943, and resulted in an unfavourable verdict. The testers deemed the design to be unsuccessful. 2000 mile reliability trials were ended prematurely due to a large amount of issues with both tanks. Improvements were constantly being made during the trials, but they did not help much. The first prototype was sent to Fort Knox where additional trials were performed. The tank later returned to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, where it was scrapped in the early 1950s. The second prototype was luckier. After repairs, it was sent to the UK in December of 1943. The customers also turned out to be unhappy with the tank. However, the A33 suffered from the same issues. Even the use of a different suspension on the second prototype didn't achieve good results.The last photo of the first T14. Many tanks at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds were scrapped in the early 1950s, including this one
Officially, the Assault Tank T14 program was closed on December 14th, 1944, but in reality work stopped much sooner. The idea of an assault tank proved unsuccessful, at least in the British view. The British weren't particularly disappointed. The Churchill, which was going to be replaced by either the A33 or T14, turned out to be a much better tank and fought until the end of the war. As for the Americans, they came at the problem from another angle, creating the Medium Tank M4A3E2, a Medium Tank M4A3 with improved armour. This tank was successfully used in 1944-45. As for the second prototype of the T14, it is now in storage at the Bovington Tank Museum. It stands next to its companion in misfortune, the second A33 prototype.
Translated by Peter Samsonov. Read more interesting tank articles on his blog Tank Archives.
Armament [ edit | edit source ]
The M4A3E2 76mm features a 76mm Gun M1 for its main cannon, this gun is capable of engaging enemy heavy, medium, and light armor. The 76mm Gun can penetrate the frontal armor of a Tiger I. This is also true for the frontal armor of the Panther. Both AP and HE shells are available for use, with HE being more effective against infantry with its large splash damage.
The M4 also features two Browning M1919 machine guns, one mounted on the hull and controlled by the Tank Driver, and the other is fixed onto the turret, which is controlled by the Tank Gunner. They have an ammo capacity of 200 rounds before needing to reload with a total of 5 boxes of ammo, allowing you to put a steady barrage of suppressive fire on enemy infantry.
8 thoughts on &ldquo M4A3E8 Thunderbolt VII – American Premium Medium – Full Stats & Armour &rdquo
Finally. Can’t wait for a release. Since it is fully textured probably will be soon.
Ok, WG, finally you deserve my congrats. This Ace Tank series is a great idea. I want this tank in my garage for sure. And I will be waiting for the others.
This tank would be more appropriate as a tier 7 with special matchmaking i think.
I guess we will have more fun with it as a tier 6… yeah tier 6 its great, thats where that armor really can work, when i first saw it i though… hummm is this possible the M4 90V? There is supposed to be a Sherman with the 90mm M3 with T26 turret.
It’s not gonna be a tier 7. It has less Hit Points than the upcoming tier7 lights.
I kinda agree on that, it seems a bit better than the regular M4s at tier 6, I’ve made a comment with most of the differences in the facebook post. Unfortunately wargamming said there are not going to do any more tanks with special matchmaking, so… I think this idea is a no go… they probably need to nerf it a bit. But I could be wrong, these are only initial stats, wait and see…
Task Force DOLVINLTC Welborn G. “Tom” Dolvin, USMA 1939. LTC Dolvin, a WWII veteran of the 191st Tank Battalion was already experienced against the North Koreans having led the 25th ID’s breakout from the Pusan Perimeter in September 1950.
L ieutenant Colonel (LTC) Welborn G. “Tom” Dolvin, a World War II European Theater combat veteran, was playing golf at Fort Benning, Georgia on 12 July 1950 when a messenger arrived with orders changing his assignment from Austria to Japan. He was to command the Eighth Army’s 8072nd Army Unit (AU), Medium Tank Battalion in Japan. A week later, LTC Dolvin arrived in Japan and discovered that his battalion contained six officers and sixty-five enlisted men from Eighth Army and nine officers and one hundred and forty-six enlisted men from 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Its primary fighting strength was three medium tank companies one company (seventeen tanks) was equipped with M26 Pershings (90 mm main gun) the other two (thirty-four tanks) with M4A3E8 Shermans (76 mm main gun). Supplementing the battalion’s fire power was an assault gun platoon with three M45 105 mm howitzer tanks. A variety of other wheeled and tracked vehicles such as M39 Armored Utility Vehicles and M3 (Scout Car) and M4A1 (81 mm Mortar Carrier) halftracks supported all other combat elements.
On 31 July 1950, the battalion was not all together. One company was in Pusan. The remainder were spread from Camp Drake (Tokyo) to Masan, Korea. Only a portion of assigned personnel and equipment were ready for combat. By 4 August 1950, the 8072nd AU MTB reassembled in Pusan and three days later became the 89th Medium Tank Battalion. With redesignation came reorganization. Unlike tank battalions in the 1950s infantry divisions, the 89th would be organized like a World War II MTB with four tank companies instead of three . 1 This allowed Dolvin to train his one company of Pershings and three companies of Shermans in a secure area while rotating them in and out of the line for rest and maintenance . 2
1 Arthur W. Connor, Jr., “The Armor Debacle in Korea, 1950: Implications for Today.” Parameters, Summer 1992, 72. www.usamhi.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/1992/1992%20connor.pdf .
2 Connor, “The Armor Debacle in Korea, 1950,” 73.
There were two TF DOLVINs. TF DOLVIN I spearheaded the 25th ID’s breakout from the Pusan Perimeter to secure the southwest portion of Korea from Chinju to Hamyang and Namwon (26 to 30 September 1950) . 3 TF DOLVIN II led the 25th ID drive north to the Yalu River. TF DOLVIN II had these elements:
3 Roy E. Appleman, The United States Army in the Korean War. South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu (June-November 1950), (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History Department of the Army, 1961), 579.
- B Company (-), 89th Medium Tank Battalion (MTB) (M4A3E8) with the 8213th (Eighth Army) Ranger Company attached
- E Company, 27th Infantry Regiment with the 89th MTB Assault Gun Platoon attached
- B Company, 35th Infantry Regiment with 1st Platoon, B Company, 89th MTB attached
- 25th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Company
- Reconnaissance Platoon, 89th MTB 4
4 TF DOLVIN II was the result of 25th ID Operations Order 15 dated 21 November 1950. Robert W. Black, Rangers in Korea (New York: Ivy Books, 1989), 31.Major General William B. Kean commanded the 25th Infantry Division from the start of the Korean War on 25 June 1950 through Operation RIPPER on 5 March 1951.
After supporting the Eighth Army Ranger Company’s attacks on Hills 222 and 205, TF DOLVIN II remained intact until after the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) Second Phase Offensive on the night of 25-26 November 1950. Concerned that the CCF would initiate an attack directed at the 25th ID’s center, the division commander, Major General (MG) William B. Kean, made two significant decisions. First, he cancelled plans to continue the advance northward on the morning of 26 November 1950 and second, he created Task Force WILSON under command of Brigadier General (BG) Vennard Wilson, the assistant division commander. TF WILSON merged the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry and all TF DOLVIN II elements except the Rangers (who became the 25th ID security force). LTC Dolvin later became Chief of Staff of the 25th ID until late 1951 when he was reassigned to the Office of the Chief of Research and Development, U.S. Army in Washington.
89th Medium Tank BattalionM26 Pershing Tank. Held over from WWII for service in Korea, the Pershing’s age contributed to its numerous mechanical problems. It was eventually replaced by the M46 Patton Tank beginning in 1951. M4A3E8. Nicknamed the “Easy Eight”, this tank was the improved version of WWII’s M4 Sherman. Armed with a 76 mm main gun, it was also replaced by the M46 Patton. M45 Howitzer Tank. This was a 105 mm howitzer mounted in the turret and hull of an M26 Pershing chassis. It was found in the assault gun platoon of the Medium Tank Battalion.
25th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Company
Medium Tank M4A2E1 - History
For those who have been playing WoT for a while should recognize the name "T23". The T23 was a tier 8 American Medium before the M46 and M48. Ever since the removal of the T23 there has been a lot of player support to reinstate the T23 as a higher tier American Premium.
There is a problem with that though, beyond the fact WG has no current plans for it. As you should know premium vehicles are usually kept exactly as they were/suppose to be in real life. The T23, as it was in real life, would be terrible as anything over tier 6.
The T23 was developed in 1943 and at the time was a perfectly fine tank. It was equipped with the M1A1 76 mm gun and had 500 gross horsepower. The first pilot T23 was fitted with a quickly produced cast turret, the next couple of pilots came with the same turret as the T20(stock turret in WoT), and the last pilots and the production series of T23 were equipped with a new turret(used in the later M4 Shermans).
The T23 itself is not a suitable candidate for tier 7 or 8 primarily due to the gun. A premium T23 or T23E3 wouldn't be more/less an M4A3E8 with less RoF and a higher top speed. The T23/T23E3 would be a good tier 6 premium, at tier 7 it is a stock T20 with better turning while being outgunned by most tier 6 tanks, at tier 8 it would be simply fodder.
Now in July 1943 the T23E3 was to be accepted into service as the M27. The damned Army's bureaucracy ruined the proposed M27. If it did see production the M27 would bring firepower to the US that wasn't seen until late 1944 in the form of 76 mm armed Shermans. The T23 chassis was later developed and worked with and formed the basis of the M26 Pershing(T25 Medium Tank).
If you really wanted the T23 as it was back in the game you would need it to be a researchable vehicle. I'd personally call it the T23E3 or the M27 to be more accurate. To my understanding WG gives tanks some leeway if they didn't see production and modifies them hypothetically as they add on non-historical modules(they do this to all the nations by the way, ), but the hypothetical upgrades are logical if that vehicle was developed for a longer length of time. So if re-introduced, the T23E3/M27 could be armed with the M3 90 mm gun or even the T54 90 mm gun(same ballistics as the T15 90 mm guns in a smaller package), it could even mount a larger/more powerful engine like the old tier 8 T23 did.
This T23E3/M27 with logical and hypothetical improvements would be a great tier 7 or 8 vehicle in an alternative American medium line. There is an abundance of other American medium tanks out there and it could easily be done to create a new line. Hopefully one day the T23 will come back to WoT either as a tier 6 premium or as a higher tier vehicle in a new American medium line.
Now for those disappointed that the good ole T23 would be back as a tier 7/8 premium, cheer up. As I said in the last paragraph, the US has an abundance of medium tanks and any could fill the void of a higher tier premium tank that acts as a true medium(The T26E4 is a medium in name only). I can list about half-a-dozen off the top of my head, however I don't want to spoil any future articles.
most armored vehicles used woven brass flex conduit with a "garden hose" fitting soldered on the end. the electrical connection was usually a bakelight connector with very small set screws for the wire. and a slide fitting over the set screw section.
(Alternate History) - M6A2E8 Liberty II Heavy Tank
The M6A2E8 Liberty II heavy tank. The Liberty II was designed in August of 1941 when the Department of War called for a heavy breakthrough vehicle to support the M3 Lee medium tank, and later the M4A1 Sherman medium tank, Stuart light tanks, and infantry. Similar to how the German Army would later use the Tiger heavy tank, the new U.S. doctrine, which was adopted in early 1939, called for the vehicle to be used to create armored breakthroughs, where light tanks and infantry, supported by medium/infantry tanks, would exploit those breakthroughs. These tactics became common, and even standard, during the interwar period of the 1920s and 30s with the breakthrough tanks being the British Mark tanks, while infantry would be supported by tanks such as the Whippet medium and FT-17 light tanks. The vehicle that was initially submitted to fill this role for the was the Heavy Tank M6, submitted in 1939, but the U.S. Army found that the M6 was unsatisfactory.
This lead to the Liberty II, which was based on the original M6 (evident by its designation). The tank, named the Heavy Tank T2, was a redesigned M6 hull mated with a prototype HVSS suspension system, a prelude to the later HVSS suspension used on the M4A1E8, M4A2E8, and M4A3E8 variants of the Sherman series. The initial variant, designated the T2E1, kept the same turret as on the M6 but was moved slightly forward. Two of these prototypes were built in March of 1942 and saw heavy combat in Tunisia as part of the Allied counter to the German/Italian North African Campaign. German tanks could not counter the tank with anything but Flak 88 emplacements used in the anti-tank role, as well as the Tiger once it entered service in 1942. By this point, the U.S. Army gave it the designation and name M6A2E8 Liberty II, a reference to the Mark VIII Liberty Tank. Three more were built and all five served at one point or another. In 1944, the Liberty II was upgraded with an improved G-200 radial engine (G-200A) and the up-armored T23 turret from the M4A3E2 Sherman "Jumbo." The turret remained in the same position. This is when the issue of turret placement arose. Until the problem could be fully resolved, the upgraded concept entered service in 1944 and supplemented the mass of Allied tanks in Europe at the time, as well as in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO), but only in small numbers until the turret issue could be ironed out. The Liberty II kept the same 76mm M7 cannon as used on the initial model, as well as the M6 heavy tank and M10 tank destroyer (currently in service at the time as well), but had the 37mm M6 cannon removed because of the turret change. The tank kept the M7 due to the newer, and better, 76mm M1 cannon being needed to upgrade the armament of the 75mm-armed Shermans. The M7 was found to still be an effective cannon and was kept on the tank. The 1944 concept was also fitted with the same HVSS as used on the M4A3E8 Sherman.
By the end of the war, the issues with the turret placement had been fixed. The engine was slightly reduced in size, although retaining the same power. The turret was moved back a few inches, which also gave the crew better comfort inside the tank. With these issues fixed, the M6A2E8 finally left the prototype stage and entered full-scale production for five years, starting in mid-1945 and ending in February 1950. The tank was also fitted with the 76mm M1A2 cannon, which was now in surplus with the production of the M4A3E8. The "Easy Eight" Sherman and Liberty II were the most numerous tank models in the U.S. Army by the start of the Korean War, followed by the M36 "Jackson", M18 Hellcat, and M10 "Wolverine" tank destroyers and the M24 Chaffee light tank. During the Korea War, the tank had tremendous success and crews enjoyed the tank more than they did during the Second World War. As the United Nations armored forces barely faced comparable heavy tanks, typically facing North Korean and Chinese T-34-85s, the tank appeared to be more successful. Infantry liked the tank when used in the infantry support role as well because it provided armor the Army lacked when the M4A3E2 was retired and armor that the M4A3E8s lacked, as well as having greater anti-infantry capability when compared to other Allied tanks due to the addition of a hull-mounted Browning M2 duel-mount and the pintle-mounted M2 standard on American tanks. In extreme cases, both the M4A3E8 and M6A2E8 would be fitted with a faster firing M2, the Browning M3, replacing the pintle-mounted M2, but this was rare as the majority of M3s were needed for aircraft. Seeing such success, the M4A2E8 served in the United States Army and Marine Corps until 1957, when both the Liberty II and M4 Sherman family were retired, as well as remaining in JGSDF reserve units until the mid-1960s and seeing heavy use in every Israeli war since the country received them. Some M6A2E8s were sold to third-world countries, but most were destroyed with a few being auctioned as legal, civilian-own surplus vehicles. Brazil is the only known country to still operate the Liberty II, with about ten in reserve storage and are shown often during military parades. There are now considered light infantry support vehicles in the Brazilian Army.
Type - Heavy tank
Place of origin - United States
In service - 1942-1957 (United States)
1957-1970s (Other countries)
Used by - United States Army
United States Marine Corps
Free French forces (Supplied by the U.S.)
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (post-WWII, supplied by the U.S.)
Nazi Germany, Wehrmacht (captured vehicles only)
Wars - World War II
Designer - U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
Manufacturer - Baldwin Locomotive, Detroit Tank Arsenal (Mostly Baldwin Locomotive due to Sherman production)
No. built - About 10,000
Variants - 3
Weight - 123,050-126,000 lb (55.82-57.20 metric tons) depending on variant
Length - 27 ft 8 in (8.43 m) gun forward
Width - 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m) over track armor
Height - 9 ft 8 in (2.98 m) to turret roof
Crew - 6 (commander, gunner, driver, assistant driver, loader, assistant loader)
Main armament - 1 × 3in (76.2 mm) gun M7 (75 rounds)
1 × 76mm gun M1A2 (75 rounds)
1 × 37mm (1.46 in) gun M6 (202 rounds) [initial model only]
Secondary armament - 3 × .50 cal (12.7呟mm) Browning M2HB machine guns, two hull, one pintle (turret) (10,350 rounds)
1 × .50 cal (12.7呟mm) Browning M3M machine gun, pintle-mounted (turret) [hull duel mount remains]
1 × .30 cal (7.62吻mm) Browning M1919A4 machine gun one fixed (bow)
Engine - 1,823 in 3 (29.88 L) Wright G-200 9-cylinder gasoline (825 hp at 2,300 rpm)
Wright G-200A 9-cylinder gasoline (1,000 hp at 2,300 rpm)
Power/weight - About 15.7 hp/tonne
Transmission - Spicer manual synchromesh transmission, 5 forward and 1 reverse gears
Suspension - Horizontal volute spring
Ground clearance - 20.5 in (52 cm)
Fuel capacity - 480 U.S. gallons (1,817 L)
Operational Range - 110 miles (160 km)
Armor type - Cast homogeneous armor (Front, transmission area, turret)
Rolled homogeneous armor (Front, Side, Rear, Roof)
Front - 82.5mm (5-35°)
Transmission - 101.6mm (5-35°)
M4A3E2 Sherman “Jumbo” Tank – Camp Ripley, MN
Jumbo Sherman Tank located at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, MN. Pictures taken in 10/13/2010. Author: Unknown.
This Jumbo Sherman tank is displayed in the outdoor area of the Minnesota Military Museum on the grounds of the National Guard’s Camp Ripley near Little Falls, MN. The museum is a must see both for the many outside displays of tanks, weapons, vehicles and aircraft, but for the indoor displays of uniforms, weapons and artifacts highlighting US military history from the early frontier days to present day.
The information sign reads:
“Jumbo” Sherman Assault Tank (M4A3E2)
The M4 tank, known as the “Sherman”, was the most common tank used by U.S. forces in World War II. There were many models and variations in the M4 series. The M4A3E2 displayed here was built in June 1944 to provide close infantry support in the Normandy campaign. Additional armour was welded to all frontal surfaces, turret, sideplates and hull top of the M4A3 medium tank in order to create a heavy assault tank. It weighed 10 tons more than the standard M4A3, and, as a result, was nicknamed “Jumbo”. They were able to absorb hits that would have destroyed standard Shermans and they were popular as lead tanks in an attack or column.
Only 254 Jumbos were built and only a few still exist. This particular M4A3E2 was shipped to Camp Ripley after the war and was used for training until 1959.
Technical data: Crew of 5 75mm M3 gun plus three mounted machineguns Weight 42 tons Top speed 22mph Maximum grade ability 60% Ford V-8 1,100 cubic in. engine of 450hp @2600 rpm Cruising range under average conditions was 100 miles .06 mpg
Restoration in 1986 by members of 747th Maintenance Bn, Camp Ripley
Located at Minnesota Military Museum on grounds of Camp Ripley, open to the public year round with limited hours and days in winter.
VEHICLE NOMENCLATURE – USA
In America a much more rational designation system was used. In the project, design, and development stages, a vehicle was given a designation in the T series (best remembered as T for Test). Thus a vehicle might be designated T89. Any experimental modification was indicated by a suffix in the E series (E for Experimental). Thus T1E1, T25E1, or T20E3, in the latter case the ” indicating the third experimental modification. “T” numbers were normally allocated chronologically. When fully accepted for service by the using arms, the vehicle was “standardised” and given a designation in the M series. Thus M6 or M8. It was not usual for the M number to bear any relation to the original T designation, but towards the end of the war there was a change in favour of this in an attempt to avoid confusion. Thus the Light Tank T24 became the M24 on standardisation, for example. In rare instances a design was standardised from the “drawing board” and never received a T designation an example was the Medium Tank M3. There were also many instances where vehicles were put into limited production and service before being standardised, and in some cases they never achieved the status of standardisation -an example being the T23 medium tank.
At this stage it must be emphasised that this system of designation was used for every item of military equipment in the US Army, so that it was possible to have an M3 Medium tank, an M3 Light tank, an M3 gun mount, an M3 rifle, an M3 flame-gun, an M3 gun sight and so on. Thus it was normal practice to qualify each item by its full title. Strictly speaking, therefore, it is necessary to say Light Tank M3 to distinguish it from Medium Tank M3 and so on, was indicated by an “A” suffix. An example of this is seen clearly in the Medium Tank M4 series, where engine and other changes gave rise to the M4A1, M4A2, M4A3 etc. Modifications confined to the chassis only were indicated by a “B” series suffix. An example arises in M7 howitzer motor carriage development. The M7 was based on the M3 medium tank chassis, and the same design based on the M4A3 chassis became the M7B2. Had yet another chassis been used subsequently, the designation would have been M7B2, and so on. The “E” series suffix was rarely retained when a design was standardised, but there were exceptions, one such being Assault Tank M4A3E2. It should be borne in mind that any special purpose equipment carried on American tanks was designated separately but following the same system. Thus an M4A1 tank could be seen fitted with an MI dozer blade or a T34 rocket launcher, etc.
Self-propelled artillery in American service was described by the calibre of the weapon with the term “gun/howitzer/ mortar motor carriage” as appropriate. Example: 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M37. Other special purpose vehicles were designated similarly to tanks. Example: Tank Recovery Vehicle T1. Names were not officially used for American tanks until the M26 heavy tank was called the Pershing. Before that, however, British names for American equipment (eg, Sherman, Lee) were being used colloquially in American service and some American vehicles had unofficial but commonly used names, such as Hellcat for the M18 GMC or Jumbo for the M4A3E2 assault tank.
Instead of being classified as “standard” equipment, American AFVs were sometimes classified “limited standard”. This category was given to a vehicle which was not fully satisfactory for universal service, but which could be used when necessary. A further classification was “substitute standard”, usually given to obsolescent or expedient equipment due for early replacement but which could still be used pending availability of the new design. Finally there was the “limited procurement” classification given to vehicles for which only restricted use could be foreseen. As the term implies, such vehicles were usually produced only in small quantities. Classification could, of course, be changed as necessary for any given vehicle type.