The M4 Sherman was the main tank design used by the USA since its debut in 1942 as the successor to the M3 Lee and M3 Grant while using the same chassis. Despite its weak armor and gun in contrast to the stronger M26 Pershing and Patton tanks, it was not retired in the American army until during the Korean War in 1955. It was also used by the British as a predecessor for their own designs, as well as Australia, Canada, Russia and many others both during and after the war. The USA designed more than 20 variants. The British also modified Shermans, such as the famous Firefly. In FHSW, there are 11 variants which are described below. The Sherman has been taken into service by more then 30 countries. The Shermans wet ammo rack variants, due to their superior placement of ammunition low down in hull under the turret basket, were the tanks least likely to brew after penetration. For comparison, Tigers and Panzer IV brewed up 80% of the time while (W) Shermans only did so 10-15% of the time. Ironically the "wet" element of the new stowage racks were found to be of dubious value, and were thus used drained of fluid postwar.
M4A1[edit | edit source]
In February 1942, Sherman production started with the M4A1 Sherman, also known by the British as the Sherman Mk.II or Sherman II. The first tanks were produced by Lima Locomotive Works, but a month later Pressed Steel Car Company also began to produce the Sherman tank. This was the beginning of the most produced tank in World War Two, together with the T-34. The first models still retained several similarities with the prototype. After a few experiences some changes were applied to the design. These included removing the fixed .30 machine guns in the fuselage and the pistol ports on the right side of the turret. For protection of the air inlet, an armored plate had been fixed 7.6 cm above the motor deck. A completely new concept built by Pacific Car & Foundry Company was tested at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in May 1942. It was powered by an Continental R975 C1 engine. Later models had extra armour on the sides, where the shells were stored. This would eventually be removed when the M4A3 was designed with "wet" stowage. Later models would also include the gun traveling lock, to secure the gun while moving (not ingame). But many other modifications took place on the design. The original gun was a 75mm M3 gun. Its performance ingame is not very great. The tank had thin armour and the gun had low penetration capability. The tank can easily beat light tanks, but it needs some good shooting to destroy a medium tank like the Panzer IV. Against heavy tanks like the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger, the tank would need a miracle to destroy it, even during the lighter early stages. The Americans indeed won the war with the Sherman tank, but they also upgraded the Sherman with more armour and stronger guns which are described below.
M4A1(76)W[edit | edit source]
When talking about the M4A1, one must remember that the Americans won the war with the Shermans by upgrading the armour and/or the gun. One of the upgrades is the M4A1(76)W and it is almost exactly the same tank as the M4A1, but with a stronger gun in a newly designed turret. The T23 turret was bigger than the original turret and could house a more powerful gun. In this case, the new gun was the 76mm M1 gun which was more powerful than the old 75mm M3 gun. The longer gun needed less hits to destroy a medium tank, and even a Tiger can easily be destroyed with proper aiming. However, the gun is not strong enough to destroy a such a heavy vehicle with one hit.
M4A3[edit | edit source]
The Ordnance Committee in January 1942 gave permission to use the 8-cylinder V Ford GAA engine in the Sherman tank that produced 500 hp. Thus the third version of the Sherman, the M4A3, was born. The first prototypes were built by the Ford Motor Company in May 1942. It was tested on the General Motors Proving Grounds, and after some adjustments the M4A3 was recommended for production. Contrary to the M4A1, the M4A3 was - like the M4A2 and M4 - made out of welded RHA plates, while the M4A1 was rounded and cast. Early in 1944, so many new modifications of the M4A3 were applied that it almost became a new tank with a new designation the M4A3(W). This included fitting the front plate at 47 degrees and the "wet" stowage of the ammunition which removed the extra armour plate on the side (see M4A1). The gun remained the 75mm M3, however, a later turret was designed with the more powerful 76mm M1 gun which became the M4A3(76)W. Together with the M4 and M4A1, the M4A3 was the most used tank in the US arsenal.
M4A3(76)W[edit | edit source]
The M4A3 was a widely used model equipped with the 76mm M1 gun. No less than 4,542 units were built. A striking detail on the new turret with the 76mm gun was the storage of the shells. Where in previous models the shells were stored in the turret and trunk, the M4A3 (76) W with the 76mm cannon used the so called "wet" stowage system. The shells in the turret were relocated under the turret. Due to the high risk of explosion that took place each time after a hit, the shells were stored in a type of tubing filled with a mixture of glycerin and water.
M4A3(105)[edit | edit source]
The M4A3(105) was a 105mm M4 howitzer-equipped variant of the M4A3 Sherman, which made it become an Assault Gun/Self-Propelled Howitzer. The design dates from the end of 1943 to the beginning of 1944, and in February 1944 the first standard-production 105 mm howitzer M4 Sherman was accepted. It was designed for fast artillery support for infantry. It was proven that the firepower of the M4A3(105) had a much bigger High-Explosive splash radius then the standard 75 or 76mm Sherman tanks. At least 3089 vehicles were built during the war.
In FHSW, the SPH proves itself against heavy tanks well. A good hit can easily destroy a Tiger tank. However, if the Tiger survives and spots the Sherman the Tiger can punch an 88mm hole through the Sherman before it finishes reloading.
M4A3E2 "Jumbo" (Early)[edit | edit source]
With 114 mm of frontal armor and a gun mantlet with 178mm armor, the M4A3E2 is the heaviest armored Sherman variant. Also known as the Cobra King, this variant is best known as the Jumbo. The experience in North Africa and the Mediterranean had shown that the M4 proved to be somewhat vulnerable to Pak 40 and Flak 36 guns.
Prior to the invasion of Europe, many new tank designs were developed including the T14 Heavy Tank. Testing of the pilot model which was completed in 1944. Another design was an upgrade to the armor of the M4A3 Sherman. Insulated 38mm thick armor plates on the front of the hull and 89mm thick armor plates on the gun mantlet made a heavily armored tank. However, the weight rose up from 30 ton to 42 tons. While the Jumbo's 75mm gun could not penetrate the armor of the Tiger, neither could the Tiger penetrate the Jumbo's more importantly neither could the 75mm Pak 40 nor 88mm Flak 36. The armor of the Jumbo was twice as effective as the Tiger's.
Later a new 76mm gun was installed in some Jumbo in the field. The main weapon was an 75mm M3 gun and it was placed in a newly designed turret, the T-23, which was used on the later Shermans with the 76mm M1 gun. All "Jumbos" were used exclusively in Northwest Europe from July 1944 until the Armistice in May 1945.
M4A3E2 "Jumbo" (Late)[edit | edit source]
A few months after its debut, the Jumbo's armor was a success but the some crews felt willing to trade HE punch for better AP performance. Because of this, all new Shermans delivered were 76mm armed variants and the Jumbo's were upgraded with the 76mm M1 gun as its gun mounting was initially design to equip.
M4A3R3[edit | edit source]
As production of the M3 Stuart dwindled, which had been a flamethrower platform as the M3 Satan. In order to completely replace the M3 Stuart a new flame tank had to be made. Thus, the M4 Sherman would be modified.
This Flame tank variant has the flamethrower mounted where the 75mm M3 cannon would be, even the gun sight is the same. It looks are deceiving as it is near identical to the regular sherman. The flamethrower can reach far away.
M4 DD Tank[edit | edit source]
DD tanks (the DD standing for Duplex Drive, but nicknamed Donald Duck tanks), were a type of amphibious swimming tank developed by the British during the Second World War. The phrase is mostly used referring to the Duplex Drive variant of the M4 Sherman medium tank, that was used by the Western Allies during and after the Normandy Landings in June 1944. FHSW's DD tank is an M4A1 Sherman with deep wading gear. Although Duplex Drive allowed the landing craft to release the tank farther from shore, the alternative deep wading gear permitted a tank to drive partially or completely underwater on the sea floor rather than swim. Deep wading Churchills took part in the 1942 Dieppe raid, and also operated during the D-Day assault. These tanks were given waterproofed hulls and an air intake and exhaust trunking to allow them to come ashore from shallow water. Tall ducts extended from the engine deck to above the turret top that needed to stay above water. The front duct was the air intake for the engine, the rear duct vented the exhaust. This device saw use in many amphibious operations, and it was also used on light tanks and tank destroyers. The US had similar devices for trucks and jeeps.
It appears on the map Omaha Charlie Sector.
T34 Calliope[edit | edit source]
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||USA|
|Manufacturer||Lima Locomotive Works (Sherman)|
Pressed Steel Car Company (Sherman)
Pacific Car & Foundry (Sherman)
|Category||Medium Tank/Rocket Launcher|
|Debut in FHSW||v0.42|
|Main armament||T34 Calliope Rocket Launcher (24 Tubes)|
|Coaxial weapon||.303 machinegun|
|General Ingame Information|
|Seat 2||T34 Calliope Rocket Launcher (36 Tubes)|
|Seat 3||.303 M1919A4 Browning|
The T34 Calliope was similar to the T40 "Wizzbang" a rocket launcher that could be placed on a tank. It was used by the U.S. Army during World War II and was placed on the M4 Sherman tank. But the rocket launcher was also applied to captured German Sd.Kfz. 251 vehicles, which were given the name "Sd.Kfz. 251 Calliope". Because of the screaming sound emitted from the rockets, it earned the name "Screaming Mimi". It was developed in 1943, and small numbers were produced and used by various U.S. armor units in 1944-45. The first variant was the T34. The launcher had 60 tubes (36 tubes on the top and 24 tubes at the bottom) and could fire sixty 117 mm rockets, without having to reload. The T34E1 was the same as T34, but groups of 12 jettison-able tubes were replaced by groups of 14 tubes. The T34E2 was the same as the T34 with 60 tubes, but the caliber of rockets increased from 114 mm to 183 mm.
The T34 appears in Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of World War Two. There, the rocket launcher can rotate without rotating the main turret. Also, the tank can still shot. In FHSW, this is different. The launcher can only rotate together with the main turret. Also, the gunner of the main gun (the driver - Seat 1) can elevate the turret and can fire the 36 tubes on the top. In the second position, only the 24 other tubes can be used.
Firefly[edit | edit source]
When the Americans met the German Tiger tanks and later the new Panther tanks, they though these were heavy designs to be encountered only in few engagements. They were able to deal with Tigers using superior tactical maneuvers in Italy and Africa. They were much more concerned with the large amount of AT guns protection in Normandy. Due to their concerns, they built Sherman Jumbos.
The British found had other ideas as to the problems they would face in Normandy. The Sherman Firefly demonstrating their obsession with tank on tank combat. This was a normal Sherman with the standard turret, however it was armed with an Ordnance Qf 17 Pounder gun. The gun was so powerful, that the German tankers often targeted the Firefly first. In response, the British camouflaged the gun with white waves on the end of the barrel, so it looked like a 75mm gun from a distance. Many Sherman variants were used, but most are built on the Sherman V (M4A4) chassis. If one sees a Firefly, they only have to place the letter "C" behind the British designation and they have the tank's name. In FHSW it is the Sherman VC "Firefly", built on the Sherman V chassis. Ater the war, the tank saw use in many a country's service. Belgium was one of these countries, and there is a photograph at the bottom left of the page.