Realistic Battles and Simulator Battles The tank performs it's role as medium tank very well.
Quantity and quality
It uses speed; as an advantage and very thick frontal armour. Which gives this tank, an edge over the enemy. However, It offers; some very thin armour around the side and the rear of the tank. Which can be penetrated;- by almost all the tanks in 2nd rank and on. So watching the sides and rear are very important, neglecting to protect them can often result in a destroyed M4A2. When engaging the enemy forces; It is recommended to turn into their fire with the front of the tank. Since the front is one of the thickest armoured front installed on a tank. This can often save the tank from its end.
However, if a skilled enemy player aims for one of the critical components of the movement, such as the tracks, engine, transmission, or the driver, they could stop the M4A2 from performing this action. A weak point of this tank is the machine gun port on the front. A single well placed shot could end the tank. The Battle of France in proved to America that their current tank arsenal would not be able to withstand a German assault. The US Army, in response, ordered for a tank armed with a 75 mm gun.
While a 75 mm gun was available for use, a turret able to mount the gun was not. So while the turret and tank design underwent development, the 75 mm would be mounted on the stopgap design, the M3 Lee tank in a sponson mount. This interim design put the 75 mm on a lower and limited traverse mount that restricted its firing angle, but it did give the Allies a tank with the gun, so it was issued by the thousands until a better design could be made.
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During the M3's development, the designs of the 75 mm armed vehicle were being drawn up and submitted by the Ordnance Department. Specifications on the tank design were strict, with restrictions made on the tank's height, width, and weight in order to make it able to be transported over bridges, roads, railroads, and on ships. These specifications would help the army by making the tank be very flexible on strategic, logistical, and tactical grounds. On April , the Armored Force Board chose the simplest of the designs, which was a redesigned M3 hull and chassis with a turret mounting the 75 mm gun designated the T6 , completed in September This tank would then designated the Medium Tank M4 in American service.
The tank would become the most used Allied tank during World War II as it was lent out by the thousands in the Lend-Lease program to the Allied countries. The British called the M4 the "Sherman", which coined into the tank's name M4 Sherman that it would be known as in history.
The production for the Shermans began on October and would continue to be produced until the end of the war in with around 50, units produced, making it the second most-produced tank in World War II before the T tank. Many variants of the Shermans were produced, but they all followed a similar layout.
The driver and bow gunner sat in the front driving compartment, the fighting compartment in the middle housed the turret its three crew member, and in the back was the engine compartment. The Sherman used many features present in previous American tank designs, the vertical volute suspension system VVSS and radial engine from the M2 light tanks, and the sloping armour of the M2 Medium. This became a contributing factor on Sherman's reliability on the field, as most of the design flaws were ironed out with the previous tank designs. The Sherman's turret traverse speed was very fast, able to traverse a full degrees in only 15 seconds, which is considerably faster than the traverse speed on most German tanks.
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Another unique feature on the Sherman was the installation of a gyroscopic stabilizer on the gun and sight, making the Sherman one of the first produced tanks to incorporate those features. However, this feature was controversial among the crew and experiences with it vary.
The Sherman model in-game is one of the later production models, featuring improvements on the turret and hull design to maximize armour thickness. The tank's hull was welded, with the earlier models having the front armour plate placed on a degree sloping angle. However, this design had protrusions on the driver and assistant driver hatches that created "shot traps" as these protrusions gave less protection than the frontal armour plate.
This was fixed on later models with a degree angling instead, which eliminated the shot traps and made the frontal armour more effective than before. Up to 8, M4A2s were produced from April to May , out of the 49, Sherman units produced in the war. It was much quicker to reinforce the British armoured divisions with the more than M4 Shermans sent to North Africa than it was to create new American ones. The Americans received their first Shermans in the next month in Operation Torch. However better the Shermans were to the German tanks at the time, the Allied armoured units still suffered casualties against the German tanks and anti-tank guns, most notably in the Battle of Kasserine Pass.
In Italy, the Shermans proved much more mobile than the German Panzers, able to travel cross-country on the hilly terrain with ease. However, it was at this stage that the Sherman's shortcoming began to take face in the advent of the newer German tanks, the Tiger Is and Panthers. These two tanks featured armour that proved impenetrable when fired at the front, and with guns that could take out the Shermans from farther than the Sherman's effective combat range. The Shermans have to hit the side of these tanks for penetration, and at ranges that were considered suicidal. Although programs were initiated to up-gun the Sherman with a 76 mm gun , American leaders determine that the Panther and Tigers would not be produced in large quantities and were not as great as a threat as these two vehicles could still be destroyed by the 75 mm gun and standard anti-tank equipment.
During the Invasion of France, it was clear that the Sherman's current build with a 75 mm gun was no longer going to cut it against the German armoured forces. While the Sherman was adequate against what little Panzer III and IVs the Germans have left and against infantry and fortifications with the 75 mm gun, the Panthers and Tigers were in much large quantity than expected, and proved better in armour and firepower to the Shermans. Though in the bocage country of France, the Allies lost more tanks to hidden anti-tank guns and infantry weapons than to tanks.
Despite these losses, the mass production of M4 Sherman back in the United States ensured that enough tanks were available for the Allied Forces as they spearhead through France, plus the lack of any other capable tanks meant they had to use the Shermans for the time being. The large quantities of Shermans produced during the war gave the Allied armoured units a major advantage of being fully equipped as the German panzer divisions were rarely in full strength, with some US infantry divisions having more tracked vehicles than some of the panzer divisions.
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Due to the high attrition rates, tank crews sometimes add improvised armour onto their Shermans in the form of sandbags and logs in hopes of increased survival, but these were determined to be ineffective from evaluations. A more effective method was to have metal armour welded on in improvisation, and an official project was made for such "assault tanks" that ended with the M4A3E2 "Jumbos" with made for the Battle of Normandy. The Allies continued to primarily use the 75 mm Shermans until the Battle of the Bulge in Winter , when the commanders request only 76 mm Shermans to be brought into Europe as the battle showed the intense armour disparity with the German's large numbers of Panthers and Tiger II's.
While new units arriving in Europe were armed exclusively with 76 mm armed-Shermans, the veteran units kept the 75 mm Shermans, to which it continued to do well against softer targets with little threat from German armour due to their extreme declining numbers. The M4 Sherman's importance in the Pacific theatre was less than that of the European theatre due to the different tactical doctrine established from the amphibious nature of combat. Only about 20 tank battalions fielded by the US Army were sent to support the Pacific theatre of operations, compared to the total of 16 armoured divisions and 70 tank battalions they have in service.
The low priority in tanks was due to the following reasons. Firstly, the jungle terrain on most of the islands fought for against the Japanese were unsuitable for the deployment of large-scale armoured units, relegating armour support to light tanks such as the M3 Stuarts. Secondly, the Japanese forces' armoured units were rather inferior to the American tank forces by Such a large margin that the tank crew prefer to use high-explosive shots against the Japanese tank than regular armour-piercing as the AP rounds would penetrate straight through without causing much damage in the interior of the tank.
The Japanese developed the Type 3 Chi-Nu and the Type 4 Chi-To to fight back the Shermans, but these two never saw combat as they were kept at the Japanese Homeland for the defence against the Allied invasion. Tactics in World War 2 As a result of their inherent inferior main armament, Sherman crews were also encouraged to engage their Panzer brethren at closer ranges and from the rear or flanks. In practice, this proved suicidal on many levels. Firstly, to achieve a flanking move on a Panzer required the Sherman to execute its obscenely long turning radius Panzers enjoyed a much shorter turn radius.
This was made further ineffective by the fact that Panzer tank tread systems allowed for one to move in opposite direction of the other, effectively allowing the tank to "turn in place", matching the movement of the flanking Sherman step by step. Secondly, the thought of bringing the Sherman in closer range to a German Panzer was not a happy one as German Panzers had the uncanny ability to decimate Allied tanks at any range with their potent primary armament.
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Though under the British Commonwealth banner, Canada instead chose to manufacture their own version of the Sherman in the "Grizzly I Cruiser", a tank limited to just production examples as the M4 Sherman became available in such great quantities. Sherman deliveries by the hundreds would eventually force the M3's into secondary roles and ultimate disuse. The M4 and M4A1 represented early American M4 production models and these production models miraculously finished off the war despite being replaced in frontline service by the improved M4A3 models. In Europe, anti-tank AT teams proved an equally worse fate for a surprising number of Shermans than German tanks themselves.
As AT teams had the luxury of concealment and mobility, they proved tough pickings for Sherman crews forced to spot them through their small vision blocks. German AT weapons were ready for the task of defeating Shermans armor and ambushes were quite frequent and effective. From a logistical perspective, anti-tank weapons - be them either hand-held rocket launchers or crew-served mobile cannons - were simply cheaper to produce and easier to train personnel on - making their use on Allied tanks not much of a surprise.
German AT teams were given the single-shot disposable Panzerfaust systems or the reusable Bazooka-inspired Panzerschrecks. Panzerfausts were so simple to use that they were issued in great quantity to Berlin residents before the Soviet invasion of the German capital at war's end. Panzerschrecks were simply larger copies of the American anti-tank Bazooka and equally feared as anti-tank systems among the Allied ranks. In the Pacific, Shermans fared a bit better for Japanese anti-tank weapons were not on par with what the Germans were fielding in Europe.
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Besides anti-tank cannons some German-inspired copies and complex, high-power, anti-materiel rifles, the Japanese resorted to other anti-tank tricks including mines made from torpedoes and the like. When facing off against the Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks and Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tanks, the Sherman's 75mm main gun proved ever the effective measure against these uninspiring tank designs. Japanese tank design clearly lacked behind their naval and air implements from the outset of the war and never materialized once the war was in full swing.
Sherman flamethrowing tanks also proved horrifically useful in "flushing out" stubborn Japanese infantrymen from their network of underground tunnels and fortress structures. At any rate, Shermans proved susceptible to having their armor defeating in a myriad of ways. Pictures of embattled Shermans are common to find, with clean holes driven through their critical parts from enemy anti-tank weapons. Since heavier armored Shermans were not meant to be in any sort of quantitative amounts, Sherman crews developed field modifications to help ensure their survival. This came in the form of welding steel plates or the addition of sandbags or spare tracks to the front hulls in an effort to preemptively defeat incoming enemy projectiles before they were allowed to penetrate the armor surfaces of the Sherman.
Though a Sherman's armor proved effective in early engagements, it was essentially designed against the top German anti-tank weapons of the time. Newer and heavier-caliber Axis anti-tank weapons and armament forced new Sherman survival tactics to be utilized. Furthermore, at least 20 percent of all Allied tanks lost in World War 2 came at the hands of land mines while the rest came from general tank-versus-tank and anti-tank combat actions.
Up Gunning the Sherman By this time, the Sherman was already operating along all major front lines across the world. After action reports were forging the next Sherman version. The main gun issue was addressed with the accepting of a new A new suspension system and wider tracks greeted the new Shermans as did with a new commander's cupola featuring six vision blocks.
A degree periscope on the turret was another grateful addition to the turret crew. The driver and bow gunner hatches were also revised and feature a more integrated front facing without the protruding sharp angled faces of the original Sherman design. A new hatch above the loader was also added for improved emergency exiting of the vehicle. By the end of the war, nearly half of all operational production Shermans were sporting the more lethal 76mm main gun armament. Anti-aircraft armament consisted of a heavy caliber Anti-infantry defense constituted a.
Power was supplied through the Continental R C1 gasoline engine which developed up to horsepower when at 2,rpm. Operational range was listed at miles with a top speed of 25 miles per hour, achieved in bursts. Numerous Sherman Variants A broad run down of variants were available in the highly-produced Sherman series line.
Among them were the M4 and M4A1 which inherited their exhaust systems and engines directly from the M3 Lee developments. The M4A1 also fit the 76mm main gun and saw first combat in this form in July of The M4 sported a mm howitzer in place of the smaller caliber main gun and was powered by the Continental gasoline-fueled R radial piston engine and featured a welded hull. The M4 "Composite" Sherman was a 75mm-armed Sherman and a hybrid in terms of its construction. The tank featured a cast front hull but welded sides. Again, the powerplant was the Continental R gasoline engine.
The M4A1 76 W fitted the improved Only seven of the type were received by the British whom designated them as "Sherman IV's" and ended using them solely in testing roles. The M4A4 was fitted with the 75mm main gun along with a lengthened welded hull. Power came from a Chrysler A57 5xL6 gasoline engine.
These served primarily with British Army forces under the designation of "Sherman V".