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United States' M4A1 medium tank, Sherman

Photos

M4A1 Medium Tank:
United States' M4A1 Medium Tank
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
M4A1 Medium Tank:
United States' M4A1 Medium Tank
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
M4A1 medium tank's gun mount and guard with the seats
United States' M4A1 medium tank's gun mount and guard with the seats
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
M4A1 Medium Tank:
United States' M4A1 Medium Tank
Mark Holloway
T34E1 Rocket Launcher Medium Tank:
United States' T34E1 Medium Tank Rocket launcher
Aberdeen Tank Museum
Dragon Armor, 60257:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor, 60257 United States M4A1 Medium Tank
Dragon Armor, 60258:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor, 60258 United States M4A1 Medium Tank
Dragon Armor, 60292:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor, 60292 M4A1 76mm VVSS Medium Tank
Dragon Armor, 60293:
Dragon Diecast 1/72 Armor, 60293 M4A1 76mm Medium Tank
Forces of Valor, 95024:
United States' M4A1 Mine Roller, Aunt Jemima

Design

Cast hull. Early models had M3 bogie units, M2 75 mm gun with counter weights and twin fixed machine guns in hull. Soon hull machine guns eliminated and M3 75 mm gun used. M34A1 mount and sand shields were added. Had the Continental R-975 motor.

Production

Standardized in December 1941. Built by Lima Locomotive Works, Inc., Pacific Car and Foundry Co., and Pressed Steel Car Co.

Variants

  • M4A1 (76mm): Cast hull. Continental R975-C1 petrol.
    76 mm gun replaced 75 mm in turret. It had better velocity and thus armor penetration. 2,600 ft/sec, range of 16,100 yards, penetrate 4 inches at 1,000 yards. Gun can also be used in indirect fire mode as an azimuth indicator and elevation quadrant was also available. Water protected ammo racks installed.
    The commander had a vision cupola mounted above the turret hatch. It had 6 prismatic vision blocks of 3" laminated bullet-resistant glass.
    The ammunition racks were water protected and there was a traveling lock for the main armament in the front to hold it while traveling in non-combat areas.
  • Tank Recovery Vehicle M32B1: Based on M4A1.
  • Full-Track Prime Mover M34: M32B1 removed a-frame and winch. Used as tractor for heavy artillery guns. In service 1944.
  • Mine Exploder T1E3 (M1) "Aunt Jemima":
    Two roller units each of 5 10' steel discs. 75 built. Used in Normandy and Italy. Most widely used mine exploder. Sometimes a 2nd tank was used to push it.
  • Rocket Launcher T34E1: 14 tubes in 2 bottom units. The 75 mm gun fired a 14.4 lb AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,050'/sec.

Specifications

  M4A1 medium tank, Sherman II
Crew 5
Radio SCR-508
Radio - command tank SCR-506
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 66,500 lb
Length 19' 2"
Height 9'
Width 8' 7"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 17 1/8"
Ground contact length 12' 3"
Ground pressure 13.7 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 75 mm
75 mm M3
Secondary  
MG 3: MG
2: .30 cal MG
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4 MG
MG - hull 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4 MG
MG - antiaircraft .50 cal MG
1: .50 cal M2 HB MG
Side arms 2" M3 Mortar
.45 cal submachine gun
Quantity  
Main 90, 97
Secondary  
MG .30: 4,750
.50: 300
Side arms .45: 600
Mortar: 12 (4: Fragmentation Mk III, 4: M8 Smoke, 2: M2 Offensive Mk III, 2: Thermite)
Armor Thickness (mm) 12
1" - 2"
Hull Front, Upper 2"
50
Hull Front, Lower 1.5" - 2"
Hull Sides, Upper 1.5" - 2"
Hull Sides, Lower 1.5" - 2"
Hull Rear 1.5"
Hull Top 1"
Hull Bottom 0.5" - 1"
Turret Front 3"
75
Turret Sides 2"
Turret Rear  
Turret Top 1"
Engine (Make / Model) Continental R-975-C1, Caterpillar, Continental
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders 9
Capacity  
Net HP 353@2,400 rpm, 400
Caterpillar: 450
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Mechanized syncromesh
Steering  
Steering ratio 1.515:1
Starter  
Electrical system 24 volt
Ignition  
Gear ratio - 1st gear 7.56:1
- 2nd gear 3.11:1
- 3rd gear 1.78:1
- 4th gear 1.11:1
- 5th gear 0.73:1
- Reverse 5.65:1
Fuel (Type) Caterpillar: Diesel
Octane 80
Quantity 175 gallons
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 24 mph
39 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 120 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +25°
Fording depth 3'
Trench crossing 7' 5"
Vertical obstacle 2'
Climbing ability 60%
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute, Volute spring
Wheels each side  
Wheel size 20" x 9"
Wheel size - idler 28 1/8" x 9"
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Rubber block
Length  
Width 16.5"
Number of links 79
Pitch 6"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6' 11"
  M4A1 (76 mm), Sherman IIA
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner.
5
Radio  
Radio - command tank  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 70,000 lb
Length w/gun 20' 4", 24' 3"
Length w/o gun 20' 4"
Height 9' 9"
Width 8' 9.5"
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 14.4 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76 mm
Secondary  
MG 3: MG
MG - coaxial  
MG - hull  
MG - antiaircraft  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 71
Secondary  
MG .30: 6,250
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 12, 62
1.5" - 2.5"
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Continental R-975-C1
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders 9
Capacity  
Net HP 400
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Gear ratio - 1st gear  
- 2nd gear  
- 3rd gear  
- 4th gear  
- 5th gear  
- Reverse  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 24 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 85 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +25°
Fording depth 3'
Trench crossing 7' 6"
Vertical obstacle 2'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Wheel size  
Wheel size - idler  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6' 11"
  M4A1 with T34E1
Crew 5
Radio  
Radio - command tank  
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 33.5 tons
Length 20.3'
Height 10'
Width 8.7'
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 17"
Ground contact length 147"
Ground pressure 13.5 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 75 mm M3, L/40
Secondary 60 tube 4.5" rocket launcher
MG  
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
MG - hull 1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
MG - antiaircraft  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 89
Secondary  
MG .30: 7,750
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 2.5"@46°
Side: 1.5"
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 3.2"
Mantlet: 1.75"
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Wright
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders R-9
Capacity  
Net HP 350@2,400 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 5.7:1
Transmission (Type)

Synchromesh

5 forward, 1 reverse

Steering Controlled differential
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric
Electrical system  
Ignition Magneto
Gear ratio - 1st gear  
- 2nd gear  
- 3rd gear  
- 4th gear  
- 5th gear  
- Reverse  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 175 gallons
Road consumption 0.6 mpg
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse Manual and hydraulic
Speed - Road 22 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country 100 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 40"
Trench crossing 7.5'
Vertical obstacle 24"
Climbing ability 31° (60%) slope
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute spring, 2 wheels on each of 3 bogies
Wheels each side 3
Wheel size  
Wheel size - idler  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type) Dry pin, double pin per shoe, rubber cleat
Length  
Width 16.5"
Number of links 79
Pitch 6"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The American Arsenal, 1996
  2. Airfix Magazine Guide #26 American Tanks of World War 2, Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain, 1977
  3. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  4. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site