M4 Sherman tank with 76mm gun


us flagImproved M4 Sherman series with 76mm gun and better protection.
History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D-model.

M4A1(76mm) Sherman at Panzermuseum Munster, Germany.

M4A1(76mm) Sherman at Panzermuseum Munster, Germany.

M4 Sherman tank design improvements.
Type: American medium tank.

History

User experience led to numerous design improvements being suggested by the Armored Force and incorporated into M4 Sherman series vehicles by the Ordnance Department. Fore most among these were the need for a more powerful gun and better protection.

Sherman tank with 76 mm gun:
To increase firepower the Ordnance Department developed the 76 mm gun M1 and M1A1, starting in July 1942. Tests showed that the existing M4 series turret was too small to accommodate the extra length of this weapon and the turret of the T20/T23 medium tank was adopted and suitably modified. The 76 mm gun installation was standardized and introduced in production lines from February 1944 and vehicles so fitted were available in time for the Normandy landings and subsequent combat in NW Europe. Suffix ‘(76 mm)’ indicated vehicles with this gun. A modified 76 mm gun M1A1C or M1A2 with muzzle-brake was later introduced.

Standard M4A2(76mm) Sherman

Standard M4A2(76 mm) Sherman with M1A1 gun and new 47° hull front.


Sherman tank with better protection:
Fire hazard from hits in the engine, ammunition bins, and fuel tanks was the major shortcoming in the M4 series due to the relatively thin armor. Expedient measures to combat this were the addition of appliqué armor plates on hull sides adjacent to ammunition bins and fuel tanks, plus further appliqué armor welded on hull, and sometimes turret, front. Field modifications by crews included the use of sandbags on hull front and the welding of spare track shoes in vulnerable spots. In some instances large armor shields or concrete were added to hull fronts. Major design change to overcome the problem was the introduction of ‘wet stowage’ (glycerine-protected) ammunition racks in 76 mm-armed and late 75 mm-armed vehicles. Howitzer-armed vehicles had internal armor plates on ammunition racks.

Miscellaneous: Other improvements included better electrical wiring, and other internal detail changes, a new 47° hull front to simplify production (it also improved frontal protection), larger access hatches for driver and co-driver, a loader’s hatch, and the provision of a vision cupola for the commander replacing the rotating hatch ring originally fitted.

Users: USA, Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, Russia, China (for all series).


Pictures M4 Sherman tank with 76mm gun


Specifications M4 Sherman (76mm)

Specifications:



M4A2(76mm) ShermanSpecification
Typemedium tank
Enginetwin General Motors 6-71 diesel engine
Gearbox?
Crew total5
Turret crew 3 (with 360° Commanders cupola)
Length 7.39 m / 24ft 3in (over gun)
Width 2.98 m / 8ft 9.5in
Height 2.97 m / 9ft 9in
Weight 32.3 tons (M4A3)
Maximum speed 29 mph (M4A3)
Cross-country speed 20 mph (M4A3)
Fuel consumption per 100 miles?
Fuel?
Road radius100 miles
Cross-country radius?
Vertical obstacle 0.60 m / 2ft
Trench crossing 2.29 m / 7ft 6in
Fording depth 0,91 m / 3ft
Turning circle?
Gradient 60° (M4A3)

Armour:

M4A2(76mm) Sherman mmangle
Details unknown Maximum 62 mm, Minimum 12 mm (with 'wet stowage' ammunition racks) only known hull front 47°

Armament and Equipment:

M4A2(76mm) Shermanspecification
Main armament 76mm gun M1,M1A1,M1A1C or M1A2
Rounds71
Traverse 360° (power)
Elevation -10° to +25° (with gyrostabiliser)
Muzzle velocity APCBC 792 m/s
Muzzle velocity HVAP (available only in limited numbers): 1036 m/s
Shell weight APCBC 7 kg
Shell weight HVAP 4,3 kg
Extreme effective range ?
Secondary armament one .30 cal Browning MG coaxially to gun, one.30 cal Browning MG in front hull, together 6,250 rounds. Additional one .50 cal AA MG on Commander's cupola.
Radio yes
Telescopic sight periscope sights

Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of the main gun:

RangeAPCBCHVAP
Penetration 100 ydsc.105 mmc.175 mm
Penetration 500 yds94 mm158 mm
Penetration 1,000 yds89 mm134 mm
Penetration 1,500 yds81 mm117 mm
Penetration 2,000 yds76 mm99 mm

Production:

M4A2(76mm) Shermanfigures
Production from June 1944 to December 1944 by Grand Blanc and in May and June 1945 by Pressed Steel (M4A1 with 76mm gun from January 1944)
Combat delivery before June 1944 (first used on D-Day)
Price per unit $ 48,029 - 50,928
Total production figure 1,615 (with 76mm gun total 8,381 tanks; 2,095 of them delivered to Russia)

Service statistics of all M4 medium tank series:



YearAvailableProductionLosses
pre 1939---
1939---
1940---
1941---
1942- 8,000?
1943? 14,000 ?
1944-45? c.13,000?
TOTAL- 35,020 "?"

Animated 3D model M4A2(76mm) Sherman


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2 Comments

  1. According to Steven Zaloga, the ultimate version of the M4 Sherman was the M4A3E8 with the 76mm gun with the improvements made by the Third Army (e.g. thicker armor as in the M4A3E2 and more widespread use of 76mm HVAP ammunition). Source: Steven Zaloga, Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II, (Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2015), p. 289. Would you agree with Zaloga’s assessment?

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