By Steven Zaloga
Some tank crews noted the yankee M4 Sherman tank as a "death trap." Others, like Gen. George Patton, believed that the Sherman helped win international battle II. So which used to be it: loss of life seize or battle winner? Armor professional Steven Zaloga solutions that query through recounting the Sherman's strive against historical past. concentrating on Northwest Europe (but additionally together with a bankruptcy at the Pacific), Zaloga follows the Sherman into motion on D-Day, one of the Normandy hedgerows, in the course of Patton?s race throughout France, within the nice tank conflict at Arracourt in September 1944, on the conflict of the Bulge, around the Rhine, and within the Ruhr pocket in 1945.
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Extra info for Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II
By way of comparison, new European medium tanks such as the French S-35 and German PzKpfw III had armor that could withstand 37min antitank fire and centered their armament around a powerful main gun. The most startling design to emerge after the Spanish Civil War was the Soviet T-34 tank, which entered production in 1940. Soviet tank "volunteers" had served in large numbers in Spain, and their experiences convinced Soviet tank designers that a future tank had to withstand infantry antitank guns while at the same time being capable of defeating enemy tanks.
It took far less time to cast a complex structure than to fabricate it out of multiple plates of steel, making casting attractive under the time pressures imposed by the war. The most ambitious casting effort on the M3 medium tank project was the M3A1 version of the tank, whose entire upper hull was made out of a single large armor casting. Another of the innovations pioneered by the M3 medium tank was the use of welding to replace riveting on tank armor. The M3A3 used a welded hull and was powered by a GM 6046 diesel engine instead of the gasoline engines used in the M3 and M3A1 versions.
This M3 on exercise on Perham Downs in England in December 1942 shows the later-production configuration with the lengthened M3 75mm gun, deleted side doors, and the counterbalance under the 37mm gun indicating that the tank has been fitted with gun stabilization. Senior army leaders, under pressure from Roosevelt's ambitious tank program, overruled Devers. The army wanted an adequate tank now, not a perfect tank sometime in the indefinite future. As a result, the M3 medium tank was produced in far larger numbers than originally planned and remained in production even after the start of M4 Sherman production simply to fill out the outrageously high demand for medium tanks.