Osprey New Vanguard 3 : Sherman Medium Tank 1942-1945
The M4 Sherman tank was the mainstay of the Western allies between 1942 and 1945. Fast and modern it was better than most of the tanks Britain had to offer and was transported as far afield as Russia and North Africa in the fight against the Germans. The American Chief of Staff claimed in November 1943 that it had been 'hailed widely as the best tank on the battlefield today...the M4 is an ideal combination of mobility, dependability, speed, protection and firepower.'. However, by the time this report was being written and certainly by the Normandy invasion of June 1944 this was not the case: the new heavy tanks being produced by the Germans such as the Panther and Tiger were able to outclass the Shermans in both armour and armament. Furthermore the appearance of weapons such as the Panzerfaust firing shaped-charged warheads worsened this situation. The calls of US tankers for a larger gun than their 75mm weapon, which had proved unable to penetrate the armour of the new German tanks, became more frantic, and it was not uncommon in late 1944 to see Shermans with racks full of sandbags welded to them, in the too often vain hope that this would stop some of the increasingly powerful projectiles aimed at them from penetrating. Steven Zaloga examines the development and operational history of this tank and shows how it circumvented these difficulties and remained an effective weapon right up until the end of the war. Illustrations by Peter Sarson.
- Design and Development
- Operational History
- The Sherman in Post-War Combat
Osprey New Vanguard