Dragon DRA60163 US M4A3(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - "Julia", 761st Tank Battalion "Black Panthers", Task Force Rhine, Germany, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Come out fighting."
- Motto of the 761st Tank Battalion "Black Panthers"
The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly". Eleven different US plants manufactured six basic models of the Sherman, and by June 1944 over 49,234 battle-ready vehicles had been produced. While it was no match for the German Panther or Tiger tanks, the Sherman soldiered on, using its weight in numbers to wrest control of Europe from the Wehrmacht. The M4A3 was fitted with a long-barrel M1A1 76mm gun, which replaced the shorter and less effective 75mm gun, and sported a larger, more angular turret to house the bigger gun. In addition, the slope of the M4A3's frontal armor was changed to 47-degrees to increase frontal protection and simplify the production process.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M4A3(76)W medium tank that was attached to the 761st Tank Battalion ("Black Panthers") as part of Task Force Rhine, advancing through southern Germany in early 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: August 2006
Historical Account: "Black Panthers" - The 761st Tank Battalion was a United States Army tank battalion during World War II. The unit was made up of black soldiers, who by Federal law, were not permitted to serve alongside white troops. (The US Army did not officially desegregate until after World War II). They were known as the "Black Panthers" after their unit's shoulder sleeve insignia and their motto was "Come out fighting".
The battalion first saw combat on November 7th, 1944, fighting through towns such as Moyenvic, Vic-sur-Seille and Morville, often at the leading edge of the advance. The unit was to endure 183 days of continuous operational employment.
Casualties in November 1944 were as follows - 24 men killed, 88 wounded, and 44 non-battle, with 14 tanks lost and 20 damaged. In December, the battalion was rushed to the aid of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne.
After the Battle of the Bulge, the unit opened the way for the U.S. 4th Armored Division into Germany during an action that breached the Siegfried Line. In the final days of the war in Europe, the 761st was one of the first American units to reach the Steyr in Austria, at the Enns River, where they met with Ukrainians of the Soviet Army.
The 761st was deactivated on June 1st, 1946, in Germany.