Dragon DRA60283 US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank with 105mm Gun and VVSS Suspension - 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
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.
Early Shermans mounted a 75mm medium-velocity general-purpose gun. Later M4A1, M4A2, and M4A3 models received the larger T23 turret with a high-velocity 76mm gun M1, which traded reduced HE and smoke performance for improved anti-tank performance. The British offered the QF 17 pounder (76.2 mm) anti-tank gun with its significant armour penetration but a significant initial (later rectified) HE shortcoming to the Americans but the US Ordnance Department was working on a 90mm tank gun and declined. Later M4 and M4A3 were factory-produced with a 105mm howitzer and a new distinctive mantlet in the original turret. The first standard-production 76mm-gun Sherman was an M4A1 accepted in January 1944 and the first standard-production 105mm-howitzer Sherman was an M4 accepted in February 1944.
This 1:72 scale model represents a U.S. Army M4A3 105mm of the 8th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armored Division. This division is distinguished by the fact that it never adopted an official nickname, though the Germans referred to it as “Roosevelt’s Butchers”! The division landed at Utah Beach on July 11th, 1944, and combat operations began on the 17th. It was used as an exploitation force for Operation Cobra, the U.S. breakout from Normandy. In August 1944 it swung south to take Nantes, thus cutting off the Brittany Peninsula. The tank’s appeal is enhanced with the effective degree of weathering and dry-brushing effects. Details are accurate and in scale on this Sherman, making it an explosive force in any armor collection! Sold Out!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: April 2007
Historical Account: "Roosevelt's Butchers" - The 4th Armored Division of the United States Army was an armored division that compiled a distinguished career in the European theater of World War II. Unlike many other WW2 US Armored Divisions, the 4th never adopted an official divisional nickname or slogan, although during their famous campaign through France and Germany during WWII, the Germans referred to them as "Roosevelt's Butchers".
It was activated on April 15th, 1941, from a cadre drawn the US 1st Armored Division, and reached the United Kingdom in early 1944.
After training in England from January to July 1944, the 4th Armored Division landed at Utah Beach on July 11th and entered combat on the 17th. As part of the VIII Corps exploitation force for Operation Cobra, the 4th secured the Coutances area on the 28th.
The division then swung south to take Nantes, cutting off the Brittany Peninsula on August 12th, 1944. Turning east, it drove swiftly across France north of the Loire, smashed across the Moselle between September 11th-13th, flanked Nancy and captured Luneville on the 16th. It fought several German Panzer Brigades in the Lorraine area at this time, defeating a larger German force through superior tactics and training.
After maintaining a defensive line, Chambrey to Xanrey to Henamenil, from September 27th to October 11th, the division rested briefly before returning to combat on November 9th with an attack in the vicinity of Viviers. The 4th cleared Bois de Serres on November 12th, advanced through Dieuze and crossed the Saar River, between the 21st-22nd to establish and expand bridgehead and took Singling and Bining before being relieved on December 8th.
Two days after the Germans launched their Ardennes offensive, the 4th Armored entered the fight on December 18th, 1944, racing northwest into Belgium, covering 150 miles in 19 hours. The Division attacked the Germans at Bastogne, helping to relieve the besieged 101st Airborne. Six weeks later the Division jumped off from Luxembourg City in an eastward plunge that carried it across the Moselle River at Trier, south and east to Worms, and across the Rhine March 24th, 1945. Advancing all night, the 4th crossed the Main River the next day, south of Hanau, and continued to push on. Lauterbach fell March 29th, Creuzburg across the Werra on April 1st, Gotha on the 4th, and by April 12th the Division was across the Saale River. Pursuit of the enemy continued and by May 6th, the Division had crossed into Czechoslovakia, established a bridgehead across the Otava River at Strakonice, with forward elements at Pisek.
The Division was commanded by Major General John S. "P" Wood and by Major General Huigh Gaffey. One of its most famous members was Creighton Abrams, who commanded the 37th Tank Battalion, then Combat Command B (CCB). Abrams later rose to command all US forces in Vietnam and served as US Army Chief of Staff in the 1970s. The current US M-1 tank is named after him.