Dragon DRA60292 Polish M4A1(76)W Sherman Medium Tank - Polish 2nd Armored Regiment, Polish 1st Armored Division, Holland, 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.
The Sherman was the mainstay of the Allied armored units, with over 40,000 produced from 1942 onwards. The ubiquitous Sherman was to be found in the ranks of every Allied army in WWII and on every front. One of the most easily distinguishable variants was the M4A1, which utilized a cast hull rather than the welded hull of the others. Later a 76mm gun was introduced to give the tank more lethality against heavily armored German opponents, but this required installation of a new turret big enough to carry the gun. When combined together - the M4A1(76)W was conceived.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Polish Sherman M4A1(76)W medium tank that was attached to the Polish 2nd Armored Regiment, Polish 1st Armored Division, then deployed to Holland during 1944. Sold Out!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: May 2007
Historical Account: "For Kosciusko" - The Polish 1st Armored Division (Polish 1 Dywizja Pancerna) was an Allied military unit during World War II, created in February 1942 in Scotland. At its peak it numbered approximately 16,000 soldiers. It was commanded by General Stanislaw Maczek.
By the end of July 1944, the division had been transferred to Normandy after guarding a portion of the Scottish coast in England. The final elements arrived on August 1 and the unit was attached to the First Canadian Army. It entered combat on August 8 during Operation Totalize. The division twice suffered serious bombings by Allied aircraft yet it achieved a brilliant victory against the Wehrmacht in the battles for Mont Ormel, 262 Hill and the town of Chambois. This series of offensive and defensive operations came to be known as the Battle of Falaise in which a large number of German Wehrmacht and SS divisions were trapped in a huge Chambois pocket and subsequently destroyed. Maczek's division had the crucial role of closing the pocket at the escape route of those German divisions, hence the fighting was absolutely desperate and the 2nd Polish Armoured, 24th Polish Lancers and 10th Dragoons supported by the 8th and 9th Infantry Battalions took the brunt of German attacks trying to break free from the pocket. Surrounded and running out of ammunition they withstood incessant attacks from multiple fleeing panzer divisions for 48 hours until they were relieved.
After the Allied armies broke out from Normandy, the Polish 1st Armored Division pursued the Germans along the coasts of the English Channel. It liberated, among others, the towns of Ypres, Ghent and Passchendale. A successful outflanking maneuver planned and performed by General Maczek allowed liberation of the city of Breda without any civilian casualties (October 29th, 1944). The Division spent the winter of 1944-1945 on the south bank of the river Rhine, guarding a sector around Moerdijk in the Netherlands. In early 1945 it was transferred to the province of Overijssel, where, with the help of the Allies, started their push through the Dutch-German border, liberating the eastern parts of the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen, which included the towns of Emmen, Coevorden and Stadskanaal.