Minichamps MIN350040001 US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1943 (1:35 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. 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.
In honor of its achievement, Minichamps has come out with an amazingly accurate 1:35 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4A3 Sherman. This stunning recreation features a rotating turret, elevating gun, working suspension, and treads that are made of flexible metal links! This particular tank comes in a desert sand Tunisian camouflage pattern.
Length: 8 inches
Width: 3 inches
Height: 3.25 inches
Release Date: June 2003
Historical Account: "Back on Their Heels" - The Tunisian campaign of early 1943 was the final stage of fighting that had raged back and forth along the North African coast since the first Italian drive into Egypt in 1940. Originally controlled by a Vichy French government, Tunisia had been occupied by German forces following the surrender of Vichy forces in French Morocco and Algeria in November 1942. The combined American and British 1st Army advancing into Tunisia from Algeria hoped to move quickly through Tunisia to meet up with the British and Commonwealth 8th Army advancing across Libya after the victory at El Alamein, thereby crushing the Axis forces between them. This was prevented, however, by the rapid reinforcement of Tunisia with German troops from Sicily and a series of skilfully executed defensive operations.
By February 1943, the Allies had lost the initiative in Tunisia and a command reorganization followed. Gradually, after much hard fighting, the 1st Army advancing from the west and the 8th Army advancing from the south pushed the Axis forces into a pocket around Tunis. The strong and intimate air support provided to the 8th Army made a critical contribution to the success of its operations. Cut off from supplies of rations, ammunition and fuel by an Allied naval blockade, the fate of the Axis forces around Tunis was inevitable; the last pocket of resistance surrendered on May 13th, 1943.