Dragon DRA60331 USMC M4A2 Sherman Medium Tank - D Company, 1st Marine Amphibious Corps Tank Battalion, Tarawa, 1943 (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.
Now Dragon Armor has introduced a sublime 1:72 scale model of an M4A2 then deployed to Tarawa. The model is of a Sherman of Company D, 1st Marine Amphibious Corps Tank Battalion. Designed to supplement those lighter M3 tanks already in service, the battalion had four companies (each with three platoons of four tanks, plus an HQ platoon) of M4 tanks. This model shows 'Destroyer' of D Company painted in typical USMC painting and with an array of markings added. In the Battle of Tarawa, Marines suffered nearly 3,000 casualties, and of the 4,700 Japanese defenders, only 17 survived. For those wishing to commemorate or model this fierce battle, then this Dragon Armor item will prove indispensable. Sold Out!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: December 2007
Historical Account: "Forlorn but Not Forgotten" - Betio is Tarawa's main island, though it is less than 3 miles long and half a mile wide. In 1943 this diminutive island and its airfield were defended by 4,700 Japanese troops in a labyrinth of pillboxes and trenches surrounded by barbed wire and minefields. The daunting task of capturing the island fell upon the 2nd Division of the U.S. Marine Corps.
As the assault began on November 20th, 1943, Marines wading through the waist-deep water and razor-sharp coral of the beaches were mown down by machine-gun fire.
It was not till the next day that the Marines, supported by tanks and artillery, could break out from the bloody sands of Tarawa. Savage fighting continued for two more days until the island was won.