Forces of Valor FOV912102A US M4(105) Sherman Medium Tank with VVSS Suspension and Deep Wading Gear - "White 6", 711th Tank Battalion, Okinawa, April-June 1945 [Bonus Continental (Wright) R-975, Radial 9 Engine] (1:32 Scale) "The Japanese fought to win - it was a savage, brutal, inhumane, exhausting and dirty business. Our commanders knew that if we were to win and survive, we must be trained realistically for it whether we liked it or not. In the post-war years, the U.S. Marine Corps came in for a great deal of undeserved criticism in my opinion, from well-meaning persons who did not comprehend the magnitude of stress and horror that combat can be. The technology that developed the rifle barrel, the machine gun and high explosive shells has turned war into prolonged, subhuman slaughter. Men must be trained realistically if they are to survive it without breaking, mentally and physically."
- E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
The M4 Medium with an M4 105mm Howitzer was a solution for a problem the US war planners didn't know they had until the Italian Campaign. It turned out the M7 Priest did not work well in the direct fire role it was sometimes called to fill. The mount was not very accurate for direct fire, and there was no fixing it. It was also poorly suited to direct firework with its light armor.
The solution was mounting the 105mm gun in the M4 series. This required a rework of the gun and mount, but it was ready before the Normandy landings, and once in use, were well liked, replacing the M7 in Tank Company and Battalion 105 support roles. All 105 Shermans were either M4s or M4A3, and all were built by Chrysler.
Some Allied tanks were given waterproofed hulls and air intake and exhaust vents to allow them to come ashore from shallow water. Tall ducts extended from the engine deck to above the turret top and they needed to stay above water to prevent them from being swamped. The front duct was the air intake for the engine, while the rear duct vented the exhaust.
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4(105) Sherman medium tank with a VVSS suspension and deep wading gear that was attached to the 711th Tank Battalion, then deployed to Okinawa between April-June 1945. Comes with bonus Continental (Wright) R-975, Radial 9 engine.
Release Date: April 2023
Historical Account: "Typhoon of Steel" - The Battle of Okinawa, fought on the Japanese island of Okinawa, was the largest amphibious assault during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. It lasted from late March through June 1945.
The battle has been referred to as the "Typhoon of Steel" in English, and
tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no bōfū ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of gunfire involved, and sheer numbers of Allied ships and armoured vehicles that assaulted the island. Okinawa had a large civilian population, of whom at least 150,000 were killed during the battle, while the Japanese army attempted to defend the island.
The Allies were planning to use Okinawa as a staging ground for Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese mainland; however, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the Soviet Union's declaration of war on Japan, Japan surrendered and World War II ended.
Six army and marine corps separate tank battalions fought on Okinawa, which allowed each infantry division to have one attached at all times. The extremely rugged terrain prevented the use of armor en masse, and typically, a platoon or two of tanks was committed with each rifle battalion. This was a higher density of armor than had been the case on Luzon-indeed, it was on par with Europe-and on Okinawa, platoons were rarely broken down into sections as they had been in the Philippines.
The main landing was made by the XXIV Corps and the III Amphibious Corps on the Hagushi beaches on the western coast of Okinawa on April 1st. The 2nd Marine Division conducted a demonstration off the Minatoga beaches on the southeastern coast to deceive the Japanese about American intentions and delay movement of reserves from there.
Tenth Army swept across the south-central part of the island with relative ease, capturing the Kadena and the Yomitan airbases within hours of the landing. In light of the weak opposition, General Buckner decided to proceed immediately with Phase II of his plan, the seizure of northern Okinawa. The 6th Marine Division headed up the Ishikawa Isthmus and by April 7th had sealed off the Motobu Peninsula.
Six days later on April 13th, the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marine Regiment, reached Hedo Point at the northernmost tip of the island. By this point, the bulk of the Japanese forces in the north (codenamed Udo Force) were cornered on the Motobu Peninsula. The terrain was mountainous and wooded, with the Japanese defenses concentrated on Mount Yaedake, a twisted mass of rocky ridges and ravines on the center of the peninsula. There was heavy fighting before the Marines finally cleared Yaedake on April 18th. However, this was not the end of ground combat in northern Okinawa. On May 24th, the Japanese mounted Operation Gi-gou: a company of Giretsu Kuteitai commandos were airlifted in a suicide attack on Yomitan. They destroyed 70,000 US gallons of fuel and nine planes before being killed by the defenders, who lost two men.
Meanwhile, the 77th Infantry Division assaulted Ie Shima, a small island off the western end of the peninsula, on April 16th. In addition to conventional hazards, the 77th Infantry Division encountered kamikaze attacks and even local women armed with spears. There was heavy fighting before the area was declared secured on April 21st and became another airbase for operations against Japan.
But then the main attack went in...