Forces of Valor FOV801070A US M4(75) Sherman Medium Tank with VVSS Suspension - 47th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division, France, 1944 [Bonus Ford GAA V-8 Engine] (1:32 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, officially Medium Tank, M4, was the most widely used medium tank by the United States and Western Allies in World War II. The M4 Sherman proved to be reliable, relatively cheap to produce, and available in great numbers. Thousands were distributed through the Lend-Lease program to the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union. The tank was named by the British for the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman.
The M4 Sherman evolved from the M3 Medium Tank, which had its main armament in a side sponson mount. The M4 retained much of the previous mechanical design, but moved the main 75 mm gun into a fully traversing central turret. One feature, a one-axis gyrostabilizer, was not precise enough to allow firing when moving but did help keep the reticle on target, so that when the tank did stop to fire, the gun would be aimed in roughly the right direction. The designers stressed mechanical reliability, ease of production and maintenance, durability, standardization of parts and ammunition in a limited number of variants, and moderate size and weight. These factors, combined with the Sherman's then-superior armor and armament, outclassed German light and medium tanks fielded in 1939-42. The M4 went on to be produced in large numbers, being the most produced tank in American history: The Soviets' T-34 medium tank (total of some 64,549 wartime-produced examples, split roughly 55%-45% between 76 mm and 85 mm gunned examples) was the only tank design produced in larger numbers during World War II. The Sherman spearheaded many offensives by the Western Allies after 1942.
When the M4 tank went into combat in North Africa with the British Army at El Alamein in late 1942, it increased the advantage of Allied armor over Axis armor and was superior to the lighter German and Italian tank designs. For this reason, the US Army believed that the M4 would be adequate to win the war, and relatively little pressure was initially exerted for further tank development. Logistical and transport restrictions, such as limitations imposed by roads, ports, and bridges, also complicated the introduction of a more capable but heavier tank. Tank destroyer battalions using vehicles built on the M4 hull and chassis, but with open-topped turrets and more potent high-velocity guns, also entered widespread use in the Allied armies. Even by 1944, most M4 Shermans kept their dual-purpose 75 mm gun. By then, the M4 was inferior in firepower and armor to increasing numbers of German heavy tanks, but was able to fight on with the help of considerable numerical superiority, greater mechanical reliability, better logistical support, and support from growing numbers of fighter-bombers and artillery pieces. Some Shermans were produced with a more capable gun, the 76 mm gun M1, or refitted with a 76.2mm calibre Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun by the British (the Sherman Firefly).
The relative ease of production allowed large numbers of the M4 to be manufactured, and significant investment in tank recovery and repair units allowed disabled vehicles to be repaired and returned to service quickly. These factors combined to give the Allies numerical superiority in most battles, and many infantry divisions were provided with M4s and tank destroyers
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4(75) Sherman medium tank with a VVSS suspension that was attached to the 47th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division, then deployed to Southern France during late 1944. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
Pre-order! Ship Date: 2020.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Liberators" - The 14th Armored Division landed at Marseille in southern France, on October 29th, 1944. Within two weeks some of its elements were in combat, maintaining defensive positions along the Franco-Italian frontier. The division was assigned to the US 6th Army Group on November 1st. On November 10th, the division was assigned to the US Seventh Army. On November 12th, the Combat Command Reserve (CCR) was detached, and ordered to the Maritime Alps by 6th Army Group to relieve units in defensive positions there. On November 15th, Combat Command A moved north from the area of Marseille to Epinal to take part in the VI Corps drive through the Vosges Mountains, and was followed by Combat Command B five days later. Hard fighting at Gertwiller, Benfeld, and Barr helped VI Corps to crack the German defenses; the division was on the Alsatian Plain in early December.
On December 17th, the division attacked across the Lauter River into Germany itself, along with the other units of VI Corps, and fought its way into a heavily defended portion of the German Westwall. Due to the growing crisis in the Ardennes, General Eisenhower, the supreme commander, ordered the Seventh Army to stop its attack and withdraw from the Westwall, where its units assumed positions south of the Lauter River. The order was poorly timed as elements of the 14th Armored Division had penetrated deep into the German defenses, and were poised to break out into the enemy's rear.