Forces of Valor FOV801059A US M4A3(105) Sherman Howitzer with HVSS Suspension - 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Avranches, Brittany, France, July-August 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 Medium Tank M4A3(105) was a version of the Sherman tank armed with a 105mm howitzer and that used the US Army's preferred Ford GAA V-8 engine.
In the summer of 1943 work began on the medium tank M4 series (ultimate design), which incorporated a series of improvements that had been made to the basic M4 design. The aim was to produce seven new models of the M4, four armed with the 76mm gun, one with the 75mm gun and two with the 105mm howitzer. The M4A3 would be produced in 76mm and 105mm armed versions.
The 105mm versions of the tank were based on the Medium Tank M4E5. They were the only late production versions of the M4 not to use wet shell storage. The M4E5 had carried 68 shells - 45 in floor racks, 21 in racks in the right sponson and two in a ready rack in the turret. The production M4A3(105) carried 66 shells in armoured floor and sponson racks, but eliminated the ready rack. To allow access to the floor racks most of the turret basket was removed.
The M4A3(105) was produced at Chrysler's Detroit Tank Arsenal. Production began in May 1944 and 500 were completed with the VVSS suspension between then and September. Between September 1944 and June 1944 2,539 were built with the HVSS suspension system, for a total of 3,039. The M4A3(105) was thus twice as numerous as the similar M4(105).
Early production M4A3(105)s lacked the new commander's vision cupola, and had no power traverse on the turret. The vision cupola was introduced once enough were available. The power traverse, which had been removed in the belief that the howitzer version wouldn't need it, had to be reintroduced after complaints from the front, where the troops found that they often needed to fire on widely separated targets. It took some time to reintroduce a working system, and the first tanks with power traverse didn't reach Europe until the end of the war.
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4A3(105) Sherman howitzer with HVSS suspension that was attached to the 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, then deployed to Avranches, Brittany, France, from July-August 1944. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
Pre-order! Ship Date: 2020.
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Historical Account: "Clearing Brittany" - After training in England from January to July 1944, the 4th Armored Division landed at Utah Beach, on July 11th, over a month after the initial Normandy landings, and first entered combat on July 17th. On July 28th, as part of the VIII Corps exploitation force for Operation Cobra, the 4th Armored Division secured the Coutances area. The 4th Armored Division then swung south to take Nantes, cutting off the Brittany Peninsula on August 12th, 1944. Turning east, it drove swiftly across France north of the Loire, smashed across the Moselle from September 11th-13th, flanked Nancy and captured Luneville on September 16th. The 4th Armored Division fought several German panzergrenadier brigades in the Lorraine area including the SS Panzergrenadier Brigade 49 and SS Panzergrenadier Brigade 51, defeating a larger German force through superior tactics and training.
After maintaining a defensive line, from Chambrey to Xanrey to Henamenil, from September 27th to October 11th, the 4th Armored Division rested briefly before returning to combat on November 9th with an attack in the vicinity of Viviers. The 4th Armored Division cleared Bois de Serres on November 12th, advanced through Dieuze and crossed the Saar River from November 21st-22nd, to establish and expand a bridgehead. It then took Singling and Bining, then Baerendorf on November 24th, before being relieved on December 8th.
For its actions, the 4th Armored Division received the following unit awards from France: Croix de Guerre with Palm (July 27th-29th, 1944), Croix de Guerre with Palm (September 12th-29th, 1944), and French Fourragere in the colors of the Croix de Guerre.