Forces of Valor FOV801020A US M4A3(75) Sherman Medium Tank with VVSS Suspension - 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Bastogne, Belgium, December 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 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.
During the 1930s, many innovations in the components of light tanks would make US tanks considerably reliable. These included rubber-bushed tracks, rear mounted radial engines and the vertical volute spring suspension.
The vertical volute spring suspension system is a type of vehicle suspension system. This type of suspension system was mainly fitted onto US and Italian tanks and armored fighting vehicles starting in the 1930s and up until after the end of the Second World War in 1945.
A volute spring is a compression spring in the form of a cone (a volute). Under compression, the coils slide over each other, affording longer travel. The result is more stable and powerful than any leaf, coil, or torsion bar spring in the same volume. Mounted vertically in a road wheel bogie for a pair of road wheels in a tank made for a very compact unit.
The Rock Island Arsenal produced a small tank for the cavalry which used vertical volute spring suspension instead of leaf spring suspension. Standardized as the M1 Combat Car, it entered service with the US Army in 1937. The design was used in the M2 light tank and subsequent Stuart tank series. Design features of the Stuart were scaled up for use in the first M2 medium tanks which would evolve into the more successful M3 Lee and M4 Sherman, all using the vertical volute spring suspension system.
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4A3(75) Sherman medium tank with VVSS suspension that was attached to the 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, then deployed to Bastogne, Belgium, during December 1944. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
Pre-order! Ship Date: 2020.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Pivot and Fight" - Two days after the Germans launched their Ardennes Offensive, the 4th Armored Division entered the fight on December 18th, 1944, racing northwest into Belgium, covering 150 miles in 19 hours. The 4th Armored Division, spearheading Patton's Third Army, attacked the Germans at Bastogne and, on December 26th, was the first unit (Company C, 37th Tank Battalion led the 4th Armored Division column that relieved Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge) to break through at Bastogne and relieve the besieged 101st Airborne Division.
Six weeks later, the 4th Armored Division jumped off from Luxembourg City in an eastward plunge that carried it across the Moselle River at Trier, south, and east to Worms, and across the Rhine, between March 24th-25th, 1945. Advancing all night, the 4th Armored Division crossed the Main River the next day, south of Hanau, and continued to push on. Lauterbach fell March 29th, Creuzburg across the Werra on April 1st, Gotha on April 4th - where the 4th Armored Division liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops. By April 12th, the 4th Armored Division was across the Saale River. Pursuit of the enemy continued, and by May 6th the division had crossed into Czechoslovakia and established a bridgehead across the Otava River at Strakonice, with forwarding elements at Pisek. The 4th Armored Division was reassigned to the XII Corps on April 30th, 1945.