Forces of Valor FOV801073A US M4A3(76)W Sherman Medium Tank with VVSS Suspension - C Company, 771st Tank Battalion, 12th Armored Division, Linnich, Germany, February 1945 [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(76)W Sherman medium tank with VVSS suspension that was attached to C Company, 771st Tank Battalion, 12th Armored Division, then deployed to Linnich, Germany, during February 1945. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
Pre-order! Ship Date: 2020.
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Historical Account: "The Suicide Division" - The 12th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II. It fought in the European Theater of Operations in France, Germany and Austria, between November 1944 and May 1945.
The German Army called the 12th Armored Division the "Suicide Division" for its fierce defensive actions during Operation Nordwind in France, and they were nicknamed the "Mystery Division" when they were temporarily transferred to the command of the Third Army under General George S. Patton, Jr., to cross the Rhine River.
After recovering from a bruising experience at Herrlisheim, the 12th went over to the offensive and attacked south from Colmar, after first being assigned to the French First Army under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. In a lightning drive, the 12th linked up with French forces at Rouffach, on February 5th, sealing the Colmar Pocket and ending German resistance in the Vosges Mountains. Except for elements acting as a protective screen, the division withdrew to the St. Avold area for rest and rehabilitation.
The division was then attached to the Third Army under General George S. Patton, Jr., on March 17th, 1945, through its crossing of the Rhine on March 28th. The soldiers were ordered to remove their identifying unit insignias and vehicle markings were painted over, disguising the fact that Patton had an additional tank division under his command. Thus the 12th was given the nickname the "Mystery Division". The attack resumed on March 18th, 1945.
The 12th Armored Division was one of only ten U.S. divisions (and only one of two U.S. armored divisions) during World War II that had African-American combat companies integrated into the division. One of the African American soldiers, Staff Sergeant Edward A. Carter, Jr. was awarded The Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in combat during World War II, and was later awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.