Forces of Valor FOV801074A US M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo Assault Tank with VVSS Suspension - "Cobra King", C Company, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Bastogne, Belgium, December 26th, 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
In early 1944, the United States Army decided that they needed an up-armored version of a medium tank for an assault role for the upcoming operations in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO). However, they had rejected previous plans for such a vehicle, and time was short. As the new T26E1 would not be ready in time and previous designs had been totally unsuitable for the task, the decision was made to modify the standard US Army medium tank of the time, the M4A3 Sherman.
The vehicle became the M4A3E2 Assault tank or Sherman Jumbo. With only 254 built, it represented less than 1% of the total build numbers for the M4. However, it's iconic profile left a lasting image that is probably one the most easily recognized M4 variants.
It should be noted at this point that the name 'Jumbo' doesn't appear in any wartime documentation and is almost certainly a post-war nickname, quite possibly created by a model company.
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of a US M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo assault tank that was nicknamed "Cobra King", and attached to C Company, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, then breaking the cordon around Bastogne, Belgium, on December 26th, 1944. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
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Historical Account: "Roosevelt's Butchers" - The 4th Armored Division of the United States Army was an armored division that compiled a distinguished career in the European theater of World War II. Unlike many other WW2 US Armored Divisions, the 4th never adopted an official divisional nickname or slogan, although during their famous campaign through France and Germany during WWII, the Germans referred to them as "Roosevelt's Butchers".
It was activated on April 15th, 1941, from a cadre drawn the US 1st Armored Division, and reached the United Kingdom in early 1944.
After training in England from January to July 1944, the 4th Armored Division landed at Utah Beach on July 11th and entered combat on the 17th. As part of the VIII Corps exploitation force for Operation Cobra, the 4th secured the Coutances area on the 28th.
The 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 between September 11th-13th, flanked Nancy and captured Luneville on the 16th. It fought several German Panzer Brigades in the Lorraine area at this time, defeating a larger German force through superior tactics and training.
After maintaining a defensive line, Chambrey to Xanrey to Henamenil, from September 27th to October 11th, the division rested briefly before returning to combat on November 9th with an attack in the vicinity of Viviers. The 4th cleared Bois de Serres on November 12th, advanced through Dieuze and crossed the Saar River, between the 21st-22nd to establish and expand bridgehead and took Singling and Bining before being relieved on December 8th.
Two days after the Germans launched their Ardennes offensive, the 4th Armored entered the fight on December 18th, 1944, racing northwest into Belgium, covering 150 miles in 19 hours. The Division attacked the Germans at Bastogne, helping to relieve the besieged 101st Airborne. Six weeks later the 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 March 24th, 1945. Advancing all night, the 4th 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 the 4th, and by April 12th the Division was across the Saale River. Pursuit of the enemy continued and by May 6th, the Division had crossed into Czechoslovakia, established a bridgehead across the Otava River at Strakonice, with forward elements at Pisek.
The Division was commanded by Major General John S. "P" Wood and by Major General Huigh Gaffey. One of its most famous members was Creighton Abrams, who commanded the 37th Tank Battalion, then Combat Command B (CCB). Abrams later rose to command all US forces in Vietnam and served as US Army Chief of Staff in the 1970s. The current US M-1 tank is named after him.