Forces of Valor FOV801057A US M4A3E8 Sherman Medium Tank with HVSS Suspension - "A Paper Doll", A Company, 68th Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division, Germany 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
Even as the war raged, work was actively being done on improving the Sherman's qualities and this resulted in the finalization of the "Horizontal Volute Suspension System" (HVSS) coupled to wider track links. While the addition made for a heavier and wider tank product, it improved the vehicle's operating ground pressure. The HVSS was applied to the M4A3 production model and gave rise to the M4A3E8 / M4A3(76)W HVSS designations - nicknamed "Easy Eight". The new vehicles were also completed with a larger-caliber 76mm High-Velocity main gun, featured welded hulls (as opposed to cast) and were powered by Ford GAA V8 gasoline engines. The revised qualities improved firepower (putting the main armament closer to the capabilities of the German 75mm guns), armor protection and performance over the earlier Sherman models.
Production forms were available as soon as August 1944 and the variant saw introduction during December of that year, seeing combat service during the Battle of the Bulge and beyond. However, despite the changes, this did not permanently solve ongoing issues with the medium tank when facing off against its German counterparts. The Sherman "Jumbo" (detailed elsewhere on this site) did more to address the lacking qualities - it saw a considerable increase in armor protection and carried a heavier gun. Beyond its given role as a Medium Tank, the Jumbo (M4A3E2) was also categorized as an "assault tank".
Production of Easy Eights totaled 2,617 examples during August 1944. These were completed by the Detroit Tank Arsenal as well as the Fisher Tank Arsenal.
This particular 1:32 scale diecast replica of the famed US M4A3E8 Sherman medium tank with the HVSS suspension was nicknamed "A Paper Doll", and was attached to A Company, 68th Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division, then deployed to Germany during 1945. Comes with bonus Ford GAA V-8 engine.
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Historical Account: "Super Sixth" - Formed with a cadre from the 2nd Armored Division, the 6th Armored Division was formed under the 1942 Table of Organization and Equipment.
At the end of the Normandy Campaign, the 6th assembled at Le Mesnil on July 25th, 1944. The Division then passed through the 8th Infantry Division to clear the heights near Le Bingard on July 27th, 1944, and Combat Command A secured a bridgehead across the Sienne River near Point de la Roche on July 29th, 1944, then overran Grenville on July 31st, 1944. The 6th then returned to Avranches where it relieved the 4th Armored Division and secured the area bridges.
In mid-August, the Division moved down to Lorient. It was relieved there by the 94th Regional Readiness Command in September. Afterwards, it turned east and cut across France, reaching the Saar in November. It crossed the Nied River between the 11th-12th against strong opposition, reaching the German border on December 6th, and established and maintained defensive positions in the vicinity of Saarbrucken.
On December 23rd, the division was ordered north of Metz to take part in the Battle of the Bulge, assuming control over a sector along the south bank of the Sauer. The 6th was heavily engaged in the battle for Bastogne, finally driving the enemy back across the Our River into Germany by late January 1945.
After a short period of rehabilitation, the division resumed the offensive, penetrated the Siegfried Line, crossed the Prum, reached the Rhine River at Worms on March 21st, and set up a counter-reconnaissance screen along its west bank. The 6th crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim on the 25th, drove on to Frankfurt, crossed the Main, captured Bad Nauheim, and continued to advance eastward. It surrounded and captured Muhlhausen between April 4th-5th. After repulsing a light counterattack, it moved forward 60 miles to cross the Saale River and assisted in freeing Allied prisoners of war and the notorious German concentration camp at Buchenwald. The division raced on, took Leipzig, crossed the Mulde River at Rochlitz on April 15th, then stopped, pending the arrival of the Red Army. Defensive positions along the Mulde River were held until the end of hostilities in Europe.
The division was inactivated on September 18th, 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York.