By Steven Zaloga
Some tank crews spoke of the yank M4 Sherman tank as a "death trap." Others, like Gen. George Patton, believed that the Sherman helped win global struggle II. So which was once it: loss of life capture or conflict winner? Armor professional Steven Zaloga solutions that query by means of recounting the Sherman's wrestle background. concentrating on Northwest Europe (but additionally together with a bankruptcy at the Pacific), Zaloga follows the Sherman into motion on D-Day, one of the Normandy hedgerows, in the course of Patton?s race throughout France, within the nice tank conflict at Arracourt in September 1944, on the conflict of the Bulge, around the Rhine, and within the Ruhr pocket in 1945.
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Additional resources for Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II
There were two clear demands to the Ordnance engineers at Aberdeen and Rock Island: the tank had to have at least two inches of frontal armor to protect against the German 37mm antitank gun, and it needed a 75mm gun capable of firing a worthwhile high-explosive round. Ideally, most American tankers wanted a design comparable to the most powerful German tank of the day, the PzKpfw IV. This tank was armed with a short 75mm gun in a turret, along with a single machine gun mounted in the hull for self-defense and a second machine gun in the turret, coaxial with the main gun, which was used against targets too small to attack with the main 75mm gun.
30-caliber machine guns. The M1 combat car was the first American tank produced in significant numbers since the 1920s, with some ninety being completed in 1935-37. It is seen here in service with the 1st Cavalry during summer war games. After the short-lived M2A1 light tank, the infantry switched to twin-turret versions, popularly dubbed "Mae Wests" by the tankers because of their two round turrets. This is an M2A2 light tank of the 1st Armored Division on exercise with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 1941.
The M3A3 used a welded hull and was powered by a GM 6046 diesel engine instead of the gasoline engines used in the M3 and M3A1 versions. The other innovation in tank construction was the introduction of welding, which was used on the hulls of the M3A2 and M3A3. Although industry widely used welding at the time, welding of armor plate presented a significant challenge. Very hard armor steel with a high carbon content posed a real problem because the welds did not withstand shock very well and would crack when hit by an enemy projectile.
Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II by Steven Zaloga