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Was the M4A1 Sherman a bad tank?

DudleySmith

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The IDF used the Super Sherman in the 1967 and 73 wars. it was upgraded with a 105mm gun better turrets and diesel engines. It proved more than a match for the Soviet T-55 in battles.

Israeli tactics created a high casualty rare among its tank commanders, a price they paid for better performance in the filed.

My favorite tank used by the Israelis in the 1950's was the relatively tiny French AMX's; extremely fast and hard to hit.


Can't copy and paste from the site, so no excerpt. It also led to a hybrid variant with the Shermans.


Israel’s tank force included about 200 M4 Shermans and 100 AMX-13s. Israel had about 60 howitzers grafted on to AMX-13 chassis.

The Israelis created a new tank, the M-50/51, by grafting the 2.95-inch (75mm) CN 75-50 gun of the AMX-13 onto a Sherman chassis. This tank became known as the Super Sherman.
 

AZrailwhale

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Off topic a bit but the main reason Army couldn't get mass produced diesels was because the Navy had dibs on diesel engine production throughout the war. FDR being a former Navy officer and Secretary made Navy even more of the Darlings of Congress. Not saying that was all bad, especially considering their primary role as first line in both the Pacific and Atlantic, but they had a decided leg up when it came to politics and allotting production and civilian manufacturing allocations. Bombers also came first in the Army's production schedule; didn't leave a lot of room for the rest down the line.
The Army didn't want diesel engined Shermans, that's why the M-4A2s went to the Soviets and the Marines.
 

Zincwarrior

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Off topic a bit but the main reason Army couldn't get mass produced diesels was because the Navy had dibs on diesel engine production throughout the war. FDR being a former Navy officer and Secretary made Navy even more of the Darlings of Congress. Not saying that was all bad, especially considering their primary role as first line in both the Pacific and Atlantic, but they had a decided leg up when it came to politics and allotting production and civilian manufacturing allocations. Bombers also came first in the Army's production schedule; didn't leave a lot of room for the rest down the line.
I'd also proffer our gasoline engines were more developed at the time than diesels. The British did the same thing with the detuned Merlin engines for their later war and postwar tanks. Interestingly:
1. Ironically the Soviets were more advanced in diesel engine manufacturing. It was a temporary thing though.
2. It would have been interesting what monster they would have made had they tried to stretch a tank frame for a beat like the Pratt and Whitney double wasp engine. Vroom vroom...:)
 

DudleySmith

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I'd also proffer our gasoline engines were more developed at the time than diesels.

Yes; they had a lot more power per pound of weight at the time; Cummins and others didn't really break that barrier until the late '40's and early 1950's. Their only selling point was the cheap fuel for commercial vehicles. With Feds backing research in the 1930's on small diesels I think they would have moved it along a lot faster than the privately funded engineering projects did, though.
 

shoshi

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Only outclassed if they were stupid and tried to fight them in open country at 2,000 yards. With rare exception, this was not the terrain of Western Europe. In actual engagements the US did quite excellently against them, absolutely obliterating German Panther thrusts in July.
The Super Sherman with the 105 with a gyrostabilizer the same gun our Centurions had bested the t-55 in longer range battles. read about the battle for the Golan in 1973.
 

Zincwarrior

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The Super Sherman with the 105 with a gyrostabilizer the same gun our Centurions had bested the t-55 in longer range battles. read about the battle for the Golan in 1973.
The L7? I am sure. However, I am referring to M4s facing German big cats in 1944.
 

martybegan

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Only outclassed if they were stupid and tried to fight them in open country at 2,000 yards. With rare exception, this was not the terrain of Western Europe. In actual engagements the US did quite excellently against them, absolutely obliterating German Panther thrusts in July.

Gun front to gun front yes, but the US tankers could call in airstrikes, or have another platoon maneuver to get flank shots.

So in general I agree with you.
 

Zincwarrior

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Gun front to gun front yes, but the US tankers could call in airstrikes, or have another platoon maneuver to get flank shots.

So in general I agree with you.
Exactly. Plus most engagement s were much closer, and the Germans didn't have many operational cats at any time.
 

DudleySmith

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Panzers were vulnerable to side and rear shots like most every other tank in the war was, and of course infantry took out the most tanks, regardless. The American doctrine proved to be the most successful one in practice according to statistics. Our performances in the field also proved we could have won the war without Soviet help as well; not so with the Soviets, who would have been out of the war without the British shipments arriving in Moscow just in time to save that city and the later supplies.
 
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