M4 Medium Tank


First prototype (T6) appeared in September 1941. Production started at 1,000 per month and increased to 2,000 and were built at 11 plants. Production was able to quickly switch over from the M3 to the M4 as they both shared bottom hulls, engines, suspension, and tracks.
Gun had velocity of 2,030 ft/sec, and penetrate 3.1 inches at 1,000 yards.
Gyrostabilizer was installed. Turret rotated on ball bearing race that was recessed and thus protected from enemy fire. Two hatches in the bow and 1 in turret, plus escape hatch in floor. Auxiliary generator provided extra power and could be used in preheating engine.
The tanks had azimuth and elevation controls installed so that the main gun could be used an artillery weapon. Also FM communication radio systems were installed and could be tied into any local field artillery fire control. It could often run 2,500 miles before major maintenance on the tracks and bogies.
In 1944 the Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS) was phased into production. It enhanced mobility.
First saw action at Battle of Alamein in October 1942.
M4: Welded hull. Three piece bolted nose. Initial models had narrow M34 gun mount. Later production models had wider M34A1. Late 1943 hull was combination cast/rolled.

Image: M4A1 (14K)
M4A1:
Cast hull. Early models had M3 bogie units, M2 75 mm gun with counter weights and twin fixed MGs in hull. Soon hull MGs eliminated and M3 75 mm gun used. M34A1 mount and sand shields were added.
M4A2: Some early vehicles had spoked wheels. Used only by USMC and Lend Lease.
M4A3: Welded hull. Used mainly by US Army. Late models had improved cupola, a loaders hatch, and wet stowage for ammunition.
Image: M4A3E8 (22K)
Image: M4A3E8 (33K)
Image: M4 (34K)
M4A3E2 Assault Tank: Armor added hull 100 mm, turret 150 mm. 84,000 lb. Grousers added to track to improve ride. 22 mph. Originally 75 mm gun but some replaced by 76 mm once in Europe. Grand Blanc May-June 1944 254. "Jumbo"
M4A4: Three piece bolted front. Early models had M34 gun mount and vision slots in hull eliminated. Later vehicles had the M34A1 mount.
M4A5: Designation reserved for Canadian Ram but never used.
M4A6: Production was cancelled due to difficulties.

Image: M4 (12K)
M4, M4A3 105 mm:
  105 mm howitzer installed in place of 75 mm in turret. A pintle for towing a trailer was installed.
M4 (105mm): Detroit Arsenal Feb - Sept 1943 800.
M4 (105mm) HVSS:
With new suspension. Detroit Arsenal Sept 1944 - Mar 1945 841.
M4A3 (105 mm): Detroit Arsenal Apr-Aug 1944 500.
M4A3 (105mm) HVSS: New suspension. Detroit Arsenal Aug 1944 - May 1945 2,539.

M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3 76 mm: 76 mm gun replaced 75 mm in turret. It had better velocity and thus armor penetration. 2,600 ft/sec, range of 16,100 yards, penetrate 4 inches at 1,000 yards. Gun can also be used in indirect fire mode as an azimuth indicator and elevation quadrant was also available. Water protected ammo racks installed.
M4 (76 mm):
Welded hull. Continental R975-C1 petrol.

Image: M4A1E8 (16K)
M4A1 (76mm): Cast hull. Continental R975-C1 petrol. Pressed Steel Jan 1944 - June 1945 3,396.

Image: M4A2 (9K)
M4A2 (76mm):
Welded hull. GM diesel 6-71. Grand Blanc June-Dec 1944 1,594, Pressed Steel May-June 1945 21.

Image: M4A3 (9K)
M4A3 (76mm): Welded hull. Ford GAA-III petrol. Detroit Arsenal Feb-July 1944 1,400, Grand Blanc Sept-Dec 1944 525.

Image: M32 (24K)
Image: M32 (24K)
Tank Recovery Vehicle M32:
Based on M4. Turret replaced. 81 mm mortar to fire smoke. 60,000 lb winch and a pivoting A-frame jib 18 feet long. 62,000 lb, 24 mph, length: 19' 1.25".
Tank Recovery Vehicle M32B1: Based on M4A1.
Tank Recovery Vehicle M32B2: Based on M4A2.
Tank Recovery Vehicle M32B3: Based on M4A3. Later vehicles had HVSS.
Tank Recovery Vehicle M32B4: Based on M4A4.
Full-Track Prime Mover M34: M32B1 removed a-frame and winch. Used as tractor for heavy artillery guns. In service 1944.
M4 Dozer: M4s fitted with dozer blades. First use was in Italy in 1943. Used in many locations afterwards. Some had turret removed and were used by Engineer Corps.

A quote from an e-mail from Owen J. "Red Gavigan I was commander of the first tank to land on Utah beach on 6-6-44 with C Co. of the 70th tank Bn. My tank had a dozer hanging on the front and came in damn handy then and for seven more days until we got knocked out going through a hedgerow, not to mention what we did on the beach. My CO, John Ahearn, was commander of the second tank to land. We both are mentioned in several histories. One by Marvin who is the author of "Strike Swiftly" and the other by Stephen Ambrose, author of "D Day."

M4 Mobile Assault Bridge: Field modification in Italy. Double track bridge with a-frame. Small number built.
M4 with Cullin Hedgerow Device: Field modification in Normandy. Prongs from beach defenses added to help get through hedgerow country.
Mine Exploder T1E1 (Earthworm): Disks made of armor plate. Saw limited use.
Mine Exploder T1E2: Disc roller being reduced to 2 forward units each with 7 discs. Experimental only.
Mine Exploder T1E3 (M1) "Aunt Jemima": Two roller units each of 5 10' steel discs. 75 built. Used in Normandy and Italy. Most widely used mine exploder. Sometimes a 2nd tank was used to push it.
Mine Exploder T1E4: Developed in 1944 with 16 discs pushed in front.
Mine Exploder T1E5: Developed in July 1944 based on T1E3 but with smaller wheels. Experimental only.
Mine Exploder T1E6: As T1E3 but with serrated edges to discs. Experimental only.
Mine Exploder T2E1: Similar to T2 used on M3. Developed for US Marine Corps. For use with Tank Recovery Vehicle M32 utilizing the boom. Proved impractical and abandoned in Oct 1944.
Mine Exploder T2 Flail: American designation for British Crab I equipment. Small number used by US Army in NW Europe.
Mine Exploder T3: Based on British Scorpion. Proved unsatisfactory and development stopped in 1943.
Mine Exploder T3E1: T3 rebuilt with longer arms and sand filled rotor. Proved unsatisfactory and cancelled.
Mine Exploder T3E2: T3E1 with rotor replaced by steel drum of larger diameter. Terminated at wars end.
Mine Exploder T4: British Crab II.
Mine Excavator T4: Plough device developed in 1942. Impractical and was abandoned.
Mine Excavator T5: Like T4 but plough was v shaped. Modified version of this was designated T5E1.
Mine Excavator T2E2: Late 1943 was modified T5E1 with arms and hydraulic lift gear from the M1 dozer so plough could be raised or lowered.
Mine Excavator T6: Design based on v shaped plough. Unsatisfactory due to inability to control depth.
Mine Excavator T5E3: Angled plough was mounted on front of M1 dozer assembly.
Mine Exploder T7: Late 1943, consisted of frame carrying small rollers each made of 2 discs. Unsatisfactory and abandoned.
Mine Exploder T8: Steel plungers carried on a pivoted frame. Beat up and down on the ground as vehicle moved forward. Steering was adversely affect. "Johnnie Walker"
Mine Exploder T9: Six foot roller. Difficult to maneuver.
Mine Exploder T9E1: Lighter T9 but unsatisfactory as sometimes failed to explode mines.
Mine Exploder T10: Remote controlled mine exploder with a tricycle unit placed under tank and controlled by following tank. Unwieldy and cancelled.
Mine Exploder T11: With 6 mortars to fire forward. Experimental only.
Mine Exploder T12: 23 mortars. Proved effective but was cancelled.
Mine Exploder T14: M4 tank with added belly armor and heavy duty tracks. Cancelled at war end.
Mine Resistant Vehicle T15, T15E1, T15E2: Similar to T14 and cancelled at war end.
Snake Equipment for M4: Push snake explosive charge in front of vehicle and detonated. Not used.
E4R2-5R1, E4R3-5R1, (M3-4-3) Flame guns: Mounted in place of hull machine gun. Was a kit and fitted in field.
E4R4-4R 5-6RC Flame gun: Fitted to hull machine gun and fuel container carried in the tank.
POA Flame thrower: US Navy Mk I flame thrower fitted inside a 105 mm barrel with breech removed. Used in Pacific.
POA-CWS 75-H1: Used 75 mm barrel.
POA-CWS 75-H2: Projector attached to right side of 75 mm gun.
E6-R1 Flame gun: Kit that fit in the periscope aperture in the assistant driver's hatch.
E7-7 Flame gun: Short projector which replaced main gun. Fuel carried in hull.
Ronson Flame gun: Canadian Ronson flame thrower. Used by USMC.
M4 Crocodile: Used British Crocodile equipment. 4 were used by 2nd Armored Division in Europe.
E1 Anti-personnel Tank Projector: Four projectors put on hull to help ward of suicide troops. Cancelled at war end.
Rocket Launcher T34 Calliope: 60 4-6" rocket tubes mounted above the turret. 2 sets if 12 tubes on bottom. First used by 2nd Armored Division in France. Limited combat.
Rocket Launcher T34E1: 14 tubes in 2 bottom units.
Rocket Launcher T34E2: Longer and held 60 7.2" rockets. Saw limited combat in 1945.
Rocket Launcher T39: Mount of enclosed box with doors over tubes. 20 7.2" rockets. Experimental only.
Rocket Launcher T40(M17) WhizBang: Box like frame with 20 7.2" rockets. Saw some combat in 1944-45.
Rocket Launcher T40 short version: Shorter rocket tubes.
Rocket Launcher T72: Short tubes like T34 but never used.
Rocket Launcher T73: Similar to T40 but only 10 rockets. Never used.
Rocket Launcher T76: M4A1 with 7.2" rocket replacing main gun. Never used.
Rocket Launcher T105: M4A1 with box like case instead of main gun. Never used.
Multiple Rocket Launcher T99: 2 box like mounts with 22 4.5" rockets mounted on the turret. Never used.
Multiple Gun Motor Carriage T52: Developed by Firestone with 2 40 mm or one 40 mm and 2 .50 cal MGs in a ball traversing turret. Was too slow and project terminated in October 1944.
Demolition Tank T31: M4A3 HVSS with 105 mm howitzer and 2 7.2" rockets mounted in turret. Never used.

British Service:
Nicknamed Sherman and name stuck. Saw action with the 8th Army at the Battle of Alamein on Oct 24, 1942. Major deliveries were of the M4A4.
Sherman I: M4.
Sherman Hybrid I: Late production M4 with cast hull.
Sherman IB: M4 105 mm.
Sherman IBY: M4 105 mm HVSS, delivered late 1945.
Image: Sherman IC (23K)
Sherman IC
Sherman II
Sherman IIA: 76mm.
Sherman IIC Firefly: With 17 pdr gun. Was in Normandy landings and only allied tank that could take on Tiger and Panther tanks. Initially issued 1 per troop due to shortage of 17 pdr.
Sherman Scorpion IV: Scorpion equipment mounted on Sherman II in North Africa in May 1943.
Sherman II (M32B1), ARV Mk III: M32 B1 TRV.
Sherman III
Sherman IIIAY: With 76 mm, wet stowage and HVSS. Delivered late 1944.
Sherman III, ARV Mk I: With turret removed and fitted with winch and a-frame.
Sherman Kangaroo: 8th Army converted 75 Sherman IIIs in Italy. Room for 10 infantry men.
Sherman III and V DD: Original conversions adding a screen erected by rubber tubing filled with air. Two propellers drove vehicle at 4 knots.
Sherman III and V DD Mk I: Strengthened top rail.
Sherman III DD Mk II: Mk I with small improvements.
Sherman III and IIIAY DD Mk III: American conversions for British. Had HVSS and 76 mm gun. In service late 1945.
Sherman IV
Sherman IVA: With 76 mm, wet stowage.
Sherman IVB: 105 mm.
Sherman IVC Firefly: With 17 pdr.
Sherman V
Image: Sherman VC (26K)
Sherman VC Firefly: With 17 pdr. Hull MG and gunner deleted to increase ammo storage.
Sherman V (Rocket): Filed modification by Coldstream Guards, Guards Armored Division. Provided twin launchers for 60 lb aircraft rockets on side of Sherman V turret. Modifications not adopted elsewhere.
Sherman V, ARV Mk I: With turret removed and fitted with winch and a-frame.
Sherman V, ARV Mk II: With dummy turret and dummy gun.

Sherman VII: M4A6. Few if any delivered to Britain.
Image: Sherman Mk VIIC (32K)
Sherman VIIC:
With 17 pdr.
Sherman Gun Tower: Converted in Italy for towing 17 pdr anti-tank gun.
Sherman Badger: M4A2 HVSS fitted with Wasp equipment. Developed in Canada in 1945.
Sherman BARV: Modified for deep wading for Normandy landing. Could work in 9' of water. 52 delivered.
Sherman Fascine Carrier: 79th Armored Division removed turret and carried 2 or 3 fascines. Not used.
Sherman OP/Command/Rear Link: Extra radio equipment.
Sherman Twaby Ark: Bridging vehicle similar to Churchill Ark. Used in training.
Sherman Octopus: Similar to Ark with longer ramps.
Sherman Plymouth: Turret removed to carry Bailey bridge. Used in Italy.
Sherman Pram: Flails and rollers carried on 2 rotor arms. Used experimentally only.
Sherman Marquis: Flail assembly that could be lifted. Rotor drive engine was carried in compartment where turret was removed.  Originally called Octopus.
Sherman Lobster: Similar to Marquis but power was taken from tank engines and turret remained.
Sherman Crab I and II: Developed in June 1943 and brigade attached to 79th Armored Division. Had 43 flails. Organized in troops of 5 and were allocated to local commanders. Mk II had a contouring device to better cover rough ground.
Sherman with CIRD: Identical to Churchill CIRD.
Sherman with AMRCR: Similar to Churchill AMRCR.
Sherman with Centipede: 12 concrete rollers intended to explode German S mines. Used in limited numbers.
Sherman V Adder: Had armored tank at rear of vehicle. Not used.
Sherman Salamander: Wasp flame thrower equipment added. Some used inside of dummy barrel. Not used.
Sherman Crocodile: 4 converted for American use.

  M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A6 M4 (105 mm), M4A3 (105 mm) M4 (76 mm), M4A1 (76 mm) M4A2 (76 mm), M4A3 (76 mm)
Crew Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner
Physical Characteristics      
Weight M4: 66,500 lb
A1: 66,502 lb
A2: 69,000 lb
A3: 68,500 lb
A4, A6: 71,000 lb
A4: 34.8 tons
M4: 66,500 lb
M4A3: 68,500 lb
M4/A1: 70,000 lb
M4A2: 72,800 lb
M4A3: 71,100 lb
Length w/gun M4: 19' 4"
A1: 19' 2"
A2: 19' 5"
A3: 19' 5.5"
A4, A6: 19' 10.5"
M4: 19' 4"
M4A3: 19' 4.5"
M4/A1: 24' 3"
M4A2: 24' 7"
M4A3: 24' 7"
Length w/o gun A4: 19' 10.5"   M4/A1:20' 4"
M4A2: 20' 8"
M4A3: 20' 7.5"
Height 9' 9' 2 11/16" 9' 9"
Width 8' 7" 8' 7" 8' 9.5"
Ground clearance M4, A1: 17 1/8"
A4, A6: 15.75"
17 1/8" 17 1/8"
Ground contact length M4, A1, A2, A3: 12' 3"
A4, A6: 13' 6"
12' 4" 12' 4"
Ground pressure (psi) M4, A1: 13.7 psi
A2: 14.2 psi
A3: 14.1 psi
A4, A6: 13.4 psi
M4: 13.7 psi
M4A3: 14.1 psi
M4/A1: 14.4 psi
M4A2: 14.9 psi
M4A3: 14.6 psi
Turret ring diameter      
Armament (mm)      
Main 75 mm M3, L/40 105 mm howitzer M4 76 mm M1A1 or M1A2
Secondary      
MG .50 cal AA
.30 cal coaxial, hull
.30 MG coaxial, bow
.50 MG AA
.30 hull, coaxial
.50 AA
Side arms M3 2" Mortar
M2 Tripod mount .30 cal MG
.45 cal submachine gun
M3 2" Mortar
M2 .30 cal MG Tripod
.45 cal Submachine gun
Grenades
M3 2" Mortar
M2 .30 cal Tripod MG
5: .45 cal Submachine guns
Grenades
Quantity      
Main M4: 97
A1: 90
A2, A3, A4, A6: 97
66 71
Secondary      
MG 300
4,750
4,000
300
6,250
600
Side arms 12

600
18

600
12
18

900
12
Armor Thickness (mm)      
Hull Front, Upper 50 50 63
Hull Front, Lower 38 38 38
Hull Sides, Upper 38 38 38
Hull Sides, Lower 38 38 38
Hull Rear 38 38 38
Hull Top 25 25 19
Hull Bottom 12 12 12
Turret Front 75 75 63
Turret Sides 50 50 63
Turret Rear 50   63
Turret Top 25 25 12
Engine (Make / Model) M4: Continental R-975
A2: GM 6-71 6046
A3: GAA-III V-WC
A4: Chrysler 5-line WC
A6: Caterpillar RD-1820
   
Cylinders M4: 9    
Net HP M4, A1: 353    
Transmission Synchromesh, 5 forward 1 reverse    
Fuel type M4, A1: Gasoline    
Octane M4, A1: 80    
Capacity M4, A1: 175 gallons
A2: 148 gallons
A3: 174 gallons
A4: 150, 160 gallons
A6: 150 gallons
175 gallons 175 gallons
M4A2: 148 gallons
Performance      
Traverse 360 (36/sec) 360 360 (36/sec)
Max Speed M4, A1: 24 mph
A2: 29 mph
A3: 26 mph
A4, A6: 25 mph
M4: 24 mph
M4A3: 26 mph
M4/A1: 24 mph
M4A2: 29 mph
M4A3: 26 mph
Cross Country 15-20 mph    
Road radius M4: 120 miles
A1: 120 miles
A2: 150 miles
A3: 130 miles
A4, A6: 100 miles
M4: 120 miles
M4A3: 130 miles
M4/A1: 85 miles
M4A2/A3: 100 miles
Turning Radius 62' 62'  
Elevation Limits +25 to -10
A4: -12 to +8
+35 to -10 +25 to -10
Fording depth M4: 3'
A3: 3' 4"
A4, A6: 3' 6"
3' M4/A1: 3'
M4A2: 3' 4"
Trench crossing M4, A1, A2, A3: 7' 5"
M4, M6: 8'
7' 5" 7' 6"
Vertical Obstacle 2' 2' 2'
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute Vertical volute Vertical volute
Wheels each side 6 6 6
Return rollers each side 3 3 3
Track length      
Tires      
Track width 16.5"   23"
Track centers/tread 6' 11" 7' 1" 7' 1"
Production  
Type
Total*
Dates
Location, Date, Quantity*
M4
6,748
7/42-1/44 3/1941: Lima, Pressed Steel, and Pacific Car & Foundry
Pressed Steel from July 1942-August 1943: 1,000
Baldwin Jan 1943- Jan 1944: 1,233
American Loco Feb-Dec 1943: 2,150
Pullman May-Sept 1943: 689
Detroit Arsenal Aug 1943 - Jan 1944: 1,676
M4(105)
1,641
2/44-3/45
M4A1
6,281
2/42-12/43 Lima Feb 1942 - Sept 1943: 1,655
Pacific Car & Foundry Apr 1942 - Nov 1943: 926
Pressed Steel Mar 1942 - Dec 1943: 3,700
M4A1(76)W
3,426
1/44-7/45
M4A2
8,053
4/42-5/44 Fisher/Grand Blanc Apr 1942 - May 1944: 4,614
Pullman Apr 1942 - Sept 1943: 2,737
American Loco Sept 1942 - Apr 1943: 150
Baldwin Oct-Nov 1942: 12
Federal Welder Dec 1942 - Dec 1943: 540
M4A2(76)W
2,915
5/44-5/45
M4A3
1,690
6/42-9/43 Ford June 1942 - Sept 1943: 1,690
Grand Blanc Feb 1944 - Mar 1945: 1,381
M4A3(105)
3,039
5/44-6/45
M4A3(75)W
3,071
2/44-3/45
M4A3(76)W
4,542
3/44-4/45
M4A3E2
254
6/44-7/44
M4A4
7,499
7/42-11/43 Detroit Arsenal
M4A6
75
10/43-2/44 Detroit Arsenal
Total
49,234
2/42-7/45 * The columns may not add up as the information was from 2 different sources