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Tank of the month: Sherman

Tankees,

This month we would like to pay your attention to Sherman. Let’s read about its history and the in-game tactics. And don’t forget that the 1st April offer is also dedicated to this vehicle… and to all other tanks and their first victory of the day!

The medium tank M4, known as Sherman, was the primary tank used by the United States during World War II. The vehicle was designed on August 31st, 1940 and remained in service in various countries until 1989.

There were several reasons for creating this tank. At this time engineers were looking for fast produced vehicles that were able to support infantry and provide breakthrough striking capacity. The main goal during the production process was not to exceed certain parameters for width and weight. These ensured a high level of tactical flexibility and permitted its use over a wide array of bridges, roads, and transportation systems.

The M4 replaced the earlier M3 Lee, however many components stayed the same, like suspension, lower hull and engine. The main characteristic of the M4 was its 75mm gun. The 75 mm M3 L/40, was mounted into a full-traverse turret. The crew was consisted of 5 members. Each one was provided a periscope, which could be rotated 360º and tilted up and down, to achieve the best possible view range.

The Army had seven main sub-designations for M4 variants during production: M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A5, and M4A6, and its chassis served as the platform for several derivative armored models.

Sherman was called with many derogatory nicknames referring to its flammability; however gradual upgrades reduced this threat.

Now, let’s talk about the in-game Sherman

M4 Sherman, M4A3E2 and M4A3E8 may seem similar, but they are completely different vehicles and thus have completely different roles on the battlefield.

We can start with M4 Sherman, the tier V American medium tank.

The stock M4 Sherman is using the T41 tracks, the Wright Continental R-975EC2 engine, the SCR 508 radio, the D51066 turret and the 75mm M3L/37 gun.  As in most cases, the stock version of the tank is not a good killing machine.  The vehicle has only 400 hit points, 350 h.p. and almost fully used load limit, with only 300kg to reach its weight load capacity. With the top speed of 48 km/h and traverse speed of 35 deg/s doesn’t really fill the role of a medium tank properly considering the agility of other medium tanks.

However, the weakest point of the stock tank is its gun. It has a relatively high rate of fire, but the average penetration of AP shells are 92 with 110 average damage which does not really give any kind of kick. The armor of the tank's hull is 2” (51mm) in the front and 1.5” (38mm) in the back and on the sides. The frontal armor may seem very thin, but thanks to the rather decent slope, there is some chance of bouncing enemy shots once in a while, especially if you properly angle your tank. However, the turret armor of the M4 Sherman is far more decent than the hull, having 3” (76mm) in front and 2” (51mm) on the sides and at the back.

All these features make the stock M4 Sherman a relatively average tank with good turret armor and above average reload time. However, keep in mind that a low engine power makes it a rather poor scout. You should try keeping your distance and avoiding direct confrontation with heavy enemies.

The usefulness of the tank improves greatly when equipping it with the top of the line setup.
The engine power is raised by 90 h.p. to 440 h.p. when you reach the Wright Continental R-975C4. This makes this vehicle climb hills far faster than heavy tanks and similarly to other medium tank of its tier. Thanks to the stronger engine the top speed is also achieved far faster which helps when the Sherman needs to avoid enemy fire. The traverse speed is just slightly higher, by two degrees, but it is necessary to equip the tracks to fit all the required modules. The SCR 506 radio is a tier IX radio with 700m range which substantially increases the tank performance in the battle making you aware of your friends’ movements almost anywhere they are.

However, the biggest difference in the performance of this machine is its turret and gun. The D51072 turret has actually got worse traverse speed than the D51066 by 3 degrees per second, but it has got 40m more view range (up to 420m). The turret frontal armor is worse on the second turret, but the side armor is improved, making the armor equally thick on all sides – up to 2.75” (63mm). Mind that the turret frontal armor is the same everywhere except the weak spots and the mantlet. The mantlet itself is a bit thicker with 3.5” (89 mm) of armor, with its edges overlapping the turret armor.

Considering that the mantlet is covering the majority of the front of the turret, it makes the tank almost impenetrable when shooting at the front of the turret, what makes the hull down tactics extremely useful (as in most American vehicles). Remember that this does not make your turret invincible, since you still have weak spots that can easily be penetrated even by tanks of your tier or lower.

M4 Sherman can chose between two good guns. The first one is the 105mm SPH M4L23, which is a howitzer-type of gun. It shoots only 8.57 rounds per minute, but it can deliver up to 410 damage per shot with a 53mm penetration.
The damage output of the tank can be substantial against the same and lower tiers thanks to that amount of penetration. Unfortunately when confronting tanks of a higher tier, the 105mm does not deliver as much damage as the 76mm gun, which is the 2nd option you’ve got at hand. The 76mm M1A1 cannon is a relatively fast shooting gun (16.22 rpm, so slightly worse than the 75mm stock gun) with very good penetration values (128 mm) and slightly better damage than the 75mm (115 average damage per shot). The 76mm makes a great weapon for medium tanks thanks to its ability to harm most of the vehicles.

Now a few simple tips to sum up M4 Sherman:
  • Stick to cover not to expose your hull to the enemy's fire.
  • When you encounter an enemy, try to only expose your turret (especially the front).
  • Use hull-down tactics.
  • Remember you’re a medium tank; use your speed and agility to find cover and spot enemies.
  • When engaging heavily armored enemies, shoot them in the sides or rear. If that is not possible, look for weak spots in the front.

M4A3E2 (also known as the Jumbo Sherman) and M4A3E8 (known also as the “easy 8”) are relatively similar tanks to the M4 Sherman. Both of these tanks originate from M4 Sherman and both are available for research as tier VI medium tanks. The E8 nickname “Easy 8” came from the fact that the tank was an experimental vehicle with a new suspension type with wider tracks which made it exceptionally easy to drive. The nickname of the E2, “Jumbo Sherman” was given to it because of its thick frontal armor (far thicker than the normal M4 Sherman armor).

The easy 8 is far more similar to Sherman than E2.
It is practically the same tank as far as gameplay goes. It has very little armor in front, a relatively well armored turret and a good gun. The difference is that the E8 top gun has got outstanding reload time even better than the M4 Sherman stock gun. The tactics basically remain the same; just remember your tier VI tank will face a bit bigger enemies more often than the M4. The tank is able to shoot projectiles dealing 115 average damage in 2 second intervals which makes it extremely fast shooting (similar speed to the AMX 13 75 revolver mag reload speed).  It makes E8 a perfect 2nd line medium tank, following heavier armored mediums into battle.



M4A3E2 is different. The Jumbo Sherman is slightly clumsier than its brothers and does weigh 3 tons more for a start with the same top engine. The biggest advantage of E2 over other E8 is the thickness of the armor. The glacis armor of E2 is 4” (101mm) (in E8 it is 63mm), the side armor is 3” (76mm) (in the E8 it is 38mm) and only the rear armor is the same. The biggest advantage however is the turret armor which is a stunning 7” (177mm) in front. The frontal armor of the turret makes it virtually impenetrable by any tanks of the similar tier and even some higher tiers. Unfortunately you will not be as agile as other medium tanks on the battlefield, but when driving it properly with good use of cover you can easily show your superiority over many other machines.

 

The 1st April special!

The first offer in April is dedicated mainly to M4 Sherman. This special ends on April 2nd at 6:30 CEST (4:30 GMT). During this weekend, you can benefit from:

50% off on the following tanks:
  • M4 Sherman
  • M4A3E8
  • M4A3E2
Additionally, you will receive x3 experience for the first victory of the day.

Don’t miss it! 

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