M4 Shermans in British use

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yantaylor
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Joined: 20 Mar 2011 14:53
Location: Cheshire

M4 Shermans in British use

Post by yantaylor » 21 Jun 2020 20:09

Hi everyone.

The data what I have says that the British first used Sherman medium tanks at the second battle of El Alamein and these were M4A1s [Sherman IIs]. Later they used M4A2s [Sherman IIIs] in Tunisia. But I can’t find any reference to the basic M4 [Sherman I].

Why I ask is, someone on another site asked me this question, but I couldn’t find the answer.

Ian

Richard Anderson
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Re: M4 Shermans in British use

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jun 2020 21:52

The initial shipments were M4A1 and some M4A2. The bulk of shipments in 1943 were M4A4. M4 and M4A1 were first choice to the US Army until production of M4A3 got going. As the M4A3 were intended to replace the M4 and M4A1 it was then that the M4 began shipping in greater numbers.

Two of the first 28 M4A1 went to Britain under the pre Lend-Lease contracts, one was "Michael", and a third went to Egypt for evaluation. They were followed by 212 M4A1 and 90 M4A2 as an emergency shipment to Egypt on the wake of the Gazala battles and loss of Tobruk. Of those, 51 M4A1 were sunk with Fairport in route, leading to the follow-up sailing of Seatrain Texas with 52 M4A1. Some of those were stripped from the 2d AD and the following deliveries by the end of 1942 were all M4A4, more than 2,200 of them. Nearly 10,000, about one-third M4A4, were delivered in 1943, before the well began to dry up in 1944. In 1945, effectively none were delivered.

Total shipments (officially) were:

2,096 M4 (&5mm)
942 M4A1 (75mm)
5,041 M4A2 (75mm)
7 M4A3 (75mm) Dry (early production)
7,167 M4A4 (75mm)
593 M4 (105mm)
1,330 M4A1 (76mm) Wet
5 M4A2 (76mm) Wet

However, those are official figures. As I say in For Purpose of Service Test,

"Curiously though, it remains unclear exactly how many tanks were shipped to the British under Lend-Lease. In all, 15,253 Medium Tanks M4-series with the 75mm gun and dry ammunition stowage were delivered to the British by 31 December 1944, according to Richard Hunnicutt in his authoritative study of the Sherman tank. However, the tally reported postwar by the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Military History (OCMH), which was derived from the final War Department Lend-Lease reports, states that 15,256 were delivered through V-J Day (2 September 1945), but the total excluded wartime theater transfers and all shipments after V-J Day. Thus, it likely excluded the 90 tanks exchanged in January 1945, as well as other possible shipments. It is also possible that the first three Lima Locomotive M4A1 shipped to Britain were not counted at all. Although purchase orders indicate that only the first shipped, Lima Locomotive M4A1 Pilot #2, christened “Michael” in honor of Michael Dewar, was “paid for” by the British rather than paid for by Army Service Forces and then Lend-Leased, it seems possible the other two fell through the cracks. However, it is likely we will never know for sure."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

yantaylor
Member
Posts: 800
Joined: 20 Mar 2011 14:53
Location: Cheshire

Re: M4 Shermans in British use

Post by yantaylor » 22 Jun 2020 11:12

Thank you Richard.

Ian

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