Medium Tank M4A2(76)W/ Sherman IIIA

The Medium Tank M4A2(76)W combined the welded hull and General Motors engine of the earlier M4A2 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage introduced across the Sherman range in 1944.

Work on the medium tank M4 series (ultimate design) began in the summer of 1943. The aim was to combine all of the main upgrades and improvements developed since the M4 first entered production in a standard base design, that could be used with the various hull and engine combinations used for the M4.

The M4A2(76)W carried the 76mm gun and had the new 'wet' shell storage system. In the original M4 the shells were carried in racks in the sponsons, where they were very vulnerable to damage. In the 'wet' system the racks were moved into the floor. Sixty five 76mm shells were carried on either side of the drive shaft, protected by 34.5 gallons of water. Another six rounds were carried in a ready use rack in the turret floor, protected by 2.1 gallons of water. In order to allow access to the floor racks, most of the turret basket was removed. Other changes included the use of a sharp nosed differential and final drive housing, 2.5in thick front armour, improved drivers seats and a vision cupola for the tank commander. 

The M4A2(76)W entered production in May 1944 at the Fisher Tank Arsenal. A total of 2,915 were built - Fisher built 1,594 in 1944 and 1,300 in 1945, and the Pressed Steel Car Company built 21.

During the production run the new HVSS suspension system was introduced. Early tanks got the original split circular loader's hatch and 76mm gun M1A1 without a muzzle brake. During the production run the smaller oval loaders hatch was introduced, and most tanks got either the M1A1C or M1A2 tank, which could take a muzzle brake.

Most of the M4A2(76)Ws went to the Soviet Union, although five went to the UK as the Sherman IIIA.

Stats M4A2(76)W
Production:
Hull Length: 298in with gun forward, 287in with gun to rear
Hull Width: 105in
Height: 117in
Crew: 5
Weight: 73,400lb combat loaded
Engine: General Motors 6046 12 cylinder liquid cooled twin in-line
Hp: 375hp at 2,100rpm
Max Speed: 25mph sustained, 30mph max
Max Range: 100 miles cruising range, roads
Armament: 76mm Gun M1A1, M1A1C or M1A2 and .30in coaxial MG in turret, .50in MG in AA mount on turret roof, 0.30in MG in hill front, 2in Mortar M3 (smoke) in turret

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top

Turret

2.5in

2.5in

2.5in

1.0in

Superstructure

 

 

 

 

Hull

2.5in (upper)

1.5in

1.5in

0.75in

Gun shield

3.5in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 November 2016), Medium Tank M4A2(76)W/ Sherman IIIA , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M4A2_76W.html

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