Medium Tank M4A3 (105mm Howitzer)/ Sherman IVB

The Medium Tank M4A3(105) was a version of the Sherman tank armed with a 105mm howitzer and that used the US Army's preferred Ford GAA V-8 engine.

In the summer of 1943 work began on the medium tank M4 series (ultimate design), which incorporated a series of improvements that had been made to the basic M4 design. The aim was to produce seven new models of the M4, four armed with the 76mm gun, one with the 75mm gun and two with the 105mm howitzer. The M4A3 would be produced in 76mm and 105mm armed versions.

The 105mm versions of the tank were based on the Medium Tank M4E5. They were the only late production versions of the M4 not to use wet shell storage. The M4E5 had carried 68 shells - 45 in floor racks, 21 in racks in the right sponson and two in a ready rack in the turret. The production M4A3(105) carried 66 shells in armoured floor and sponson racks, but eliminated the ready rack. To allow access to the floor racks most of the turret basket was removed.

The M4A3(105) was produced at Chrysler's Detroit Tank Arsenal. Production began in May 1944 and 500 were completed with the VVSS suspension between then and September. Between September 1944 and June 1944 2,539 were built with the HVSS suspension system, for a total of 3,039. The M4A3(105) was thus twice as numerous as the similar M4(105).

Early production M4A3(105)s lacked the new commander's vision cupola, and had no power traverse on the turret. The vision cupola was introduced once enough were available. The power traverse, which had been removed in the belief that the howitzer version wouldn't need it, had to be reintroduced after complaints from the front, where the troops found that they often needed to fire on widely separated targets. It took some time to reintroduce a working system, and the first tanks with power traverse didn't reach Europe until the end of the war.

Stats M4A3 (105) HVSS
Production:
Hull Length: 247in
Hull Width: 118in
Height: 115.7in
Crew: 5
Weight: 72,900lb
Engine: Ford GAA Liquid cooled 8 cylinder V
Hp: 450hp at 2,600rpm
Max Speed: 26mph sustained
Max Range: 100 miles cruising range, roads
Armament: 105mm Howitzer M4 and .30in coaxial MG in turret, 0.5in MG on AA mount on turret, 0.30in MG in bow mount, 2in Mortar M3 (smoke) in turret

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

3.0in

2.0in

2.0in

1.0in

Superstructure

 

 

 

 

Hull

2.5in (upper)

1.5in

1.5in

0.75in (top)

Gun shield

3.6in

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 December 2016), Medium Tank M4A3 (105mm Howitzer)/ Sherman IVB , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M4A3_105.html

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