Medium Tank M4A3(76)W/ Sherman IVA

The Medium Tank M4A3(76)W/ Sherman IVA was the US Army's preferred version of the tank, and combined the welded hull and Ford engine of the standard M4A3 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage system introduced across the Sherman range during 1944.

M4A3 (76mm) Sherman at Gurzenich, December 1944
M4A3 (76mm) Sherman
at Gurzenich, December 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 M4A3(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. 

M4A3 76mm Sherman on assault raft on the Rhine M4A3 76mm Sherman on assault raft on the Rhine

A total of 4,542 M4A3(76)Ws were built. The Fisher Tank Arsenal built 525 with the VVSS suspension between September and December 1944, but most were built by Chrysler's Detroit Tank Arsenal. The first 1,400 were built with VVSS between March and August 1944, for a total of 1,925 M4A4(76)W VVSS tanks.

Work then moved onto the tanks with the new VVSS suspension and 23in tracks, and 2,617 of this model were built at Detroit.

Stats M4A3(76)W
Production:
Hull Length: 297in with gun forward, 287in with gun to rear
Hull Width: 118in
Height: 117in
Crew: 5
Weight: 74,200lb combat loaded
Engine: Ford GAA 8 cylinder liquid cooled V
Hp: 450hp at 2,600rpm
Max Speed: 26mph sustained
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 M4A3(76)W/ Sherman IVA , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M4A3_76W.html

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