Medium Tank M4(105)/ Sherman IB

The Medium Tank M4 (105) was a version of the Sherman tank that carried a 105mm howitzer, and was powered by the Wright-Continental R975 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 M4 was to be produced in 76mm and 105mm versions, as the M4(76)W and M4(105)W, although the 76mm version was later cancelled.

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 M4(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 M4(105) introduced the other changes from the 'ultimate' design, including the sharp-nosed version of the differential and final drive housing, new driver seats and a vision cupola for the commander.

The M4(105) entered production at the Detroit Tank Arsenal in February 1944, and 1,641 were built between then and March 1945. Of these 593 went to the UK, where they were designated the Sherman IB.

The last 841 M4(105)s were built with the HVSS suspension and wide 23in tracks. Early tanks were given the standard split circular commander's hatch, but during the production run the new vision cupola was installed. Originally the power traverse system was removed from the 105mm tanks, on the grounds that they wouldn't be engaged in fast moving armoured combat, but in service it was found that they often needed to fire on widely separated targets, and so the power traverse system was reintroduced (arriving in Europe at the very end of the war).

Stats
Production:
Hull Length: 244in
Hull Width: 105in
Height: 115.7in
Crew: 5
Weight: 69,400lb combat weight
Engine: Continental R975 C4 9 cylinder air cooled radial
Hp: 400hp at 2,400rpm
Max Speed: 21mph sustained, 24mph max
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 (19 December 2016), Medium Tank M4(105)/ Sherman IB , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_medium_tank_M4_105.html

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