Initially known as the T6 Medium Tank, the M4 "General Sherman" would go on to become one of the most important and most produced tanks of WW2 and was only out produced by the Soviet T34. Seeing battle on all fronts and in a plethora of forms, the tank would become one of either fond or awful memory to the soldiers who handled it. Often misused and asked to handle tasks usually assigned to heavy tanks in other armies because there was nothing else available.
Dimensions: 6.16 x 2.67 x 2.79 (h) mt
Weight: 30.7 tons
Armament: 1x 75 mm Gun, 1x MG
Propulsion: Gasoline Chrysler A-57, 425 hp
Speed (Max): 39 km/hr
Armor (Max): 85 mm
British Sherman VC Firefly
Some 300 of these trusty and robust tanks first went into British service during the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. From that point, the General Sherman, or simply "Sherman", quickly became the principle tank of the British armored force during WW2. These tanks came initially armed with US 75mm, 76mm, and 105mm guns, however, it was the British conversion to the Firefly design that made this tank a real battle winner. In 1943 it was decided to place the highly successful 17pdr gun in the Sherman. The British redesigned the turret slightly, mounted a 17pdr on it's side and then adapted it for left handed loading.
Dimensions: 7.52 x 2.68 x 3.25 (h) mt
Weight: 32.3 tons
Armament: 1x 76.2 mm Gun, 1x MG 7.62 mm
Propulsion: Gasoline Chrysler Multibank A57, 425
Armor (Max): 85 mm
Speed (Max): 47 km/hr
French Char B1-bis
At the request of General Estienne and on the basis of previous studies worked out by Renault, Schneider, FAMH, FCM, and Delaunay-Belleville, a new battle tank was developed under the code designation of "Tractor 30". In 1929-30, three pilot models were built by Renault and FCM. These later became designated Char B. These three pilot models were extensively reworked and modified for tests. The first one, reengined and uparmored became the early prototype for the B1-ter in 1937. The Char B1 was the production version of the Char B. Production began in 1935. Only a small number were built before construction changed to the more powerful B1-bis. The B1-bis was the main battle tank of the French army in 1940. Considered one of the most powerful and advanced tanks in the world, it was hampered only by it's low speed and cost of production. The B1-ter did not go beyond protype stage. Had the B1-bis been better employed, it would have easily defeated any invading German tank in 1940.
Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.5 x 2.8 (h) mt
Weight: 32 tons
Armament: 1x 47 mm, 1x 75 mm cannon 2x 7.5 mm MG
Propulsion: Gasoline Renault, 300 bhp
Armor (Max): 60 mm
Speed (Max): 17.2 km/hr
The T-34/85 utilized the hull & components of the earlier 76mm version, but fitted with a new turret. The new turret incorporated two major improvements. The first was that it accommodated three men, so the commander no longer doubled as the gunner. The second was the replacement of the F-34 gun with an 85mm gun. The early models suffered from unreliable engines & clutches that limited their usefulness. These problems were mostly ironed out in later versions and the T-34 became one of the best tanks of the war.
Dimensions: 8.15 x 3.0 x 2.6 (h) mt
Weight: 32.0 tons
Armament: 1x 85 mm Gun, 1x MG 7.62 mm
Propulsion: Diesel W-2 34, 500 hp
Armor (Max): 90 mm
Speed (Max): 55 km/hr
German Panzer V Panther Ausf G
After 2000 Panther A's, the production lines switched to the Panther G. This introduced a number of detail improvements, the most noticeable being the elimination of the driver's vision opening in the hull front. Instead, the driver was supplied with a rotating periscope and seat & control extensions that permitted him to drive with his head out of the hatch. Other changes included upper hull side plates that were 10mm thicker & a variety or reliability improvements. Aside from the reliability problems, many of which had bean ironed out with the Ausf G, the Panther was probably the best all-round tank of WW2.
Dimensions: 6.88 x 3.40 x 2.98 (h) mt
Weight: 45.5 tons
Armament: 1x 75 mm Gun, 3 x MG 7.92 mm
Propulsion: Gasoline Maybach HL230P30, 700 hp
Armor (Max): 110 mm
Speed (Max): 46 km/hr
This tank can be regarded as a product improvement of the M 14/41 though external resemblance is close. The tank is slightly longer and can be distinguished from earlier models by the lack of a crew hatch on the left side and the appearance of a crew hatch on the right! The gun was longer, the turret was electrically traversed, speed improved, improved armor, and in general, a better ride. 82 of these tanks were built in 1943 before the war ended for Italy, but, these units did see action against the Germans. The rebuilt Ariete Division, located in Italy, took part in the Italian attempt to deny Rome to the Germans between 8 and 10 September 1943.
Dimensions: 5.04 x 2.23 x 2.39 (h) mt
Weight: 15.5 tons
Armament: 1x 47 mm Gun, 2x MG 8 mm
Propulsion: Gasoline SPA 15TB M42, 192 hp
Armor (Max): 50 mm
Speed (Max): 40 km/hr
Japanese Type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha
After the idea of a heavy tank was dropped in the thirties, Japan started the development of a medium tank. The Chi-Ha, initially considered too costly, was preferred after that the outbreak of the war against China had put aside budgetary considerations. Well-adapted for a war against China, it proved to be quite inadequate against the Western or Russian tanks developed during the war. It remained the Japanese standard tank during the whole war. In order to improve the anti-tank capability of Chi-Ha, a new turret mounting a high-velocity 47mm gun was loaded on Chi-Ha. Shinhoto means 'New Turret' in Japanese. Its first service in action was at Corregidor Island of the Philippines in 1942. The defeat against the Russians at Kalkin Gol had shown the necessity for better medium tanks than the original Chi-Ha. Though it has been ready for several months, it only entered service in the spring of 1942, at a time when it was already outdated. The new turret was moved to the right of the vehicle and was equipped with a longer gun. That differentiate easily the Shinhoto from the original model which shared the same hull.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.34 x 2.38 (h) mt
Weight: 16 tons
Armament: 1x 47mm Type 1 Gun
Propulsion: Diesel Mitsubishi Type 97, 170 hp
Armor (Max): 25 mm
Speed (Max): 38 km/hr
Edited by Mig Eater, 09 April 2005 - 05:29 PM.