40+ Images of Knocked out M4 Sherman Tanks


The M4 Sherman is one of the most famous and significant tanks from World War II, serving in almost every area of action on all fronts.

World War I saw the introduction of mechanised warfare, however it was in relatively small amounts and rather primitive in technology. However the Second World War was really the first time these tools were a primary asset to commanders, with both sides clashing their aircraft, equipment and tanks together on the battlefield.

Tanks were not new in the 1940s, having been introduced by the British in WWI. While they were a shock to the German forces, their overall impact on the war was minimal. Despite this, officials saw their potential. A major arms race over the next 20 years greatly improved tank technology and tactics, and by the time WWII came around, they were vastly more mature in design.

Many nations had invested in tanks, but none more so than Germany, Britain, France and the United States, who thoroughly integrated them into their arsenal. One such vehicle, from the United States, was the M4 Sherman.

M4A1 Sherman 76 mm (wet).
M4A1 Sherman 76 mm (wet).

If someone was to name three tanks from WWII they would most likely be the Tiger, T-34 and M4 Sherman. The Sherman has had quite a mixed reputation since the war, where they were notorious for easily setting alight when hit. But this reputation is perhaps unfair, as most tanks at the time were fire-prone, and some features of the Sherman like large hatches meant crew survival was actually rather high. However, the Sherman could and did burn, earning it a few unenviable nicknames, like “The Burning Grave” and “Tommy Cooker”.

While in most offensive and defensive metrics the Sherman is mostly average, it did have two redeeming factors: quantity and reliability. Against German tanks, what they couldn’t make up for in brawn, they sure made up for in numbers and impressive reliability.

German tanks often never made it to battle due to break downs, and when they did they were vastly outnumbered. In this scenario, the overwhelming numbers of Shermans were more than a match for German tanks. One against one however, and it was a different story. Improvements throughout the war meant the Sherman could eventually compete with tanks out of its weight class, like the infamous Tiger I.

The reliability, ease of mass production and ability to be upgraded meant the Sherman was the workhorse tank on the Western Front, and arguably one of the most important tank designs of the war.

Production

The first Shermans used the M3 75 mm gun, which had a great high explosive round against troops and fortifications, but could barely penetrate the side of a Tiger. By the end of the war, many Shermans came equipped with the M1 76 mm, which could penetrate the front of a Tiger I.

On top Shermans featured a .50 caliber machine gun for air defence, and two .30 caliber machine guns for close troop defence. Some variants had a flame thrower which were found to be very effective in the Pacific Theatre for clearing fortified structures.

M4A1, Italy.
M4A1, Italy.

50,000 M4s were built during the war, making it the second most produced tank in this time, only second to the Soviet T-34, a tank with many parallels to the Sherman. Production started in 1941, and were built by many manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company, Detroit Tank Arsenal and Fisher Tank Arsenal which eventually became a body plant for General Motors. A Sherman cost $33,000 in the 1940s, equivalent to $550,000 today.

The Sherman had many variants throughout its production life. Overall they weighed about 60,000 lbs, could reach a maximum speed of 30 mph and had a 120 mile range. The first engine was a 400 hp nine cylinder radial engine originally designed for aircraft, but once supplies of these ran short other engines were used, including a 30 cylinder engine that could produce around 470 hp. The engines culminated in the Ford GAA V8, that could comfortably produce 500 hp. Shermans had a crew of 5; a driver, co-driver, gunner, loader and commander.

As stated, the Sherman tank was quite vulnerable to German high velocity guns and many were knocked out –  here are a few Sherman wrecks…

 

M4 “Cannonball” of 70th TB, Utah beach
M4 “Cannonball” of 70th TB, Utah beach

 

Was once in German hands
Was once in German hands

 

Incredible forces at play to destroy a 34 ton tank like this Commonwealth Sherman III (M4A2)
Incredible forces at play to destroy a 34 ton tank like this Commonwealth Sherman III (M4A2)

 

Lend Lease M4A2 in Russia
Lend Lease M4A2 in Russia

 

Amongst the Shermans a Churchill ‘Crocodile’
Amongst the Shermans a Churchill ‘Crocodile’

 

A pair of M4A3s of the 12th Armored Division following the fighting in Herrlisheim. Most of the 43rd Tank Battalion was knocked out in this battle
A pair of M4A3s of the 12th Armored Division following the fighting in Herrlisheim. Most of the 43rd Tank Battalion was knocked out in this battle

 

Amazing to see so many Sherman awaiting repair
Amazing to see so many Sherman awaiting repair

 

American 1st Armored Division M4A1 Sherman Wreck Littoria Italy 1944.
American 1st Armored Division M4A1 Sherman Wreck Littoria Italy 1944.

 

Tipped over British Sherman III (M4A2)
Tipped over British Sherman III (M4A2)

 

M4A1 Sherman wreck at Nuremberg, 1945
M4A1 Sherman wreck at Nuremberg, 1945

 

M4A1 Sherman and an M10 Tank Destroyer, MTO
M4A1 Sherman and an M10 Tank Destroyer, MTO

 

M4A3 Sherman being recovered
M4A3 Sherman being recovered

 

The remains of Sherman tanks and carriers waiting to be broken up at a vehicle dump in Normandy, 1 August 1944.
The remains of Sherman tanks and carriers waiting to be broken up at a vehicle dump in Normandy, 1 August 1944.

 

A penetration hole in the front left hull of this M4 “Cognac”
A penetration hole in the front left hull of this M4 “Cognac”

 

Sunk Sherman in Italy
Sunk Sherman in Italy

 

Totally wrecked M4A4. Burned out and not salvageable
Totally wrecked M4A4. Burned out and not salvageable

 

M4A3 76W: Looks like it has slid off the road
M4A3 76W: Looks like it has slid off the road

 

Burned out M4 Composite pushed off a road
Burned out M4 Composite pushed off a road

 

“Bar Fly” an M4 Sherman of the 6th Armored Division knocked out by a German land mine near Hellimer France, November 1944
“Bar Fly” an M4 Sherman of the 6th Armored Division knocked out by a German land mine near Hellimer France, November 1944

 

The grouping of penetrations suggests target practice on this M4A3 75W
The grouping of penetrations suggests target practice on this M4A3 75W

 

Totally destroyed M4A3E2 “Jumbo”
Totally destroyed M4A3E2 “Jumbo”

 

M4 (105) cannibalized for armor plate from side and glacis
M4 (105) cannibalized for armor plate from side and glacis

 

Sherman II (M4A1) in Tank park in North Africa
Sherman II (M4A1) in Tank park in North Africa

 

Burned out Commonwealth Sherman IIB (M4A1 76W); note the rubber burned off of the tracks
Burned out Commonwealth Sherman IIB (M4A1 76W); note the rubber burned off of the tracks

 

GIs walk past a knocked out M4 Sherman at the Anzio Front
GIs walk past a knocked out M4 Sherman at the Anzio Front

 

M4A1 Awaiting recovery
M4A1 Awaiting recovery

 

Shermans recovered from the battlefield
Shermans recovered from the battlefield

 

M4A1E9, on Dutch seaside gunnery range, 1960s
M4A1E9, on Dutch seaside gunnery range, 1960s

 

Two knocked out Commonwealth Sherman IIIs (M4A2s)
Two knocked out Commonwealth Sherman IIIs (M4A2s)

 

Tanks often fired until KOd tanks caught on fire
Tanks often fired until KOd tanks caught on fire

 

A knocked-out Sherman tank in the centre of Lingèvres, 20 June 1944
A knocked-out Sherman tank in the centre of Lingèvres, 20 June 1944

 

Dutch seaside gunnery range target tank
Dutch seaside gunnery range target tank

 

 

Vehicle repair yard
Vehicle repair yard

Another Article From Us: The Mighty M-4 Sherman Tank – WWII Workhorse

Burned out M4 Sherman, Normandy
Burned out M4 Sherman, Normandy