The 90 mm and the M4

The M4 Shermans in WoT at the moment are only armed with the classic 75 mm, the fast firing 76 mm guns, and the 105 mm howitzer. In lieu of foreign weaponry such as the 17 pdr or the French 105 mm, WG has already likely modeled a 90 mm armed M4 as seen below.

This particular vehicle, called the M4 90V by WG, was built in 1944 in order to have 90 mm armed tanks in order to give American tankers a weapon that could more easily defeat German armor. I have not found an official designation of this vehicle in my resources so I can only assume that WG’s name is acceptable.

The M4 90V used the hull from the M4A3 and used a turret from the T26. The T26′s turret had the same turret ring diameter so mounting the turret was fairly simple. The M4 90V program was halted after it was realized that once the M4 90V program would slow the T26E3 program down and the T26E3s would be ready for combat as soon as the M4 90Vs making these hybrid Shermans rather pointless.

This is not the first instance that the US looked into arming the M4 with a 90 mm gun. As early as Oct. 1942 the Ballistic Research Laboratory looked into the plausibility of a 90 mm armed M4. The 90 mm M1 AA gun at the time would have to be heavily modified in order to squeeze into the turrets originally designed for the 75 mm M3 gun.  This included changing the ammunition which lessened the cartridge case and chamber capacity and thus decreasing penetration. An alternative proposal made by the BRL was to modify a 3 inch (76 mm) gun by increasing the chamber capacity which would increase penetration that would be comparable to the 90 mm’s(~150-160 range). This would have created a weapon very similar to the British 17 pdr which was used in the “Fireflies” successfully. Unfortunately nothing came from these projects.

The BRL’s 90 mm Sherman also featured a modified hull which reduced the silhouette of the vehicle.

In the fall of 1943 there was discussion between the Armored Board, Ordnance, and the Army Ground Forces for a 90 mm armed Sherman. In the end no 90 mm M4s came from this due to the AGF’s belief that tanks are not meant to fight tanks*, a mistake as German armor gave American tankers a rude awakening in the hedgerows of Normandy.

*This means on a large scale as FM 17-10 states tanks are to perform anti-armor roles.  It was the job of TDs and artillery to deal with concentrations of armor in WWII.

The M36 Tank Destroyer we have in WoT is in all practicality a 90 mm armed M4. The M36B1 even more so than the regular M36 as it shares the exact same hull as the M4A3 tanks. The Jackson’s birth is worth mentioning as well. The M10 Wolverine was first tested with a 90 mm in November of 1942, this project dates back to April of 1942. The M36′s development was slow as the same with most American vehicles. A new turret design was adopted and the M36 and it was pitched to Army Ground Forces, but the M36 got caught up in the confusion over a 90 mm gunned Sherman tank and was initially denied. Soon after it was pitched again as a measure against the Siegfried Line. The “Siegfried Line” excuse was also used to build the T28/T95.


The M4 90V is likely to come in WoT as a premium vehicle. Tier 7 would be reasonable in my opinion. There is a subatomic sized chance that a 90 mm M4 would be a regular tank, but I can dream can’t I? The BRL’s super 3 inch gun is another dream of mine. The M36B1 is likely to be included into WoT as a hull module for the M36 in the future. The biggest gain of the M36B1 over the regular M36 would be mobility given by the Ford GAA engine which is currently unavailable to the M36.

Edit: The Chieftain has informed me that the GAA might be added to the M36 before the hull module patch.


Hunnicutt’s Sherman

Zaloga’s Armored Thunderbolt

59 thoughts on “The 90 mm and the M4

  1. Wait it still uses the Sherman standard hull? what would the turret thickness be would it be another easy 8 except at tier 7 with a better gun?

    • The turret would be the same as the stock M26 Pershing. So 101 mm + 114 mm mantlet which isn’t bad. Compared to the other tier 7 mediums the M4 90V should do OK.

  2. I must say, you do excellent research. As pleasing as the M4 90V is, that BRL is interesting…lowered hull, 90mm gun….thats like a M4 Tank Destroyer-Edition. I want! :) Excellent article as always.

    Side question: Did you find any other not-well-known, interesting M4 variants in your searches?

  3. A reduced charge 90mm probably wouldn’t be anything to get excited over. Except if you give it HVAP. Then you have a potent round with the absolute best accuracy of WWII.

      • Interestingly enough, the m3 lee appears (in the name of the file) as an m3 grant in replays.

        My understanding is that the Grant was the same as the lee, just lend leased to the British?

        • The British used both, but preferred the Grant, which was modified to their specifications (mainly a new turret).

      • Isherman will be SerB way to drink the tears of butthurt of overzealous anti-Israel player. Though if ISherman has been confirmed, i hope they also include that Egyptian Sherman with AMX-13 turret.

        Some will said it ugly, but i says it has its own charm.

  4. As long as I can use hull down tactics in this 90mm M4 I am fine. This would be indeed a nice tier 7 premium tank. The T20 that is currently in tier 7 has the same 90mm gun but compared to other tier 7s it has a much worse ROF, so it has less DPM compared to other tier 7s.

    “Weak hull, strong turret”, would fit in for those american tactics. A mini T29, sort of.

    Anyone had an idea of the mobility? It was not using the M4A3E8 chassis yet, not it is using the M4A3A2 chassis. I do bet that the mobility would be somewhat reduced compared to the regular M4 due the turret…

      • fuck no, remember how they said they’d never introduce the leo1, because it was too modern
        remember how they said they’d never introduce smoothbore (t62, i’m looking at you) because they’re a whole new tank era
        remember how they said they’d limit introduced tanks with a certain year (smth about 50s) because later tanks were too modern, compared to those developed during the ww2-era

        • actually, the T-62A in game is not the real T-62
          SS can confirm ;)

          as for what it was said vs what was done, I still believe it would be introduced as a premium tank

        • T-62A=/=T-62

          The standard T-62 used a smoothbore cannon(so it could conceivably fire HEAT rounds without the bearing sleeve crap) while the T-62A variant uses a rifled gun.

          In gameplay terms, a smoothbore cannon would have penetration ratings upward of 400mm so it would punch hole after hole into a Maus regardless of the maneuvers it’s driver would employ.

        • They’re rather less concerned about the chronological date than the *technology* you know. Which is perfectly reasonable as stuff like composite armour, smoothbores and serious FCS would quite literally “change the rules” – the first one would require major revision of the penetration system for example.

          • Not to mention ERA(explosive reactive armor), proper gun stabilization(like oh say hitting a target from 1km away while moving full speed) and other such goodies as electronic fire control and targeting computers.

    • I would expect no Firefly, till we get the Brit Lend-Lease Tree, we won’t get that with out the Grant, and we won’t get the Grant without Multi Guns working, cause they don’t want people complaining about the Grant, like they do now with the top Turret and Gun not working on the Lee.

      I want the Firefly too, badly, relax it will come….


  5. This particular vehicle, called the M4 90V by WG, was built in 1944 in order to have 90 mm armed tanks in order to give American tankers a weapon that could more easily defeat German armor.

    Why did they need that? In one of your previous articles you stated that shermans were pwning panthers regardles of gun they used, 9 out of 10 battles they were steamrolling the germans and even russians threw their T-34s out, amazed by genius of M4′s construction?

    • In expectation of bigger, stronger armor perhaps.
      Or because higher caliber gun means more HE load, increasing efficiency against soft targets, and being able to punch through armored targets with AP rounds with HE filler to insure one hit one kill capability, instead of having to use HVAP rounds devoid or HE filler and hope you hit something vital enough to make the crew abandon the tank.

    • Don’t forget there is a world of difference between perception and reality. The sherman might have been a better asset overall because of low cost and ease of use and maintenance when you look at the big picture, but that’s probably not what the general feeling was at the time.

    • Sensible planners keep their options open for if and when the current ironmongery won’t cut it anymore. IIRC most current-gen NATO tanks have an upgunning to 140mm designed and prototyped since over a decade ago already, just in case it proves necessary one day.
      Compare the Soviets and their 107mm high-velocity guns in *1940-41* which were total overkill for the time and similarly designed “in case of fire break glass” so to speak.

    • Defeating German armor with 75/76 mm guns is still a tough job and having a 90 mm gun would make the job easier, especially in frontal engagements.

      Your reasoning is a little off.

  6. Shouldn’t it be called the M4A3(90) since, as far as I know, the only time the letter ‘v’ is used in designations is for VVSS suspensions?

  7. <<<The M36 Tank Destroyer we have in WoT is in all practicality a 90 mm armed M4.

    LOL? Turret armour is triple as thick and the turret itself five times heavier – sure, no difference.

  8. Sherman with 90mm gun and Pershing’s turret will be much better than T20 at T7 and it’s already been known that WG doesn’t want premium tanks that are better than their regular counterparts. But on the other hand i find Dicker Max to be much better than JgpzIV for instance so everything is possible whether it’s gonna be premium or regular tank.