another tier 5 medium tank appeared on the supertest – this time an American one, the M4 Improved. While we wait for the leaked photos and statistics, let’s have a look at the history of this vehicle (I sure hope it is the right one, but I think so).
At this point, some of the old FTR readers might remember that they saw this tank before. That’s right – it was actually amongst the huge batch of vehicles, whose descriptions and icons were leaked a year and a half or so ago. Naturally, that is no longer valid – this is the the HD version.
The initial request for an improved version of the Sherman was made as early as December 1941. A day after the infamous Pearl Harbor attack, Aberdeen was instructed to propose an improved Sherman version with better armor and mobility. Aberdeen complied and the proposal was submitted on 13.3.1942. The vehicle proposal had following characteristics:
- frontal armor remained the same except for the lower part, which was sharply angled instead of rounded, providing better protection equivalent to 63,5mm of armor, frontal armor is sloped 60 degrees from horizontal
- thickness of rear armor increased to 50,8mm
- turret was welded from rolled plates due to expect shortage in foundry capacity
- armament was standard 75mm M3 gun
- to improve mobility, new Wright G200 engine, producing 640 horsepower was proposed
- in order to keep the ground pressure the same (since the powerplant and the armor weighed more), Aberdeen proposed to utilize a modified M6 heavy tank suspension (HVSS type)
- the vehicle was weigh 37,92 tons and maximum speed of 56 km/h
This vehicle was never put into production, as further development of several components was required. Detroit Arsenal then produced another proposal of the modified Sherman of different properties, but that’s a story for another time. Unless it’s the Detroit version in WoT, but that would be too strong for tier 6.
Basically, what we have here is a mobile Sherman with better armor, but stock gun.
Source: R.P.Hunnicutt – History of the American medium tank (vol.1 – Sherman)