The Yanks Tanks are coming!
The Sherman tank is the USA’s entrant in the second world war. It, along with the British Churchill and the Russian T-34 are seen as the trio of tanks that helped to win the war and finally best the German Panzers. Named after a famous Civil War General the Sherman’s were just what the beleaguered British and Russian troops needed whilst their own tanks were hurriedly being designed and built. Unfortunately, we don’t have a Sherman tank that you can operate on our Tank Driving Days but we do have the next best thing and it will give you a real feel for how these mighty war machines handle. Why not have a look at our website at https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience.html after you’ve read about the Sherman and its role in the Second world war.
It got off to a rocky start as the stabiliser that allowed you to position the gun was not exactly calibrated right. The gunners soon learned to cope with that and found that if you pointed it a little off to the left or right depending on the idiosyncrasy of the tanks you could generally find the target. They were just happy to finally have a bit of hardware that could mix it with the Panzers that had generally been kicking them all over France and Eastern Europe. Until their own one came along this was more than adequate. The thing that sold them on the Sherman was that it was fast and manoeuvrable unlike the slow lumbering trench warfare-based machines they were given at the start of the war. They could get behind the Panzers now and hit them in the vulnerable rear and get out again. Not only did the Sherman’s sloped front design deflected shots the armour was thicker too. It finally gave them confidence. The Gun could be upgrading to give them some much needed firepower all in all it was exactly what they’d needed from the start and many of the troops commented that the war in France could have gone very differently if they had them then.
The Tanks that the Americans sent over went into service immediately. Some were sent the North and east to be dropped of for the Russians in Arkangel and the swept down for the North to try and thwart the advance on Moscow and also the siege at Stalingrad. The others went South to a completely different environment in North Africa. Here they finally helped the British army to their first victory over the German army by successfully defending Torbruk and then the subsequent battle of El Alamein. After that it was on to Italy and the Second Front in France of D-Day. It was outgunned and under armoured by that point due to German developments, but the ease of production and the sheer weight of numbers meant that it could still hold its own.