M4A1 Tank Medium (E1955.32)

M4A1 Tank Medium
M4A1 Tank Medium
vehicle info
Precise Name
M4A1 Tank Medium
Other Name
Sherman II (Michael)
Main Utility Type
Medium/Cruiser
Country of Use
U.K.
production
Manufactured
1942, Lima Locomotive Works, United States
Era
World War 2
Nationality
American
location in the museum
The First Lend-Lease Sherman

The British established a Tank Mission in Washington DC in 1940 under the leadership of Michael Dewar, head of British Timken. The original idea was to persuade the Americans to build British tanks but it was later deemed wiser to stick to American designs. At first tanks, like other munitions, had to be paid for but in March 1941 President Roosevelt's Lend-Lease Act came into force. Equipment was loaned to Britain in exchange for American use of British bases.

Design of the M4 Medium Tank dates back to April 1941. A pilot model was ready in September 1941 and production began in February 1942. The design followed that of the Medium M3 (Grant) in terms of engine, transmission and suspension but the hull was quite different, being surmounted by a fully rotating turret carrying the main armament. The first version, classified M4A1, featured a cast hull whereas other versions were welded. Production began at the Lima Locomotive Works and our exhibit is the second production model.

In Britain the tank was christened the Sherman and this is almost certainly the oldest example of a Sherman tank to survive. It has two significant features not seen on later production Shermans. One is the main armament sight, set in the top of the turret; the other is the extra pair of machine-guns, operated by the driver, at the front. The tank was named MICHAEL in honour of Michael Dewar and when it arrived in London it was displayed on Horse Guards Parade as the first Sherman tank to be delivered under the Lend-Lease scheme.
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Gun - 75 mm Gun & .50 Machine Gun (Turret)
Armament - Main Weapon Type
4* .30 Machine Guns (3 Hull, 1 Turret)
Armament - Secondary Weapon Type
Wright Whirlwind (Continental) R975 EC2, 9 cylinder
Engine
Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Transmission
Vertical volute spring
Suspension
Vehicle Statistics
5
Number (Crew)
32.5tons
Weight (Overall)
24mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
50.8mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness - Hull)
75mm
Calibre (Main Gun)
400bhp
Power (Engine Output)
175gall
Volume (Fuel)
120ml
Radius (Range)
75rounds
Number (Projectile)
5.84m
Length (Overall)
2.62m
Width (Overall)
2.74m
Height (Overall)