Typically when one sees statements from WW2 veterans concerning the M4 Sherman tank on TV shows or in books, they often are critical of the armor or firepower of the vehicle. These quotes typically come from the final year of the war when the Sherman was being compared to the much heavier German adversaries it faced in Western Europe. While this narrative seems to have defined the Sherman in popular culture, it’s worth pointing out that when the vehicle was introduced in 1942, it was received with much praise by British forces in North Africa. An example of this was recently provided to us by a friend of the site over in the UK who forwarded this letter that was found in the appendix of 7th Half-Yearly Progress Report of the Royal Armored Corps (1st January to 30th June 1943.)
COPY OF A LETTER FROM
SERGEANT L. COLLER, 5th R.T.R.
TO THE TANK PRODUCTION MANAGER
LIMA LOCOMOTIVE INC.
Sgt. L Coller 7883700
5th Royal Tank Regt.
Middle East Forces.
1st February, 1943.
As the Commander of Tank No. 25734 (Serial No.), I would like to ask you, on behalf of my crew, to pass on to your employees, our sincere thanks for giving us the tanks for the victory over the Africka Korps and their Italian satellites.
The workers of your factory rightly share with the 8th Army the honour attendant to the capture of TRIPOLI.
It may be of some encouragement to them to know that 25734 was “in it” and gave much more than it took right from ALAMEIN to TRIPOLI.
ROMMEL, while in BERLIN stated that American tanks were of poor quality, badly made and of no consequence, but i guarantee that the surviving members of this Panzer Division think very differently!
Once again – thank you, and here’s wishing you all the best. May you break all production records in 1943, and so help break Nazi tyranny.
Yours very sincerely
(Sgd) L. COLLER.
The Tank Production Manager,
Lima Locomotive Inc.