Texas Attorney Purchases Sherman Tank from French Museum Auction

Fox 26 Houston is reporting that A&M regent and trial attorney Tony Buzbee of Houston Texas has purchased an M4 Sherman tank in running condition.

 

As could be expected, little detail about the tank is provided in the TV news piece.  This particular tank was part of the collection belonging to the Normandy Tank Museum which closed it’s doors last year.  The collection was auctioned off, including two Sherman tanks, twp Stuart Light tanks, a M24 light tank and many other vehicles.  This Sherman tank is an M4A4 which was restored by the Normandy Museum to running condition, although with a Ford GAA engine rather than the A-57 Chrysler multi-bank engine usually found in the A4 variant.  This vehicle also sports what appears to be the all metal T49 style track, which tended to be less common than the rubber block style track.  The T49 track was more commonly found on Sherman tanks in the Pacific or in Italy where the terrain and/or climate were considered inappropriate for standard rubber block tracks.  The M4A4 Sherman variant was generally not found in US Army service as most of them were given to the UK as Lend Lease material.  In British service it was known as the Sherman V.  Given that this vehicle is a M4A4, it is quite possible this tank saw service with UK forces during the war, only to be repainted years later as a vehicle of the US 2nd Armored Division.

For those that wish to read the description of this tank given by the auction company, the brochure for the Normandy Tank Museum auction can be read here.

If anyone knows any more information about the history of this particular tank, please do so in the comments section!

 

From the Vault: General Patton and the Sherman gun debate

One of the most enduring discussions regarding WWII armor revolves around the 75mm gun of the M4 Sherman tank.  Was it good enough?  Should the US Army had replaced it sooner with the 76mm gun?  While browsing through some old issues of ARMOR  magazine, we found this letter to the editor that we thought was worth sharing.  Written by Colonel George Eddy JR, son of Brigadier General George G. Eddy, he relates how his father got into an argument with General Patton over the 75mm gun issue.  This letter appeared in the March-April 1974 issue of ARMOR and it raises a few questions.  First, it must be acknowledged that this is second hand information.  Obviously, George Eddy Jr. was not a witness to this event.  As far as we know, there was not much “discontent” with the M4 after the combat experiences in North Africa.  We would be curious to know if there is any other record of this incident.  It’s worth pointing out that General George Eddy should not be confused with the more well known WWII XII Corps commander General Manton S. Eddy.

George Eddy letter

From the Vault: Korea’s Ridge Running Tankers

Twin 50 pictureWhile the Sherman tank is so closely associated with the Second World War, it’s sometimes overlooked that these vehicles also served the US Army in a very different conflict, the Korean War.  This article from the May-June 1953 issue of ARMOR provides an account by a First Lieutenant who recounts how Sherman tank crews in Korea had to acclimate their tactics and vehicles to fighting a static war in mountainous terrain.  One thing we found rather interesting in this article was the mention that one of the Easy Eight Sherman tanks was equipped with twin .50 cal machine guns on the roof and one in the hull replacing the .30 cal machine gun.  A picture of the vehicle with the twin .50 cal guns is included in the article.  If any other photographic evidence of this particular vehicle exists, we would love to see it.

Click on the page images below to view them in full size.

Tank Commander : From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany – The Memoirs of Bill Close

This is not a new book, but we recently noticed that the kindle edition of Tank Commander : From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany – The Memoirs of Bill Close is only 99 cents on Amazon right now.  From what we understand, this book was originally published in 1998 as “View from the Turret.”  Hardcover copies of that edition have become quite expensive, so this 99 cent kindle edition is a welcome addition for those interested in the history of British Sherman tank commanders of WWII.

Publisher’s Description:

Bill Close had a remarkable war. In campaign after campaign, from the defense of Calais in 1940 to the defeat of Germany in 1945, he served as a tank commander in the Royal Tank Regiment – and he survived. His tanks were hit eleven times by enemy shellfire and he bailed out. He was wounded three times. He finished the war as one of the most experienced and resourceful of British tank commanders, and in later life, he set down his wartime experiences in graphic detail. His book is not only an extraordinary memoir – it is also a compelling account of the exploits of the Royal Tank Regiment throughout the conflict. As a record of the day-to-day experience of the tank crew of seventy years ago – of the conditions they faced and the battles they fought – it has rarely been equaled.

Available from Amazon here.

Tank Chats #39 Sherman M4A1 Michael

David Fletcher of the Bovington Tank Museum takes a look at “Michael”, the second Sherman tank ever produced.

Inside the Hatch: Sherman VC “Firefly” part 1

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran of World of Tanks takes a look at a WWII era “Firefly” tank.

Photo of the Day: Sherman farm tractor

It’s been a while since we posted a photo of the day.  We bring this feature back today with this rather amusing photo taken in the late 1940’s in Chelyabinsk oblast.

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Source.