M4 Medium (Sherman) Tank Debunking the Myth


Brian Jones

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Publication Date

Spring 2021


This paper attempts to dispel many of the long-time rumor or myths about American Armor during the Second world War. The M4 Medium tank otherwise known as the Sherman was the leading tank used by the American and other allied armies during the Second world war. Seen as a leap forward for American tank design its reputation was soon to fall heavily due to combat losses against bigger heavier German armor. Men like Belton Cooper a tank mechanic during the war helped carry this negative reputation of the Sherman on into today. Others like amateur historian and former US Army tank officer Nicholas Moran have come to rethink this idea. This paper shows that despite its shortcomings that it was the best tank for the American forces, and that the many embraced myths about the tank are relatively untrue. This is done by giving a summary of its combat records, the strategy and tactics used and, comparing its physical layout such as fire power, armor and maneuverability in combat to its many contemporary tanks both axis and allied. Using first-hand accounts with other primary and secondary source material on the war record of the vehicle it is shown that many of the myths and soiled reputation of the M4 Sherman have been and are exaggerated. This does not however attempt to definitively say that the Sherman was the best tank of the war but that it was effective at its role.


Category B - Award recipient

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