|This page is about the medium tank M4A4 (Italy). For other versions, see M4 Sherman (Family). For other uses, see M4 (Disambiguation).|
The M4A4 Sherman is the fifth variant of the early-generation Medium Tank M4 (Sherman) family. The M4A4, like other variants of the M4 Sherman family, was part of the military aid delivered to Italy after World War II ended in 1946 to provide equipment for the small military command established for only territory defence. As part of the allied collaboration, the U.S. Army is said to have given at least 57 combined M4A2 and M4A4 variants to the reconstituted Italian Army. These tanks were employed from 1948 to the early 1950s, with the final ones being officially retired in 1952.
Introduced in Update "Starfighters", the M4A4 was the main Italian medium tank after World War II. Armour arrangements are similar to the M4 variant, particularly the hatches that protrude from the hull's slope contour. These hatches should be acknowledged since they cause discontinuities in the slope and impair the overall effectiveness of the sloped armour. Despite the fact that armour plates are welded in front of the discontinuities to provide protection, this is still a significant weakness in the context of the frontal hull, and most experienced opponents would target it. The M4A4 variant also contains a new composite Chrysler multibank engine (composed of five automobile engines), which necessitated additional space (the hull had to be expanded by 15 cm).
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (transmission housing, turret, gun mantlet)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 50.8 mm (56°) Front glacis
50.8 mm (8-17°) + 25.4 mm (29°) Viewports
34 + 25.4 mm (spherical) MG port
50.8 mm (3°) Radio antenna bulge
50.8 mm (cylindrical) Transmission housing
| 38.1 mm
38.1 + 25.4 mm Ammo racks
| 38.1 mm (21°) Top
38.1 mm Bottom
| 19.5 mm Front section |
12.7 mm (7°) Engine bay - centre
19.5 mm (23°) Engine bay - sides
|Turret|| 76 mm (7-65°) Turret front
50.8 mm (9-26°) Turret front - gunner side
50.8 + 88.9 mm (cylindrical) Gun mantlet
| 50.8 mm (1-3°) Turret sides
50.8 mm (58-66°) Roof radius
| 50.8 mm (1-5°) Sponson
50.8 mm (21-65°) Roof slope
|Cupola||50.8 mm (16°)||25.4 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick and bogies are 10 mm thick.
- The belly of the tank is 12.7 mm thick.
- The internal wall separating the crew compartment from the engine bay is 9.5 mm thick.
The hull is very similar to the American M4 Sherman, with a 50.8 mm thick upper glacis and protruding hatches interrupting the glacis (reinforced with appliqué armour). A weak spot is the radio antenna bulge on the machine gunner side. The hull sides feature appliqué armour plates covering the ammunition storage racks. The turret is also very similar but lacks the appliqué armour on the right cheek, leaving a small weakened zone in that area. Frontal protection is quite good for its rank and shots from smaller anti-tank guns can generally be shrugged off, particularly when hull down. However more powerful guns such as the Pz.IV F2's long 75 mm can destroy the tank easily, so care should be taken. The side armour is only 38.1 mm thick and can be easily penetrated by just about any anti-tank gun if not angled.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Based on the chassis of the M4, the M4A4 (Italy) has the same good all-round mobility: the tank accelerates quickly and is able to reach a maximum speed of 44 km/h in a dozen of seconds. The brakes are powerful and will make the M4A4 skid rather than slow down when driving at maximum speed. The violent braking also causes the hull to wobble, making your targeting less accurate. The reverse speed is rather poor: it won't get you out of a dangerous situation quickly enough. The lack of neutral steering makes turning on the spot slow (2 km/h): make sure to build a little speed before turning and you'll turn much faster (11 km/h). Turning in reverse is equally slow (-2 km/h) Turning at full speed doesn't make you lose much speed as your acceleration is good. The offroad mobility is good: the M4A4 (Italy) reaches 16 km/h when fording, 17 km/h when driving uphill with some speed built-up but a mere 10 km/h uphill from a stop start. The tracks are large and grant you a decent mobility on hard (solid ground, roads) and soft terrain (mud, snow, sand). Light and medium obstacles (fences, posts, bushes and small trees) are not a problem but large obstacles will reduce your mobility: avoid them.
Modifications and economy
|75 mm M3||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
When discussing M4A4 (Italy) shells, one always has to account for the fact that it's a medium tank. This means short to medium engagement range, so realistically it can benefit more from its short-range penetration figures than long-range sniping tanks would.
- M72 shot - - Solid shot, stock shell. Acceptable penetration, poor post-penetration damage.
- M48 shell - - Low-velocity shell useful against soft targets, in particular when hitting an open-topped vehicle. Harmless against any vehicle with more than 10 mm of armour.
- M61 shot - - This shell has a better penetration than the M72 thanks to its ballistic cap and a good post-penetration damage thanks to its explosive filler.
- M89 smoke shell - Useful to blind enemy vehicles that are too remote for you to disable so that you can progress towards objectives.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|98||91 (+7)||89 (+9)||86 (+12)||79 (+19)||62 (+36)||46 (+52)||31 (+67)||1 (+97)||No|
- To go into battle with the turret basket empty of ammo, pack 79 (+19) shells (racks 1 to 4 emptied).
- To go into battle with the turret basket and the flanks empty of ammo, pack 31 (+67) shells (racks 1 to 7 emptied).
- The 8th rack is large and located in a weak spot: the bottom section of the armour. In case of penetration, there is a high risk of ammo rack detonation. Make sure not to expose your flanks unnecessarily.
The M4A4 only has a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and lacks the familiar pintle-mounted M2 Browning seen on other Sherman models. This makes fending off lightly-armoured and fast opponents like the Puma more difficult as the main gun must be used instead. The lone M1919A4 is also unlikely to do significant damage to incoming aircraft.
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M4 Sherman is an effective medium-range combat tank. Equipped with a fast-firing 75 mm gun and with good handling characteristics, the M4 can be an extremely useful asset in most battles.
In battle the M4 performs well as an all-rounder; the thick turret front and 10 degrees of gun depression make the tank ideal for taking hull-down positions which protect the thinner hull armour from being penetrated by enemy fire. The sloped front upper glacis, when angled, also provides good protection against enemy fire. An unusual - and useful - difference is that the upper glacis is sloped at 56 degrees rather than the standard 45 degrees, making it more of a threat and more powerful due to improving the chances of a round ricochet. The only downfall may be the 2 crew member position in the front that protrudes out to form a flat surface, but both are covered with an additional 20 mm plate. The reasonable mobility of the Sherman makes flanking a viable tactic. The main weakness of the M4 is the side armour - not only is it vertical and thin, but behind it most of the ammunition is stowed. The tall silhouette of the tank also makes finding suitable cover difficult. Overall, the M4 Sherman can be considered as an armoured jack-of-all-trades - it will serve a tanker well, however it will not excel in any particular role.
In battle, try to use terrain as cover. Hull-down positions are especially strong in the M4 Sherman, as it has a good 10 degrees of gun depression. The gun mantlet and turret are reasonably strong, but avoiding shots is still the best strategy. In this respect, a hull-down position hides the vulnerable hull. If this is not available, then angling the hull armour to present a greater slope is often a good idea, as this can bounce some low-powered cannon at any range and at longer ranges, render the hull impenetrable.
Another way to play the M4 Sherman is to tap into its traditional cavalry role, its mobility. The M4 Sherman is a great flanker as it is fast enough to get the jump on the enemy's side. Defeat the enemy at their weak front lines or go around the entire enemy force. Once in position at their sides or rear, ambush them. Ideally, the enemy should be too busy focusing on allies attacking in the front to notice the M4 instantly. Take out the weaker light or medium tanks, the 75 mm gun is not very ideal against heavy tanks like the KV-1 so take out its friends to allow allies more room to outmanoeuvre the KV tank. An organized attack will increase the M4 chances on the battlefield and success.
Enemies worth noting:
M4A2 / A4 - These Sherman tanks are widely used by over 3 nations that spread across both the Allied and the Axis side, so no matter which nation you play they can be quite tough to destroy in the hands of a skilled tanker. Given the rather weak penetration of your short 75vmm gun, their hull can be almost impossible to penetrate when angled, hull down or 300 m away. For a M4A4, there are 2 apparent bulges on the upper front plate, a penetration through there is a guaranteed kill most of the times. But in case the opponent covers them up or when it's a M4A2, aim for the middle parts of the gun mantlet or the turret armour unprotected by the mantlet, you can at least make them defenseless. Note that their guns are equally weak against you, so wiggle around to disrupt their aim while you reload, you have a good chance of bouncing some shells.
Churchill I, Churchill III - The Churchills, with their complex hulls and sturdy turrets, can be quite hard to kill at range. Again, manoeuvre as close to them as possible, the idea distance being no more than 200 m. If they are angling their hull but facing their turret at you, only go for the turret. For the Mk I Churchills, aim at the near-vertical part of their rounded cheeks to ensure successful penetrations. For the Mk III, also aim for their flat turret which is at most 89 mm. The shell should go in easily and knock out most, if not all of the crew. Only when you are facing their hull without any angles should you shoot the hull, otherwise shoot the turret only, as their big tracks can easily get in front of the frontal hull. The side hull have multiple layers of armour, some of which are weirdly angled and can absorb plenty of shells.
KV-1 (ZiS-5) - A vehicle that the M4 Sherman will have trouble against is the KV-1. While the L-11 is underpowered, the KV-1 (ZiS-5) is potent enough to punch through the Sherman's front, and the Sherman is unable to penetrate the KV-1's thick armour especially with its add-on armour plates. If this heavy tank is encountered frontally, aim at the vertical area on the round gun mantlet as it is only 90 mm thick. You can knock out its gunner this way. Or shoot at the vertical part where the gun mantlet doesn't cover to disable its turret ring and gunner / loader. Note: do not shoot at the frontal hull as it is too thick for the M61 shell. Of course, the best way is to shoot at its sides and rear without any angle, where its armour is unsloped, though it will still have to be at a close range to penetrate the armour. In addition, shots to the sides will most likely hit fuel tanks or ammunition storage, causing a fire or ammunition detonation and at best, time to reassess the situation.
Pros and cons
- Excellent gun depression of -10° plus the angled frontal turret allows it to utilise hills very well
- Great penetration and post-penetration damage when using M61 shells; can frontally penetrate and knock out most opponents with a single shot
- Great turret traverse speed allows it to deal with multiple threats easily
- Sloped hull armour provides good protection against small calibre / low-penetration shells (e.g. 75 mm M3), and even large calibre guns when angled correctly. In addition, Italy is usually grouped with Germany therefore this M4 won't face the long 75 mm, increasing its survivability
- Adequate top speed allows it to get to positions in time, or to do tactical manoeuvres like flanking
- Fitted with a vertical stabilizer, allowing more accurate fire on the move compared to other tanks, as well as better usage of shoot-n-scoot tactics
- Large profile and weak side armour; flankers like the M24 Chaffee can easily see and penetrate it
- Frontal armour is still inadequate, will get frontally penetrated and knocked out with a single shot
- The M61 shell struggles to penetrate heavy targets
- Trajectory is curved and velocity is low due to its short barrel, thus distant/moving targets are hard to shoot at
- Hull traverse is quite slow, making it sluggish in a turn
- Roof armour of 19.5 mm thick is vulnerable to airstrikes with AP cannons
After the end of WW2, the United States started to export Sherman tanks in multiple versions for military and civil use some were used in the recostruction of various countrys and removal of destroyed tanks of WW2.
After the WW2 and the fondation of the Republican Italy, the Italian Army reconstituted in 1945 and 1946 a minor military command for the territorial defense, the unit was equipped wih Italian, British and American Tanks which they used extensively post-war.
Italy was subject to an export deal to reform military forces. The US delivered at least 57 M4 Sherman tanks (M4A2 and M4A4) as part of allied cooperation and Great Britain also gave some Shermans.
These tanks were given to Italy, the first official armoured corps for Italy was founded in September 1947 and was reunited in Roma to create the first post-war tankers school. Italian Shermans were used from 1948 until the early 1950s, the last ones being officially put out of service in 1952.
After their life in Italian service, they were demilitarized, scrapped and some other were refurbished from scrap and smuggled as tractors (32 reported Sherman tanks) to Israel to aid the IDF with 105 mm howitzers in the Israel-Palestine war.
- Skins and camouflages for the M4A4 (Italy) from live.warthunder.com.
- Skins and camouflages for the M4A4 (China) or the M4A4 (France) can be used for the M4A4 (Italy).
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|Italy medium tanks|
|M13/40||M13/40 (I) · M13/40 (II) · M13/40 (III)|
|M14/41||M14/41 · M14/41 (47/40)|
|P26/40||P40 · P40 "G.C. Leoncello"|
|OF-40||OF-40 · OF-40 Mk.2A · OF-40 (MTCA)|
|Ariete||Ariete (P) · Ariete · Ariete PSO · Ariete AMV|
|Germany||▄Pz.III N · ▄Pz.IV G · ▄Leopard 1A5|
|Allied powers||▄M4 Hybrid · M4 Tipo IC · ▄Sherman Vc · ▄M4A4 · M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1 · M47 (105/55) · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete"|
|Turán||Turan I · Turan II · Turan III|