M4A2 (76) W
|This page is about the American medium tank M4A2 (76) W. For other M4 Shermans, see M4 Sherman (Family). For other uses, see M4 (Disambiguation).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The M4A2 (76) W Sherman was the second variant of the late-generation Medium Tank M4 (Sherman) family. It was outfitted with a modified T23 turret which accommodated the M1 tank gun, giving it a total length of 7.57 m (25 feet). The range was 161 km (100 miles) with the GM 6046 diesel engine which held approximately 673 litres (178 gallons) of fuel. The total weight increased to 33.3 tons. The upper glacis was 108 mm (4.25 inches) thick and sloped at 47°, with huge hatches. Many M4A2 (76) Ws were supplied to the USSR for the Soviet Army as part of the World War II lend-lease program (mainly because it had a diesel engine like most Soviet Army tanks). The engine, which was powered by the same General Motors 6046 twin diesel as the M4A2, was reliable as well as easy to maintain. Until May 1945, around 3,230 M4A2 (76) Ws units were delivered.
Introduced in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals", the M4A2 (76) W replaces the cast hull of the M4A1 (76) W with an uninterrupted, fully welded hull's upper front armour plate that slopes at 47°. As the M4A2 (76) W has an exceptionally high profile, it is difficult to drive around undetected, making it an easy target for enemies. However, by making use of its strong mobility early in the battle, it is possible to get into strategic locations and adopt a hull-down position to obtain the first shot at the adversaries. Another improvement is the relocation of the ammunition storage to the centre of the tank, making it harder to target than in early-generation M4 Sherman variants. However, this is negligible given that the hull's upper front armour plate is unable to resist any shells from enemy tanks such as Tiger Is, Panthers, and T-34s. As a result, the best chance of survival is to use terrain elevation and gun depression in a hull-down position to optimize the effectiveness of the hull's upper front armour plate.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Transmission area)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||63.5 mm (47°)||38.1 mm||38.1 mm||19.5 mm|
|Turret||88.9 mm||63.5 mm||63.5 mm||25.4 mm|
|Cupola||63.5 mm||63.5 mm||63.5 mm||25.4 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, the bogies are 10 mm thick, and the tracks are 20 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The most important modules to research are Parts and FPE. The stock M79 shot is inferior to the M62 APCBC shell in most situations, so researching the M62 shot module is a top priority. After that, the player may prioritize either mobility or firepower upgrades, depending on playstyle.
|76 mm M1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|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)
|71||66 (+5)||31 (+40)||1 (+70)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear from the rack after having been shot or loaded.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M4A2 (76) W is a classic Sherman tank. It requires careful positioning and avoidance of enemy fire, possesses an above-average gun, and works best when played around teammates.
As such, it is well-suited to city brawls in which it can use rubble as cover and protect its flanks effectively. The city environment also suits the tank's below-average mobility. In close quarters, this shortcoming will not be too much of a hindrance. That being said, the M4A2 is also a classic medium tank, and highly adaptable. If needed, it can engage at most, if not all, ranges. It can be used to rush a point, or to defend from an assault. Certainly, the powerful cannon is capable against all but the most heavily armoured enemies.
This vehicle has mediocre armour and a highly visible profile, so it must be played carefully if the player wishes to stay alive for more than a few minutes. It is not uncommon for the M4A2 to be destroyed in a single hit, especially when facing the German cannons. Other enemies to watch out for include enemy aircraft: although the roof armour will protect crew members from strafing runs, the vehicle's above-average size makes it rather visible from the air, and makes it a target for bombing and rocket attacks.
Enemies to look out for
- T-34-57, T-34-85, and other T-34s - Much like the Sherman, the Soviet T-34 proved to have weak armour at this battle rating, but its cannon will guarantee a knock-out, and with the Shermans are no exception. Avoid these tanks or destroy them before they do, as they are likely to be faster than you. If you face them when they are not aware of your presence, you can easily destroy them with your 76 mm M1 cannon.
- Panthers - These heavily armed German beasts have 80 mm of sloped armour, capable of firing the KwK42 heavy gun they use, with more than 150 mm penetration at 1,000+ m away. Meaning that Panthers are most likely going to be your demise, as your gun cannot do anything against theirs while they can penetrate your armour from the front. The easiest way to reliably knock them out is to target the turret.
Pros and cons
- Good top speed
- Great rate of fire for the main gun
- Angled frontal slope which may sometimes bounce larger calibres if angled correctly
- 5 crew members, which increases the survivability
- A pintle-mounted heavy machine gun (12.7 mm), which can be used for anti-aircraft and against light armoured vehicles
- Wet ammo storage reduces greatly ammo rack detonations, is indicated by the "W" in its name
- Fast turret traverse
- Tall profile
- Prone to tipping over when travelling across steep inclines
- Armour might not stand up against common guns like the Soviet 85 mm or the German KwK36.
- Sides and rear are thinly armoured
- Engine compartment is poorly armoured
- Narrow tracks mean poor ground flotation and cross country performance
- Only reaches its top speed on paved surfaces
- Lacks the add-on armour module found on the 76 mm M4A1 and M4A3
- Unlike the earlier M4A1 (76) W, Cruise Control 1 setting is slightly above the maximum speed that the stabilizer operates at
The start of World War II and the Battle of France had America find that their current armoured forces were completely inadequate to fight back a German armour assault. With only the M2 light tanks and the M2 available with their 37 mm cannons, the Americans greatly increased their efforts in tank development to bolster their defences but to satisfy demands from Great Britain for adequate tanks to rebuild their decimated armoured forces. The requirements set by the US Army called for a tank armed with a 75 mm gun. While a 75 mm gun was available for use, a turret mounting the gun on a tank was not. Thus, while the turret and tank design underwent development, the 75 mm would be mounted on the stopgap design - the M3 Lee tank - in a "sponson" mount. During the M3's development, the designs of the 75 mm armed vehicle were submitted by the Ordnance Department. In April 1941, the Armored Force Board chose the simplest of the designs, which was a redesigned M3 hull and chassis with a turret mounting the 75 mm gun designated the T6, completed in September 1941. This tank would then designated the M4 Sherman. The production for the Sherman began in October 1941 and would continue to be produced until the end of the war in 1945 with around than 50,000 units produced, making it the second most-produced tank in World War II before the T-34 tank. The Sherman first saw service in North Africa in the hands of the British, and the Shermans continued to see service throughout the North African campaign, Tunisian campaign, and the Italian campaign in the British and American armies. However, the 75 mm gun on the Sherman soon found itself saw as inadequate when the Germans began fielding their new generation of heavy tanks, the Tiger I and the Panther, which could defend itself against the 75 mm gun and take out the Sherman at a long range. A desire to up-gun the Sherman grew among Ordnance officers to fight incoming armour threats and started as far back as 1942.
The desire for a hole puncher on the Sherman started in the Ordnance department, seen as an improvement to the Sherman tank's overall combat ability to fight future tank threats. It started with the adaption of the 3-inch anti-tank gun, the most powerful American anti-tank weapon at the time, into the M4 Sherman. The gun proved too heavy and too bulky for a straight adaption so a simpler and smaller gun model was created called the 76 mm M1, which could be practically fitted into the M4 Sherman turret. The 76 mm differed from the 3-inch in ammunition as well, using a different propellant case but the same shells. The first guns were trialled in a M4A1 Sherman, but while Ordnance approved the vehicle, Armored Board rejected it as it caused the turret interior to be too cramped for the crew and also the lack of need of such vehicle. This solution was fixed by taking the cancelled T23 project and adapting the turret into the Sherman, which was easy as the Sherman and the T23 used the same turret ring diameter. The larger turret allowed for a more practical mounting of the 76 mm gun and more room for the crew to move around in. This variant was approved and production was to start in early 1944 for the upcoming invasion of Europe in Operation Overlord to counter the German Tiger I and the Panther tanks.
Aside from the enlarged T23 turret, the Sherman interior layout was largely unchanged from the original design. The driver and bow gunner still sat in the front, the three-man turret crew in the centre, and the engine compartment in the back. The exterior design of the hull was also largely unchanged with the vertical volute suspension system (VVSS) and sloping front armour.
The M4A2 (76) W Sherman model ran on a GM 6046 diesel engine. Being built off the original M4A2, the hull construction was welded, which proved simpler to produce than casting. Early M4A2 variants had the front armour plate placed on a 56-degree sloping angle, but this design had protrusions on the driver and assistant driver hatches that created "shot traps" as these protrusions gave less protection than the frontal armour plate. This was fixed on later models with 47-degree angling instead, which eliminated the shot traps and made the frontal armour more effective than before. The M4A2 (76) W variant, as indicated by the name, mounted the 76 mm gun instead of the usual 75 mm. The "W" designation on the Sherman indicated that the vehicle had the wet stowage feature in response to complaints that the Sherman can easily catch fire due to exploding ammunition. The wet stowage encased the ammo containers in a liquid mixture that would douse the flames when penetrated or block flaming shrapnel from penetrating shots from hitting the ammunition. The containers also placed all the ammunition in the bottom centre of the tank, reducing the likeliness of it being hit by a shell as the penetrating shell must go through every armour and obstacle to hit the tank centre. This feature was only present after February 1944 and severely decreased the rate of Sherman fires. Of the 49,234 Sherman produced in World War II, 2,915 M4A2(76)s were produced from April 1944 to May 1945.
Despite the stock of 76 mm Shermans now available for them, the commanders opted to not bring any during the invasion of France in June 1944. The issues were logistical, as having a 76 mm armament would mean supplying a different set of ammo to the task forces. Another issue was that the 76 mm gun had a less lethal high-explosive round at hand, meaning combat against infantry or fixed emplacements would be slightly harder. This forced 75 mm armed Shermans to have to compete against the better armed and armoured Panthers and Tigers in the initial period of the invasion. The combat debut of the 76 mm Shermans as the M4A1 (76) was during Operation Cobra in July 1944, as a response to the growing German armour threat in Europe. The 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions received 52 of these Shermans and the rest were distributed among the tank battalions in the infantry divisions. Deliveries of the M4(76) began coming into Europe from August 1944. The M4 (76) and M4 (75) Shermans served alongside each other, though the 75 mm Shermans were around in larger numbers and the opinions of the 76 mm cannon vary from a necessary addition to a burden. Nevertheless, the M4(76) began to be supplied among the tank battalions and armoured divisions to face the intense combat at the Siegfried Line. The 75 mm guns stayed as the primary armament of the armoured forces until the Battle of the Bulge, which had much American armour destroyed by the German onslaught of heavy German tanks such as their Panther and Tiger IIs. The negative response from both troops and press had Allied commanders, even Eisenhower himself, request only 76 mm Sherman to be delivered instead of 75 mm in response. The new units arriving in Europe after the Battle of the Bulge were all equipped with 76 mm Shermans. Despite their appearance, 75 mm Shermans were still in stock in the armoured divisions and were still held in high regards for their better capacity to destroy soft targets with high-explosive shells.
After the war, the Shermans continued serving America and its allies as the M4A3E8 with a new suspension and 76 mm gun. The M26 Pershing that was introduced late in World War II was phased out for the Shermans due to its unreliability, and the Sherman stayed until the M46 Patton was introduced. After being phased out of American service, many other countries still used the Sherman as their main tank, mainly Israel where they up-gunned the tank with the much powerful post-war French 75 mm and 105 mm gun as the M-50 and M-51 respectively (nicknamed "Super Shermans"). These proved successful as they were able to fight against the Soviet-supplied T-54 tanks and T-34-85s in Middle East service, proving the Sherman as a successful and adaptable design for many years to come.
The new tank modification, based on the M4A1 (76)W, was an upgraded T23 turret and a long-barrelled 76 mm M1A1 cannon, later an M1A2. The turret included a cupola, the turret ventilator moved from the roof to the back wall, and the frontal armour was thickened to 100 mm. Beginning in August 1944 the reloader was given a separate round folding hatch. In March 1945 the M4A2 (76) W's suspension went through a significant change: two road wheels in each bogie turned into four (two paired), the volute springs went from vertical to horizontal, and the balance system was modified accordingly. A hydraulic shock absorber was also installed on every bogie.
Between May 1944 and the end of the war, 2,915 of them were made in total.
A significant number of units, around 2,070, were shipped to the USSR via Lend-Lease.
The Shermans helped liberate Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austria, also seeing combat in the battle for Berlin.
- Other M4A2 tanks in the game
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · ▃Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W · M4/T26|
|M26 Pershing||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|M46/47/48 Patton||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1 · T54E2|
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · M728 CEV|
|MBT-70||MBT-70 · XM-803|
|M1 Abrams||XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · M1 KVT · IPM1 · M1A1 · M1A1 HC · M1A2 Abrams · M1A2 SEP|
|Israel||▃Magach 3 (ERA) · ▃Merkava Mk.1 · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.3D|