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|This page is about the heavy tank M4A3E2. For similar vehicles, see M4A3E2 (76) W and M4A3E2 (France).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in the battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 Read also
- 8 Sources
The Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo is a rank III American heavy tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB) and 5.3 (RB/SB). It was one of the first American tanks to be released with the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". It is built off a standard M4A3 chassis, with a T23 turret with a 75 mm gun, and up-armoured on nearly all sides. This gives the M4A3E2 boasts nearly 100 mm of frontal armour sloped at 47°, giving it a massive armour upgrade from the regular M4 Shermans. As a side note, the nickname "Jumbo" was likely never used during WWII, as there is no record of it. However, its use both on the Wiki and In-Game is still prevalent.
The M4A3E2 looks like a normal Sherman medium tank, but it is still a very heavy tank and is used as a breakthrough tank to attack fortified enemy positions. It is certainly not a medium tank like normal Shermans. It is a great tank when fighting Tigers as the 88mm cannons cannot penetrate the armour of the M4A3E2 from its sides when angled efficiently. As such it allows players to get close to Tigers and attack them from the sides, or force them to retreat. When fighting Panthers the M4A3E2 is less effective as the 75mm cannon on the Panther can penetrate the armour of the Jumbo Sherman from the front even when angled more than 30 degrees at 500 meters. Only at close range can high-velocity guns, such as Soviet 85mm or German 88mm guns, penetrate the frontal glacis. However, larger calibres, such as the Soviet 122mm gun, will slice right through the armour.
It takes on the general look of an M4A2 but is much more armoured (and also uses a Ford gasoline engine). The M4A3E2 features the double layered front armour giving the vehicle its distinctive 101.6 mm total front armour, giving its boast of being better armoured than the Tiger I. The transmission housing is also considerably beefier too from the addition of armour at the area as well. The front of the T23-style turret is also distinctive with the very blocky gun mantlet and circular barrel shroud around the rather underwhelming 75 mm gun barrel.
The sides and suspension look like the usual game with the M4 Sherman series, but with minor differences. The flat side armour of the hull, instead of 38.1 mm thick, is now 76.2 mm thick for much stronger side protection. However, the lower side hull around the bogie suspension area is still only 38.1 mm thick, vulnerable to most regular anti-tank weapons. Another minor difference is the tracks, the T48 rubber chevron tracks are equipped with extended end connectors in an effort to improve ground pressure performance for the additional weight of the armour.
However, the rear does not have any extra armour and is much thinner. The roof of the tank is very thinly armoured as well, only having 19.5 mm on the hull and 25.4 mm on the turret, so beware as artillery barrages tend to set engine compartment modules on fire.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Front, Side, Rear, Roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Transmission area)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 63.5 + 38.1 mm (47°) Front glacis
114.3-139.7 mm (7-66°) Transmission housing
| 76.2 mm Top
38.1 mm Bottom
| 38.1 mm (10°) Top
38.1 mm (7-24°) Bottom
|Turret|| 152.4 mm (0-52°) Turret front
177.8 mm (4-60°) Gun mantlet
|152.4 mm (4-42°)||152.4 mm (0-79°)|| 63.5 mm Front |
|Cupola||51 mm||25.4 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, the bogies are 10 mm thick, and tracks are 17 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 25.4 mm thick.
- Hull underside right above the tracks are 9.5 mm thick.
- Gun breech is 300 mm thick in structural steel.
The M4A3E2 Jumbo presents very little frontal weak spots in an engagement. It is best to try and force the Jumbo to try and angle his vehicle towards the player or his allies. An angle more than 30 degrees can expose the much weaker lower side hull armour in the suspension that is only 38.1 mm thick. With a powerful enough gun, a round can penetrate this area and damage the crew, or even set off the ammunition all cluttered up on the bottom of the tank.
If a frontal engagement is unavoidable and is unfortunately armed with guns unable to penetrate through the front glacis, there are only two areas that are viable. First is the machine gun port, which is one of the areas that is not layered with the extra 38.1 mm added on top of the base armour. Guns like the Panzer IV 75 mm KwK 40 guns that are unable to cleave through the front glacis can push their luck in this area, with small "sweet spots" that the round can pass through. Another way to attack the M4A3E2 in this scenario is exploiting a shot-trap in the gun mantlet. The small corner flaps on the bottom corners of the gun mantlet have a tendency to deflect rounds downwards onto the 19.5 mm hull roof armour. While this will be left to the ricochet chances, it is still possible and can be used if no other scenarios are favourable.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armour
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|75 mm M3|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
Mass in kg
| Screen radius
| Screen time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass in g|
|104||101 (+3)||51 (+53)||1 (+103)||No|
Turret empty: 101 (+3)
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
The M4A3E2 is best in assaulting enemy positions with allies. Its great mobility for a heavy tank, especially with its armour, makes it a vehicle able to charge into battle and take anything head-on with confidence. It can act as a bullet magnet against enemy tanks more worried about the M4A3E2, diverting fire that would've gone to more vulnerable teammates. Though the 75mm gun's AP performance is not suited to the type of enemies expected at the BR, it can still harass enemies and the gun is lethal enough that enemies will be forced to show their front armour towards the Jumbo else a 75 mm penetrates their side armour. Their focus on the Jumbo can allow allies to move around and eliminate them. During all this, take care not to over-angle and show the lower side armour too much as this will allow vehicles to penetrate through down there and damage modules, even the ammunition storage if they are lucky.
Another role the M4A3E2 is good it is as a flanker. Due to its great mobility as a heavy tank, the M4A3E2 Jumbo can manoeuvre like a medium tank around the battlefield. This is also beneficial to the 75 mm gun as it would permit the M4A3E2 a chance to attack the weaker side armours of enemy vehicles. Once flanking around and finding a prime position in a firing angle right into an enemy chokepoint, minimize exposure to anything but the front armour and the M4A3E2 can remain a formidable obstacle to all opponents. Take care not to be outflanked by enemy players aware of the M4A3E2 position.
Due to the M4A3E2 Jumbo having a slightly higher battle-rating than the other M4 Shermans at 4.7, it can be up-tiered against tanks such as the Panther D and Tiger H1, meaning it's 75 mm cannon starts becoming less effective. For this reason, it is advisable to take the T45 APCR ammo into battle once unlocked, at least enough to take on the armoured targets the Jumbo will face.
The Soviet 85 mm can be a threat, so caution is advised when going up against tanks armed with the 85 mm, such as the T-34-85, SU-85, and IS-1. The Jagdpanzer 38(t) and Jagdpanzer IV can be tricky when facing off against them. Their frontal armour is too thick and sloped for the 75 mm M3 gun to have any effect on it. For these two targets, it is advised to target their tracks and transmission and then flank for a side shot, where the armour is much weaker. Finally, the Dicker Max wields a 105 mm that can penetrate the front plate of the M4A3E2 Jumbo, so caution is advised against those as well.
In Tier I, Parts and Horizontal Drive should, of course, be the prioritized modules for repairs and turret traverse speed. These two will also unlock Tier II modifications and grant access to the very vital FPE and M61 shot, the former for preservation against fires and the latter to improve damage in the battlefield.
Then in Tier III, Crew Replenishment should be obtained for crew survival improvement and the APCR T45 shot for improved armour-piercing power. After that, everything else could be done at one's own priorities, but Engine should be invested for better automotive performances and M89 for the smoke capabilities.
Pros and cons
- Decent 75 mm gun with APCR rounds
- High rate of fire for the main gun
- Excellent gun depression
- Very strong turret armour from all sides, very good at hull down position
- Very good at leading a spearhead towards a capture point where it can provide cover to weaker allied tanks with more powerful guns
- Excellent frontal armour, about 101 mm thick
- Excellent all around turret armour, average 152 mm thick
- Can absorb a lot of damage
- Better mobility than the Russian KV-1 and the British Churchill
- Equipped with gun stabilizer, making it more accurate at moving and when preparing a shot after moving
- Good acceleration
- Incredibly tough when angled
- Wide tracks enable it to have decent off-road mobility, unlike other previous Sherman models
- Learning curve from previous Sherman variant will help a lot at mastering this tank
- 75 mm gun lacks penetration against heavy tanks
- It needs allies support to be effective in battle as it cannot deal serious damage on its own
- Armour weak spot above the gun-mantlet (63.5 mm @ 60°)
- Small bottom corners on M4A3E2 gun mantlet can serve as shot traps
- Side armour better than normal, but still weak (76.2 mm), but the lower side hull armour is even worse (38.1 mm)
- Very thin rear armour
- Inability to compound angle greatly due to very weak lower side hull armour that would be penetrated
- Tall profile makes it a bigger target
- Bad off-road manoeuvrability
- Low top speed of 35kph
- Reverse speed is bad
- Hull MG is a weak spot
- Due to the layered armour at the front and the armour over-matching mechanic, the upper glacis armour can be dubious in that it does not reliably ricochet shells, particularly those from large calibre guns like the T-34-85
Even before the invasion of Normandy, the Allied commanders had to figure out a method in order to breach heavily-defended fortification lines such as the Siegfried Line blocking the path from France to Germany. One of the solutions was for the implementation of "assault tanks" to enter enemy territory and root out the enemy fortifications. The initial plan was for the production of the M26 Pershing tanks to fulfil this role, but setbacks in its development caused the M26 deployment to be delayed until 1945. A quick solution must be made to fill this "assault tank" role for the invasion of Europe in 1944.
The US ordinance then took their abundant M4 Shermans in stock and fixed them up for the new role they've been assigned in. Although keeping the same engine, the armour was upped from around 76.2 mm initial thickness to 102 mm and angled at 47 degrees from vertical. This angle would influence later Sherman design such as the M4A3 by changing the original 56 degrees angled glacis with protruding crew hatches to 47 degrees angled glacis without any protrusion from the crew hatches. This modified M4 Sherman's armour when angled would then be 150 mm line-of-sight (LOS) thick and 180 mm effective. The side armour is also increased to 76.2 mm thick and the turret is redesigned to provide more protection. These modified Shermans were designated the M4A3E2 by the Ordnance Department, whereas the nickname "Jumbo" was likely a post-war invention. At the end of the modifications, the Sherman "Jumbo" now weighed about 42 tons and moves a lower speed of 22 miles per hour. A drawback to the increased weight of the Sherman is that the Vertical Volute Suspension System (VVSS) from the Sherman was unable to take the weight easily, so extra care was taken by the crew members to not break the suspension.
In March of 1944, the US Army ordered for 254 of these vehicles to be delivered for use for European Operations. Intended for the assault on the Normandy Beachhead, it was deployed in Normandy after D-Day to assist the infantry push through German defences. The M4A3E2 originally came with the 75 mm guns to support infantry with its better HE shells compared to the planned 76 mm instalment, but the 76 mm was installed later in the campaign and called the M4A3E2 (76) W Jumbo.
The M4A3E2 was well-liked by the crew and commanders due to its protection value. Despite the weight difference and strain on the suspension, it performed reliably and could absorb damage that would otherwise destroy regular Shermans. Later in the war, when the quantity of the M4 Sherman "Jumbos" were unable to meet the demand, George S. Patton ordered for existing M4 Shermans to weld on armour plates scavenged from knocked out tanks to makeshift "on-the-field" Jumbos. This caused the newer Shermans such as the M4A3 (76) W HVSS could have the same protection by welding metal onto the hull. One of the Jumbo's notable participation in the war was in Patton's Third Army where it spearheaded the assault to Bastogne to relieve the pinned down 101st Paratroopers (though they deny needing a "rescue").
When the war in the European Theater ended, the M4A3E2s were then placed stateside for the preparation for the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. However, this was never to be fulfilled as Japan then surrendered to the United States in September 1945. The M4A3E2 Shermans proved to be a very effective stop-gap solution until heavier armoured tanks such as the Pershing could come into play. In 1948, about 96 Sherman Jumbos still remained in US inventory.
"The M4 Sherman went through its most interesting modification at the end of 1943, when American builders presented a compromise design. It was a direct infantry support tank to be used at the beginning of 1944 during infantry landings in Northern Europe. The solution, which was quite simple, came about after it became clear that the T26E1 heavy assault tank would be ready for full-scale production no earlier than January 1945: boost the tank's armor to 10 cm. At the same time a heavier turret was designed with 10.5 cm armor, the changes together resulting in a tank that weighed in at 38 tons. Experience on the front showed that modernized tracks with fixed grousers were the best option, and they ended up giving the new tank a significant speed boost. It was able to traverse rough terrain at a top speed of 22 mph.
The Fisher Tank Arsenal launched production of the M4A3E2 in May 1944 and finished in June of the same year. The tanks, which were bequeathed the nickname ""Jumbo"", were delivered to Europe that fall and served successfully through the end of the war."
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
|USA heavy tanks|
|M4 Jumbo||M4A3E2 · Cobra King · M4A3E2 (76) W|
|Small-scale series||T14 · M6A1 · T26E1-1|
|Post-war||T29 · T30 · T32 · T32E1 · T34 · M103|