M4A3E2 (France)

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▄Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo
fr_m4a3e2_sherman_jumbo.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
5.0/5.0/5.0BR
5 peopleCrew
Mobility
37.8 tWeight
5 forward
1 back
Gear box
Armament
104 roundsAmmunition
-10° / 25°Vertical guidance
verticalStabilizer
12.7 mm M2HB machine gunWeapon 2
600 roundsAmmunition
200 roundsBelt capacity
577 shots/minFire rate
-10° / 30°Vertical guidance
-60° / 60°Horizontal guidance
3 000 roundsAmmunition
250 roundsBelt capacity
500 shots/minFire rate
Economy
54 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
180 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png2 850 / 3 556/3 090 / 3 856/3 700 / 4 617Repair
52 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
180 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
710 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.66 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage M4A3E2 (France).jpg


The '▄Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo is a Rank III French heavy tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance".

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 it's 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 calibers, such as the Soviet 122mm gun, will slice right through the armor.

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 an 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 a 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.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • 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
19.5 mm
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
25.4 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 51 mm 25.4 mm

Notes:

  • 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 are 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 favorable.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armour
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
37.8 N/A 38 (AB)
35 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 646 795
Realistic/Simulator 442 500
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 17.09 21.03
Realistic/Simulator 11.69 13.23

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: M3 (75 mm)
75 mm M3
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
104 -10°/+25° ±180° Vertical
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 14.28 19.80 24.0 26.60 28.20
Realistic 14.28 16.80 20.4 22.60 24.00
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
6.50 5.75 5.30 5.00
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
M72 shot AP 110 109 92 76 62 51
M48 shell HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
M61 shot APCBC 90 88 81 73 65 59
T45 shot APCR 143 137 127 106 86 70
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
M72 shot AP 619 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
M48 shell HE 463 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 79° 80° 81°
M61 shot APCBC 618 6.8 1.2 20 63.7 +4° 48° 63° 71°
T45 shot APCR 868 3.8 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
M89 259 3 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the M4A3E2 Jumbo.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
104 101 (+3) 51 (+53) (+103) No

Turret empty: 101 (+3)

Machine guns

12.7 mm M2HB
Pintle mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
600 (200) 577 -10°/+30° ±60°
7.62 mm M1919A4
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A

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 overangle 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 in is as a flanker. Due to its great mobility as a heavy tank, the M4A3E2 Jumbo can maneuver 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 fire 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 its 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 are 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 an 105 mm that can penetrate the front plate of the M4A3E2 Jumbo, so caution is advised against those as well.

Modules

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

Pros:

  • Decent 75 mm gun with APCR rounds.
  • High rate of fire for 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 a decent off road mobility, unlike other previous Sherman models.
  • Learning curve from previous Sherman variant will help a lot at mastering this tank.

Cons:

  • 75 mm gun lacks penetration against heavy tanks
  • APCR shot is quite expensive, using it as a primary shell will seriously lowers the Silver Lion reward by a large margin.
  • 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 maneuvebility.
  • Low top speed of 35kph.
  • Reverse speed is bad.
  • Hull MG is a weak spot.

History

Development

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 fulfill 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. Taking a M4A3 Sherman model, the armour was upped from around 76.2 mm initial thickness to 102 mm and angled at 47 degrees from vertical. 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 defenses. The M4A3E2 originally came with the 75 mm guns to support infantry with its better HE shells compared to the planned 76 mm installment, but the 76 mm was installed later in the campaign and called the M4A3E2 (76) W Jumbo.

French service

Due to the low numbers of M4A3E2 issued to the ETO, most went towards the US Army units. However, there is one known M4A3E2 that was issued to the French 1st Armoured Division (Division Blindée (DB)), an unusual case as most of the M4A3E2 inventory was headed to the Twelfth United States Army Group, whereas the French 1st DB was with the US Sixth Army Group. Information is not well known about this sole M4A3E2, but it served in the headquarter platoon of the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd African Chasseur Regiment (2e régiment de chasseurs d'Afrique). On 16 April 1945, lieutenant Amédée de Falgayrac, commander of the 1st platoon in the 2nd Squadron, was killed by shrapnel at Ortenberg, Germany. The M4A3E2 was then renamed Lt Falgayrac a few days later in honour.

The French did obtain a number of M4A3E2 surplus for use in the post-war period.

Media

Skins and camouflages for the M4A3E2 from live.warthunder.com.

References


Read also

Sources

France heavy tanks
  ARL-44 (ACL-1) · AMX-50 Surbaissé
B1  Char de bataille B1 bis · Char de bataille B1 ter
USA  ▄Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo