M4A4 (SA50)

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RANK 4 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
This page is about the French medium tank M4A4 (SA50). For other M4 Shermans, see M4 Sherman (Family). For other uses, see M4 (Disambiguation).
M4A4 (SA50)
fr_m4a4_cn_75_50.png
GarageImage M4A4 (SA50).jpg
M4A4 (SA50)
AB RB SB
5.0 5.0 5.0
Class:
Research:40 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:150 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The M4A4 (SA50) is a rank III French medium tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". This tank is the equivalent to the British Sherman Firefly, it trades its top-mounted HMG and additional armour for a better main gun: the SA50 L/57 cannon, which is the same gun as the AMX-13, providing an interesting perspective to what's coming next in terms of firepower. That being said, the rest of this tank is 100% Sherman, with all its good and bad.

As with any Sherman design, this tank is quite iconic of this vehicle's family: tall profile, sloped frontal armour, front-mounted transmission, plane radial engine power station, rounded turret with complex gun mantlet, it has got it all. the only difference from purely American Sherman is its long gun featuring a muzzle-break.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull63 / 38 / 38
Turret76 / 51 / 51
Crew5 people
Visibility122 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (turret, gun mantlet, cupola, transmission carter, MG port)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 50.8 mm (56°) Front glacis
50.8 mm (8-17°) 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
50.8 mm (34°) Front glacis
19.5 mm Centre
25.4 mm Centre - Turret base
25.4 mm (7°) Engine bay - centre
19.5 mm (23°) Engine bay - sides
Turret 76 mm (7-65°) Turret front
63-100 mm (0-62°) Gun mantlet
51 mm (0-80°) Protruding gun mantlet
51 mm (0-68°) 51 mm (3-68°) 25.4 mm
Cupola 63.5 mm (conical) 63.5 mm Outer ring
25.4 mm Centre

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, while bogies are 10 mm thick and tracks are 20 mm thick.

With its sloped frontal armour, many low calibre shells will just bounce off the Sherman, any actual anti-tank gun you will face at this BR will easily go through this relatively thin armour at average combat ranges. Keep in mind not to linger too long is front of SPAAs as there is two very convenient flat plates in front of the driver and machine gunner. As for the turret, some angles may deflect shots but don't count on it. Side and rear armour plates are vulnerable to anything bigger than HMG rounds since they are only 38 mm thick. In sum, this armour is there to provide occasional protection from poorly aimed shots and autocannon fire, but nothing more.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB43 / 6 km/h
RB and SB38 / 5 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight34.3 t
Engine power
AB878 hp
RB and SB460 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.6 hp/t
RB and SB13.4 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 43 6 34.3 713 878 20.79 25.6
Realistic 38 5 407 460 11.87 13.41

The Sherman chassis, with all its good and bad takes this tank around the battlefield. It will carry its user wherever it likes but it takes some time to do so. Don't count on it for hasty retreats as both reverse speed and hull turning are slow when this tank is stopped. As long as it is not required to do back-flips and drifting, this chassis does the job.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 800 → 4 890 Sl icon.png
RB3 510 → 4 517 Sl icon.png
SB3 790 → 4 877 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications35 000 Rp icon.png
74 600 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training43 000 Sl icon.png
Experts150 000 Sl icon.png
Aces550 Ge icon.png
Research Aces390 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 140 / 160 % Sl icon.png
154 / 154 / 154 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 400 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 400 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
2 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 200 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 100 Sl icon.png
240 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 100 Sl icon.png
240 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 400 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
2 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 200 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 900 Sl icon.png
140 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 400 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
75mm_SA50_APCBC_ammo_pack
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 400 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
2 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
6 200 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
3 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 100 Sl icon.png
240 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

75 mm SA50 L/57 cannon
Ammunition62 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.8 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 25°
Main article: SA50 L/57 (75 mm)
75 mm SA50 L/57 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 62 -10°/+25° ±180° N/A 22.9 31.6 38.4 42.5 45.2 9.75 8.62 7.95 7.50
Realistic 14.3 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0

The Sherman's turret was not made for such a huge gun. this is why this tank has an elongated mantlet: to provide space for the long SA50 L/57 cannon. Originally, this tank was provided with a vertical stabiliser but it was disabled with this new gun mount as the strain was too great for this piece. Thus, unlike most Sherman, the French M4A4 SA50 does not have a stabilized gun, but what a gun it is ! This main armament performs a bit better than its British counter part, the QF 17-pounder as it has superior penetration rates at all ranges. With such a gun, sniping is an easy task as only early Panthers will be able to defeat it (they still have weak spots, thought).

With such firepower, there is also concerns: as said above, this gun is not stabilized, which makes target acquisition quite slow. This specific Sherman's main weakness being its lack of top-mounted MG, leaving it mostly vulnerable to strafing planes.

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
POT-51A APC 182 178 162 143 127 113
75 mm HE HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
PCOT-51P APCBC 202 198 180 159 141 125
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
POT-51A APC 1,000 6.4 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°
75 mm HE HE 753 6.2 0.0 0.1 675 79° 80° 81°
PCOT-51P APCBC 1,000 6.4 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M4A4 (SA50)
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
62 57 (+5) 51 (+11) 42 (+20) 33 (+29) 17 (+45) (+61) No

Notes:

  • As they are modeled by sets of 3 or 4, shells disappear from the rack only after you've fired all shells in the set.
  • Flank racks empty: 33 (+29) shells.
  • The top rows of all 4 floor racks deplete successively, followed by all bottom rows.

Machine guns

Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min
Main article: M1919A4 (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A

The small calibre of the M1919A4 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.

Usage in battles

Experienced Sherman commanders will like this tank as it drastically increases this old boy's lethality. This tank is a very good representative of the medium tanks line, with average mobility, sufficient armour and enjoyable firepower. Get into position, manage to avoid shots doing so and ensure any role an average tank could do: sniper, brawler, flanker, etc.

With good overall characteristics, this vehicle can play many roles on the battlefield, here is some of them:

Brawler:

This tank has bad armour for the BR and you assume it. Using its good turret turning speed and close-quarter penetration rates, it should blast through almost anything it looks at. This tactic is very efficient in urban combat, where long range precision shots are not required, only reaction time and situation awareness can save you. Make sure to surprise your enemies while avoiding being targeted yourself can grant you with a few points. The most important thing about this tactic is to know when to pull off, as enemies will be aware of a rampaging Sherman in the area and will take advantage of it as soon as they got the opportunity. This is a high risk/high stakes game-play.

Sniper:

To be used in open maps, preferably against lower BR vehicles. Keeping a good distance from your enemie's gun, use your own cannon to penetrate them from any range. Even if your armour is not the best, it should block most incoming round, which have lost most of their energy from traveling for so long. Make sure to reposition every 2-3 shots as you may get spotted by a big gun. This tactic is even more effective when hulled-down: this tank has -10° of depression, make good use of them.

Use your imagination: any tactic that do not rely too much on armour is a good one when using this tank. Want to follow the team? No problem. Want to find a good ambush spot? Go for it.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent 75mm gun, arguably better than the legendary 17-pounder due to the penetration and accuracy of the gun.
  • Outstanding penetration on the default APCBC at all ranges.
  • Unlike the Sherman Firefly, the SA50 gets 10 degrees of gun depression. Makes cresting ridgelines a good tactic.
  • Set of optics wth 7.5x magnification.
  • The gun mantlet is both large and V-shaped. Can reliably stop or bounce incoming fire.
  • Due to all the pros listed above, the SA50 is one of the best pound-for-pound snipers and ridgeline shooters in the game.
  • Plays very similarly to the M4 76 variants, but faces vehicles which are at a lower BR.

Cons:

  • Bad overall armor layout: doesn't have any add-on tracks lining the sides like the Firefly.
  • Doesn't have access to any shells with explosive filler.
  • Sub-par rate of fire for the battle rating.
  • No roof mounted .50 cal HMG like on other Shermans at the same BR.

History

Israeli M4 Shermans

During the Cold War, the Israelis received stocks of M4 Sherman tanks to equip their armoured force. They were obtained from the British, French, and scrap yards across Europe.[1] Their designations on the Shermans were based on their armaments, leading to names such as the Sherman M-1 with the 76 mm M1 gun, the Sherman M-3 with the 75 mm M3 gun, and the Sherman M-4 with the 105 mm M4 howitzer, regardless of Sherman hull and engine model types. Sherman tanks equipped with the horizontal volute suspension system (HVSS) were given the added name "Super" in the designation.[2]

The M4 Shermans were seen as adequate in the early 1950s conflicts, but the Soviet arms trade with the neighboring Arab countries in the 1950s caused the Israelis to focus on uparming their existing Sherman inventory. Their program was a 1954 joint venture with France to arm the Sherman with the 75 mm SA50 gun from the AMX-13 light tank. The modifications to hold the 75 mm SA50 gun required the extension of the Sherman turret front and rear to make room for the gun and add a counterweight for the heavier front weight. With the success of this modification, the Israelis chose the 75 mm SA50 gun to be the new armament for the M4 Sherman inventory. The first fifty tanks with the 75 mm SA50 guns were added into a M4A4 Sherman hull converted to use a R975 radial engine by the French, these tanks designated as the M-50 Sherman by Israel. These used a vertical-volute suspension system (VVSS), but the added weight of the gun inhibited the M-50's flotation and mobility, so this was shifted to use the HVSS and the Cummins diesel engine. These two variants are distinguished by engine type as the M-50 Continental and the M-50 Cummins. Other hulls outside the M4A4 were also used in the conversions.[2]

Combat usage

The M-50 Sherman was used by Israeli during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1967 Six-Day War. The 1956 Suez Crisis against Egypt was a curious case as the Egyptians also send their M4 Sherman inventory through a similar uparm program by adding the AMX-13 turret onto their M4 Shermans, giving them their own usage of the 75 mm SA50 gun on the M4 Sherman tanks.[1]

Its use in the 1967 war was interleaved with the more powerful M-51 Sherman, a similar upgun program with the French 105 mm Modèle F1 from the AMX-30 tank.[2] Though the early M-50 Continentals were retired by 1972, the the M-50 Cummins and M-51 served together up until the early 1980s, having to fight more modern Soviet tanks such as the T-54/55 tanks in the 1973 Yom-Kippur War. The Israeli gave away several of the M-50 Shermans to Lebanon to aid supporting militia groups in the Lebanese Civil War, in this conflict two were captured by Palestine, which they used against during the 1982 Lebanon War.[3] About 50 M-50 were given to Chile in late 1980s, rearmed with an IMI-OTO 60 mm Hyper Velocity Medium Support gun, which they used until 1999 when they replaced them with the Leopard 1 tanks. The Israelis cleared their stocks of M-50 and M-51 by this time, sold to collections, used as range targets, or repurposed to other usage such as engineer vehicles.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Vehicles equipped with the same gun

External links

References

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Zaloga 2008, "Chapter 11: Cold War Sherman"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jeeps_Guns_Tanks 2015, #34
  3. Chad 2011

Bibliography

  • Chad. "Palestinian Armor." Military In the Middle East. WordPress, 12 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 Dec. 2017. Website.
  • Jeeps_Guns_Tanks. "#34 Israeli Shermans: The Most Powerful Shermans Ever To See Action." The Sherman Tank Site. WordPress, 20 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 Dec. 2017. Website.
  • Zaloga Steven. Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II Stackpole Books, 2008


France medium tanks
  D2 · S.35 · Lorraine 40t
AMX  AMX M4 · AMX-32 · AMX-40 · AMX-50
AMX-30  AMX-30 · AMX-30 (1972) · AMX-30B2 · AMX-30B2 BRENUS · AMX-30 ACRA · AMX-30 Super
Leclerc  Leclerc · Leclerc S2
Based on M4  ▄M4A1 · M4A1 (FL10) · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▄M4A4 · M4A4 (SA50)
Foreign  Panther "Dauphiné" (Germany)