An M4A3E8 Sherman Tank

An M4A3E8 Sherman Tank armed with a 76mm cannon.

In the game World of Tanks the available Sherman tanks, the M4, the M4A3E2, and the M4A3E8 as well as the Panzer (PzKpfw) IV are shown as having a 105mm cannon available. In the case of the Sherman, Gun 105 mm SPH M4 L/23; and in the case of the Panzer IV, Gun 10,5 cm KwK 42 L/28. While I’m aware of upgrade programs for the Sherman, while thinking about the Panzer IV this got me wondering about when this would have occurred and where it may have been seen.

Regarding the Sherman I have found that during the Second World War, there was a variant using a 105mm cannon: the M4 Sherman 105mm Howitzer. This variant was used in both an Artillery, and a Tank Destroyer capacity. These tanks were fitted with a modified 105mm M2 howitzer (“1944-U.S.A. M4 Medium Tank (105)”); the M1/M2 being the guns in the M7 Priest Self-Propelled Gun.

While actual Sherman’s using the 105mm cannon were produced and saw action, the Panzer IV with a 105mm (10.5cm) was a different story. The German’s appear to have experimented with a 105mm artillery gun mounted in an experimental demountable turret on a Panzer IV chassis (“Panzer IV”); this experimental design was called the Heuschrecke (“Grasshopper”), a Self-Propelled Gun. A further  experimental design, a tank destroyer nicknamed Dicker Max (Fat Max); it was called the 10.5 cm K gepanzerte Selbstfahrlafette. While the prototype for the  Heuschrecke 10 doesn’t appear to have been sent into combat; the Dicker Max prototypes, both, were sent to the Eastern Front. What is not clear is if two were built and sent to the Eastern Front, or if one was built and sent along with a prototype for the Sturer Emil (Stubborn Emil) which was a comparable vehicle. Quoting the Wikipedia page for the Sturer Emil, the name for the prototypes of the two Sturer Emil units sent to the Eastern Front where “Max and Moritz” (“Sturer Emil”).

Works Cited:

1. “M4 Sherman.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12 May 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Sherman>.

2. “The History of the M4 Sherman 105mm Howitzer.” . Tamiya.com. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.tamiya.com/english/products/56014sherman/sherman_expl.htm>.

3. “1944-U.S.A. M4 Medium Tank (105).” Battle Tanks. N.p.. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.battletanks.com/m4_105mm.htm>.

4. “Panzer IV.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 7 May 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV>.

5. “10.5 cm K (gp.Sfl.).” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 1 Mar 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10.5_cm_K_(gp.Sfl.)>.

6. “Heuschrecke 10.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 8 May 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuschrecke_10>.

7.  “Sturer Emil.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 27 Feb 2013. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturer_Emil>.

8. “Dicker Max and Sturer Emil in Combat.” Flames of War. N.p., 21 May 2010. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=1936>.