Sunday, August 22, 2010

Monumental Sherman

The Sherman tank was ubiquitous on the battlefields of the Second World War.  With over 50,000 tanks produced during the war, and a bad reputation for going head-to-head with those big German cats (Tigers, and Panthers, and Nazi's oh my!) the Sherman has been used as an example proving the Brute Force concept of Second World War historiography.   This line of reasoning claims that while the Sherman was inferior to the later model panzerkampfwagens, the Allies eventually used their sheer numbers to overcome the Wehrmacht. Yet a handful of historians challenge this popular version of the Sherman's failings and claim that in certain terrain, and commanded by skilled operators, the Sherman could best the hallowed panzers.

Charlottetown, PEI

"Athena" Memorial in Ortona, Italy
Shermans are also ubiquitous in Canadian memorials across the country and overseas.  The vast majority of these memorials are not, however, the M4A4 model Sherman, which was widely used by British and commonwealth formations during the second world war, but in fact M4A3E8s, used in the post-war era.  Giveaways, include muzzle-breaks on 76mm guns and the Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension.

M4A3E8 in Kelowna, BC
Here a few pictures of Shermans that I've "discovered" in my travels.  What message does the Sherman tank send when used in this way?
Mewata Barracks, Calgary, Alberta
A Sherman Firefly at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

M4A4 in Normandy

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