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M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8)


Upped-Gunned Medium Tank


United States | 1944



"A new suspension system, bigger main gun and improved protection made up the Sherman Easy Eight variant."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2024 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image from the Public Domain.
Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
Throughout World War 2 (1939-1945), the classic American M4 Sherman Medium Tank was subject to many tests and programs to help the series maintain a viable presence on the battlefield - particularly against the latest generation of German tanks. This eventually led to the Sherman being produced across several "generations" over its service life. First generation Shermans carried over several deficiencies from the M3 Grant Medium Tank line - from which it was largely based on - and this included its narrow track links as well as its Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS) system which gave poor ground performance.

Even as the war raged, work was actively being done on improving the Sherman's qualities and this resulted in the finalization of the "Horizontal Volute Suspension System" (HVSS) coupled to wider track links. While the addition made for a heavier and wider tank product, it improved the vehicle's operating ground pressure. The HVSS was applied to the M4A3 production model and gave rise to the M4A3E8 / M4A3(76)W HVSS designations - nicknamed "Easy Eight". The new vehicles were also completed with a larger-caliber 76mm High-Velocity main gun, featured welded hulls (as opposed to cast) and were powered by Ford GAA V8 gasoline engines. The revised qualities improved firepower (putting the main armament closer to the capabilities of the German 75mm guns), armor protection and performance over the earlier Sherman models.

Production forms were available as soon as August 1944 and the variant saw introduction during December of that year, seeing combat service during the Battle of the Bulge and beyond. However, despite the changes, this did not permanently solve ongoing issues with the medium tank when facing off against its German counterparts. The Sherman "Jumbo" (detailed elsewhere on this site) did more to address the lacking qualities - it saw a considerable increase in armor protection and carried a heavier gun. Beyond its given role as a Medium Tank, the Jumbo (M4A3E2) was also categorized as an "assault tank".

Production of Easy Eights totaled 2,617 examples during August 1944. These were completed by the Detroit Tank Arsenal as well as the Fisher Tank Arsenal.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the M4 Sherman (Easy Eight) Upped-Gunned Medium Tank.
1 x Ford GAA 8-cylinder 4-cycle 60 degree gasoline-fueled engine developing 500 horsepower at 2,600rpm driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
23 mph
37 kph
Road Speed
109 miles
175 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the M4 Sherman (Easy Eight) Upped-Gunned Medium Tank.
5
(MANNED)
Crew
24.6 ft
7.5 meters
O/A Length
9.5 ft
2.9 meters
O/A Width
9.0 ft
2.75 meters
O/A Height
65,036 lb
29,500 kg | 32.5 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8) Upped-Gunned Medium Tank.
1 x 76mm High-Velocity main gun.
1 x .50 caliber Browning M2 turret-mounted Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun.
1 x .30-06 caliber coaxial machine gun.
1 x .30-06 caliber bow-mounted machine gun.
AMMUNITION:
95 x 75mm projectiles (estimated).
300 x .50 caliber ammunition.
4,750 x .30-06 caliber ammunition.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8) family line.
"Easy Eight" - Series Nickname
M4A3(76)W HVSS - Base Series Designation
M4A3E8 - Alternative Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 2,617 Units

Contractor(s): Detroit Tank Arsenal / Fisher Tank Arsenal - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
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Image of the M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8)
Image from the Public Domain.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
INFANTRY SUPPORT
MEDIUM TANK
TANK-vs-TANK
TRACK-AND-WHEEL DRIVE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Similar
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8) Upped-Gunned Medium Tank.
Going Further...
The M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman (Easy Eight / M4A3E8) Upped-Gunned Medium Tank appears in the following collections:
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