The Sherman M4A4 75mm Tank

This Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank can be found at Cobbaton Combat Collection Museum, Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, North Devon, England.

Surviving Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank at the Cobbaton Combat Collection in North Devon.

The M4A4 is a typical example of the version of Sherman tank that was massed produced in America for the British and Commonwealth Armies under the Lend Lease agreement. It had a welded hull and a cast turret that was fitted with a short barreled 75mm gun. Preston Isaac of the Cobbaton Combat collection managed to rescue this tank from Salisbury Plain firing range where it was being used as a target. There is a lot of damage from shell impact.

Some of the hull was buckled as well as being pierced but luckily the important load bearing parts of the hull by the track suspension units have remained in alignment. The rusted engine has been removed from the rear of the tank and deposited near by. Preston's son Tim has already located and fitted some spare parts. Restoration will take time and a lot of money.

Surviving Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

Notice the two extra welded on armour plates on this Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

Tim managed to find a photograph at the Tank Museum in Bovington of this tank in a work shop prior to the additional two protective armour plates being welded to the side of the tank hull. In the back of the workshop is a Sherman Crab. In front of this tank was a Sherman M4A4 that had already had the additional plates welded to its hull and painted.

To the side of Cobbaton's tank there was another M4A4 Sherman having had the plates welded on to its hull but they had not been painted yet. The Cobbaton Sherman looks quiet naked in comparison, not having had anything done to it yet. It still displayed its VRN number on its side.

Surviving Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

The additional armour plate gave the crew in the Sherman M4A4 Tank extra protection

Cobbarton Combat gets a call from Hollywood

About 18 months prior to the WW2 tank film Fury being filmed Tim Isaac of Cobbaton Combat Collection was contacted and asked if their Sherman M4A4 tank was available for use as a large prop in the new war film staring Brad Pitt. They knew it did not have an engine but that was no problem. So long as the tracks rolled that was all they wanted.

The Art Department built a replica Sherman turret made out of plastic. They used a crane to remove the original turret and replace it with the fake turret. The film director want to depict the dramatic effect of the internally stored ammunition in a Sherman tank exploding when hit by an enemy tank round, which resulted in the turret being blown off and killing all the tank crew.

The enginge has been taken out of this surviving Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

The engine compartment in a Sherman M4A4 Tank with the engine removed

In the film the Cobbaton Sherman was third in a column of tanks. Brad Pitt in his 76mm Sherman tank called Fury was riding point. All of a sudden the the Cobbaton tank explodes having been hit and the audience sees the turret sailing through the air amongst clouds of smoke and flame. It is a very impressive part of the film.

The olive green and black camouflage pattern was added by the films art department. The fake turret can be seen in all these photographs. Tim Isaac has not replaced the original turret back on to the Sherman hull because it enabled him ready access to the interior of the vehicle which will be helpful during its restoration. The original turret with the words 'Murder Inc' on its gun barrel is being kept safe at the museum.

Surviving Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank

The cast turret of this Sherman M4A4 British Medium Tank at the Cobbaton Combat Collection in North Devon. The worlds Murder Inc are painted on the gun.

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