Dispelling the myths surrounding the M4 Sherman tank



#1 – The gasoline engines made the tank a death trap.

One of the most popular myths surrounding the Sherman is concerning “Catastrophic hits” to the tank. That is, hits that would cause the tank to either explode or catch on fire violently. In these scenarios, the crew would typically have a very low survival rate and knock the tank out permanently. British tankers nicknamed the tank the Ronson because the lighter of the same name had a motto of “Lights the first time, every time!”.

The truth – Early in the war, the Sherman tank had a nearly identical rate of failures when compared to its contemporaries. The Panzer IV had a nearly identical rate of catastrophic failures.  Even  Belton Y Cooper – whose book ‘Death Traps’ was highly critical of the M4 Sherman’s performance did note several times that German anti-tank crews had a very difficult time catching the tank on fire

In mid 1944, the US introduced wet stowage to the ammo compartment of the tank. By all accounts, the rate of failure decreased by an overwhelming 75%. This decrease dropped failures to even blow that of the dreaded Tiger tank.


 Myth #2 – The 75mm cannon could not destroy enemy tanks

This is by far one of the most perpetuated myths concerning the Sherman tank.

It is partially true, but only when combined with poor US anti-tank doctrine as perpetuated by General Lesley McNair. Many historians remember that in his opinion, tanks were not to be used against other tanks. However one thing not realized is that his opinion had even worse effect on tank crews – They were issued old, out-dated armor piercing ammunition.

From 1943 onward, the US military had in its posession an extremely effective anti-tank round for the 75mm cannon called the M61 APCBC.

The APCBC could actually penetrate the  Tiger tank from ALL aspects as well as the Panther in most regards. It could penetrate nearly 100mm of enemy armor from 500 yards, and over 90mm from a thousand yards. This was enough to penetrate the rear or side armor of the Tiger from the longer distance, or at a distance of 500yds, penetrate the tiger from the front. Many critics of the M4 do note that the up-gunned tanks carrying the 76mm gun could take on a tiger, yet the armor penetration of the 76mm is only 5% better than the 75mm armed with the M61 APCBC ammunition. Sadly, due to McNair’s orders, APCBC was not issued to tankers, and instead substituted with an inferior type of ammunition (The standard APC, which had 30% less penetration characteristics.

The Russians were quite a fan of the power of the 75mm cannon the Shermans. the difference between the way the USSR employed them and the way the US did was the fact that they actually issued the M61 APCBC to their troops.

Here are a few photos from a classified report using a 75mm armed Sherman against a Tiger tank.

This test was performed firing a 75 mm M3 gun from an M4A2 Sherman with M-61 and M-72 rounds. Here are the results:

Side, shell type M-61, distance 400 m. Result: penetration, spalling inside in an area of 300 mm by 300 mm
Side, shell type M-72, distance 625 m. Result: penetration, minor spalling on entrance and exit.
Side: shell type M-72, distance 625 m. Result: same as above.
Turret: shell type M-61, distance 650 m. Result: dent 50 mm deep, 140 mm diameter. Penetration of the turret platform.
Turret: shell type M-61, distance 650. Result: dent 40mm deep, 120mm diameter.
Side: shell type M-61, distance 650. Result: Penetration. Shell knocked out a cork-like section of armour.
Side: shell type M-61, distance 650. Result: same as above.




Myth #3 – The armor was paper thin


Often the M4′s armor is compared to that of the Panther and the Tiger, where it fares poorly. The T34 however is compared and often touted as one of the best-protected tanks during the entire war.

The truth is pretty simple and straight forward – The Sherman’s armor was nearly identical to the T34, later in the war it was even increased well beyond the T34′s armor. The Sherman offered around 50mm of frontal armor at a 45 degree angle, offering 70mm of armor in relative thickness. The T34 offered about 40mm of armor at a 45 degree angle, or 56mm of relative thickness.

Overall, the armor was inferior to that of the Panther or Tiger, but was superior to tanks that were more similar in usage – The T34 and the PzIV.

The Sherman tank featured up to 50mm of frontal armor that was angled at around 45 degrees which was nearly identical to that of the T34 which had . As a comparison, the PzIV Ausf G had frontal armor of only about 50mm at a 60 to 90 degree angle depending on upper/lower sides – A relative thickness of only 55mm. Additionally, the Pz V Ausf G (Panther) had 60mm to 80mm of frontal armor at a 55 degree angle – A relative thickness of 73mm to 97mm.
So , a summation of the following armor characteristics :


Tank Name PzIV Ausf G T34-76 T34-85 M4 Early M4 Late Panther Tiger
Relative Thickness 55mm 56mm 70mm 70mm 80mm 90mm 100mm

72 National Guardsmen Killed In Anti-Terrorism Raid in Boston

National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a paramilitary extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. The governor blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group’s organizers as “criminals”, issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government’s efforts to secure law and order. The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed widespread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons.

The governor issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.

One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that “…none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.” Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition.

However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government’s plans. During a tense standoff in Lexingtonís town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.

Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the radical extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces over-matched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.

The governor has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as “ringleaders” of the extremist faction, remain at large. The governor was Thomas Gage.

Liberal support of child soldiers & religious massacres growing

In this day and age of children being expelled from school for pop tarts shaped like guns, or over a t-shirt declaring the meaning of the constitution, you would think that the average liberal in the United States is against violence and firearm ownership.

However, don’t be mistaken – They just want YOUR guns so they can arm their own children to kill those who oppose them.

Enter today’s wonderful news – The US government is now arming children to fight the Syrian Civil War.

In a recent article on Vice.com, a father and son team (The son being just 11 years old) talk about the fight in Syria against the Assad regime. Mind you , this is the regime that Barack Obama and the Democrats in the United States wholeheartedly support [2].

Granted, this is all taking place while the FSA (Our *Allies*) are threatening, and ethnic cleansing Christian villages in the region when they’re not using said child soldiers to kill members of the SAA.

So, the question that I pose to everyone is this – Why is it ok to give weapons to children in Syria and to support the slaughter of villages of Christians, while demonizing children in the United States for playing with water guns?

Defense Distributed shut down by Department of Defense

In an amazing turn of events. The US department of defense has shut down Defense Distributed and required them to cease downloads of all firearm 3d printer files.



Of course, since the DOD doesn’t understand how the internet works, the cad files are still easily downloadable via torrent.

Gun confiscation in New York begins for those on anti-depressants & anxiety meds

This is a very quickly developing story.

One of the top lawyers dealing with the litigation against the NY SAFE ACT has just posted a emergency message to a well-known New York firearm forum noting that the first firearm permits are starting to be revoked over the law and linkage between medications and permits.



2,623,507 Firearm background checks performed in Janurary

Today I used pretty standard methodology in determining the total number of firearms sold in the month of Janurary based on weekly data from the FBI. A total of 27 days were available out of 31 for analysis. Ben, a world renown statician in the technology industry helped me with these numbers. He believes that these numbers are within 5% of actual with 99% confidence.

The current record for NICS checks stands at 2,783,765 in the month of December 2012. The Janurary number represents only a decrease of 17% from the record holding month, and is 31% higher than the month of November which holds the second place record for firearm background checks.


12/31/2012 – 01/06/2013 497,785
01/07/2013 – 01/13/2013 603,882
01/14/2013 – 01/20/2013 641,501
01/21/2013 – 01/27/2013 541,822
Firearms Sold in 27 days 2,284,990
Firearms sold per day 84,629
Number based on 31 median days of sales 2,623,507
Alternative number (With regression) 2,594,602

Why the media talking about the St. Louis business school shooting

It was national news but for a short while.

The ATF has finally released a report detailing the source of the Keltec 9mm firearm used to kill

Was it from a gun store not doing background checks the right way? Maybe a gun show through that pesky loophole they all talk about? Maybe some well-meaning family member transferring it?

Nope, it was stolen in 2011 during a burglary which resulted in a total of 4 missing guns.

Once again , here is yet another shooting where the law was broken to obtain a firearm used to commit a murder that made national headlines. We can add this to the list of recent high-profile shootings where the firearm was obtained in a illegal manner. In the case of Sandy Hook, Klackamas mall shooting and the NY firemen ambush, all firearms were procured by highly illegal means.

Confiscation of firearms in NY missed by narrow margin (Updated)

Out of all the stupid, vile, disturbing things to come out of the NY state assault weapon ban & gun control laws, this is by far the worst.

The original verbiage of the bill, floated by democrats in the state called for outright confiscation of firearms. Not a buyback, not grandfathering of old, once legal firearms. A full-fledged policy of theft. Amazingly enough, the NY Republicans were able to block the measure, but barely. Watch the video and realize that there are plenty of politicians who would be more than happy to round up all gun owners and force confiscation. When another politician tells you “We respect the 2nd amendment” you need to remember what is taking place in New York and take it with a grain of salt.


Senator Steve McLaughlin posted a list of the NY Democrat “Requests” for the NY AWB on his facebook page. The list consists of the following.

1. Confiscation of “assault weapons”
2. Confiscation of ten round clips
3. Statewide database for ALL Guns
4. Continue to allow pistol permit holder’s information to be replaced to the public
5. Label semiautomatic shotguns with more than 5 rounds or pistol grips as “assault weapons”
6. Limit the number of rounds in a magazine to 5 and confiscation and forfeiture of banned magazines
7. Limit possession to no more than two (2) magazines
8. Limit purchase of guns to one gun per person per month
9. Require re-licensing of all pistol permit owners
10. Require renewal of all pistol permits every five years
11. State issued pistol permits
12. Micro-stamping of all guns in New York State
13. Require licensing of all gun ammo dealers
14. Mandatory locking of guns at home
15. Fee for licensing, registering weapons

Additionally, it now seems many democrats have attempted to cover up the fact that this list exists. Source

Did anti-gun groups launch a cyber attack on MidwayUSA?

MidwayUSA.com , one of the largest firearm retailers in the United States was featured on a MSNBC hit piece against online retailers. Relating them to drug dealers, MSNBC called for them to be shut down.

In the past few hours, the website has been returning errors and is now no longer accessible.

This, only after a few short hours of the hit piece being run by MSNBC. The website is not down due to severe traffic, but appears to have been taken completely offline.

Update – After 3-4 hours of downtime the website is now connecting intermittently.

What you need to know about today’s presidential address (Just the facts)

Today, president Obama held a press conference to outline his plans for gun control & mental health issues.


First up, Obama signed a total of 23 executive orders varying from background checks, to school ‘resources’ and other areas.

These are:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.


2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.


3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.


4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.


5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.


6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.


7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.


8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).


9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.


10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.


11. Nominate an ATF director.


12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.


13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.


14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.


15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.


16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.


17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.


18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.


19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.


20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.


21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.


22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.


Furthermore, president Obama called on congress to enact legislation that he outlined. These acts are :

  • An assault weapons ban, making semi-automatic rifles illegal
  • A prohibition on ownership/purchase of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds
  • Universal background checks (Would prohibit all face-to-face transfers)

These last 3 acts are the ones that people should be concerned about. Thankfully, these were not usurped via executive order and require a congressional vote. Now is the time to contact your representatives!

A very simple way to do this is to use ruger’s take action form. Using this form, you can easily tell your representatives not to pass these restrictive laws.