Armour in Canadian service: Sherman III (M4A2) and Sherman V (M4A4) tanks

Sherman tanks

A variety of Shermans were used in Canadian units after the adoption of the tank in the spring of 1943. The main variants used in armoured and armoured reconnaissance regiments were the Sherman III (the designation used by Commonwealth forces for the M4A2) and the Sherman V (M4A4).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205475)

Sherman V tanks moving into position for an attack toward Falaise, between Hubert-Folie and Tilly-la-Campagne, Normandy, 8 August 1944.

Under the terms of Lend Lease, Britain received 17,181 Shermans in various models, mostly M4А2s and M4A4s (5,041 Sherman III and 7,167 V, respectively, some of which went to Canadians). The M4A2 had a GM 6046 diesel engine, the M4A4 had a gasoline Chrysler A57 multibank engine and a longer welded hull. Both were armed with a 75-mm medium velocity general purpose main gun.

(IWM Photo, NA 18051)

Sherman tanks of 1st Canadian Armoured Division advancing towards the Gothic Line, Italy, 26 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-144103)

From higher ground, a 14th Armoured Regiment (Calgary) Sherman V tank covers the progression of the West Nova Scotia Regiment towards Potenza, September 20th, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205395)

Sherman III tank moving up in support of the Infantry in Normandy under Lieutenant Frank Allen, 28 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233133)

Sherman V of the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse), near Vaucelles, Normandy, July 1944. The extra armour plate added over the ammunition stowage is clearly visible on the hull side.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226824)

Canadian tanks moving into battle behind a smoke screen in Normandy, 11 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166606)

Tpr Walter Dyck (left), Cpl Dan Moore (right), A Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), by their Sherman III tank after a hull-down shoot on Orsogna, Italy, 27 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3600192)

Troopers standing next to their Sherman III tank during a lull in a combined armour and artillery exercise, England, 5-10 June 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166655)

LdSH Sherman III tanks, review by King George VI, Italy, ca 1943.  The Kings inspection took place at the Piedimonte Airfield, west of Alfie, Volturno, Italy, July 31, 1943. The Strathcona's were the only Armoured Regiment in attendance along with infantry and artillery units forming a squared formation. (Anthony Sewards)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3260951)

Infantrymen of the West Nova Scotia Regiment riding on a Sherman III tank of the Calgary Regiment during the advance from Villapiano to Potenza, Italy, 18 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524684)

Canadian Sherman V tanks, likely with the 5th Armoured Brigade, 2nd Armoured Regiment (Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) , 5th Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars) or the 9th Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Dragoons), moving out of an LST on arrival in Marseilles, France, 6 March 1945. This was part of Operation 'GOLDFLAKE', the Move of 1st Canadian Corps from Italy to North-West Europe, February-March 1945".

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224241)

Sherman V tanks of the 1st Hussars during the attack in the Zetten and Hemmen area. Capt. Joe Dolan and Lt. Bruce Caw on their tank waiting to go ahead, 20 January 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207720)

Sherman Firefly Ic tank on a Sherman I Hybrid hull, equipped with a 17-pounder anti-tank gun, with the 1st Hussars near Zetten, Netherlands, 20 January 1945.  You can see the angled cut in the additional armour plate where the cast front of the Hybrid is welded to the rest of the plate steel hull. And the bogey spacing is not the wider one of the Mk V hull. (Paul Roberts)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232682)

New Sherman V tank on a test range, c1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191784)

Sherman V tanks of the Governor General's Horse Guards, 9 March 1945.

(BHIC Photo)

Canadian Sherman V "ARAMIS II", Vught, Northern Brabant, The Netherlands, 5 December 1944.

(DND Photo)

Sherman V with add-on armor via spare treads to help give a talisman against Tigers in NW Europe, 1944-45.  Governor General’s Horse Guards (GGHG).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3198827)

Sherman V tank in Normandy, 10 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228083)

Sherman Mk. I tanks of "C" Squadron, The Fort Garry Horse, passing infantrymen of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Munderloh, Germany, 29 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224036)

Sherman V tanks lined up along the route await the order to proceed with the infantry - 4th Canadian Armed Division chasing German paratroopers out of town, 11 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224529)

Sherman V tanks of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division harrassing German troops north of Meppen, 8 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3200973)

A Dutch girl offering coffee to the crew of a Sherman V tank of the South Alberta Regiment, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, 29 October 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224755)

Sherman V tank of the Ontario Regiment entering San Pancrazio, Italy, 16 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3614536)

Normandy - a Sherman V tank comes out from engagement near a church covered by falling masonry.  Its Commander works to remove the debris to free his driver and co-driver, 15 June 1944.

Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396461)

Sherman V tank, 5th Canadian Armoured Division, 8th Princess Louise (New Brunswick) Hussars, en route to the Zuider Zee passing through Putten, Holland, 18 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225647)

Sherman V tank rolling along the banks of the Orne River, France, 18 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226403)

Sherman III tank of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, Normandy, 9 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397558)

Sherman III tank, (Serial No. 8007), built by Fisher, 3063256, Build No. 898, WD No.  T-152656, "Bomb", Sherbrooke Fusiliers. This crew landed in France on D-Day, and is shown here in Zutphen, Netherlands, 8 June 1945.

(Author Photo)

"Bomb", is a Sherman III tank (British Commonwealth designation of the M4A2 Sherman), War Department registration T152656, serial number 8007, built by Fisher build number 898.  This tank survived from D-Day to VE-Day without being knocked out; an improbable achievement because of the high casualty rate amongst front line combat equipment. Bomb's crewmembers, originally Troopers A.W. Rudolph, "Red" Fletcher, Trooper J.W. (Tiny) Hall, Lance-Corporal R. (Rudy) Moreault and Sergeant Harold Frutter, crew commander, kept the tank in service, despite firing over 6,000 rounds and surviving at least one enemy shell impact.  Frutter was wounded in July 1944 and one other man were replaced in Normandy by Lieutenant Paul Ayriss and Trooper Ken Jeroux. Lieutenant J.W. Neill replaced Ayriss in August 1944, and was later awarded the Military Cross.  Two more officers to command Bomb were Lieutenant Walter White who was wounded in April 1945 and Lieutenant Earnest Mingo who replaced him until war's end. The tank and crewmembers Rudolph, Moreault and Hall were the subject of a Canadian Army Film and Photographic Unit production entitled, "Green Fields Beyond" (number 2090) in 1945.  The tank was on display at the Champs de Mars park, Queen Boulevard North, Sherbrooke, Quebec and in Sept 2011 was relocated to the front lawns of the William Street Armoury, 315 William Street, Sherbrooke, Quebec.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 454721)

Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment changing tracks on a Sherman III tank in England, 20 April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3514116)

Changing tracks on Sherman III tanks of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment, England, 20 April 1944

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226821)

Sherman V tanks moving into battle behind a smoke screen in Normandy, 11 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3614385)

Sherman Crab flail tank coming ashore from an LCT, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205407)

Sherman Crab flail tank in Normandy, 4 July 1944. The mine flail consists of a number of heavy chains ending in fist-sized steel balls (flails) that are attached to a horizontal, rapidly rotating rotor mounted on two arms in front of the vehicle. The rotor's rotation makes the flails spin wildly and violently pound the ground. The force of a flail strike above a buried mine mimics the weight of a person or vehicle and causes the mine to detonate, but in a safe manner that does little damage to the flails or the vehicle.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224832)

Sherman Crab flail tank in Normandy, 6 August 1944.

(IWM Photo, H 38080)

Sherman Crab flail tank in operation.

(IWM Photo, BU 3515)

Sherman Crab flail tank in front of burning buildings in Arnhem, 14 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226338)

Sherman V tank of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade advancing in first stage of the attack on Caen, Normandy, 18 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3192195)

Sherman V tanks of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers advancing into Caen, Normandy, 10 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226340)

Sherman V tank of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade advancing in first stage of the attack on Caen, Normandy, 18 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227262)

Lieutenant Aaron Churchill of 6th Field Regiment, RCA shown here in a Sherman V tank talking on his wireless set, 16-17 Aug 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224247)

Troopers with a Sherman III tank which slid off the road leading to Zetten, the Netherlands, as the tanks were going into action, 20 Jan 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-171703)

Sherman tank departing a Landing Ship Tank (LST) at Sicily. The distinctive quartered circle marking in front of the hull was an identifier for the landings in Sicily and Italy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3582735)

Crew of the Sherman III tank "Corvette" of "C" Squadron, Three Rivers Regiment, near San Tommasso, Italy, 30 January 1944.

(Canadian Army/DND Photo)

Wary of German snipers and antitank teams, a pair of tanks belonging to the Canadian Three Rivers Regiment advances into Ortona on December 22, 1943. Six days later, the Germans had withdrawn from the town despite an order from Hitler to stand fast.

(World War Photos)

Inspection of B Squadron, 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment, (Three Rivers Regimenr),  in Italy, ca 1944.

(IWM Photo)

Sherman V tank, 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment, (Three Rivers Regt), Arielli River, Italy, 18 Jan 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512561)

Cape Breton Highlander examining the treads of a Sherman III tank, possibly of "B" Squadron, 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, during the assault on the Gothic Line, Italy, ca. 31 August 1944.

(Skaarup family Photo)

LCpl Harold J. Skaarup and his mates, Sherman tank "Acorn", Italy, 1944.

(DND Photo via Don Orth)

Canadian gunners un-hitch their 6-pdr anti-tank gun from the rear of a Sherman tank of the 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers), Battle of The Arielli River, 17 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574213)

Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister, General Officer Commanding 5th Canadian Armoured Division, in his Sherman III tank "Vancouver" near Castrocielo, Italy, 26 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4274115)

Canadian tank crews and photographer under enemy sniper fire near Bad Zwischenahn, Germany. Sherman V tank in the foreground and the blazing barn in the distance, 29 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-128791)

Sherman tanks coming ashore on 6 June 1944 at Courseulles-sur-mer. This beach was part of Juno's Mike Green and Red sector. The capture of Juno was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division commanded by Major-General Rodney Keller. The Mike sector in front of Graye-sur-Mer and Courseulles was to be controlled by the 7th Brigade supported by the 6th Canadian Armored Regiment (1st Hussars). Despite the rough seas which prevented easy launching of amphibious tanks, some tanks of the 1st Hussars were able to reach land for the 7th Brigade, unlike the situation at Bernières-sur-Mer.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203630)

Sherman DD tank and a tracked Anti-aircraft gun on the Normandy beaches 7 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205402)

Side view of a Sherman DD tank, Fort Garry Horse. It has a Cc stand on the rear of the turret, a shelf around the base of the hull and it appears that the extra sprocket ring on the idler may still be attached. Trooper Dick Mason, Trooper H. Weibe, Captain Christian (black beret) troop leader, Corporal Clemeny Nivon, and Tony Oshan, After capturing Carpiquet airport in Normandy, the crew are cooking lunch, 8 July 1944. Note the tanker helmets. (Steve Hearn and Anthony Sewards)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3209748)

Infantrymen of Support Company, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, supported by a Wasp flame-throwing Universal Carrier and a Sherman V tank of The Fort Garry Horse, advancing south of Hatten, Germany, 22 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524183)

Sherman, Ram Kangaroo, Sherman ARV, Universal carrier, then another Sherman ARV, halt on the road to Rijssen, in front of the remains of a burnt out German truck, Rijssen, Netherlands, 9 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223903)

Infantrymen of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and a Sherman V tank of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division awaiting orders to go through a roadblock, Wertle, Germany, 11 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo)

A Canadian Sherman III tank positioned at a street corner ready to destroy a group of Germans firing from a house. Note the tank commander using binoculars. The road around the tank is littered with empty casings. Ortona, Italy, December 1943.

(World War Photos)

Canadian and Allied tank units took a tremendous number of hits with many casualties.  This is a Canadian Sherman V burning after being hit in Italy in July 1944.

(Canadian Army/DND Photo)

Sherman V tanks with The Ontario Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in the Liri Valley, circa May 1944. (DND Photo)

(IWM Photo)

British soldiers of the 78th Infantry Division passing a Sherman tank in Portomaggiore (Ferrara), Italy, on 19 April 1945. By this time the Canadians were no longer in Italy.

(IWM Photo, NA5522)

Sherman V tank "Condor" with the 11th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Ontario Regiment) advancing near Catania, Sicily, 4 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-142076)

Diamond T tractor-trailer transporters hauling Sherman tanks of the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, Manfredonia, Italy, 12 October 1943.

(IWM Photo, NA6209)

Sherman V tank, 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (Calgary Regt), C Sqn, Reggio, Italy, 3 Sep 1943.

(IWM Photo, NA10371)

Canadian soldiers accompanied by Sherman tanks in Ortona, Dec 1943.

(MilitaryImages.net Photo)

British Sherman V Bulldozer tank, Normandy, 1944.