Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS Tank

Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524711)

Dismantling Canadian Line Positions, General view of the Royal Canadian Regiment, 'Baker' Company area, being cleared out. In foreground, a Lord Strathcona Horse (LdSH) Sherman tank. Korea, 28 July 1953.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234038)

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank, Petawawa, Ontario, ca. 1963.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234039).

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank (CFR No. 78-874), Camp Petawawa, ca. 1963.  

In 1946 the first of 294 M4A2 (76-mm) Wet Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS) Sherman tanks arrived at Camp Borden and at the Long Pointe Ordnance Depot in Montreal.  The Canadians referred to this tank as the M4A2E8.  96 Stuart tanks were also delivered at the same time.  The new Shermans were manufactured by the Fisher Tank Arsenal in Grand Blanc, Michigan between May 1944 and May 1945.  M24 Chaffee light tanks were also purchased at this time.  Compared with the Shermans used by Canadians in the Second World War, the ammunition storage in the new tanks was improved by surrounding the racks with water and etheylene glycol-filled jackets to reduce the probability of explosion in the event of penetration of the armour by enemy fire.  The tanks equipped with this protection system were designated "Wet".  The M4A2E8 was powered by a pair of side-by-side mounted General Motors 6046 diesel engines producing 375 hp mounted in the rear of the hull.  The tank could sustain a speed of 48 kmh (30 mph).  Its main armament was a 76-mm M1A2 long-barreled, high-velocity gun fitted with a muzzle brake.  Its secondary armament included one Browning .30-calibre M1919A4 machine-gun mounted co-axially with the main gun, a bow machine-gun in the front of the hull, and a Browning .50-calibre machine-gun mounted on a post between the loader's and commander's hatches for AA protection.  The HVSS system used four wheels per bogie instead of two, which allowed tracks that were wider (165-mm) to be installed, and which made for better performance on soft ground and allowed for a smoother ride.  The M4A2E8 had a five-man crew.  The driver and co-driver sat in the front of the hull with the driver on the left and co-driver on the right.  The crew commander, loader and gunner sat in the turret.  The crew commander's position was on the right side of the turret, the loader sat on his left and the gunner sat in front of the commander.  After the first batch of the new tanks went to the RCD at Camp Borden 1946, another 30 went to the LdSH at Camp Wainwright, Alberta in March 1947.  Training on the tanks by the LdSH was also conducted at Camp Sarcee in Alberta, and at Camp Petawawa when the RCD moved there in the spring of 1948.

(DND Photo)

Trooper Andy Parenteau of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) sleeps on the back of a Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank, Korea. Note the American ration box and United Nations/Canada crest on the tail.

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