Early M4A1 Sherman from the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers, gathered up just before the start of Operation Lightfoot, the second battle of El Alamein. The photo was taken in late October 1942 and at this time the Sherman M4A1 was a cutting edge tank
M4A1 Sherman: First Into Production, And When It Did Go, It Was The Most Advanced Tank In The World.
This was virtually the same tank as the M4, with the same motor and automotive systems and armament. The key difference was the cast upper hull. This huge upper hull was one huge single casting. This was a very hard thing to do with casting technology at the time, and something the Germans could not have reproduced, they lacked the advanced technology, and facilities needed to do so. Everything from hatches to wheels, and turrets, and guns were interchangeable with the M4 and other Sherman models.
The M4A1 saw production longer than any other hull type. It also saw all the upgrades like the improved large hatch with cast in armor over the hull racks, the T23 turret with 76mm gun, Wet ammo racks and HVSS suspension system. It was 30 of these M4A1 76 HVSS tanks that were the last Shermans ever produced. The M4A1 was also the first to see combat use with the improved M1 gun and T23 turret during operation Cobra. These tanks would also be the basis for the Israeli M51 Sherman. Three factories produced 9527 M4A1s with all turret types from Feb 42 to July of 45.
The US Marines used one battalion of these tanks on the Cape Gloucester campaign, all small hatch M4A1 75 tanks. This was the only use of this type by the U.S. Marines.
M4A1 Gun Info
M4A1 Model Specification Sheets:
M4A1 75 mid spec sheet