M4A1 Sherman Tank

The first standard-production 76 mm gun-armed Sherman was an M4A1, accepted in January 1944, which first saw combat in July 1944 during Operation Cobra. 

The 76mm-armed Sherman began to enter British and South African service around the time of the Gothic Line battles. This was because versions armed with the original 75mm gun were in short supply. In Italy, both types were used more against German fortifications than tanks.

The Gothic Line was a German and Italian defensive line of the Italian Campaign of World War II. It formed the Germans’ last major line of defence along the summits of the northern part of the Apennine Mountains during the fighting retreat of the German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy, 

The new 76mm gun made the Sherman more capable against enemy tanks than the 75mm it replaced, although not by as much as had been hoped. In contrast, its High Explosive shell was actually less powerful, and in Italy this saw much more use. Both types were used by all Allied nations until the end of the war, and 76mm Shermans continued in service around the world into the 1960s.

This M4A1 Sherman Tank was on display at The Tank Museum. It was one of 3,426 Sherman IlAs built by the Pressed Steel Car company in Chicago during 1944 and early 1945. It has modifications suggesting it was upgraded under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program during the 1950s, which supplied Shermans to European nations. It came to The Tank Museum in 1989.

Churchill IV

The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) Churchill was a British infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, its ability to climb steep slopes, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war.

The IV, the most numerous Churchill produced, was virtually identical to the III, the largest change being a return to the cheaper cast turret, keeping the welded turret’s “clean” squarish shape. A tank telephone was fitted to the rear of the tank for communication with infantry.

This Churchill IV was on display at The Tank Museum.

This Churchill has serial number T31579. It was originally built in 1941 as a Mark I or Mark II, then converted to a Mark IV. Its wartime service is unknown, but afterwards it was converted into a ‘Twin ARK’ bridging vehicle.

It was restored back to its wartime configuration by The Churchill Trust and loaned to The Tank Museum in 2018.

It is painted in the markings of 3 Troop, A Squadron of the North Irish Horse.

AEC Armoured Car Mark II

This AEC Armoured Car Mark II was on display at The Tank Museum, it is armed with a 6 pounder gun. AEC Armoured Car is the name of a series of British heavy armoured cars built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) during the Second World War.

AEC tried to build an armoured car with fire power and protection comparable to those of contemporary British cruiser tanks. The first version used the turret of a Valentine Mk II infantry tank complete with the 2 pounder gun. Subsequent versions received a 6 pounder or a 75 mm gun in a custom-built turret.

The AEC came about following British experience in the Western Desert against Italian armoured cars. British armoured cars were only armed with light and heavy machine guns and the army was fitting captured Italian and German 20mm or larger autocannon to have enough firepower when meeting enemy reconnaissance vehicles.

The Mk I was first used in combat in the North African Campaign late in 1942, where a few vehicles were reportedly fitted with a Crusader tank turret mounting a 6 pounder gun. The Mk II and Mk III took part in the fighting in Europe with British and British Indian Army units, often together with the American-supplied Staghound armoured car.

StuG III at the Tank Museum

When I visited Bovington last year they had a StuG III on display.

It had been on display at The Imperial War Museum Duxford, but was returned to the Tank Museum at Bovington in December 2019.

Here David Willey discusses the Sturmgeschütz III Self-Propelled Assault Gun, better known as the StuG III, Germany’s most numerously produced fully tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle of the Second World War.

This was a late model StuG III supplied to Finnish forces. Has Saukopf gun mantlet introduced February 1944. It is the only vehicle left carrying original ‘waffle pattern’ zimmerit.

StuG III

The final and by far the most common of the StuG series. The Ausf. G used the hull of the Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M. Upper superstructure was widened: welded boxes on either sides were abandoned. This new superstructure design increased its height to 2160mm. Backside wall of the fighting compartment got straightened, and ventilation fan on top of the superstructure was relocated to the back of fighting compartment. From March 1943, driver’s periscope was abandoned. From May 1943, side hull skirts (schurzen) were fitted to G models for added armor protection particularly against anti-tank rifles. Side skirts were retro-fitted to some Ausf. F/8 models, as they were be fitted to all front line StuGs and other tanks by June 1943 in preparation for the battle of Kursk. Mountings for side skirts proved inadequate, many were lost in the field. From March 1944, improved mounting was introduced, as a result side skirts are seen more often with late model Ausf G.

StuG III

Here is the link to the StuG III Miniatures Gallery. I also have a workbench feature on the Flames of War StuG III Assault Guns.

Light Tank M5A1 Stuart Mark VI

The M3 Stuart, officially Light Tank, M3, was an American light tank of World War II. An improved version entered service as M5. It was supplied to British and other Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war. 

Light Tank M5A1 Stuart Mark VI

Thereafter, it was used by U.S. and Allied forces until the end of the war.

This Light Tank M5A1 Stuart Mark VI is at the Tank Museum at Bovington.

Light Tank M5A1 Stuart Mark VI

Another photograph of the Light Tank M5A1 Stuart Mark VI from an earlier visit to Bovington.

M9A1 Armoured Half-track

This M9A1 armoured half-track was on display at Bovington.

The M9 half-track was a half-track produced by International Harvester in the United States during World War II for lend-lease supply to the Allies. It was designed to provide a similar vehicle to the M2 half-track car.

It had the same body and chassis as the M5 half-track but had the same stowage and radio fit as the M2 half-track. 3500 were produced by the end of World War II.

The M9A1 variant of the M9 matched the improvements made to the M2, M3, and M5, changing to ring mount machine gun mount and three pintle machine gun mounts.

Morris Light Reconnaissance Car

Morris Light Reconnaissance Car

Morris Light Reconnaissance Car (LRC) was a British light armoured car for reconnaissance use produced by Morris Motors Limited and used by the British during the Second World War.

This Morris Light Reconnaissance Car was on display at Bovington Tank Museum.

Morris Light Reconnaissance Car

The vehicle was used in the North African, Italian and in North-West Europe campaigns. Some served with the RAF Regiment, others were given to Polish units.

Over two thousand were built.

M4A4 Sherman

The M4 Sherman, officially Medium Tank, M4, was the most widely used medium tank by the United States and Western Allies in World War II.

The M4A4 was the most common lend lease Sherman type used by the British Army.

This Sherman M4A4 tank was on display at The Tank Museum.

A Sherman M4A4 tank was on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

I have posted a few photographs on the blog of Simon’s 15mm British Sherman tanks he has painted for Flames of War.

Flames of War British Sherman Tank

More photographs of 15mm Flames of War Sherman Tanks.

M10 Achilles Tank Destroyer

This M10 was on display at Bovington.

The M10 tank destroyer was an American tank destroyer of World War II. The prototype of the M10 was conceived in early 1942, being delivered in April of that year.

After appropriate changes to the hull and turret were made, the modified version was selected for production in June 1942 as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It mounted a 3-inch (76.2 mm) Gun M7 in a rotating turret on a modified M4A2 Sherman tank chassis.

On a previous visit the  M10 Tank Destroyer was painted in winter camouflage.

M10 Tank Destroyer

I have a few 15mm Flames of War Self Propelled, Achilles, of the British variant of the American M10 Tank destroyer armed with the powerful British Ordnance QF 17 pounder anti-tank gun in place of the standard 3″ (76.2 mm) Gun M7.

T17E1 Staghound

The T17E1 Armoured Car was an American armored car manufactured during the Second World War. It saw service with British and other Commonwealth forces during the war under the name Staghound, but was never used on the front line by US forces.

Staghound

A number of other countries used the Staghound after the war; some vehicles continued to serve until the 1980s.