M4A4 Sherman Rhinoceros tank
History, technical sheet and photo
Sherman Rhinoceros tank history
Different versions of the Sherman M4 tank are designed based on the original chassis and thus allow the Americans to have a wide range of armored vehicles suitable for various situations and missions. The M4 is then transformed into bulldozer tank, amphibious tank (Duplex Drive), repair tank, anti-mine tank and many other variants.
One of these variants was developed during the Battle of Normandy in order to get rid of the obstacle represented by the Norman hedges. Indeed, the American land forces are significantly slowed down on this partitioned terrain favorable to defense. The hedges allow the Germans to launch murderous ambushes, imposing on their opponents axes of approach.
A US Army sergeant, Curtis G. Culin of the 2nd Armored Division, then thinks of attaching to the front of the Sherman metal blades allowing to remove the feet of the hedges and thus facilitating the progression through the hedgerow. These blades are designed from the beach obstacles scattered by the Germans before the landing, especially the “Czech hedgehog”: hundreds are gathered and transformed, this raw material is not lacking in Normandy!
The new armor is then nicknamed “Rhinoceros” and its diminutive becomes “Rhino”. This device also equips the M3 Stuart and M10 Destroyer tanks.
Sherman Rhinoceros tank specification
Creator/User: United States of America
Denomination: M4A4 Sherman Rhinoceros
Length: 6,06 m
Width: 2,62 m
Height: 2,74 m
Weight: 31,600 kg
Maximum speed: 40 km/h
Operational range: 160 km
Main armament: M3 75 mm gun
Secondary armament: one .50 caliber Browning M2HB machine gun on top of the turret, two .30 caliber Browning M1919A4 machine guns (one for the assistant driver, the other one in the turret, coupled with the main gun)
Engine: Chrysler A57 multibank gasoline engine; 370 hp (276 kW) at 2,400 rpm
Crew: 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, assistant driver)
Chassis armor: 50 mm (front), 38 mm (rear), 38 mm (sides)
Turret armor: 75 mm (front), 50 mm (rear), 50 mm (sides)