19

A River Oaks, Houston, TX, attorney recently purchased and parked outside his home a fully functional World War Two tank.

Note: The original newspaper article claimed the tank was "fully functional" - but the main gun was disabled by drilling a hole through it prior to departing France.

To my untrained eye it appears to be a Sherman, but I am looking for a more expert opinion. Can anyone definitely determine the type and model of this tank, along with any other interesting specifications?

"The problem is there is no action [the Homeowners' Association] can take," said Buzbee. "They can ticket it or they can try to tow it, but the truth is unless I decide to move it, it's not going anywhere."

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Presumably this is a serial number of some sort.

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I'm not sure what these numbers represent.

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More details, with thanks to called2voyage

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It appears from the auction details, that the serial number of the tank is 18688.

The serial number does appear on this list of known Sherman serial numbers compiled by Pierre-Olivier Buan (who has been cited as an expert on tanks of this era) and others.

The entry identifies the tank's type as M4A4(75), which was manufactured by Chrysler. The registration number entry varies from what's on the tank, but it is marked red, which means unconfirmed and possibly wrong. Randolph Duke, in the Texas Monthly article linked in the question, claims the original registration number was painted over. The notes say:

Comes from the range target, Salisbury Plain. Previously located at Coleraine, NI, UK and then in Normandy, France

The website with the list of Shermans has more information on this variant.

The M4A4 Shermans were equipped with a Chrysler Multibank engine; they have a lengthened welded hull. Only the 75mm version were built in the USA, but the M4A4 was also widely used as a basis for 17pdr Firefly tank by the British Army. The users were : Britain, France, China (Source : Wikipedia).

This variant was only manufactured by Chrysler (7499 units produced).

This tank has a 75mm gun, small hatches (protruding hoods), a 57° glacis and dry ammunition stowage bins. The M4A4s were only produced with the 3-piece differential housing.

There is a little bit more information at that link along with pictures.

12

There's a (probably) exhaustive list of Shermans (Shermen?) with illustrations at tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/US/M4_Sherman.php. Disclaimer: A lot of models were so similar that it'd be a bit of a chore to try to match up the pics above with this page, though.

9

The seams appear to all be welded, not cast, so it cannot be an M4A1, an M4 Composite, or an M4A6, according to the chart on this Wikipedia article.

It's got the 75mm gun, not the 76mm or the 105mm gun, which helps eliminate some models like the M4A3E8.

Also note the protrusions at the top of the front hull. The front of any of the "Jumbo" variants is flat, so this cannot be a Jumbo.

I think it might be a minor variant of an M4A3, based on the discussion on this site. I don't find it super convincing, but I think it's the closest we're going to get outside of scheduling a meeting with the folks at Bovington.

  • 1
    Thanks for sharing the analysis! Notably, all of these details also fit with Buan's identification of it as an M4A4(75). – called2voyage Sep 19 at 17:43
  • Certainly looks like a M4A4 - the same hull as a Firefly, which matches up with the photos I have taken of a couple. – Baldrickk Sep 20 at 9:32

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