I've heard the M4 Sherman had instruments on it that allowed it to act as an artillery piece. Is there any evidence to suggest this was effective?

I've heard that the Sherman had of course, its High Explosive ammunition which was mainly used in an infantry support role. However I've heard that it had the instruments on board (High quality radio, elevation/azimuth controls) that allowed it to act as an artillery piece. However I've yet to find any evidence as to how well this was used. Was it just something cheaply added on "just in case" but never really used or was it something that Shermans could oftentimes find themselves in use of?

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    When you ask about 'in artillery capacity', you're talking about the gun being used as indirect fire? This site has a couple of pictures of Shermans being used in the artillery role (just after the Elevation Quadrant M9 section).
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


For the purposes of this question, I will interpret "as artillery" to mean "indirect-fire". That is, they're firing at a location, not a target.


M4 hulls were used to make self-propelled artillery: M7 Priest, M12, and Sexton. They even played around with putting a whole bunch of rockets on an M4, but not in large numbers. And many M4 tanks were equipped with a 105mm howitzer for direct and indirect infantry support.

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The M3 75 mm gun was a very good all-purpose gun with a good high-explosive and white-phosphorous/smoke shells. 75mm and 105mm Shermans were used as supplementary artillery. Regular Shermans would be equipped with azimuth and elevation indicators to be able to carry out indirect fire missions. Individual crews would be trained to work with artillery units; they generally wouldn't do their own spotting or targeting and instead carry out fire orders: this many rounds of that type in such-and-such a direction and elevation.

The Korean War would see more use of M4s as artillery.


My father, Capt. John Irland, commanded a battery in the 7th Armored. While on west bank of the Rhine awaiting the crossing, he said his battery was converted to a sort of temporary arty battalion by having a few companies of tanks attached to his battery for which his own FDC provided that service. I never asked him how they did fire direction for the tanks. Lloyd Irland

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