One of many versions of the Sherman tank, the M4A4 was manufactured by Chrysler Corp. and originally equipped with the “Multibank” engine, the reference of the tank changed post War in the French Army for M4A4 T (T for “transformé”) because it was motorized with a 9-cylinder Continental R-975 C4 radial engine .
The Multibank A57 was born out of the necessity for a rear-mounted tank engine to be developed and produced, in the shortest time possible. In order to use existing tooling, five Chrysler 250.6 cu in (4.1 L) (bore 3.4375in or 87 m, stroke 4.5in or 114mm) L-head inline six cylinder engines were arranged around a central shaft, producing a unique 30-cylinder 21-litre (1,253 cu in) engine in a relatively compact but heavy package. The crankshafts were fitted with gears, which drove a sun gear arrangement.
The engine installed in our Sherman tank is derived from the Wright R-975 Whirlwind which was a series of nine-cylinder air-cooled radial aircraft engines built by the Wright Aeronautical division of Curtiss-Wright. During World War II, Continental Motors built the R-975 under license as a powerplant for Allied tanks and other armored vehicles.
This particular tank in our collection is awaiting restauration and was given the name “Champaubert” in remembering of a historical tank : Champaubert, Montmirail and Romilly were the first Sherman tanks of General Leclerc 2nd Armored Division to enter Paris, August 24, 1944. The Champaubert was the first to reach the Hôtel de Ville (the Town House), August 24, 1944. Unfortunately the Champaubert has been destroyed during an attack carried out with another M4A4, the “Montmirail“, along a forest road in Anglemont in the foothills of the Vosges mountains on October 2, 1944. Four of the five crew members were killed, the fifth was seriously wounded.
Engine: originally Multibank Chrysler A57 / 425Hp 30 cylinders currently Continental R-975 C1 400 hp at 2,400 rpm Armor: upper and lower front: 2.0’’ ; rear: 1.5’’ ; sides: 1.5’’ ; gun shield: 3.0’’. Combat weight: 66,800 lbs, 30,300 kg Length without gun: 230’’ Width: 16.56’’ Height over turret hatch: 108’’ Fuel capacity: 175 gal Cruising range: 120 miles /roads Speed: 21 mph Armament: 75mm Gun M3 90 rounds (8 ready) – .50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount – .30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 75mm gun – .30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Crew: 5 (Commander in turret right rear, Gunner in turret right front, Loader in turret left rear, Driver in hull left front, Assistant driver in hull right front) Manufacturers : American Locomotive Co., Baldwin Locomotive Works, Detroit Tank Arsenal, Federal Machine and Welder Co., Fisher Tank Arsenal, Ford Motor Company, Lima Locomotive Works, Pacific Car and Foundry Company, Pressed Steel Car Company, Pullman-Standard Car Company. Number produced (all models) : roughly 50,000