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A German opinion on the Sherman (Jentzís Panzer Truppen, Vol. 2, p.150-151):

The preferences of the crews for lighter, more maneuverable Panzers was recorded in a report written on November 1944 by Albert Speer on his trip to Italy during 19 to 25 October 1944:

"On the Southwest Front, opinions are in favor of the Sherman tank and its cross-country ability. The Sherman tank climbs mountains that our Panzer crews consider impassable. This is accomplished by the especially powerful engine in the Sherman in comparison to its weight. Also, according to reports from the 26.Panzer-Division, the terrain-crossing ability on level ground (in the Po valley) is completely superior to our Panzers. The Sherman tanks drive freely cross-country, while our Panzers must remain on trails and narrow roads and therefore are very restricted in their ability to fight.

All Panzer crews want to receive lighter Panzers, which are more maneuverable, possess increased ability to cross terrain, and guarantee the necessary combat power just with a superior gun. This desire by the troops corresponds with conditions that will develop in the future as a result of the drop in production capacity and of the fact that, because of a shortage of chrome, sufficient armor plate can't be produced to meet the increased production plans. Therefore, either the number of Panzers produced must be reduced or it will be necessary to reduce the thickness of the armor plate. In that case, the troops will unequivocally ask for a reduction of the armor thickness in order to increase the total number of Panzers produced."

(Please click on the photos (as applicable) to jump to large-scale copies)

M4 recovery vehicle
Turretless M4 Sherman in use as recovery vehicle with sPz.Abt 508 in Italy.


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