Index > Sherman Encyclopedia > India


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During WW2, units from India equipped with Sherman Vs fought in Burma. This wartime equipment soldiered on for a long time, as The Central India Horse regiment used Sherman Vs from 1960 to 1966.
In the early 1950s, the US approved a sale of 200 Sherman tanks worth $19 million. Shermans with 76mm guns were used by both India and Pakistan - though only in a supporting role to the Centurions and Pattons which made up their main strength - in the 1965 war in Kashmir.
Pakistan captured two Indian Shermans from the 2nd Royal Lancer with French 75 mm guns in 1965. Unknown if this is a French modification (like the M50 delivered to Israel) or if this was done by the Indian Army themselves (note: the Indian Army used the AMX-13 with 75 mm gun).

Jane's listed the Sexton 25pdr SP Gun as in service in late 1981.

Sanjay Badri-Maharaj added the following remarks:
"After reading your website, I can add a few points: the Sherman left Indian service only after the 1971 war where No.4 Independent Armoured Sqn. used the type. India upgraded two regiments worth of Shermans with the French 75mm guns as a desperate venture to improve their capability against Pakistani armour. The conversion was not deemed a success as the gun mechanism was not altered. There were some very serious problems with traverse and firing on the move. However, it is possible that this tank continued until 1971 - it was described as the 'upgunned Sherman' and this designation was used to describe the tanks of the No.4 Indep. sqn.
As a point of interest, Indian fielded 332 Shermans in the 1965 war - Pakistan fielded 305. India also fielded a total of 608 tanks against Pakistan's 756. During the battle of Assal Uttar, 76mm Shermans and jeep mounted 106mm RCLs scored a number of successes against attacking Pakistani M-48s after the latter were decimated by Indian Centurions."

Shermans retrofitted with 76mm guns: M4A1E4 and M4A3E4
Scans courtesy of George Balin via Tom Gannon
The photo on the left shows an Indian M4A1E4 (retrofitted with a 76mm gun). It was photographed after it was captured by Pakistan. 
Scan courtesy of George Balin via Tom Gannon
Another Indian Sherman retrofitted with a 76mm gun, this time an M4A3E4, photographed after being captured by Pakistan.

Link: for more information and pictures of Sherman tanks used during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak Wars, visit the Patton Nagar page on Bharat Rakshak, the Consortium of Indian Military Websites.

Shermans retrofitted French 75mm High Velocity Gun
by Major General Ranjit Lal Jetley (Retd) Ex D.R.D.O. India
India's upgraded two regiments of Shermans with the French 75mm High Velocity guns was the result of my idea and design.

In 1957-58 as a Lt.-Col. I while commanding 38 Medium regiments took part in an exercise called Doaba in Panjab supporting an armored Brigade. At the summing up of the exercise it was brought out by Chief Empire Gen. Kulwant Singh that the 76mm guns on Sherman did not have sufficient fire power to beat enemy armor. 

In 1959-60 when I was commanding the Proof and Experimental Establishment at Balasore I evaluated  the firepower of AMX-13 with 75mm H.V. gun to assess the maker's claim and found it exceptionally good to beat thick armor. I put up as a new idea of my own to the General Staff that we should upgun our Sherman tanks (the wasting assets of the army) with this gun, and requested for a obsolete tank to be given to me for carrying out the modification. A tank was given to me and in 3 months I mounted the 75mm High Velocity gun as my personal project and requested the Director at Armoured corp. General Rajinder Singh  to see a demonstration at my location. The firing was a great success and the idea accepted.

Your observations of its weakness were known but set aside by the USER as I had mounted the gun on the existing turret, no one else in the world succeeded in that by then or later. India did not manufacture a turret by that time. The modification was primarily meant for Anti-Tank Role and this was well played in 1965 war from the hides. For this outstanding example showing ingenuity and skill for up gunning and saving 100 crores of wasting assets of tanks I was given in the list of Honors and Awards by the Chief of the Army Staff, COMMENDATION CARD and subsequently when the ministry of defense introduced cash awards for New Ideas I was given an award of rupees 2000.

The following extracts may be useful to define the capability of  this upgunned tank the name by me to it.

Extract from The Economic Times New Delhi Wednesday 6th September, 1995 page 7 an article by Global Watch/K Subrahmanyam titled “The First War with Pak”
“Third, the Pakistanis had secretly raised a second armoured division while India had only one then... The Pakistani armoured division which was to break through at Khem Karan was totally destroyed by an Indian armoured brigade consisting of one Centurion regiment, one regiment of Sherman Mark IV tanks and another with up-gunned Shermans. The Sherman tanks were of World War II vintage. This happened because of the superior tactical skills of officer and men of the Indian Army. That battle was crucial in the sense if India had lost it the fate of the subcontinent would have changed...The country has to be overly grateful to the officers and men of that armored brigade.”

Extract from The Indian Express New Delhi Friday December 19, 2003 Page 9 “Last Salute to the lion of 1965” (Lt. Gen Joginder Singh Dhillon; 1914-2003, Obituary)
“It is not possible to describe this 17-day war here but the decisive tank battle of Assal Utar, near Khem Karan, on September 10 does bear telling. Indian units hid their Sherman tanks 500 meters apart in a U-shaped formation in tall and unharvested sugarcane fields, and snared the enemy's vastly superior Patton tanks into this ambush, annihilating them to the last tank and deciding the outcome of the war. The destruction of Pakistan's armored pride and the casualties it suffered...”

You may like to add that: 
- Credit for the availability of the up-gunned Shermans goes to the idea and invention of Maj Gen R L Jetley (Retired), for which he was paid merely Rs. 2000 as a CASH Award to kill the dream of Field Marshal Ayub Khan - ON TO DELHI, however credit goes to the General Staff Army for providing him a Sherman Tank to experiment with his New Idea.
- Similar idea to upgun T55 tank with 105mm gun was initiated by me as a student's project at the Institute of Armament Studies when I was the Director of Studies (Army) which was a success, and later passed it on to the army when I was Controller Inspection (Weapons).


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Last update: 05-11-2001

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