M4A1 Sherman Beute Panzer (Trophy Tank)
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US Army, North African Campaign, Captured by l./Pz.Rgt.5, Tunisia, Early 1943, Sent for evaluation
Having the opportunity to capture a fully working example of your enemy’s latest battle tank is a situation which was highly prized by all the combatant nations during the Second World War, allowing their capabilities to be assessed and to ascertain the most effective ways of destroying them. This detailed evaluation would usually be carried out by a specialist Military High Command unit well behind the front lines, but getting your war prize back there during the heat of battle could be a challenging process. This particular early Sherman tank was captured by 1st Company, 501st Heavy Tank Battalion in Tunisia, during operations to counter the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa in late 1942 and must have looked rather conspicuous parked amongst the German Tiger 1 and Panzer III tanks which were heading towards the fighting. The fascinating hand painted warning on the side of the Sherman is basically warning German troops not to remove any items from the enemy tank, as it has been commandeered by German Military High Command and is destined to be sent back to Germany for test and evaluation. In addition to the rather crudely applied Balkenkreuz markings on the turret of the Sherman, the unit responsible for securing such a significant trophy also ensured their details were included in the hand painted warning on the hull sides of the tank, presumably knowing that the message would be seen by thousands of military personnel during its journey back to Germany and wanting their achievement recognised.
The German Army had first encountered the American built Sherman Tank whilst fighting the British at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942, but at that time, could hardly have envisaged how significant its combat arrival would prove to be. With the first examples falling into their hands and sent for evaluation following the Allied landings in French North Africa just a few weeks later, the Germans could not fail to have been impressed by the quality of a tank which represented the very embodiment of American mass production techniques and ultimately illustrated how the might of US industrial capacity would influence the outcome of the Second World War. Comparing it against the prowess of their own mighty Tiger Tank, they would have been more than confident that they held the technological advantage, however, the Americans were clever in understanding that their new tank would have to be transported to combat zones all around the world, often to ports and staging depots which had rather basic facilities. Larger tanks would have created an even greater logistical challenge than the significant one they already faced and as their Sherman would be used by all the armies of the Allied nations, the greater availability of M4 tanks would prove crucial in the outcome of the ground war. Eventually, over 50,000 Sherman Tanks of all types would be produced, making this the second most produced tank of the Second World War and an essential war winner.
A detailed die-cast scale model for adult collector. Not Suitable for children under 14 years.
Colour and contents of products may vary from those illustrated
Technical Specification & Detail