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The M4A2(76)W was not an important Sherman in the west during WWII. Just
about the whole production run was shipped off to the Soviet Union, where it was
well received. The M4A2(76)W was a wet tank with large hatches from the
beginning. It's 76mm T23 turret was the same as the ones installed on all the
other 76 tanks, and probably went through the same series of minor changes. The
hull is almost indiscernible from a M4A3(76)W. A total of 1,594 M4A2(76)W was
manufactured between May 44 and Dec 44. From Jan 45, production was switched
to M4A2(76)W HVSS; a total of 1,321 was manufactured until May 45. The
Russians received some M4A2(76)W HVSS tanks before the war ended.
The Soviet Union's nickname for the M4 medium tank was Emcha because the
open-topped figure 4 resembled the Cyrillic letter che or cha (?). The M4A2s
used by the Red Army was considered to be much less prone to blow up due to
ammunition detonation than the T-34/76, but tended to overturn in road
collisions because of their much higher centre of gravity. Under Lend-Lease,
4,102 M4A2 medium tanks were sent to the USSR. Of these, 2,007 were equipped
with the 75mm gun, and 2,095 carried the 76mm gun. The total number of Sherman
tanks sent to the USSR under Lend-Lease represented 18.6% of all Lend-Lease
Shermans. The first 76mm-armed Shermans started to arrive in the Soviet Union in
late summer of 1944. In 1945, some units were standardized to depend mostly on
them, and not on the ubiquitous T-34: 1st Guards Mechanized Corps, 3rd Guards
Mechanized Corps, and 9th Guards Mechanized Corps.
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