M4A3 Sherman 105mm
The M4A3 Sherman 105mm is a medium support tank, armed with a 105mm howitzer firing high-explosive shells.
Keeping with the US philosophy of standardization, when replacing the M8 Scott GMC the US turned to a variant of the M4 Sherman with a 105mm howitzer replacing the standard 75mm or 76mm gun. First fielded in 1944, 105mm-armed Shermans were used to provide fire support against enemy defensive positions, although in a pinch they were sometimes tasked with stopping German armor. Line medium armor companies of Shermans often had one 105 mm-armed Sherman in the three-tank command section along with three five-tank platoons of 75 mm or 76 mm-gunned Shermans. Howitzer-armed Shermans were also deployed independently in three-tank sections for infantry support.
Lacking armor-piercing ammunition, the 105mm-armed Sherman is more suited to pounding enemy defensive lines and blasting holes for infantry and medium tanks to exploit, or smashing up enemy structures. However, the mediocre performance of US tank guns against German armor sometimes leaves a US commander with no better option than to pummel incoming tanks with his 105s and hope for the best, as sufficient numbers of hits with HE shells will eventually hammer even a heavy tank to pieces. The 105mm-armed Sherman can also accompany an armor breakthrough force to provide mobile artillery support, as it is able to keep up with standard Shermans.